Poems of the Week

New MacDonald

by Alex Steelsmith

“Senators embrace AI on the farm… Artificial intelligence is already
[allowing] tractors to identify weeds and tailor herbicide spraying…”

New MacDonald has a farm;
Nothing fails to grow.
Why are weeds not causing harm?
AI, AI—Oh!


by Gail White

“Officials estimate that about 170 hippos… now roam Colombia, and the population could grow
to 1000 by 2035, posing a serious threat to the country’s ecosystem.”
The New York Times

Within this Latin nation,
by 2035,
the hippopopulation
could be in overdrive.

The numbers keep on soaring
and posing threats of doom
with hippocrits ignoring
the hippo in the room.

Who knows where this is leading?
We have a lot to lose,
so daily I’ll be reading
the hippopotenews.

O Quercy!

by Julia Griffin

“Scientists say mystery of how red wine headaches occur may be solved…
A flavanol called quercetin… is processed in the body into various substances.
One of these, quercetin glucuronide, turned out to be particularly effective at blocking
the enzyme that converts acetaldehyde into acetate.”
The Guardian

A flavanol known as quercetin,
As is clear to the veriest cretin,
Turns its glucuronide
On acetaldehyde,
Which explains why red wine does your tête in.

Carpe Proditor!

by Marshall Begel

“Agency workers turn [invasive] carp into double agents by capturing them, implanting transmitters
and tossing them back. … Carp often clump in schools in the spring and fall. Armed with the traitor
carp’s location… anglers can head to that spot, drop their nets and remove multiple [invasive] fish
from the ecosystem.”
Associated Press

I’ve gathered together the carp of our shoal
Because I suspect we are hiding a mole!

I don’t think that I’m overstating the threat—
There’s too many times we’ve encountered the net.

Now, Hook-Lip, I’m confident you’re not the spy.
I’ve swum next to you since before we were fry!

The Silver-Fin Brothers may have their own school,
But that doesn’t make them a fisherman’s tool.

Antenna-Head, here, has been scouting around,
But says there aren’t obvious clues to be found.

So keep alert—it’d be a shame if we built a
Community just to be ground to gefilte!

Chez Mars

by Dan Campion

“Can we grow veggies on Mars? Fly larvae and synthetic soil may hold the answer”

Can we grow veggies on Mars?
Of course we can; we’re Ceres’ stars.
To help us not starve, we
Just need some fly larvae
Plus payloads of pint mason jars.


by Alex Steelsmith

“[Amazon] says its Prime customers can now get quick access to a health care provider…”

tells us that


Great White Hope Not

by Steven Kent

“Orcas Sink Fourth Boat Off Iberia, Unnerving Sailors”
The New York Times

Call me Ishmael. Sure, okay,
Whatever, dude—just tend the sail.
Captain swears at last today
We’re finally gonna catch that whale.
Ahab’s not all there, you know,
But me, I never make a fuss.
Ish, man, what’s that noise below?
Oh God, the whale is chasing us!

A Lion’s Curious Cuisine

by Helen Ksypka

“Lion escapes from [Italian] circus and roams the streets leaving locals terrified…”
Metro News

Escaping from the circus roamed a lion, close to Rome,
deciding Ladispoli was the town that he’d call home.
He strutted while he salivated. Flocks of people fled.
“Lock your doors and windows. Mamma mia, we’ll be dead!”

The citizens misunderstood the presence of this beast
by thinking he was hunting them as targets for his feast.
The lion had no hunger for the folks in Ladispoli.
His roar was for risotto with a side of ravioli.

Same Again, Please

by Philip Kitcher

“’It never ends’: the book club that spent 28 years reading Finnegans Wake
This November they started back again on page three.”
The Guardian

Some years ago, we set our course along the riverrun;
for nearly fifteen hundred weeks, we’ve read without a break.
A clever crossmess parzel can bring endless hours of fun.
The best thing in our reading lives turns out to be … our Wake!

Both HCE and ALP have triggered fits of glee;
some chuckled most at Shaun the Post, and some at Shem the Pen.
We’re trapped in Vico’s cycles, and we cannot wriggle free.
What next to read to meet our need? … Let’s feast on Finn, again!

Champagne Charlies

by Julia Griffin

“French police foil €600k champagne theft after high-speed chase”
The Guardian

In a week of such hideous trouble,
With half the world blasted to rubble,
How sweet to obtain
Crazy tales of champagne!
I’m taking this fizz for my bubble.

Leave George Santos Alone!

by Mary Strand

“Botox, fake loans and lies: Key takeaways from House Ethics investigation into George Santos”

Splurging for creams at Sephora? You bet!
And popping to Vegas to play some roulette.
An Airbnb in the Hamptons and such
For the duly elected is not asking much.
Why should he pay for his Botox and tans,
His fine Hermes scarves, or his choice Only Fans?
Let the man practice the self-care he needs
While he lies to and bites every last hand that feeds.
George Santos is smart to be living the dream!
You haters just wish you had thought of this scheme.

Having the Bottle

by Steven Urquhart Bell

“Stafford man to climb Kilimanjaro with fridge on [his] back”

Couldn’t he just have brought a case of beer,
And stuck it in the snow? It’s there all year.

Flushed Out

by Eddie Aderne

“Four years ago, a fully functioning 18-karat gold toilet [named “America”] was stolen from an art
exhibition at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill. On Monday, Britain’s Crown
Prosecution Service announced that it had authorized charges against four men [James Sheen, Michael
Jones, Fred Doe, and Bora Guccukin] in connection with the theft of the golden loo…”
The New York Times

Four dauntless souls, James, Michael, Fred, and Bora,
Attracted by its luminescent aura,
Removed the world’s most costly water closet,
Without permission, or the least deposit.
The hunt that this inspired was quite extended:
It took four years, with much expense expended,
To catch the men who stole the belle of Blenheim,
But now we’ve charged and are about to pen ’em.
Pecunia non olet,”* quoth Vespasian.
Today we’re of a different persuasion.

*Money does not stink

Mass Appeal

by Steven Kent

“Vatican Deems Bigger Church Role for Women ‘Urgent,’ but Postpones Major Issues”
The New York Times

Another synod brooks no deviation
From androcentric Church discrimination;
Though cleric rolls cry out for augmentation,
Equality gets no consideration.
We need more priests, but women’s consecration?
They’re only
[checks notes] half the population.