Sample Poems from Poet Cop


We of the village pause to mourn
That one of our own sentries
Did not come back at the end of watch.

All deaths are tragedies
To those whose web of kin and bond
Confront a sudden gap.
But the falling of an officer
Who was sent by us and bound to us
By oath and sacred pledge
To be our sentinel
Is the public loss of a public friend.

Perhaps we knew that officer not
By face or name
Before this tragic time.
But well we knew that soul
By duty and by role
For we had sent
That very friend
To be our eyes and ears
And our strong arm
At the edge of darkness
Where dwells the evil that we ourselves
Would deign not see firsthand.

Now toll the village bells
And toll them long
For one who dared
Go forth for all of us, and now
Goes forth in kinder lands.


It's three a.m. on the street and The People have rested.
So have the representatives they elected.
Nobody's here but you and me, Charlie.
(Charlie's the one in handcuffs.
I'm the one who knows a barber.)

So you're suddenly interested in political theory, Charlie!
Who said what you were doing was bad?
And who gave me the right to ruin your night?
I didn't make the law, Charlie, 
The guys who made it are in bed.

You hate me.  You hate all cops.  I understand that.
But I didn't make that law, Charlie.
Take it up with the Speaker
Next time you're in the state capitol.
Meanwhile, here, let me give you a lift to the station.

Why can every business bloke who wears a suit
Steal fifty dollars and call it a creative expense account,
When you steal ten through an open window
And lose your liberty and your right to vote
For the very people who make those laws?

Because the people in business suits run the place, Charlie.
Your muggings may be survival to you,
But to them they're a damned inconvenience.
Their larcenies may hit you where it hurts,
But, hey, Charlie, they're the ones who make the rules.

Strange.  You never met the Speaker
And the Speaker never met you.
You didn't testify or lobby throughout the debate
And I didn't get to vote on the law either.
But it all comes down to us.

The legislator's asleep
And so are The People who elected him.
I'm the one they paid to stay awake tonight
And carry out the laws they felt like passing.
It's just you and me out here Charlie. 
And you're going to jail.


O'Malligan Hopp was the neighborhood bully;
O'Malligan Hopp was the neighborhood thug.
He brought down the worth of the neighborhood houses
By simply parading his miscreant mug.

Again and again we were called to his address.
Again and again he would spit in our face.
We lectured, we warned him, we booked him and booked him,
But always the system made light of his case.

"Enough is enough!" said one cop to another.
"Enough is enough!  We will end this disgrace!"
We gassed him, then beat him, then framed our report:
"He fought us, we took it, then had to use mace."

The court saw it our way, the court locked him up.
The court disbelieved him, the court ruled for us.
The neighborhood's calm now without Hopp's abuse,
He came back behumbled, avoiding all fuss.

So street justice worked when the system betrayed us.
So street justice worked through a dosage of might.
The end in this case upheld all of our methods,
But honestly friend, it still wasn't right.

Zen Koan For The Novice Cop

I dreamt that I entered a temple of Zen
To take up the Buddhism practiced within.
Renouncing my day job and selling my hound,
I'd learn from the master a life more profound.

That face most serene seemed familiar to me.
Why Sergeant McBruty!  Now how can this be?
The Never-show-mercy, that toughest of cops
Now sits cross-legged among sacred props!

Wizened and wisened, the master sat still
And charted my path to Minerva's high hill.
He'd give me a koan to ponder and solve,
A riddle to force intuition's resolve.

The master reached deeply to tailor my test,
Then mystically laid out the germ of my quest:
 "Answer me true, you converted gendarme:
'How do you handcuff a man with one arm?' "

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Sample Poems

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