The Canadian Cauliflower Crisis
(or Food for Thought)

By Michael Dorr

I am―I must confess―a bit like you.
There's so many high-tech gadgets to buy
and so many diverting things to do,
vacations to plan, neighbors to decry,
cakes to refuse to bake, children to woo.
I too enjoy the rabid media―
bless the myopic left and the blind right,
each promising its shiny Nirvana,
neither recognizing the other's plight
(or the value of a fresh papaya)― 
I am also all too happy to note
the heads lost in Saudi Arabia
(one hundred fifty seven―all by rote)
the Ebola Craze in Liberia,
the latest Tweet and Like, the inane quote.
And as Iran's missiles seek a shocked sky,
I admit I'm transfixed by all that's new,
willing to give it the Old College Try,
eager to scatter what the Fates accrue,
never looking back, never asking why. 
Distracted by refugees running free,
Zika babies, gang rapes in India,
my Wile E. Coyote destiny,
and the latest drone strike by Obama,
my attention meanders―naturally.
As organic is my hysteria.
Who cares if dog is a delicacy
served to President Jinping of China?
You in your alligator shoes?  Oh please!
Think of the starving in doomed Syria.
So much to consider, so much to delight,
sneakers to embrace, homeless to eschew!
Sooner or later the raven takes flight
against skies storm-ridden or cobalt blue.
What we gather each day we lose each night.
Dawn brings new newspapers (those tattered few)
and old guttering rumors set alight
just in time for the so-called “Evening News”
to turn an earthquake into a soundbite,
slaughtered students into a point of view.
All the girl-snatching in Nigeria,
all the migrants who cannot seem to float,
and pandas puzzled by a vagina,
Lord, what do I know?  Who am I to gloat?
By fluke I was born in America!
As a Patriot you cannot fault me,
sir, for not caring about Canada.
Where have you been?  Do you lack eyes to see?
Or are you just in from North Korea?
Our neighbor confronts catastrophe!
The Oceans are deep and the World is wide,
but north of me cauliflowers are few
and each night children grin as parents cry,
“Nine dollars a head!  Too dear for a stew.”
When did the world I know go so awry?
My God!  It resembles a brain bled white
and tastes twice as bland as naked tofu.
On Childhood's good name it is a blight!
Why's it on the Canadian menu
at all?  The veggie's fate is far from bright.
Tanking oil prices are good for me
and bad for such enemies as Russia
who wants to destroy My Democracy
or Isis spreading its bacteria―
isn't that what FOX has been telling me?
Now I learn it harms my nearest ally,
suffering from a nosediving loonie,
with cauliflowers scarce as Dodos that fly,
soon to be as costly as a new kidney,
and not as tasty or, when cooked, as spry. 
It's a tragedy!  What's next?  Celery?!
What happened?  Whom do we need to scapegoat?
Some poor fool must pay for this travesty.
Point him out!  I will gladly shave his throat
to protect all that makes us Brave and Free.
Really?  The whole state of California,
accursed by drought and swimming pools filled high?
Greedy, ever-thirsty Coca-Cola?
All those throats!  My hands would never be dry.
When does mass murder become ephemera? 
And all those parents who must now rely
on threats of brussel sprouts and viscera
to keep their sweet brats in line and belie
their real intent: triple shots of vodka
on ice, trysts with uncut coke on the sly.
Where vast crops of cauliflower once grew,
Earth will soon be a tabula rasa,
an Etch-a-Sketch to be shaken anew.
Where is the gavel?  Where's the camera?
If I am guilty, sir, then so are you.

Published February 15th, 2016

Poet, writer, editor, former publisher, educator, cultural critic, and (briefly) a gravedigger, Michael K. Dorr is a Phi Beta Kapa cum laude graduate of Hofstra University, where he studied film, theater, history, anthropology, and astrophysics.  He is co-editor of MILES ON MILES: Interviews and Encounters with Miles Davis.  He lives in Brooklyn, New York with a Rhodesian Ridgeback runt named Trixie Maybeline.