The Veneer

Sandhiprakash Bhide

Looks are everything these days

The marketing, the gimmicks

The slogans, the colorful wrappers

Who cares what’s in the core


Lovely faces covered with foundation

Beautiful luscious pink lips

Smeared by gaudy lipsticks

Woolen jackets covering shapeless bodies


Beautiful curly eyelashes

Layered by mascara

Behind the fake smiles

Flow Rivers of spite


Soap to clean the body

But nothing to cleanse the soul

Glossy Veneer on the tabletop

With woodchip board underneath


Under the Armani suite

A torn T-shirt with holes 

A hot red colored Mustang

With engine leaking oil


Ignorance covered by senseless arguments

Mediocrity covered by meager overconfidence

Facts overshadowed by false claims

Blaming others to cover own deficiencies


Knowledge, Experience, and Wisdom

Overtaken by Lust of Power

Beauty engulfed by Sexiness

And pretty face searching for Hotness


Freedom and duties covered by Selfishness

Sharing covered by Greed

January 6 just becomes another day

Mass shooting becomes the New Norm


When come the tough testing times

The Veneer melts and evaporates

What remains is the solid core

Of Steel and Brass and Gold


Of Manners, Morals, and Respect

Character, Common Sense and Trust

Patience, Class, and Integrity

Love, Empathy, and Humanity


Care, Curiosity, and Dignity

Honor, Gestalt, and Culture

Patriotism, Selflessness, and Seva or to others

Motivation, Grit, and Passion


OK to cover up small deficiencies with Veneer

As long as there is a solid core underneath

A good looking human interface is fine 

With a solid Operating System at the heart


So, when will decency return?

When will common sense return?

When will the Veneer melt?

And when will we be genuine, honest, and kind Americans again?