Poems of the Week

Beverage Leverage

by Nora Jay
(who is English)

“US woman sparks transatlantic tea war with brutal online brew
Michelle from North Carolina shared her recipe for ‘British tea’. …
[which] involved cold water first. The British internet lost its marbles.”
—The Guardian

A cup of water, microwaved,
With teabag on the side,
Cannot by any means be saved,
So shunt the swill aside,

Then boil your water; warm your pot;
Unwrap your fancy; steep it;
Fill cup; splash milk. If tea is not
So fashioned, you may keep it.

(Now coffee’s of a different ilk,
Requiring little mettle:
Find instant granules, douse with milk,
And stew in any kettle.)

That’s My Boy!

by Paul Haebig

Though previously thought to have none
Matt Gaetz has acknowledged a son.
“It just seemed more prudent
to say ‘local student’
until the election was done.”

Holy Immackerel

by Ruth S. Baker

“Experts call for regulation after latest botched art restoration in Spain
Copy of Immaculate Conception painting by Murillo reportedly cleaned
by furniture restorer”

The Guardian

So then I saw this painting:
“Immaculate,” so-called.
Well, I was near to fainting.
The grime! You’d be appalled.

I pitied that Murillo,
Pulled out my Retrobright,
And started pushing Brillo.
It’s spotless now all right.

Something Good

by Julia Griffin

“‘I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous,’ Trump said in reference to the rally date in an interview published Thursday. ‘It’s actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it.'”

“It’s actually a big event,”
Soliloquized the President;
“Juneteenth’s important, quite a bit;
But nobody had heard of it
Until my rally brought it fame.
I’m going now to do the same
For other dates: to specify,
You know the 4th day of July?
No, no one does, but wait until
I tweet about it. Then you will.
December’s got a day or two
I’m going to reveal. Scroll through
November, too—Day 26:
Unheard of. That I’m going to fix;
But is there something on the 3rd…?
Just wait and see. I’ll tweet you word.”

Bolton Bombs the Boob

by David Hedges

John Bolton’s takedown offers proof
That nothing’s ever as it seems
With Dippy Don—it’s all a spoof,
A takeoff on his wildest dreams.

Since nothing’s going on upstairs,
He puts faith in his trusty gut
To weigh what’s best for billionaires,
And jumps on Fox News scuttlebutt.

When he learned how a quid pro quo
Could be of use in his campaign
To dig some dirt on Sleepy Joe,
He turned to China and Ukraine,

And Turkey, too—it’s in the book,
Along with other sleazy details:
Why did reporters overlook
Ivanka’s use of private emails?

He sidetracked them with poppycock,
Absolving Crown Prince MBS
Of murder—not much of a shock,
The way he messes with the press.

He doesn’t do much else but tweet
Invectives at his foes, with John
His latest target—oh, and cheat
At golf, with people looking on!

Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben Quit

by Susan McLean

The people from planet Jerk
don’t get why you’re offended.
To shill for a product’s a perk!
To appear on a logo is splendid!

They can’t see a thing that’s unfair,
no matter how closely they scan it.
They can’t be expected to care:
they come from another planet.

Tulsa Tough

by Chris O’Carroll

“Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma
please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle,
or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!”

A contemporary world leader

The cops in those other towns don’t have a clue.
They didn’t wage war like I said they should do.

I told them to dominate. They couldn’t cut it.
If BLM opens its mouth here, we’ll shut it!

I saw cops in action and I was disgusted
How little they roughed up the people they busted.

When anarchist lowlifes show up in this town,
Their asses are grass! We’ll be mowing them down.

You think you’ve seen tear gas and wounded and dead
In your city? Come see how much blood we can shed!

We’ll give you a much different scene to expect
When we’re locked and we’re loaded to serve and protect.

The Soldier

by Philip Kitcher

(With thanks to Rupert Brooke)

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a Tulsa street
That is forever Trumpland. There shall be,
Lying beneath, a true Red heart, whose beat
Proclaims his glory; one that would agree
Not to disclose, never complain or sue;
But work undaunted for his victory,
Striving to stem the sinful surge of Blue.

And think this heart, transformed to higher state,
Its pulses quickened by the wondrous rays
Shed by his maskless Presence who once trod
These streets, throbs still to make our country great;
To lower taxes, purge the Dems and gays,
Ever to fight for Trump, for guns, for God.

Rankle Hath Its Privilege

by Dan Campion

“Jerome Powell Has The Most Humiliating Job In America”

To say the chairman of the Fed
Gets least respect has no street cred:
He wears a suit and rep stripe tie,
And works inside—and gets to try
The patience of the Big Galoot
(In blue tie and Brioni suit)
Who’s perfectly obsessed with loot.
Our own affairs grown ticklish,
The rest of us can only wish
For Jay Powell’s access to the nerves
Of that Great Bundle whom he serves.

One Treacherous Walk for Man

by Stephen Pisani

“Trump Boasts of Successful Walk Down Shallow Ramp Without Tripping”
New York Magazine

The ramp says, “Ouch.”
Don barely moves.
He tries a crouch,
implants his hooves.
With one last slouch,
his gait improves.
The ramp exhales;
says, “Happy trails.”

Memo, Crumpled

by Dan Campion

Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur.”

The Cheshire cat could be a plant.
A squid could be a Douglas fir.
A Buffalo could be my aunt.
But Martin, a provocateur?

The cops could be space aliens.
The President could be a cur.
Yahoos could be Pygmalions.
Gugino, though: provocateur?

Could be you’re proud you learned a word
That could be used to cause a stir.
Could be, though flipping France the bird,
You’re smitten with provocateur.

A tweet could be a senseless rant,
Brown dreck could be a gift of myrrh,
Your pet could be Nast’s elephant,
But spare us, boss, provocateur.


by Julia Griffin

“A towering statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee will be removed
as soon as possible from downtown Richmond…”
The Guardian

“Belgians want statue of genocidal King Leopold II removed”

Lightly with Leopold, lightly with Lee;
Rope the high horses, let sunlight fall free:
See how they darken the heart of a town.
Take them down.

Lee fought a war for the right to keep slaves;
Leopold battened on Africa’s graves;
Blood’s on the stirrup and blood’s on the crown.
Take them down.

Down With Cecil?

by Jerome Betts

“Thousands of people have gathered outside an Oxford college to demand the removal of a statue of imperialist Cecil Rhodes.”
BBC News

The dons of a college called Oriel
With a statue of Rhodes as memorial
To his monetary gifts
Find it deepening rifts
Over issues much more than sculptorial.