Poems of the Week

Snow Joke

by Iris Herriot

“Ukraine man invents murder in attempt to get police to clear snow
Man unhappy with state of his road told officers they would have to come in a snowplough
to arrest him”
The Guardian

To get a plow to clear the snow
I claimed I’d killed my stepdad. So?
Which really do you think absurder:
To choke in snow or fake a murder?

Secession … but not just yet

by Brian Allgar

“Texas Republicans Beg Biden for Help Weeks After Endorsing Secession Bill …
[in] response to a huge winter storm that hit Texas this past weekend,
causing traffic accidents and power outages”
—ExtraNewsfeed

Hey, let’s Make Texas Great Again! No need
For federal Government—we’ll just secede.
No stinking Socialists for us! … Oh, wait—
We need a massive handout for our State.

Ground Control to Senator Cruz

by Dan Campion

“Ted Cruz: Trip To Cancun Was ‘Obviously A Mistake’”
Deadline

“NASA’s Perseverance rover nails Mars landing, sends first images of Jezero Crater”
CNET

Ted! Should’ve found your way to Mars.
Why tick off one Red State,
When you could cruise, in little cars,
A whole Red Planet, mate?

Boyd Up

by Nora Jay

“A Texas mayor has resigned after telling residents of his city to ‘Get off your ass and take care of your own family!’ in the face of a devastating once-in-a-generation winter storm that has killed more than 20 people across the country and left millions without power in the state. …
Amid widespread outrage Boyd has now apologized resigned and issued a more contrite statement …
‘Please understand, if I had it to do over again, I would have just kept my words to myself and if I did say them I would have used better wording and been more descriptive,’ said Boyd.”
The Guardian

Please understand, could I now choose,
There’s better wording I would use.
The reason for this press conniption
Was clearly absence of description.
So when I said “Get off your ass,”
I meant to add “low class” and “crass”;
And by “your family,” I meant:
“Those dumb, spoiled boobs who owe you rent.”

Cuomorbidity

by Alex Steelsmith

“De Blasio has called for a ‘full account of what happened’… the hidden data is ‘very troubling.’”
Newsweek

Fumbledy bumbledy,
Cuomo the Governor
didn’t let data from
nursing homes show;

Mayor de Blasio
opportunistically
questions the tenuous
Status of Cuo.

Lament for Rush Limbaugh?

by Bruce Bennett

He will be missed by some. What? You want more?
Don’t push it. Even this much is a chore.

Ytt Colour

by Julia Griffin

“For the First Time in 200 Years, a New Blue Pigment Is Up for Sale
… Named after its chemical components of yttrium, indium and manganese oxides,
YInMn [pronounced ‘Yin Min’] absorbs red and green wavelengths
while reflecting blue wavelengths to produce a bright blue color.”

Smithsonian Magazine

(After Robert Frost)

Why make so much of pigmentary blue,
Fine ground-up lapis, woadish indigo,
Poisonous cobalt, smalt’s translucent glow,
Turquoise and zaffre (relatively new)?

Earth’s stuffed with proto-blue—the whole shebang
Of yttrium + indium (called YIn)
+ mounds of manganese! Come on, dig in:
YInMn is here, and waiting for MnYAng.

Zorro Reflects (Or: The Retirement of Don Diego de la Vega)

by J.P. Celia

“Zorro reboot series in the works”
Variety

Inside his hacienda,
The grizzled hero sits,
His heart’s impedimenta
Depressing him in fits.

The California weather
Creates a promised land,
Though pouting in his leather
He senses only sand.

The fiendish caballeros,
They can no longer harm
The innocent rancheros,
Half-starving on the farm.

A one-time oligarchy,
El pueblo now control
The government’s hierarchy,
With libertad its goal.

Yet now the former victims
Have morphed into the brutes
He ousted, and their dictums
Are backed up with their boots.

He fought with the assumption
That evil was a class,
Who hoarded all corruption.
But now he’s learned, alas,

That every group is evil,
That every man is prone
To whims that are medieval,
Which can’t be overthrown.

Mierda!” he pronounces
And catapults his blade,
Then bitterly renounces
The character he played.

He will not ride tomorrow.
He’ll weep and fill his flask,
Then light a fat cigarro
And burn his famous mask.

Flippantithesis

by Ruth S. Baker

“End of Neanderthals linked to flip of Earth’s magnetic poles, study suggests
Event 42,000 years ago combined with fall in solar activity potentially cataclysmic, researchers say … another flip could be on the cards.”
The Guardian

One flip of Earth’s magnetic poles,
Combined with an inactive sun,
And those Neanderthals, poor souls,
Were cataclysmically done.

Both sun and man look brighter now
(It’s shining; we’ve invented script)
But still researchers know not how
To keep the north and south unflipped.

Ferret Fever

by Claudia Gary

“A nasal spray that blocks the absorption of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has completely protected ferrets it was tested on”
The New York Times

(with apologies to Robert Herrick)

Whenas in labs our Ferret goes,
our scientists are bold.
The sweetness of our Ferret’s nose
cannot be oversold.
If lipopeptide spray prevents
COVID from taking hold,
what’s next for Ferret—a defense
against the common cold?

Tenerife Relief

by Mike Mesterton-Gibbons

“Gardaí [Irish police] suspicious after sudden surge in number of people flying out to Tenerife
for ‘essential dentist appointments'”

The Irish Post

The Garda wondered why I had to fly:
Essential travel?” asked he, with a smirk.
Necessitated by my teeth,” said I—
Extractions and some other dental work!”
Requiring you to fly to Tenerife?
I find it hard to swallow!” quipped the cop.
Faith, so do I! That’s why I need relief,”
Exclaimed myself. “This toothache will not stop!”
Relief,” pressed he, “comes only if you pay
Exotic dentists? Ireland’s will not do?
Lots more say they have toothache too today—
If you seek sun, I doubt your story’s true!” …
Examine here,” moaned I, “and feel my pain!” …
For God’s sake, close your mouth and board the plane!”

Sky High

by Julia Griffin

“Wealthy residents of 432 Park Avenue have complained of leaks, malfunctions and wind sway—much to the delight of earthbound New Yorkers”
The Guardian

Four
Thir
Ty
Two
Park
Av
E
Nue
O
Beys
The
Wind:
It
Sways
So
Thinn’d
Its
Out
Line
Slits
The
New
York
Sky.
Who
E
Ver
Fits
In
Side
Will
Try
To
Think
This
Slice
Of
Air
Is
Worth
The
Ask-
Ing
Price
Which
Is
The
Earth.

iCar

by Kevin Ahern

So Apple might make
A self-driving car,
Seeking new markets
And raising the bar,

Competing with Ford,
Mercedes and Lexus,
Targeting everyone
Driving perplexes.

One question I have
Concerns when it’s wrecked:
Will Apple’s new car
Have autocorrect?

How Cold Is It?

by Paul Lander

It’s so damn cold that
People are hitting strip joints
To catch the clothing.

Tapestry at 50

by Thomas DeFreitas

I think that I shall never sing
As beautifully as Carole King.

It’s now been half a century
Since she gave birth to Tapestry,

An album of such sway and groove,
I feel the earth begin to move!

Sunlight peeps through my clouds of grey
When Carole sings “So Far Away”;

And yes, my knees grow weak and bend
When she performs “You’ve Got a Friend.”

Fifty years old! Come, celebrate
This golden day. It’s not too late.

You’ve given joy amid much sorrow:
Ms. King, I’ll still love you tomorrow.