Poems of the Week

A Florida Autumn

by J.P. Celia

“More great weather Wednesday”
—WESH2 News

A Florida autumn isn’t what you want.
The trees are prudish and the nights are warm.
No ghost or poet would seek out to haunt
A palm tree forest in a thunderstorm.

A Florida autumn isn’t built to please.
It’s merely summer in November dress.
Just lift her skirt up past her knobby knees;
You’ll find hot August in a sultry mess.

A Florida autumn? A complete disgrace.
There is no cider, and there is no stew.
Retirees garden and bronze children race.
The only smoke is from a barbecue.

It’s Offishal

by Alex Steelsmith

“2-foot-tall cow posthumously recognized as world’s shortest.”
UPI

“Catfish eaten before being verified can’t qualify for record.”
ABC News

Higgledy-fickledy,
bovine mammalians
no longer living are
recognized, but

fish are disqualified
post-existentially.
What’s with the rules? Are they
fishy, or what?

The (Cancelled) Christmas Song

by Stephen Gold

“Boris Johnson admits he has known of lorry driver shortage for ‘long, long, long time'”
The Independent

“Fuel and food shortages could last until Christmas, warns Boris Johnson”
The Times

(To the tune of “The Christmas Song”)

Parsnips rotting in a winter field,
Turkeys culled before our eyes.
Who can haul? Frankly, no one at all,
Since we ran out of fuel supplies.

Anybody know where all the pigs-in-blankets are?
Each and every one’s untucked.
Yuletide’s here, but forget festive cheer.
Britannia’s “Great” no more, it’s fucked.

Are there more truckers on their way?
Where are my pickles, panettone and pâté?
I pray they make it in the nick of time.
Thank God I signed up for Amazon Prime!

And so, I’m offering this Christmas thought.
Own up, you must have had it too.
My friends, this is it; we are deep in the shit,
Now we’ve left the EU.

Fearful Thought

by Nora Jay

“Lindsey Graham told Republicans they ‘ought to think about’ getting a coronavirus vaccine.
They booed him. …
[Graham] responded to the crowd, telling them: ‘I didn’t tell you to get it.
You ought to think about it.'”

The Washington Post

“You’ve a choice!” Graham soothed his backers,
Whom his hint had driven crackers.
Here’s a choice I’d choose to lack, sirs:
Lindsey Graham or Anti-Vaxxers.

Definitely a Real Message from T-Mobile

by Coleman Glenn

“Scammers are targeting T-Mobile customers through a new … text message [that] says that you may
have been affected by a T-Mobile service outage and that the company wants to compensate you for
the inconvenience.”

BestLife

We much regret, dear customer,
the outage (which did not occur).
Moreover, we apologize
for slanders, insults, jabs, and lies
that you’ve endured throughout your life—
we now confess: we caused that strife.
In fact, the least thing that’s gone wrong
for you was our fault all along.
To make it right, we’re offering
a gift card. It’s a little thing,
but please accept it as a token
of penance for the trust we’ve broken.
We know you’re smart. You sniff scams out.
But there’s no need for prudent doubt
in this case. Let us overload you
with righteous lust for what is owed you.

The Poohsticks Bridge Caper

by Bruce Bennett

“The original bridge which inspired A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories has sold at auction for
more than £131,000. … It was where Milne and his son Christopher Robin created the game Poohsticks.”
BBC News

“We’ll all make a killing,” said Pooh
To Piglet and Eeyore and Roo.
“We’ll set the price high,
And then you and I
Will go on a lark when we’re through.”

“That sounds pretty ducky to me,”
Said Roo. Piglet cried, “Oh boy! Whee!”
But Eeyore sat, hurt,
Depressed, and inert.
“Go on. Leave me here. You’ll be free.”

“No, never!” the others all cried.
“We’ll want you right there by our side.
We’ll keep it for now.
We’ll get by somehow.
Let others get rich when we’ve died.”

And so the four friends made a pact.
They would leave things the same and not act.
Though it now has been sold,
Since their tale is still told,
The bridge is still their bridge, in fact.

Love by Numbers

by Steven Kent

“We Wanted To Split Up. OkCupid Had Other Ideas”
The New York Times

The separation might have worked, but then
Our marriage rates an almost perfect 10—
Well, 9.8 to really be specific,
But OKCupid tells me that’s terrific.

The ups and downs we went through in the past,
Small things that cause a couple not to last
(Like my desire to be with other men)
Could always be a problem once again,

But hey, that score! How can we stay apart?
Though I can’t say I’ll never break his heart,
I aim to be more faithful when I’m with him
And trust the method known as algorithm.

K-OK

by Julia Griffin

“[D]ozens of Korean words added to Oxford English Dictionary
The new words include hallyu—the Korean original for the wave of pop culture …
[and] bulgogi—thin slices of beef or pork … There is room, too, for mukbang,
or livestreams of people eating extraordinary amounts of food
while talking to the online audience.”
The Guardian

K-beauty makes the OED (as well as global moolah):
There’s room herein for mukbang on bulgogi. Hallyula!

Toothsome

by Nora Jay

“‘The last person to touch it was Nina Simone’: Nick Cave and Warren Ellis on an old piece of chewing gum”
The Guardian

“You Took My Teeth”
Nina Simone

The last one to touch it was Nina Simone:
Its surface was mumbled by Nina alone!
You’ll have to find sugar elsewhere for your bowl;
Don’t hope for a taste of the Priestess of Soul.
No lesser saliva will ever absorb it,
This triumph of Trident (or possibly Orbit):
’Twould take nothing less than a double subpoena
To give up a gum strip once gnawed on by Nina.

Campus Culture

by Dan Campion

“University of Iowa homecoming corn monument to be largest in university history”
The Daily Iowan

We keep on good terms here in Iowa
With corniness. Scornful? Apply to a
School in a state
Where they don’t stay up late
Piling corn kernels up to the skyowa.

Water, Water Everywhere (Some Restrictions Apply)

by Steven Kent

“…16 million people or so lose access [to clean water in the U.S.] every year
when disconnected due to unaffordable, unpaid water bills.”

The Guardian

The land of the brave and the free
Remains an enigma to me.
Our view of clean water:
To have it you oughter,
But not if you can’t pay the fee.

The Ostrich and the Turtle

by Julia Griffin

“Turtle on runway causes delays at Japan’s main international airport”
Independent

“Wandering ostrich causes Cape Town traffic chaos”
—BBC News

Let the bird of longest legs
And the beast of chic-est shell
Keep apart and spare us hell!
Thus the world of transit begs.

Ostrich wanders down the road;
Turtle on the tarmac sits;
Motorists are having fits;
Pilots fear they may explode;

No one, though, desires to squash
Either obstacle, oh no:
Turtle’s conquered Tokyo,
Ostrich, Greater Stellenbosch;

Thus the latter fears no car,
And the former dreads no plane;
Transport struggles with the strain,
But no harm’s been done—so far.

Diorama

by Jerome Betts

“Miniskirts are back:
Dior embraces post-pandemic
era with a new look”
The Guardian

It seems that the hemline has started to soar
Up from places let’s call sub-patellar,
Which is good news for some, but bad for far more
Whose knees are perhaps less than stellar.

“So-Called Leaders”

by Clyde Always

If carbon emissions can make you upset,
your quarrel’s with anyone breathing…

Miss Thunberg’s new tirade (her quippiest yet),
left many a world leader seething.
To chide them, she found (as the teenagers do)
repetitive syllables fitting.

Did Greta not realize how much CO²
she blah blah blah blah was emitting?