10/10/2013 02:06 pm ET Updated Dec 10, 2013

Strictly Speaking

I had a stroke about 15 years ago. I lost my voice. Now what does an actor do who loses his voice -- give up? No, he waits for silent pictures to come back.

I can joke about it now, but it wasn't funny then. I work on my voice with a speech therapist, Betty McMicken. We get together at least once a week. Part of my homework consists of poems that she writes and sends to me. The poems contain many polysyllabic phrases. She expects me to practice reciting the poems out loud and exercise my speech. Many of her poems are very interesting. She wrote the poem "Words" recently. I want to share it with you:


By Betty McMicken

It seems the word mediocrity
Would sum up our Senate and House
They espouse
Weakness, limitations failings, frailty
Feebleness, flimsiness, debility, fragility
The House of Bums
The Senate of Bunglers
We should join the party of Grumblers
To lobby night and day
Till the bunglers and bums
Are hauled away
With only penurious pensions
It seems the word injurious
Could be substituted for penurious

As in:
Harmful, damaging, adverse
Detrimental, deleterious, ruinous
That sums their effect on this land
Wouldn't it be grand
If we all started over
Held the bums for libel
They all swore with hand on Bible
To uphold the Constitution
They need a thorough ablution
As the government grinds to a halt

Deadlock, Impasse, Stalemate
Gridlock, Standstill, Log jam
Words we wish would cram
Delegates collective ass
We need to vote these bums out
Without a doubt, we need a turn about
Of representatives with common sense
What we have now is reprehensible
Blameworthy, liable, culpable, and guilty