Poems of the Week

Saving Time and Words

by Dan Campion

“I quickly referred to Tim + Apple as Tim/Apple as an easy way to save time & words.”
—Presidential tweet

Tim Apple speeds with Gwyneth Goop
On Elon Tesla’s hyperloop,
While Mary General Motors texts
With Sundar Google, who elects
To share with Ginni IBM
The mega-corporate apothegm:
“Though never quiet flows the Don,
Trump can’t outswim Jeff Amazon.”


by Julia Griffin

“‘I hear it in my sleep’: CVS to update hold music that ‘haunted’ psychiatrist …
‘CVS hold music stimulates the almond-shaped amygdala that sits in our reptilian brains,’ he wrote, ‘and that’s not good.'”—The Guardian

“That strain again!” he cries in pain,
“I’d nuke it if I could;
It sits in my reptilian brain,
And that’s not good.”

Oh that’s not good, no that’s not good,
It could not well be less;
It hurts your mental hardihood:
Blame CVS.

“Now, I am a psychiatrist:
My mind is iron-clad;
I don’t go lightly round the twist;
But this is bad.”

Oh this is bad, yes this is bad;
For all its shapeliness,
The poor amygdala’s half mad;
Blame CVS.

“I’ve been on hold, all told, for years;
My hand has turned to wood;
I’ve started carving off my ears;
And that’s not good.”

Oh that’s not good, and this is bad,
And though I must confess
You really could hang up, I’ll add:
Blame CVS.

The Ballad of Musher Nick

by Julia Griffin

“Musher loses huge lead in Alaska’s Iditarod Race after dogs go on strike:
Nicolas Petit says dogs stopped after he shouted at them”
—The Guardian

O have you heard tell of a musher named Nick,
Who traveled the ice with his sled and his pick,
And sixteen brave huskies, a regular squad:
And all for the prize in the Iditarod?

They set out from Anchorage early in March:
The sled was heaped high with tarpaulins and starch,
The dogs were in harness and sturdily shod,
Intent on success in the Iditarod.

They sledded through Willow, their spirits were high,
The tundra and spruces were sweet to the eye;
Brave Nick offered praise to the dogs as they trod:
O how could they fail in the Iditarod!

Now Rohn was behind them and also McGrath,
When Nick felt inside him the stirrings of wrath:
Two huskies were snarling. “This isn’t so odd,”
Thought he, “with the strains of the Iditarod”;

But three blizzards on, by the cold Bering Sea,
He turned on the two with a curseword or three.
Then snorted the pack: “Does he think he is God?
Let him take the pull for the Iditarod!”

And down on their haunches they parked in the snow.
Not one further step could he coax them to go;
So home again sadly Nick knew he must plod,
So close to his goal in the Iditarod.

And this is the story of Nick-out-of-time,
Defeated by dogs in a difficult clime;
Let’s hope they’ll forgive him and give him the nod
To come back next year for the Iditarod.

Appeal of Bell’s

by Julia Griffin

“A man stranded with his dog in snow in central Oregon for five days survived by eating taco sauce packets”
—The Guardian

Five days quite unusually chilly
Trapped two in a car willy nilly—
A fearful fiasco
If not for tabasco,
Sriracha and hot piccalilli.

Yes, Taco Bell’s sauce has no rival
For keeping us warm and salival:
With Bell’s for your ketchup,
Wherever you fetch up
You’ll have a wild chance at survival.

“House Panel Opens Broad Trump Investigation”

—The New York Times

by Bruce Bennett

Trump counts on his Saters and Peckers
To keep his misdeeds from fact-checkers.
But Dems have the crew
And know what to do
To be both restorers and wreckers.

The rest of us say, About time!
We’re sick of the sludge and the slime.
The swamp must be drained.
Trump must be restrained.
At last he will pay for his crime—

His crimes. What are those? We shall see.
Stay tuned. Each new day there will be
Unforeseen revelations
And tawdry sensations
Delicious to you and to me!

Until, at the end—but who knows?
At the least, he won’t smell like a rose.
We’ll get rid of his henchmen
And some of the stench when
He picks up his marbles and goes.

Called to the Oyster Bar

by Ruth S. Baker

“GOP lawmakers wore pearls while gun violence victims testified”
—The Washington Post

Look at our lawmakers, dressed up so fine!
Guns before sanity; pearls before swine.

In the Bag

by Julia Griffin

“The tiny Jacquemus Mini Le Chiquito bag is smaller than a credit card and can be held in the palm of your hand”
—The Guardian

The Jacquemus Mini Le Chiquito
Can hold a folded leaf of chard
Or maybe up to half a Cheeto,
But not a current credit card.
You may, though charmed, be apprehensive
About the price, and this is high;
It’s made, however, less expensive
By all the stuff you cannot buy.

For Whom The Division Bell Tolls

by Jerome Betts

(Theresa May faces another “meaningful
vote” concerning Brexit on March 12th.)

MPs argue! Softer! Harder!
European Union’s vile?
Some deal? No deal? Stock the larder!
Weasel words and bilge and bile!

Referendum? Splits! Dissension!
Break up? Scotland leaves UK?
No election! Claim extension?
Backstop? Back-stab? Bye-bye, May?