Chairman Mao Didn’t Brush

Michael Chacko Daniels


There’s much I comfortably ignore:


Chairman Mao didn’t brush, I know, but

Why he had his pictures show white teeth,

(Snow flakes on a dial-a-trick mountain?)

I pass over.


Nehru loved Edwina, I know, but

Why two warships to guard her body,

(Escorts to a skeptic’s-Naraka?)

I pass over.


Of Einstein’s gedanken, I know, but

Did he try God throwing human dice,

(Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, or Yahweh?)

I pass over.


Uncle Ho said, Burn me, I know, but

Why he remains embalmed, on display,

(Stalin, Mao, Ho: Marx alive, no?)

I pass over.


Don’t worry, child, what one doesn’t know

Can do no harm. Any other way,

I’d have more than I could parse, before

I cross over.


*Naraka: Sanskrit; underworld.

*Gedanken:  German; thought; used here as a shorthand for Einstein’s thought experiments


Copyright Michael Chacko Daniels 2011


 This poem appeared in the December 2011 issue of

the delinquent

of 92 Elm Road, Kingston, Surrey, KT2 6HU


Michael Chacko Daniels, a former community worker and clown, lives and works in San Francisco. He has a master’s from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. His adventures include five years as a Volunteer In Service To America, four as editor/publisher of the New River Free Press of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and sixteen running Berkeley's Jobs for Homeless Consortium. At Berkeley's Center for Independent Living in the 1980s he edited The Architecture of Independence series and helped make homes accessible for persons with disabilities. Books: Split in Two (Poetry, 2004), Anything Out of Place Is Dirt (Novel, 2004),That Damn Romantic Fool (Novel, 2005), and Morning in Santiniketan (Haiku, 2010)--all from: Writers Workshop, Kolkata.

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