Poems of the Week

Democracy Is Dead. Long Live Democracy.

by Steven Kent

“Bolsonaro Diehards Take To Streets Of Brazil To Urge Firing Squads And Coup”
The Guardian

Our man’s in trouble! Let us go
To show our might in rallies.
We’ll strike down cops and judges in
A slew of bloody sallies.

For Jair and country we would fight
And die if God should will it,
But now to save democracy
I guess we have to kill it.

Tornado to Afghanistan

by Jennifer Reeser

“… you know, the—what looks like a tornado—they don’t call them that anymore…”
Joe Biden

Tornado’s not the term these days
for catastrophic, pull-up plans.
I nominate a fitter phrase.
Let’s call them Joe’s Afghanistans.

Day of Shreckoning

by Alex Steelsmith

“TikTokers bombard Texas anti-abortion whistleblower website with Shrek porn…”

prurient images
target a website in
efforts to short-

circuit a mission that
otherwise certainly
wouldn’t abort.

Foxy News Flash

by Nora Jay

“Naked woman, 28, drives golf cart into Florida standoff scene with armed suspect”
Fox News

Nude babe, golf, guns, and Florida: it’s checking every box.
Farewell, high-minded Guardian! The world’s more fun on Fox.

When Mimes Attack

by Bruce McGuffin

“Police are responding to an unconfirmed report of a mime assaulting passers-by.”

He hunts in the square, on the street, in the park,
We don’t know who he is, but he’s one scary clown.
If you watch him perform you could be the next mark
Of this mime spreading chaos and mayhem downtown.
If selected you’re doomed to your hideous fate,
No you won’t hear him coming until it’s too late.

Un canard pas trop salé

by Dan Campion

“Australian duck named Ripper learns to swear after imitating humans”
New York Post

“You bloody fool,” intones the duck,
A mild oath, be it said,
Compared to stuff we humans cluck.
I’d swear this duck’s well-bred.

A Staggering Discovery

by Julia Griffin

“The Griffin Warrior: A Staggering Discovery from Ancient Greece”
Greek Reporter

The Warrior was “prominent,” in status and in jaw;
The Griffin, though of ivory, was grand in beak and claw;
Combined, they were redoubtable: men staggered at the sight,
An action, I believe, not only natural but right.

Perfect Lullaby

by Mike Mesterton-Gibbons

Push gently on the cradle. Coo some tunes.
Expect your child to fall asleep, and soon! …
Regret you over-sugared Baby’s prunes?
Find Baby wants to dance to any tune? …
Examine why your soporific song
Can’t lull your child to sleep: the tune? Your voice?
The rocker that the cradle’s on is wrong? …
Let science find your perfect rocker choice:
U2’s lead singer, Bono! He’s your man—
Lab data linked to Spotify now prove
LP track “One” from Achtung Baby can
Arrest your baby’s late-night urge to groove! …
Be mindful of some vitriolic rhyme—
Yet play “One” all the same. You need down time!

How Wet Is It?

by Paul Lander

It’s so damn wet that
Outside my window I saw
Snorkeling pigeons

Werking Suit

by Julia Griffin

After Marie Joussaye

“Judge: Michigan couple must pay son $30,441 for throwing out porn collection
Ruling says parents had no legal right to ‘destroy property that they dislike’ …
David Werking, 43 … lived at his parents’ Grand Haven home for 10 months after a divorce”
The Guardian

I know I am only a Werking boy,
But I never grudged expense
Until my parents dared destroy
My Juggses, Chics and Gents.
I spent my days from early morn
In corporate employ,
To earn myself the daily porn
I need as a Werking boy.

I belong to the “creeps and weirdos”:
That’s speech we’re used to, true,
Like “pervy specs and beard-Os”:
But steal our porn? We sue.
My parents trashed my merchandise,
Each precious mag and toy,
And now I’m charging them full price,
To keep me a Werking boy.

So when I meet with scornful sneers,
I answer them “Baloney!
To pay this back will take you years:
Blame God and Judge Maloney.
But some day, when I’m resupplied,
I hope you might enjoy
A Penthouse tour with me for guide:
Your own little Werking boy.”

Flushing Furor

by Jerome Betts

“Andy Murray says his Monday opponent [at the U.S. Open] employs stall tactics too often.”
The New York Times

An Open contender (yes, Greek)
Took minutes on end for a leak—
A fact Andy M.
Felt forced to condemn
As a sign of bad bathroom technique.

Sex-Crazed Irish

by Mike Mesterton-Gibbons

“Ireland under attack from sex-crazed spiders ‘the size of your hand'”
The Irish Post

September’s when a spider colleen’s mom
Exhorts her nubile daughter to beware—
X-rated movies, not a sweet rom-com,
Could be what spider lads show in their lair!
Red-blooded male arachnids on the prowl,
As August ends, are in a mating war:
Zoologists see all means fair or foul
Employed by sex-crazed Irish males to score! …
Don’t bother spiders on the make tonight—
In Ireland, in your house! They may be dead
Reluctant to attack you, but they’ll bite
If you disturb them mating on your bed!
Soon all the males will die, and when they do,
House spiders will return your house to you!

Texas Told’Em

by Iris Herriot

“US supreme court refuses to block extreme Texas abortion law …
‘In reaching this conclusion, we stress that we do not purport to resolve definitively any jurisdictional
or substantive claim in the applicants’ lawsuit. In particular, this order is not based on any conclusion
about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges
to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts,” the court said in the unsigned order.”
The Guardian

We stress that it isn’t our aim
To deny any substantive claim
In the applicants’ suit,
Or their right to dispute
Texas law, if they’re set on the same;

No challenge is hereby confined,
Of a proper-procedural kind;
There can be no illusion
About this conclusion,
And that’s why we’ve left it unsigned.


by Alex Steelsmith

“McDonald’s says it has pulled milkshakes from the menu in all 1,250 of its British restaurants
because of supply problems stemming from a shortage…”
AP News

“Spotted: Cow at a McDonald’s drive-through in Wisconsin… Jessica Nelson… looked up to see a cow
in the backseat of a Buick sedan three cars ahead of her.”
AP News

Hi-ho the dairy-o,
fast-food establishments
faced with a shortage of
milkshakes are now

quick to encourage an
milk-source alternative:
Bring Your Own Cow.