Committing a sin, I modified a 1960s Ric Masten poem to update it to 2016... The largest paragraph, the second, equal to half the poem in the original and slightly more than half, is new. The great opening and powerful closing is Masten's and is left unchanged. -HB, April 2016.
Bird's Cage

one thing about it
these are sure
exciting times
says i
folding the front page
to fit
the bottom
of the bird cage

bee colony collapse
and the causes
are still being studied
but what about
GMO mushrooms
and if drones
took over the skies
they would devour
each other
or guard us benevolently
with laserbeam eyes
and grown boys and girls
return as heros
yet suffer infested
with PTSD bugs
software cockroaches
running through minds
emotional minefields
dashing through thought-mazes
zigzagging 
erratically
thoughts aflame
and meanwhile
our children
still ADHD
faces glowing in bed
cellphones in hand
staring
waiting
to inherit
a sick planet

my bird is silent
she must be moulting
and yet 
i wonder if
a christian slave
waiting in a hole
under the colosseum
troubled by the sound
of sunday's
hungry lions
might not have turned 
to his buddy and said

one thing about it
brother
these are sure
exciting times




ORIGINAL:
one thing about it
these are sure
exciting times
says i
folding the front page
to fit
the bottom
of the bird cage

underground mushrooms
and the aphis
are under control
but what about
the penguins
and if mice
took the subway
they would devour
each other
and grown boys
playing
with real Mattel toys
in the jungle
or is it
the library
and outside
Dixie Peach jars
are refilled
and flaming
against white walls
and my children
become benign
smoking
beside sick rivers

my bird is silent
she must be moulting
and yet 
i wonder if
a christian slave
waiting in a hole
under the colosseum
troubled by the sound
of sunday's
hungry lions
might not have turned 
to his buddy and said

one thing about it
brother
these are sure
exciting times