Poems of the Week

Thanksgiving, 2018

by Bruce Bennett

Trump pardons turkeys. Murder, though,
is something we can just let go.
The Saudi Prince has crossed no line.
The Saudis buy our arms. It’s fine.
We’ve made a deal. Why make a fuss?
What matters is the U.S. Us.
But one day soon the ax will fall
on what makes turkeys of us all.

Finnishing School

by Julia Griffin

“After President Donald Trump suggested Finland has few wildfires because the nation spends a lot of time ‘raking and cleaning’ forest floors, many were confused. …
Under the hashtag #haravointi (‘raking’), some Finns spent this weekend grabbing their gardening tools—with the more creative types picking up their vacuums and Roomba devices—
and visiting the woods to document their public service.”—Vox

Hoovering a Finnish forest,
As the flower of Finland do,
I observed a foreign tourist
Who had clearly not a clue.

“Sir,” he frowned, “what is your meaning,
If a stranger might inquire?”
I responded, “I am cleaning
To avoid the risk of fire.

“This commission is entrusted
To each able-bodied Finn;
For as long as woods are dusted,
Conflagrations can’t begin.

“It’s the safest sort of science,
Inexpensive and discreet;
Simply wield this small appliance,
And you halt excessive heat.

“Friend, it is a blest maneuver
Which the States should swiftly learn!
For without a timely hoover,
You’ll have nothing left to burn.”

Romaine, Romaine, Romaine!

by Phil Huffy

(to the tune of Those Were The Days, My Friend)

“Do not eat any romaine Lettuce, FDA warns”—New York Post

When I go to lunch I like a salad.
Got to watch out for those calories.
With a little Russian dressing, maybe.
Now I have to think about disease!

You’d better play it safe
Because it may be treyf
Get rid of all the romaine that you’ve got

Close every salad bar
No matter where they are
‘Cause it’s no good and we should let it rot

How the CDC has tried to warn us.
You may have to eat those croutons dry.
If by chance you happen on some Iceberg,
Go ahead and give your luck a try.

I went to Mickey D’s
I said, “One salad please”
They said I’d have to take an apple pie

You’d better do the same
Until they fix the blame
Romaine, romaine, has got to go bye-bye

The romaine has to go
And so we have to throw
it into any dumpster, bin or can

Or if you should incline
composting’s mighty fine
It’s just insane—romaine, romaine, romaine

Cereal Racket

by Julia Griffin

“[President Trump] called for new national ID laws with a bizarre assertion: “If you buy a box of cereal—you have a voter ID.”—The Guardian

You wonder how we’re going to fix
The problem with our votes?
Go buy yourself some Weetabix,
Froot-Loops or Quaker Oats,

Granola Treats or Honey Crunch
(They all come Gluten-Free):
With every box of Sunny Munch,
You have a voter ID.

It’s healthy, non-bacterial,
And handy as can be:
You buy that box of cereal,
You have a voter ID.

To be a straight-up certified
Elector in our nation,
You need no patriotic pride
Or birth certification:

Just buy some Chex or Cheerios
(They come in packs of three):
With every box, I’m seri-os,
You have a voter ID.

So just look magisterial,
Hit Wal-Mart, and whoopee!
Though Justice feels diphtherial,
All that is immaterial:
You buy that box of cereal,
You have a voter ID.

I’m Sorry, Dave

by Dan Campion

The voice of HAL (viz., Douglas Rain)
Has gone where all high tech goes.
We will not hear his like again,
Though, in “smart” homes, it echoes.

Nash Nosh

by John Foster

Thanksgiving Day in Albuquerque,
That city with the spelling quirque.
The menu’s not southwest beef jerque;
Instead, a perque breast of turque.

First Sight in Toronto

by Julia Griffin

after Philip Larkin

“‘Pure joy’: refugees fleeing conflict delighted by first snow in Canada”
—The Guardian 12th November 2018

Eritrean refugees
Out of danger, far from home,
Meet strange welcome overseas
Where it’s cold and monochrome.
Bundled up against the freeze,
Running out of doors they find
White above, before, behind:

Everywhere, completely real!
And they cup their hands in glee,
Tasting winter like a meal:
Earth’s clean generosity.
Kids at last, they jump and squeal,
Letting all of YouTube know
How utterly they love the snow.

The Department of Justice

by Susannah Greenberg

Justice is broken, she lies on the floor,
and if she should die, there’ll be justice no more.
We’d like to believe she is strong, she is tough,
but she’s fragile and old and it hurts her to cough.
He says she is rapidly losing her mind.
The justice he likes is a different kind,
one that’s drunken and feral and never quite blind,
and kisses his royal fake POTUS behind.
He sits on his throne, as he schemes and he tweets.
Justice is broken; we take to the streets.

Sweet Cessations

by Julia Griffin

When to the Sessions of sweet silenced thought
I offer new ideas for self-expression,
I tell him: “Write your memoirs (they’ll be bought),
And make the title Sessions’s Confession.”