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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Paean to Zero

Paean to Zero [Today's News Poem, March 9, 2010]

““How many people would like a proposal that holds insurance companies more accountable?””
--President Obama, quoted by Helene Cooper and David M. Herszenhorn, The New York Times, March 8, 2010

“The Senate on Tuesday cleared a hurdle to extending unemployment benefits and health-care subsidies for the jobless until year's end, the latest modest bipartisan success on jobs and the economy.”
--Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2010

Enumerate the many traits
Of zero: emptiness we count.
A means to lock the many rates
Of nothing into meaning's mount.

A decimal to part the naught
From value. Commas place the rank
Of triplet nothings—lined-up aughts—
That, with some law, can fund a bank.

A dead soul fetches something still—
And better that we never pay
What's sure to be a deadly bill.
And best? The debt for kids at play

Right now, will teach them gratitude
In ways a kid can get: we're first!
Don't coddle them, bad attitudes
Are made by sating whiny thirsts.

A promise made of nothing keeps
So long as faith remains its worth
Is more than discrete parts; it leaps
From voids, to banks, to shipping berths.

The world depends on empty brands
To animate production's cause:
Without false promises, the hands
Of workers turn to angry jaws

And bite the feeding hand of Smith:
The money's value's just a myth.

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