Poems of the Week

Pax Yokiana

by Julia Griffin

“In [Yoko Ono’s] latest artwork, she is enlisting thousands of ordinary folk to ring in this year’s Manchester international festival with Bells for Peace, a massive participatory artwork…”
The Guardian

Perform your part for peace,
Ye ordinary folk!
Make pacificity increase
With every booming stroke!

As those irenic peals
Convulse the airy spheres,
See! Baffled War falls back and reels,
Her fingers in her ears.

Just let that peaceful din
Serenely blast the skies,
And you’ll be guaranteed to win
The Ono Bell Peace Prize.

Five Feet of Alligator Needs New Home

by Orel Protopopescu

“The alligator in the Humboldt Park lagoon has been dodging trappers for days…”
ABC News

Who dumped poor “Chance the Snapper”
in Chicago’s Humboldt Park?
This immigrant keeps hidden,
preferring shades of dark.

But if he’s trapped by rat bait
or recordings of his kind,
where should he then be taken
to preserve his peace of mind?

He’d surely be much safer
in peaceful city parks
than in some Mar-a-Lago
where the pool is full of sharks.

The First, Amended

by Chris O’Carroll

Freedom for trolls with their birther-style lies,
For loud anti-science conspiracy guys,
For tweetstorms that help keep America great
By telling God’s patriots who they should hate,
For Joy speaking out in her stars-and-stripes dress,
But not for that anti-Trump hit squad, the press.

A Wild Ride

by Marshall Cobb

“Bear breaks into car, butt-shifts vehicle and drives downhill.”
— KMGH, Boulder County, CO

Remember that old question
That’s puzzled man for years?
With claims on either side,
We’ve argued over beers.

This daring bear in Boulder
Has given us the goods;
At last, we’ve solved the riddle,
“Does a bear shift in the woods?”

Revision Of Terms

by Jerome Betts

“Boris Johnson has already won” the Tory leadership contest.
The ConservativeHome website

If the buffoon’s balloon really flies
With results at once comic and sinister,
Blessed by Trump of the ten thousand lies,
Should his title be changed? Sub-Prime Minister?


by Dan Campion

Whoever leaked Sir Kim Darroch’s comments on Donald Trump should be “run down, caught and eviscerated.” — Boris Johnson

Sir Kim Darroch is out, poor sod.
Such mundane fates befall us.
But, Boris! Here’s an angry god
Who craves his William Wallace.


by Julia Griffin

“In an extraordinary letter, [Marc Veyrat, chef of La Maison des Bois] railed against his demotion [by Michelin Guide inspectors] … . ‘I have been depressed for six months. How dare you take the health of your chefs hostage? … [The inspectors] dared to say that we put cheddar in our soufflé of reblochon, beaufort and tomme! They have insulted our region; my employees were furious. When we have eggs from our chickens, milk from our cows, and two botanists collect our plants every morning!’

Eating at La Maison des Bois … is described on Veyrat’s website as ‘a veritable pastoral and
mineral symphony in which nature’s bounty is displayed in each and every dish.'”
— The Guardian

They dared to say there’s cheddar in our soufflé!
Our soufflé, coaxed from tomme and reblochon
On which, for sheer douceur, the fragrant hoof lay
Of one whose coat I’ve personally shone!

The miserable frauds detected cheddar!
And yet they flaunt themselves as critics still!
They hoped to put my feelings through a shredder:
Are they content that I’m depressed and ill,

And all this region wounded and offended
By imbeciles deserving to be sued?
My restaurant should not have condescended
To offer such a symphony of food,

Such hymns to Nature, bountiful and tuneful—
Like prawns in pine sap, served on bits of shed—
To those more aptly serviced with a spoonful
Of fat-free processed mild Velveeta spread.

Dactyls & Democrats

by Cody Walker


Kirsten E. Gillibrand?
Amy J. Klobuchar?
Beto O’Rourke?

Maybe co-presidents:
Feels like I’m missing one.
Liz! That’ll work.

Joe, Your Bus Is Waiting

Senator Kamala
Harris is smiling—so
Nothing to fear.

Pleasantly saying you’re
Not quite a racist, she
Ends your career.


by Nora Jay

Hong Kong marks anniversary of Chinese rule with protests
—Deutsche Welle

Carrie was a little Lam:
They loved her in Beijing,
And anywhere that Jinping went,
He led her on a string.

Extradition was his wish,
So Carrie did her best,
Bleating her commitment to
The public interest.

But the people of Hong Kong
All stamped and chanted, “No!”
To the slaughter in Beijing
They did not wish to go.

Extradition’s now on hold
(No one thinks it’s gone);
In Βeijing they bide their time,
Keep calm and Carrie on.

The Mucus of the Spheres

by Julia Griffin

“I had a teardrop that floated in front of me”
—Astronaut speaking to The Washington Post

I had a teardrop that floated in front of me:
Dear little bauble that sparkled with hope.
“Crystal,” I called her, and gladly I followed her,
Charmed like a child with a bubble of soap.

Sadly this morning I learned the true cost of this:
Here in Deep Space it’s as cold as you please,
And, since there isn’t a smidgen of gravity,
Now I’m behind the results of a sneeze.