Poems of the Week

Come and See

by Julia Griffin

“4 Escaped Zebras Spotted on Washington State Highway”
The New York Times

As if we needed more foreboding dramas,
Here comes the latest news flash from North Bend:
Four zebras pound the highway—it’s the end!
Lo! the Apocalypse, in striped pajamas!

A Daily Guardian

by Mike Mesterton-Gibbons

“‘The Guardian lights very well’: how newspaper came to aid of stranded geologist
When Bryn Austin, 71, lost his bearings on an unstable cliff his favourite paper
kept him warm and helped start fire to alert rescuers”
The Guardian

A daily Guardian looks after you,
Defending you against discomfort and
Adversity: When rocks that you accrue,
In studying the sliding of the land,
Look muddyish, your Guardian will let
You wrap them up in it. And lest your bum
Get damp, it shields you when the ground is wet.
Up cloistered cliffs, from which the drop is plumb
And where you freeze, your Guardian is what
Reheats your legs. It’s even there to get
Destroyed for you by fire to light your spot …
If no such bother, though, has happened yet,
A Guardian can entertain instead:
News snippets and the letters can be read!

Horse Power

by Alex Steelsmith

“Sen. John Hoeven said he has secured a commitment from the National Park Service to maintain wild horses
in [Theodore Roosevelt National Park]… the Park Service will abandon its proposed removal of the horses…’”


Said Hoeven: The Park Service plan to remove
its free-roaming hooved ones will never behoove
the park, and it’s not what the public endorses.
The Park Service heard, and it’s holding its horses.

Breaking News

by Steven Kent

“Workers at far-right site Gateway Pundit feared credibility issues, filing shows”
The Guardian

Extra, Extra! Gateway Pundit might be less than credible!
(And water’s wet, the sun is hot, and hemlock is inedible.)

Moo-t Point

by Simon MacCulloch

“Designer… sentenced to prison for smuggling crocodile and python handbags.”
The Guardian

The law, it seems, allows
For handbags made of cows,
But has you breaking rocks
For handbags made of crocs.

You’re better selling fakes
Than handbags made of snakes,
For what we all espouse
Is handbags made of cows.

So if you care to browse
The fashions, think of cows,
Whose deeply plaintive moo
Is how they think of you.

Over the Limit

by Marshall Begel

“Harry Styles stalker jailed for sending him 8,000 cards in a month”
The Guardian

She sent a celebrity eight thousand letters.
Convicted of stalking, she’s shackled in fetters.
To stay out of trouble, I won’t cross that line—
I’ll send seven thousand…
…and nine ninety-nine!

Now, Now, Voyager

by Dan Campion

“After Months of Gibberish, Voyager 1 Is Communicating Well Again”
Scientific American

Alone in desert waste immense,
Dear Voyager, you’re making sense.
Would that, back here where dunces dwell,
We could communicate so well.

Winds of Change

by Steven Urquhart Bell

“How to help reduce climate change by what you eat”

It needn’t mean a drastic change in diet,
Like cutting down on meat and guzzling greens;
A modest change can help to curb emissions—
Try cutting back a bit on refried beans.

Cherry Picking

by Nora Jay

“Centuries-old cherries found hidden in bottles under floor at George Washington’s home
Archaeologist says cherries ‘can provide us with valuable insight and perspective into 18th
century lives’”
The Guardian

When Georgie took his little axe
And felled his father’s favorite tree,
The fruit fell with it. Friends, relax!
It was not wasted, as you see.

Gut Instinct

by Steven Urquhart Bell

“‘Male’ hippo in Japan zoo found to be female after 7 years”

What first aroused a keeper to suspect it,
Were little things that seemed unmasculine;
Like when it met another female hippo,
It didn’t try to suck its belly in.

One More for the Road

by Steven Kent

“Belgian man whose body makes its own alcohol cleared of drunk-driving”
The Guardian

It’s bottoms up, my friends;
This party never ends.
The syndrome that I’ve got
Means I can do a “shot”
At work, home, or a club—
The world is one big pub!

Death of a Drinking Man

by Julia Griffin

“The Simpsons has killed off beloved character Larry the Barfly after 35 years”
Digital Spy

“Larry was—around”
—Moe’s regular Carl Carlson

He sat out half the journey of man’s life
At Moe’s. He liked Duff beer (so we assume).
He had no other pleasures, job, or wife
We know of—just an aged mother whom
We met (quite awkward) at his funeral,
Thanking his friends: Carl, Lenny, Homer, Moe.
They did show up, though clearly it took all
Stern Marge’s will to make her husband go
On Larry’s final road trip, with his urn.
Then what? No sooner had the poor late slob
Been burned than matters took a comic turn,
With fake cops, stolen jewels, and the Mob.
At least he reached Serenity. Sleep sound,
Old pal. As Carl observed, you were—around.

Faker’s Dozen

by Julia Griffin

“Seven men and five women have been chosen to sit on the jury in the ex-president’s
hush-money trial. Here’s what we know”
The Guardian

J 1: works in sales; married; childless; BA.
J 2: MBA; in investments; well-read.
J 3: west-coast lawyer; late 20s (some say);
J 4: two-time juror; unbiased (he’s said).
J 5: youthful; unlike her friends, lacks strong views;
J 6: works in tech; single; swears to be fair;
J 7: kids; lawyer; reads wide range of news;
J 8: strong opinions, won’t prejudge (he’ll swear).
J 9: knows no law; lives alone; Garden State.
J 10: listens only to podcasts on Psych.
J number 11: likes comedy, late.
J 12: favors sports and religion alike.
Twelve jurors, all good and officially true,
To judge Donald Trump. Just be glad they’re not you.

Free Enterprise

by Simon MacCulloch

“Outside of his historic first criminal trial, Trump’s supporters ask: Who among us hasn’t paid for sex?”
The Independent

An interesting question, but it always seemed to me
That Donald’s point was that a star like him could get it free.

Let My People Go

by Stephen Gold

For the worldwide Jewish nation,
Pesach’s time for celebration
Of our joyous liberation.
But we suffer grave privation,
To our constant consternation,
As the annual abnegation
Of our fiber allocation
Always leads to constipation
In the whole damn congregation!