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  • Writer's pictureJ.J. Cunis

“One word … plastics …”

This is my contribution to the first poetry book published by the literary arts group of the Sandwich Arts Alliance, “Pebbles in the Stream”. The book’s 34 poems, which include haiku, sonnets and free verse as well as rhymed pieces, are the result of a “Poem-athon” fundraiser the literary arts group held to benefit the Sandwich Food Pantry. The project began in April during National Poetry Month when the Cape’s food pantries were being emptied as the coronavirus swept through Cape Cod.

In exchange for a minimum donation of $15 to the food pantry, alliance writers and a few friends offered to write a poem for whatever purpose the donor specified, whether to celebrate a birthday, graduation, a second marriage or the loss of a pet or friend. A copy can be obtained here -

“One word … plastics …”


Mr. Maguire’s advice to Benjamin in the ‘Graduate’.

What word or words would he give him today?

Algorithms or finance, maybe pharma or poly-sci?

It could be just an “Atta Boy”, a smile and a pat on the shoulder,

as a beep, bing or chime calls to him on his screen of choice.

“What do you want from life?” as Fee Waybill bellowed.

Though many want to tell you what you should …

You now have a tool box of knowledge,

and the beginnings of a wealth of experience.

What words of wisdom does this Mr. Maguire offer?

Old men tend to lecture.

Like a cup of coffee, the words pass through.

A brew remembered? How long? Who knows?

But humor me while I impart some advice,

It’s been decades brewing, and your pot’s just starting.

Try to remember to do unto others, as you would have done unto you.

All other rules, commandments, or edicts tend to be redundant.

Never stop reading history, it is one of the greatest teachers.

Those who forget history are destined to make the same mistakes.

Common sense will always trump artificial intelligence.

No matter how glamorous, intelligent or wealthy a person may seem,

They all have to wipe their butt and will eventually look like crap in ultra hi-def.

Shortly after purchase, your possessions can tend to become an anchor.

Always try your hardest to see things from others’ point of view before lecturing.

Categories and ‘isms’ are fallacies, necessitated by our boxing genes and money raisers.

Nothing can be done about what you just did, you can only control what you do next.


Enjoy yourself, and Douglas Adams advises “Always bring a towel!”

I haven’t figured out why, but they are pretty damn handy.

Go … brew your own pot of wisdom.


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