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Frank DeFilippo: Maryland, My Merryland

The Miracle on 34th Street Christmas lights at night, in Hampden, Baltimore, Maryland. Photo from jonbilous/

Hail, all Maryland,

Look who’s here, bringing us cheer,

Larry Hogan, Yumi, too,

Adrienne Jones, and all her crew.

Hoist a wassail to Bill Ferguson,

Who’s in Mike Miller’s chair,

Gavel in hand, what, no silvery hair?


Hail, all Maryland, a gift to remember,

The leanest, meanest, month of December.

Smart phones, flat screens, fly off the shelves,

The holidays have busied those overworked elves.

But continue to worry about COVID, inflation, the flu and your bills,

December has a few days still to go, and with it, additional ills.


Vaxed and vexed, boosted and masked,

A Christmas without COVID is all we could ask.

But there’s a new variant abroad,

In South Africa, they say, it started,

Shut down and cancelled, before many departed.

Several cases in Baltimore, wouldn’t you know,

While the rest of us gulp and wonder, say it ain’t so.


But a Catholic cleric in Towson, apparently speaking for the dead,

Vaccines are anti-Christian, he said, his voice quaking, shaking his head.

Forgetting to check with the Pope, who got his shots,

Who would have said nope, by golly, this priest is wrong,

Everybody line up for the jab, while we sing a jolly song.


Redistricting is legal bodysnatching,

Whose scrambled lines leave us head-scratching.

Those squiggles on the map meander,

They resemble neither goose nor gander.

Just ask Andy Harris,

The Rep they were drawn to embarrass.

The districts, enshrined by a judge as a splayed salamander,

Named after Governor Gerry, thus gave us the name: gerrymander.


Hogan and Mosby, Marilyn, not Nick,

At each other’s throats, each feeling their oats,

Tossing verbiage that’s nasty and thick.

Marylin refuses to prosecute low-level crimes,

Which police arrest, causing confusion at times.

Mosby says she’s attacked because she’s female, black and progressive,

Though that kind of talk seems somewhat excessive,

While Hogan believes getting tough does the trick,

Because it also works as both theater and schtick.


The Dems have nine candidates for gov,

Lined up like ducks in a row.

When push comes to shove, and the election’s over,

One will be standing, eight will go.

It takes two hands to count the Dems,

And one to count the GOP, which has only three.

The Dems line up as King, Perez and Franchot,

Gansler and Moore and Jain,

Baron, Baker and Segal complete the chain.

The Republican trio causing the primary bicker,

Consists of Schulz, Cox and, once again, Ficker.


C’mon, Rushern, give us a break,

That’s shameless pandering, for goodness sake.

Saying you’ll move the governor’s office to Baltimore, if elected,

Could cause more opposition, and get you rejected.

Just don’t get ideas about moving your bed here,

On that point the constitution’s clear in its intent,

“The governor shall reside at the seat of government…”

McKeldin tried to change that, way back when,

It won’t work now, as it didn’t work then.

Keep your slippers and pajamas in Annapolis, if you win,

And don’t try changing your bedtime address, just to settle a whim.


What to make of it, Franchot, this guy,

Live by the press, and so you shall die.

A media-loving showboat, from head to toe,

No way for a public official to behave.

Beholden to the press as a slave.

But they keep printing his name, as if it’s a game.

Keep it up and soon folks will be saying,

He’s to blame, he’s not staying.


Liberals and conservatives rarely see eye to eye,

But occasionally their views arc, by and by.

Abortion, gay rights, education and guns, one supposes,

Among the issues that keep them separate and apart,

And the rest of the voters holding their noses.


Democracy, they say, is doomed,

Giving way to authoritarian gloom.

One side junks statues, the other bans books.

Think, to the rest of the world, how such behavior looks.

Is it the way of all people, or just the work of kooks?


Democracy, the poet said, is in perpetual motion,

Swinging constantly from one extreme to the other,

Depending on which is the fashionable notion.

Every so often, though, we hear a reasonable riddle,

From what was once considered the vital middle.


Give a cheer for Baltimore City,

The object of scorn and pity.

From Hogan on down, they attack the town,

That once was described as gritty,

But has since lost its quirk and eccentricity,

Despite the abundance of crime and grime,

Suddenly the town has a new name,

It’s now called Charm City.


Hail, all Baltimore,

Look who’s here, bringing us cheer,

Brandon Scott, the mayor, says he’s “pissed off,”

Potty-mouthed, that kind of talk,

At so many residents being shot,

Many in deals over heroin and pot.

And kids in the way, of bullets gone astray.


But hark! Da mare has a vision, he says,

And it’s not just an apparition.

More jobs, more counseling, more hoops, for youngsters,

So they don’t grow up to be punksters.

Keep ‘em off the streets,

With all kinds of treats,

And Baltimore will be safer,

As it was with Don Schaefer.


In MoCo, toll lanes are the test,

To see who’ll ante up, to rush past the rest.

They’ll pay through the nose, those Jacks and Jills,

To get there faster in cars loaded with frills.

If Hogan hadn’t lowered tolls and fees,

Maybe there’d be no need for such P3s.


The seasons, birthdays, ebb and flow,

Smart ones know when to go.

Nancy Kopp, Brian Frosh, are leaving, by gosh,

So is Maggie McIntosh.

And now Dolores Kelley’s parting, too,

For her, no more legislative hullabaloo.

Is nobody minding the store, you fear?

Don’t worry, there’s an election next year.


The Currans and O’Malleys have always thought,

The best place to work is the public trough.

Cousins, uncles, fathers and sons,

And mother, too, jobs for everyone.

And now a daughter cum wife continues the scrum,

Katie O’Malley, trading one gig for another,

Will run for AG, the job once held by her father.


Maryland Matters, Baltimore Brew,

Hotelier Bainum, a publisher, too?

With his digital news, The Banner,

Star spangled, in a manner,

Whoop-de-do, which is to say,

Journalism gets a boost, in a hopeful way.


At the same time there’s news that distresses,

The once-prized Baltimore Sun is silencing its presses.

Moving to Delaware, new owners decided the printing will be done,

Shed a tear for the setting Sun.

A far cry from the old days,

When hard-boiled editors barked “stop the presses.”

Back then, it meant front-page carnage and mayhem afresh,

Today it signals a news dimout by Alden’s duress,

And a massive gag reflex, an unfortunate mess.


Donald Trump, sentient as a tree stump,

Bestowed his political pox,

On a Maryland candidate for governor, Daniel Cox.

So it’s Hogan and Trump in a proxy rematch,

To see whose name for president will catch.


Hail, all Maryland, we have a new pres,

Joe Biden, how about that guy,

He left Donald Trump wondering how and why,

Biden won the presidency on his third try.

For the answer, Donald, think back and cry.

Why did I lose my job, why oh why,

Why, the voters let me hang out to dry.

My excuse, the big lie.


Biden’s being bum-rapped,

At a time when America’s gift-rapt.

Nothing’s breaking his way,

Inflation, workers, supply chains, the bug,

Are all having their day, giggle the smug.

But give him some credit, for crying out loud,

For at least clearing the swamp, of Trump and his grifter crowd.


But Donald’s back, in a manic way,

The Trumpster just won’t go away.

How could a president, you wonder, be so cold,

As to incite to destroy the government he was sworn to uphold.

Then to claim executive privilege as a shield,

To duck any blame for his riotous “stop the steal.”

He, in retreat at Mar-a-Lago,

With Melania, as former first spouse,

Alas and alack, a step or two down,

From the big White House.


Silent night, holy night,

All’s not calm, all’s not bright.

There’s crime, there’s hunger, and plenty of blight,

Right here in Charm City, there are drugs galore,

As if the town’s one big pharmaceutical store.


Hail, all Baltimore, look who’s here,

Having a beer, that jolly drinker,

Municipal stinker.

Whatever happened to Baltimorese,

A whole town on catarrh,

Bellied up to the bar.

Words like Ballamer, zink, bunky and hon,

With sounds that are nasal, and vowels that are dropped,

The lingo has died, with nary a shot.


Enough with the meter and the doggerel verse,

Keep it up, and this poesy will only get worse.

This rhyme and rhythm could go on forever, if we let it,

So best we hurry and forget it.


To all of our readers, misters and misses,

And those identities in between,

We wish you tons of Hershey’s Kisses.

And to those who make Maryland Matters run,

And all of the readers who make writing it fun,

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and the rest.

And for the coming year, let’s hope for the best.


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Frank DeFilippo: Maryland, My Merryland