Saturday, March 20, 2004


It never ends. Every year, the litany of hand-wringing about our schools not having any money. In the 1980's, a state lottery was sold to the public, partly, on the promise of more money for schools. Ditto gambling at the local horse track. And a local option sales tax was passed, to help get more money for the schools. Yet, still, there is not enough. There never seems to be enough. Where is this money going? This seems like more than simpleminded incompetence. Such gross failure to manage school finances is taking on the appearance of outwright fraud. No matter how much money gets funneled to these bozos, they cannot manage it. Maintenance is shortchanged. Teachers are buying classroom supplies. Can you imagine working in any corporation today, and be expected to buy your own office supplies, etc? This is ridiculous. It is getting to be time for the federal Justice department to investigate the Des Moines Public School System for out and out fraud, deception, and embezzling of funds. Heads ought to roll. Someone belongs in prison! Our teachers and our kids are being screwed over, and noone sems to know how to stop this. What a sick, pathetic joke of a system. No wonder our society is on a mad downward spiral to the bottom. Sheesh!

In the gallery’s light

We speak quietly, as paintings

Flaunt their textures,

More bold than we who hold a palette

And hesitate to pick up a brush.

In a world

Rampant with hatred,

We resist, striking back,

Cry in our frustration,

It makes no sense.

We who march

Because we know not what else to do,

Who long for love to be free . . .

Know the depth of death.

Creativity is not a choice

For those in the underworld.

We who walk on clouds, see

A world with wings,

Feel the pain of birth.

In the light of the gallery

We, the conflicted, speak

Of darkness, as if those who hate

Are created on a different canvas.

Draft by Debbie Dembinski 2003


Entering buildings late in the evenings,
After the swarming crowds have left;
Arranging equipment for nighttime cleaning,
They have barrels to line, vaccuums to heft.

Arrival of starting time greeted with team
Moving out onto floors, dusters flashing;
Waste containers emptied, then vaccuuming,
Restrooms swept, sanitized with flushing.

Tile floors swept and mopped,
Scraped free of scuffs and tar;
Occasionally wax is stripped and re-topped,
Leaving mirrored surfaces without mark or mar.

This A-team against dirt and grime,
Swoops in, dispatches duties quickly;
Transforming dingy cubicles to digs sublime,
Brightening dull facades efficiently.
Corporations are lucky to have contract cleaners,
So they can sparkle and gleam, while staying leaner.

(c) 2003 MSW