Poems of the Week

This Isn’t a Popularity Contest (Or Is It?)

by Matt Schatz

Dear Students and Citizens alike
It’s a scientific fact
That Democracy and Covid spike
When people interact
But for the health of your fathers and mothers
We ask that you sequester
And that the Electoral College, like so many others
Be closed for at least this semester

Presidential Mind at Work

by Oscar Kenshur

“And then they have cans of soup. Soup. And they throw the cans of soup….
That’s better than a brick because you can’t throw a brick; it’s too heavy.
But a can of soup, you can really put some power into that, right?”


Bombs, like swords, are positively feudal,
Next to the potent force of chicken noodle.

The Asteroid

by Hank Greenspan

They say that we’ll avoid
the latest asteroid
but not the many other things
by which we’ll be destroyed.

Be Very Afraid

by Bruce Bennett

“Accidents happen every day, and the U.S. sees about 35,000 per year from lawn mowing alone.
This leads to an average of 90 deaths per year from lawn mower accidents… people are more likely
to die from this than they are from many common fears, such as shark attacks and spider bites.”

Who knew they are so dangerous?
We thought they were our friends,
the pushing and the riding types.
Well, that’s how friendship ends.

You trust them and you go along,
no worry in your head.
Then suddenly, your ass is grass.
They mow you, and you’re dead!

In French Graveyards

by James Hamby

“Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’”
The Atlantic

(with apologies to John McCrae)

In French graveyards the losers lie,
Those suckers staring at the sky.
Who says Marines are oh-so-brave
When their own lives they couldn’t save?
I like the guys who didn’t die!

The dead are schmucks. A hundred years
Have passed since they were buried here.
I’m worried about my well-coiffed hair;
It’s raining there.

Who were the bad guys anyway?
Who cares about this war today?
Let’s eat a burger, play a round,
Not visit losers in the ground.
Forever suckers there they lay,
In French graveyards.

A Choker

by Dan Campion

“. . . a choker, you know, a choker, they choke . . .”
The President of the United States

Our president is fond of sports.
He’s often on the links:
He drives, he chips, he putts, he sorts
His thoughts; that’s where he thinks.

So when some citizens get shot
His brain tees off with, What?
Cops must’ve “choked.” Were in a spot.
“They miss a three-foot putt.”

It’s all the same to him: the green,
The ball, the club, the flag,
A riddled body, bloody scene.
A mulligan. A drag.

Next time you hear a shot, don’t blink.
Think golf. It’s just the plop
A choker landed in the drink.
No sweat. He’ll take a drop.

A Post-Hurricane Prayer

by Anita Edwards

Oh Lord, You see us on our knees,
Made humble by some falling trees.

And thus our voices cry to thee—
Please, grant us electricity:

At finger’s touch, a spark divine
(The inspiration wholly Thine)

That chills the food and lights the light,
And makes the clothing clean and bright!

We promise, Lord, we will be good,
And treat our neighbors as we should.

We won’t revile the ones who got
Their power back, when we have not.


Memo to Students

by Barbara Lydecker Crane

Many Covid clusters have come
from parties on campuses.

Pockets full of Covid
only go to show, kid:
bashes, bashes—
y’all fall down.

An Emeritus Prof

by Mike Mesterton-Gibbons

A dream showed no more courses to be planned,
No tests to grade, no meetings to be at—
Except for workshops in some far-off land,
Morocco maybe, Spain, or Montserrat …
Each time this dream recurred it would require
Researching in exotic meeting sites
In which I’d give a talk and then retire
To think professor’s thoughts through foreign nights,
Upholding highest standards, even though
Sequestering with scholars on a beach,
Pontificating on the things I know,
Relieved of grading since I couldn’t teach …
One day I did retire. Then Covid came.
Far-off is still far-off. The dream’s the same!


by Alex Steelsmith

Tickety pickity
Senator Kamala,
calmly and cautiously
joining the fray,

plots her ascendancy
pending, of course, what the
Harris polls say.

“Alternative Facts”

by Dan Campion

“For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama.”
Kellyanne Conway, resigning from her White House role as Counselor to the President

We’ll miss you, Kellyanne; farewell!
Your parting rhyme detracts
Not one scintilla from the spell
You wove from roving facts.

PandaCam, RNC Day Four

by Claudia Gary

Has she misplaced her cub, so full of squee?
Whew—no: she hears its outsize melody
and takes it to her breast, as well she might—
the finest viewing option for tonight.