No better muse for budding poet than Kickin’ Dougie Bruce

Filed under: Hazlehurst |

It appears that Colorado Springs will soon have its own poet laureate.
Now that’s a harmless, feel-good idea. After all, isn’t it better to have our very own poet laureate than to have, say, our own nuclear arsenal?
According to the award’s sponsors — including Colorado College, UCCS, Poetry West, and COPPeR — the first Pikes Peak Poet Laureate will be named in April, during National Poetry Month. And, it appears, there might be actual cash involved — a $2,000 annual stipend to the lucky poet — provided that the committee making the choice can raise the money.
Two thousand big ones for writing poetry? I’m applying!
There is, however, a small problem with my candidacy. I’ve never written, much less published, a single poem.
But look at all the poets out there — how hard can it be? So here’s my magnum opus, loosely inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” but updated and revised to be as fresh as yesterday’s headlines.
Its subject: His Excellency, Kickin’ Dougie Bruce!
The Craven
Once upon a session dreary, as legislators pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten law,
While they nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, tapping at the Chamber’s door.
‘’Tis some visitor,’ Romanoff muttered, ‘kicking at my Chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.’
But in the chamber heads were turning, legislative anger burning,
‘Twas Bruce’s foot swiftly flailing, legislative decorum spurning.
The photographer assailing, for snapping Dougie’s prayerful yearning
Let legislators see, and this mystery explore –
Let the media be still and this mystery explore; –
Was it a nudge and nothing more?
Convened they then an august panel, before whom with sullen mien
Appeared a frightful fiend from TABOR days of yore
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he
But with lordly demeanor strode upon the chamber floor
Stood below a bust of Reagan just above the chamber door
Stood, then sat, and nothing more
Then the Dougster, never budging, told his story “I was nudging —
Don’t be judging.” Yet twisted words require more, the panel swore
‘Though thy chin be wattled and thy face shaven, thou,’ they said, ‘art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient tax-cutter wandering from the nightly shore — tell now
Why dost thou kick, O fiend from the Right’s Plutonian shore?’
Quoth the Dougster, ‘Nevermore.’
‘Tax-cutter!’ said they, `thing of evil! — false prophet still, if man or devil! —
Whether devil-sent, or come by tempest from California shores,
Dastardly yet undaunted, beneath this Capitol dome enchanted –
In this House by horror haunted — tell us truly, we implore –
Dost thou regret thy actions poor? Wilt thou apologize, to the photographer sore?’
Quoth the Dougster, ‘Nevermore.’
‘Be that word our sign of parting, fiend!’ they shrieked upstarting –
`Get thee back to the Springs; the Right’s Plutonian shore!
Leave the video as a token of the lie thou hath spoken!
Leave our decorum unbroken! — remove thee from the Chamber floor!
Begone forever — we have spoken; exit through the Chamber door!’
Quoth the Dougster, ‘Nevermore.’
And now the Dougster, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
Below the pallid bust of Reagan just above the chamber floor;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And the legislature from that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be freed — nevermore!

Now isn’t that poet-laureate worthy?
Sure, it’s not all original — but just ask Snoop or 50 Cent. It’s OK to plagiarize, as long as you call it sampling.
And it certainly beats the aforementioned community nuclear deterrent — although, come to think of it, getting Pueblo’s consent to the pipeline project would be a lot easier if our hapless mayor could threaten them with nuclear annihilation …
John Hazlehurst can be reached at or 227-5861.