Poems of the Week

The Meaning of Life

by David Hedges

To people keen on buying cheap,
A sucker is a lollipop.
Like lemmings led to Lover’s Leap,
They hop from shop to shop, to shop.

Their Masters’ Voices?

by Jerome Betts

The leaders of the Conservative and
Labour parties “debated” on television.

Yes, Boris versus Jeremy
At last, put on by ITV!

Their much-hyped meeting, face to face,
Avoided meltdown or disgrace
While showing off their verbal mettle—
But was it merely pot and kettle?

Were there not also in the lists
Invisible ventriloquists
So both mouthed lines that puppeteers
Provided for the public’s ears?

A proxy war, a clever trick—
Yes, Seamus versus Dominic!

He Who Shall Not Be Named

by Jan Schreiber

“Louisiana Democrat, Gov. John Bel Edwards
Keeps Seat Despite [. . .]’s Opposition”

When his man’s chances seemed to slump,
the Great Pretender thought he’d pump
some air into the sorry chump
and see his polling numbers jump.

Alas, they landed with a thump.
The Governor, though, got a bump,
enough to make his vote-count plump
and sink his rival’s hapless rump.

Respecting Our Troops

by Chris O’Carroll

He’s a lieutenant colonel, I hear.
Many have said he’s not patriotic.
I hate a hero in uniform
Who rats me out when I go despotic.

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.