Poems of the Week

Splootsplaining

by Ruth S. Baker

“City tells New Yorkers: don’t panic about ‘splooting’ squirrels”
The Guardian

Hark, New Yorkers: do not panic
If a squirrel’s lying splat;
Call no doctor or mechanic:
Leave the little creature flat,

With his limbs and tail extended.
Spare him fuss and ridicule;
There is nothing to be mended:
He is simply keeping cool.

What you’re seeing is a splooter.
Citizens, improve your lot:
Take that squirrel as your tutor!
Ground feels good when tums get hot.

Escapegoat

by Alex Steelsmith

“The goat that ran loose through the middle of a Spanish city before breaking into a jewelry store
was taken to a farm—where it escaped for a second time.”
UPI

Fleetingly, bleatingly,
capric escape artists
can’t be contained by a
fence or a moat.

This one, however, is
clearly unparalleled;
incontrovertibly,
this is the GOAT.

Deadication

by Stephen Gold

“’Quiet quitters: Disinterested colleagues could just be disillusioned with the job”
New York Times Post

I’ve become a quiet quitter,
Disillusionment’s set in.
I’m an apathy transmitter
Who thinks idleness no sin.

I admit that it’s immoral
To conceal how much I slack,
And each day I risk a quarrel
That will end up with the sack.

But my ghastly occupation’s
Left me feeling good as dead.
Should I seek new motivations?
Nah—I’m going back to bed.

See You Later, Contemplator

by Steven Urquhart Bell

“Contemplation can help problem-solving and boost creativity, study claims”
The Guardian

I tackle every problem with a bout of contemplation:
Just sitting thinking quietly about the situation.
Examining it thoroughly from each and every angle
Prevents me acting hastily and getting in a tangle.

I formulate my whole campaign as clearly as I can,
Including what to do if something doesn’t go to plan.
And when my mental blueprints are as good as fully drawn
The problem weighs less heavily—the deadline’s long since gone.

Caustic Relationship

by Clyde Always

“Dermatologist arrested after her husband secretly recorded her allegedly poisoning
him with Drano…”

NBC News

Uckity, Yuckity
Yu, Dermatologist,
fed hubby Drano, the
newspapers note.

Maybe her motives weren’t
toxicological;
could be the man had a
clog in his throat.

Bone Spur Marching Orders

by Chris O’Carroll

“Look, I don’t want any wounded guys in the parade.
This doesn’t look good for me.”
A former Commander in Chief

(To the tune of “Don’t Rain on My Parade”)

Don’t show me wounded vets
And call them heroes.
On my approval chart,
They rack up zeros.
No amputee’s allowed
To slow down my parade.

I need to show the world
That I’m not wimpy
It isn’t good for me
If troops look gimpy.
Don’t bring a Purple Heart
To bleed on my parade.

No Rush for Rishi

by Nora Jay

“Boris Johnson fails to deny he is refusing to take [former chancellor] Rishi Sunak’s calls”
The Guardian

This is an undertaking I
Am also failing to deny.
I’ve never said I won’t not speak
When Sunak calls. Or not this week.
Nor have I opted to negate
The claim I haven’t made him wait
While playing a perhaps not new
Recording of “Hung Up On You.”

The Newest Jupiter?

by Dan Campion

“Astronomers May Have Discovered the Youngest Planet Ever Detected in Our Galaxy”
SciTechDaily

Welcome, Likely Youngest, to the maze.
Gargantua and Pantagruel praise
Your large and gaseous entrance and give thanks
Across the light-years for the childish pranks
You’re sure to play. As current cynosure,
However, know that fame cannot endure.
A sharper lens and new astronomer
Are sure to find a younger planet still.
But, for the moment, eat and drink your fill,
And wend your way as baby planets will.

A Vicurious Experience

by Alex Steelsmith

“Curiosity Mars rover turns 10.”
CBS

“NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover will be the envy of road trippers everywhere.”
CNET

Teenily-greenily,
envious road trippers
keep us amused as the
rover turns ten;

though it has failed to find
extraterrestrials,
Earth has no shortage of
little green men.

Bean Feast

by Iris Herriot

“[Actor Sean Bean] criticised post-shoot editing of intimate scenes, saying that he was saddened
to see sexual sequences involving himself, co-star Lena Hall and a mango had been cut
from TV series Snowpiercer.”
The Guardian

“Oh what a fandango!”
Lamented Sean Bean:
“Me, Lena, a mango—
Obscene?

“You film-cutting quango,
Don’t try telling me
‘It takes two to tango’!—
Takes three.”

Saturday Girl

by Julia Griffin

“How we met: ‘I was a paper boy and she was the Saturday girl in the newsagents—
she seemed so cool!’”

The Guardian

She was the Saturday girl in the newsagents;
I was a paper boy—she seemed so cool!
Chewing a wine gum she smirked at my innocence:
Loser in love with the star of the school.

Six in the morning I picked up my newspapers;
When I got back she was starting her shift,
Bagging up Marathons, Marlboros, Lucifers;
Putting a coin in her hand was a gift.

Muddy from falls off my brother’s old bicycle,
All I did then was to blink as she shone;
Now, though I’m older, and prone to be cynical,
Fancies, like Saturdays, still carry on.

Guardian, Telegraph, Rivington Courier,
Radio Times wrapped in Daily Express!
Make me confetti the day that I marry her;
Saturday girl in her Saturday dress!

Tear up the Sports, with their Villas and Arsenals;
Headlines and Letters can spiral and curl;
All that I ask to preserve are the Personals,
Proving my match with my Saturday girl.

The Time Is Out of Joint

by Steven Kent

“Dick Cheney attacks Donald Trump as “greatest threat to our republic'”
The Guardian

The time is out of joint; I truly don’t know how to feel.
Dick Cheney’s now the good guy here? Dick Cheney? It’s unreal.
Bizarro World, the Upside Down–realities collide:
Darth Vader, Blofeld, Dr. Evil join the other side!

A Good Head Start

by Mike Mesterton-Gibbons

“Guinness-fuelled man runs width of Ireland in a day”
BBC

A good head start won’t guarantee your feat
Gets carried off by feet you’re carried on,
Or clear your head to see why you’re dead beat
One fraction through your ultramarathon.
Draft Guinness is a potion fit for gods
High up on Mount Olympus, yet this grand
Elixir isn’t brewed to raise your odds
At overcoming nausea on your planned
Day trip from west to east. For that, you need
Some cereal bars, U2’s whole catalog,
The stranger who shows up to take the lead,
And being fed bananas while you jog
Relentlessly—but, once you’ve crossed the line,
That second pint of Guinness tastes divine!