Poems of the Week

Genteel Politik

by Dan Campion

“There was one surprising point of fascination among the viewing public: the bow tie worn by George P. Kent, the State Department official in charge of Ukraine.”
—The New York Times

Bill Taylor is Jim Jordan’s “star,”
But George Kent wears the tie
And festive matching pocket square
That hold the nation’s eye.

Conspiracy Theories

by David Hedges

Sean Spicer was again all feet
As Dancing with the Stars wore on.
Not unexpectedly, a tweet
Was issued midway by The Don

To boost Sean’s chances in the game.
Apparently the faithful yawned
And Sean was booted off in shame.
Poor Donnie shook his magic wand,

His phone, and wondered how the spell
Was broken: Was the show a sham?
Did Democrats raise holy hell?
Was he betrayed by Lindsey Graham?


by Ruth S. Baker

“What is ‘nunchi’, the Korean secret to happiness?
In a new book, Euny Hong investigates the social ‘art of understanding’ … Koreans don’t say someone has ‘good’ nunchi, but ‘quick’ nunchi—the ability to rapidly process changing social information.”
—The Guardian

What is that prized Korean “nunchi”?
It’s something like an English hunchi:
When things are coming to the crunchi,
Quick nunchi lets you pack a punchi.

It’s a Wrap

by Chris O’Carroll

“Rush $25 or more to defend President Trump and House Conservatives and we’ll send you 3 rolls of our official limited-edition Trump Christmas Wrapping Paper…”
—Republican National Congressional Committee

Trump Christmas Paper is perfect
For wrapping up taxes to hide them,
Or packaging beautiful promises
In boxes with nothing inside them.

Hot Rock

by Nora Jay
after Eliot

“A boulder has become a bit of a rock star in Nebraska after an untold number of vehicles crashed on top of it recently, sparking an unexpected fan base.
The rock … has become Omaha’s hottest new tourist attraction thanks to a vibrant Facebook group, Reddit community, and a 5-star Google Maps rating that features photos of cars, trucks, and SUVs wedged on its perch.”

Preserve respectful distance!
You’re fast (too fast) approaching
The Rock, whose hard consistence
Resists your crass encroaching.
The Rock predates Nebraska:
It’s not some mushroom newby;
It’s not a multi-tasker,
Nor, motorist, should you be.

Byssussed Out

by Julia Griffin

“Sea silk: the world’s most exclusive textile is being auctioned this week:
The ultra-rare material made from fibers—byssus—harvested from giant mollusks was once the height of fashion, for items such as the hat going under the hammer in New York”
—The Guardian

From out the ocean’s cool abyss
Ascends the silky byssus
To make a hat which cannot miss:
A marvel for the missus.

No worm’s secretions spark such pride;
No oyster’s are more prayed for;
Those mollusks must be mollified
By what their tresses trade for.

Walls of Stone

by James Hamby

He helped elect a man to build a wall;
Now Roger Stone will be hemmed in by four.
So here’s to all the jailbirds on Trump’s team—
Let’s hope that soon there will be several more!

Founders’ Intent

by Erika Fine

Impeachment reporting suffuses the news—
Did Trump, in his phone call, abuse and misuse
His power to garner political gain,
As if global affairs were his private domain,
As if monarchy rule were the Founders’ intent,
When instead he is just what they sought to prevent?

McBoard Meeting

by Nina Parmenter

McDonald’s Chief Executive, who is said to have earned over 2000 times the median wage of a McDonald’s worker, has been fired following a relationship with an employee.

We’re drowning our diners in sugar, it seems—
our food is obesity packaged as dreams!
We really don’t mind about that, sir,
it’s only some kids getting fat, sir.

We pledged to help forests! Prevent their demise!
Yet the ash of the Amazon taints our supplies.
We really don’t mind about that, sir,
let Marketing fluff it with chat, sir.

I’m paying myself way too much, say the haters—
two thousand times more than our burger creators!
We really don’t mind about that, sir,
you need that Dior for your cat, sir.

Oh yes, and I had a consensual kiss
in the stationery stores, which was slightly remiss.
We really DO mind about that, sir,
so here are your coat and your hat, sir.

Dublin Down

by Nora Jay
after Yeats

“Joyce fans mourn loss of Dublin’s soul as developers buy House of the Dead …
[A]rtists—and artistic legacy—now face a threat from hotels, hostels and offices … More than 80 new hotel projects with names like Aloft, Central, Hyatt, Grafton, Hard Rock, Iveagh Garden, Marlin, Mayson, Radisson and Wetherspoon are at various stages of development.”
—The Guardian

A chintzy and belated end:
From ruin into fake;
For Death who takes what man would keep
Has many ways to take.
The Officers of Public Work
Had chance enough to bid,
But they did not, admitting thus
Developers, who did.
These know what ghoulish tourists crave
At table or in bed:
What will become of Dublin’s soul
Now the Dead House is dead?

I have heard it said on Google
That if we don’t act soon
All Dublin will be lost to Death,
Hard Rock, and Wetherspoon.
My expectation’s gloomy:
It’s not a pleasing blend:
Old landmarks sold, rates up threefold,
And tourists end to end.
They want red carpets for their feet,
Not Yeatsy dreams outspread!
What will become of Dublin’s soul,
Now the Dead House is dead?