Monday, December 21, 2009


Ask what your country can do for you;
Ask not what you can do for your country.
Ask not what you can do-
Your country can do what you can’t do.
Whatever you think you can do,
Your country can do that better than you;
So ask what your country can do for you.

Countries are pretty neat–
They do stuff for people all the time!
All you have to do is ask;
Go ahead, ask anyone.

Your country can do things for you, yes,
All kinds of things your country can do.
Believe me – no, believe your country –
It has everything you need, it’s true;
Your country loves YOU more than you do.
Your country can willingly do for you
All the tedious things you used to do,
Like choosing what tastes best to you.

Hey, you pay, so you don’t do;
I pay, too, for you.
Ask what you must not do;
Ask away, it will be done
For you.

All these comforts are yours for the cost
Of a compact fluorescent light bulb,
and one small request:
Ask what your country can do for you;
Ask, keep asking, don't stop asking
Until you cease to be you.
Then ask again.

December 21, 2009
In loving memory of liberty and individualism

In the spirit of a broken record, here is this week's poetry coming from prompt #106 at Read Write Poem.


  1. I like the way this skeptical reworking of the famous JFK quote works in sound and rhythm. It sometimes sounds like military cadence, a smidgen of Dr. Seuss, a little bit of rap. I love the way the barely changed or slightly rearranged lines flow, in sound and meaning.

    Your politics may be showing, but your style and structure make it beautiful rather than pamphleteering. Nice!

  2. Ripples is a good title - it does indeed do that. Interesting affect, causes one to think about what a country should be doing for one. It nips around the edges of one's thinking - which is what good poems do.

  3. Wow, Jerry! I believe we may be cut from the same cloth!
    This topic worked perfectly as a repetitive piece...very good job!

  4. Very clever--I like the way you go beyond repetition and really play with the phrase and the message.

  5. ripples are good.....and thanks for sharing this....happy hollidays too

  6. I enjoyed the flavorful voices woven throughout your poem. Tasty.

  7. Ripples do reflect. And in reflecting change. An interesting play and the repetitive rhythm works very well.

  8. I like the way this playfully twists around the reader's expectations. It has a great sing-song rhythm.

  9. Great witty rewrite of JFK's speech to fit our current time, and how dependent and passive and "groupthink" oriented we have become. I like the tone shifts throughout; the poem is never preachy and avoids overdoing things, there is dimension and music here too.

  10. A little piece of twist and turn, the repetitive rhyme is well crafted.

  11. I like this. Your inverse of JFK's statement and resulting development and wordplay off of it I found very interesting...I also like the resulting rhythm and rhyme in this piece. I think your title is appropriate. Well done.