Poems of the Week


by Stephen Gold

“Sarcasm banned as China cracks down on its surly civil servants”
The Telegraph

It seems that Chinese bureaucrats from Beijing to Shanghai
Were insolent, aggressive and (I cannot fathom why)
Averse to the philosophy of service with a smile,
And laughable suggestions they should go the extra mile.

But now that their hostility and failure to perform
Have been attacked, they’re rowing back from rudeness as the norm.
Observe the verve with which they serve, their faces bright and eager,
Dispensing tea and bonhomie (unless you are a Uighur).