The Universal Notebook: Let’s hear it for (the end of) 2021

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Well folks, another year’s in the books,

A year of insurgents, viruses, conspirators, crooks,

Variants from Delta to Omicron.

Our Greek-letter society of death and disease marches on!

Edgar Allen BeemSo let’s begin with a great big year-end Huzzah

For Gov. Mills and dear Dr. Shah.

May 2022 be blessedly free

Of coronavirus and CMP!

And may Roe v. Wade continue to wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

If the court overturns Roe, it will be a great shame!

And we’ll only have Senator Collins to blame. 

Sara Gideon would have been a much wiser choice,

Being a mother herself and a strong feminist voice.

Question 1 was answered with a resounding Yes,

‘Cuz we all wanted out of the CMP mess.

But climate claims drove some old liberals rogue,

Among them Barringer, Anderson, Rumpf and Delogu.

Their support for No was a great mystery

That put them all on the wrong side of history.

Even the late David Flanagan, CMP prexy-elect

Could not save the New England Clean Energy Connect.

It’s Yes on 1’s Tom Saviello who’s now all the rage;

In fact, I might vote for him over Mills or LePage.

But at the very least let’s tear down the CMP towers 

And replace them with home-grown Pine Tree electrical Power.

Some in Maine thought labor unions were dead.

Not so said 1,001 nurses who work at Maine Med

And the staff at the Portland Museum of Art

Voted 16 to 10 a new union to start.

Now it’s time the departing receive a salute:

Goodbye B & M Beans, hello Roux Institute.

Farewell, President Glenn Cummings of USM

And a bunch of newscasters, can’t forget them.

Ta-ta, Sixers who will no longer be seen:

Lee Nelson, Cindy Williams, and Hannah Dineen.

Off you go, Jon Jennings, to manage Clearwater so pretty.

Bet they didn’t tell you Scientologists had bought the whole city.

And speaking of Out There, how about Waterville, dude?

First Boss Paul, then Isgro, now Maine Patriots with Attitude!

We don’t need any more rightwing conspiracy cults,

Just like we don’t need any audited election results.

Of course all Republicans these days seem bogus to me,

As do the Portland City Council, Charter Commission, and RCV. 

First Rodriguez won, then he and Mazer were tied,

So they flip a coin, then recounted; maybe something else should be tried,

‘Cuz I have it on fairly good mathematical authority

That 8,500 votes out of 21,000 cast is not a majority.

Portland may be the most livable city around,

But not for the homeless now banished to the far edge of town.

Still, the Forest City at least answered the affordability call;

Cape Elizabeth NIMBYs don’t want poor folk at all.

Oh well, que sera, let them eat cake.

How much of this doggerel can anyone take?

Now my New Year’s greetings to all the artists I know: 

Tim Greenway, Timothy Wilson, Dave Wade, David Row,

Natasha Mayers, Rob Shetterly, Josephine Chase!

Let there be public art all over the place!

Not just Charlie Hewitt’s Hopeful out at Speedwell, you see,

But a Congress Square sculpture by the great Sarah Sze (finally).

May 2022 see all our crises resolved,

Our prayers all answered, our problems all solved! 

Not just an end to partisan bickering, insurrection, COVID-19,

But climate change, racism, and gun violence I mean.

Then shall we feast on champagne, lobster tail,

Though if lobstering’s banned we may have to eat whale.

The right whales, of course, not just any cetacean.

We’re quite politically correct here in the Land of Vacation.

Happy New Year, dear readers. Be of good cheer!

I could go on forever, but let’s just end it right here.

Edgar Allen Beem has been writing The Universal Notebook weekly since 2003, first for The Forecaster and now for the Phoenix. He also writes the Art Seen feature.