Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Sing O Muse (Sonnet) Yogi Yuyu Rides Again Twitch (a serious rap) Lather, Rinse, Repeat Catalog New Music CD Edward's Music

Finding myself

Naked, eye-to-eye with a shampoo bottle,

I am drawn again and

again to the image on the back label

of a flop-eared rabbit surrounded

by the scarlet circle with bold diagonal –

is it verboten, forbidden? –Do they

mean to stamp out all bunnies?

Is that wholesome herbal scent

mere perfume masking the ghastly smoke

from some critter crematoria, some wild hare holocaust?


No, of course not – for beside the bunny

is a phrase for the ages: “Cruelty-free”.

They mean they don’t test on animals, but

“Cruelty-free”…I marvel at the thought, am dazzled

by the clarity of the vision, pierced through by this

shaft of shining idealism…“Cruelty-free”…


What saints these sudsy entrepreneurs must be,

what enlightened and angelic avatars!

Which bright star of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania stood

watch over the Bodhisattvas’ birth?

To think – no childhood insults uttered,

no resentful outbursts to the parents of

our teen-aged trauma-drama,

no slights to the undesired suitor, no lover

wounded as we wrenched free

from the wreckage of romance gone bad!


And what a heaven it must be to work in their factory! No

boss would ever threaten a tired wage-earner, no office gossip

would ever poison the ear of a co-worker

as they labor together to infuse

their magic potion with all the fearless love and

compassion of the Mahatma’s great soul.


For years I’ve washed and rinsed

and rinsed again,

hoping to cleanse the filmy residue

from my too human self,

never knowing there was a product

of such amazing purity available.

But perhaps this is the only bottle?!

Perhaps this honeyed liquid is too precious

to be wasted on my daily hygienic routine?

What would be the effect of

a few drops carefully mixed into

the water supply at the White House?

Could we cleanse the tar and fossil fuels

from a few reptilian brains?

Could the motto of our next administration

be Schweitzer’s imperative, “reverence for life”?


Oh plastic vessel, worthy beyond Keats’ Grecian urn,

I will treasure your sacred message

and enshrine it in our nation’s heart!

Let us begin a new day, a new millennium…Cruelty-free.