The World is My Ashtray by leighmf

Am I to blame them in a car,
costing $65,000, for a little more tar
if they're compelled to keep it neat
by throwing their butts onto the street?

Butts on the walkways,
butts in the garden,
walkways are arteries,
I beg your pardon!
I truly don't care for flowers with butts,
cocktail stirrers, and napkins, you nuts!

'Tis culture to flick butts
when stopped at a light
from manicured fingers,
gold wrist watch in sight.
Dark glasses, dark windows
roll down for the deed,
slithering back up with MXL speed.

Then there are those poorly drained intersections
where butts congregate from all directions.
Germs on the filters stick to my shoes,
especially the man-made materials and glues.

Once we were taught not
to litter the streets
with butts, spit, and wrappers
from various eats.

Thus here is the problem,
ye who can think-
too many butts
makes the world stink.



Zenzoe 4 years 12 weeks ago

Too many butts also leach toxins into the environment when it rains.

I used to have a butt flicker living next door. He somehow managed to flick them all over my driveway and front yard, as if to make work for me. So I'd gather them up —hundreds— and put them on his steps. He hated me. I hated him. Then he moved. Yay-y-y-y!!!

Now I have a neighbor who lets his dogs bark all night.

What was it Sartre said? "Hell is other people."

I've so enjoyed your last two poems, leighmf. Don't stop.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 4 years 12 weeks ago

Many thanks, zenzoe. I don't know why in these uninspiring times I've waxed poetic.

I had a beer can flicker once, and I had to move. He lit firecrackers on any excuse and drove around his huge backyard in his pick up truck to throw the cans over our fence. It was because we were "renters" not big "property owners" like he and his clan. The 75-year old Live Oak tree in front of his house he painted and dressed up like a football player, nailing a sign to the tree which read "We are still Cowboys."


gary phillips's picture
gary phillips 4 years 12 weeks ago
Quote Zenzoe:

Now I have a neighbor who lets his dogs bark all night.

What was it Sartre said? "Hell is other people."

LOL, it's a little hard to pile barks on the porch, although they could be recorded then later played back through a speaker aimed at your neighbor; i.e., like a mirror, you're not the source, you're merely reflecting it. Be aware, this could errupt into a full "barkathon" with the dog debating itself. About 15 years ago I realized the hell you refer to, and moved to a rural setting 35 miles from Yosemite. Now my only hell is cougars, coyotes, and rattlesnakes... ummm, which I find preferable.

The only comment I have about butts is that there are far too many in congress.

leighmf, nice poetry, and with a punch!

Zenzoe 4 years 12 weeks ago

You guys crack me up.

What to do with these people is a puzzlement. "Can't live with 'em; can't shoot 'em," as they say.

Well, I have to confess, the people next door with the dogs have my forgiveness: I learned from the wife soon after they moved in that she has breast cancer. They moved here from Texas to be with family and to take advantage of an alternative cancer treatment. Because I have no idea how that's going (although I can understand how a person would fear chemo and radiation, I can't imagine how she can survive without an operation at the least —she refused surgery), I tend to cut the dogs some slack; dogs have a way of knowing what's up with the health of their humans, so they're probably upset too. When they first moved in, the dogs just howled and howled out there. Now it's just barking.

I haven't seen her around lately. They're a lovely couple in their sixties, I'd say.

Add comment

Login or register to post comments

Latest Headlines

Obama to veto legislation on refugee screening

President Barack Obama would veto a Republican bill introduced in the wake of the Paris attacks to toughen the screening process for Syrian refugees

New York officials: No credible ISIS threat against city

There is no credible threat to New York City at this time, officials said

China denies torturing political prisoners

A Chinese delegation denied mistreatement of prisoners held in police stations and deaths in custody

Community Archive

How Stupid Has the Democratic Party Become?

Republicans haven’t taken over red states; Democrats have lost them by not running as real Democrats.

That’s my big takeaway from Alec MacGillis’ fascinating look into the biggest political mystery of our time: why poor white people in red states are not bothering to turn out to vote, leaving the field to Republicans elected by more affluent whites in those states.