Poems of the Week

Fyre Extinguished

by Jesse Anna Bornemann

“Attendees of the infamous Fyre Festival didn’t exactly get what they paid for in 2017, when they arrived in the Bahamas for a luxury music festival only to find themselves stranded without basic provisions, let alone first-class accommodations. Some four years later, hundreds of ticket holders are poised to receive more than $7,000 each after settling a class-action lawsuit with event organizers.”
NPR

Celebrities too cool to name
Were lured by Fyre’s exotic flame.
Yet, partygoers quickly learned:
Play with Fyre, you’ll get burned.
Though dreams of grandeur turned to ash,
At least the duped got cold, hard cash.
A #dumpsterfyre? There’s no doubt,
But litigation sorts things out,
And fizzled Fyre gave fun galore
To fans of puns and metaphor.

Right On The Money

by Alex Steelsmith

“These mammoth bills do more than move mountains of money. 
FDR altered the workings of capital and labor in ways that are still very much with us today. Biden may be trying to do some of the same, but [his] work has just begun.”

NPR

President precedent
Franklin D. Roosevelt
spent by the zillions, as
Joe also will;

what better place for an
incomprehensible
mountain of money than
Capital Hill?

Looking Ahead

by Dan Campion

“Watch NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity kick up dust on its 1st flight”
Space.com

“After Ingenuity’s successful Mars flight, NASA plans to fly a huge rotorcraft on Saturn’s moon”
Salon

We’re kicking up the dust on Mars
Through Ingenuity.
Our next stop’s Titan, then the stars!
Our theme’s mobility

In quest of—well, we’re not quite sure.
We just know that we must,
And, seeking out our itch’s cure,
We’ll kick up lots of dust.

Tyrannosauntering

by Julia Griffin

“Tyrannosaurus rex walked surprisingly slowly, new study finds”
CNN

They say that T. Rex walked surprisingly slowly.
Does this declaration convince me? Not wholly.
I’d want to know something of ageing or sizing
Before I’d call any statistic surprising.
Imagine this moment, out walking before us,
A rickety Rex and an adolesaurus:
I’d reckon the second was more of a goer;
The former, I’d guess, would be notably slower—
Though were I to guess, and the beast should walk faster,
I’d probably think not surprise! but disaster.

Belle Rêve

by Ruth S. Baker

“Florida couple invites wedding guests to ‘dream home’ they thought was vacant”
New York Post

The house was dreamy. It was evident
We needed go in, so in we went.
We dreamed we’d have our wedding there. We knew
You’d all enjoy it, and the house would, too.
We asked you to our dream house. Now it seems
You’ll have to skip the house. Admire the dreams.

Hill PossiBillity

by Alex Steelsmith

“‘Hillbilly’ to Capitol Hill? Author eyes Senate bid in Ohio… Vance says he’s ‘thinking seriously’ about running for the Senate… [His] success is likely to hinge on whether the state’s white working-class voters embrace him as a home-state hero or an opportunist… Part of the Appalachian code warns against getting ‘too big for your britches.’”
ABC News

Willity nillity,
Hillbilly Elegy
author eyes Senate, and
might have a chance,

though if they find that he
opportunistically
outgrows his pants, maybe
Vance won’t advance.

All Options on the Table Tennis

by Alex Steelsmith

“‘Ping Pong Diplomacy’ Celebrates 50 Years, Just As U.S., China Need It Again”
Newsweek

Whiffledy-whaffledy
Ping-Pong Diplomacy,
started by Nixon and
Chairman Zedong,

needs, as it reaches its
semicentennial,
President Joe to play
Xi Jinping-Pong.

Snaky Pastry

by Julia Griffin

“A Sydney couple received a fright when they discovered a rare venomous snake in a bag of
supermarket lettuce—but recovered and later used the fresh produce in a salad wrap.”

The Guardian

“Mystery tree beast turns out to be croissant”
BBC News

The Polish police got a panicky call:
A brute had been sighted, quite three inches tall,
Concealed in some branches. A lizard at least!
They rushed in with stun guns—confronted the beast—
And found it was pastry. Now Twitter’s awash:
A crested croissant or a brindled brioche?
A greater galette or a clawed clafoutis?
Or was it a bûche-baby high in that tree?
Well, well. At the time, the response it awoke
In viewers was quite the reverse of a joke:
In fact it reduced to comparative failure
A snake in a lettuce in eastern Australia,
Found also this week—not quite deadly, but still
Equipped to make victims exceedingly ill—
Whose finders, a truly phlegmatical bunch,
Just brushed off the leaves and consumed them for lunch.
This incident, leaving aside the display
Of human sangfroid, should inspire us to pray
That Cautious in Krakow, and those of her kidney,
Don’t find themselves shopping for salad in Sydney.

Each to His Own

by Bruce Bennett

“Vasectomies Meet Earth Day in Iowa! … 
Nonprofit and local physician launch first mobile vasectomy clinic
in the US for Earth Day”

PRNewswire

No thanks. I’d like to be there, but I can’t.
To tell the truth, I’d rather plant a plant.

Edinburgh’s Duke

by Mike Mesterton-Gibbons

“Britain’s Prince Philip, who died … at age 99, was well known for his wit, sharp tongue
and excruciating comments.”

The Washington Post

Escorting Queen Elizabeth, I found
Dontopedalogy impelled my foot.
Its whereabouts in public were renowned:
Not often in my mouth was it not put!
Blabbed I about the Princess Royal’s life:
Unless it farts or gobbles hay, our Anne
Refuses interest! And when a wife
Gets car doors always opened by her man,
His car or else his wife is new, I’d quip!
Such humor was my way to master my
Dislike of pomp … My last trick was to skip
UK-wide hundredth birthday rites, which I
Knew I would hate—and, since I reckoned thus,
Expired before … So I dodged all the fuss!

Hot Diggity Digidog

by Chris O’Carroll

“Long arm of the paw! NYPD uses its $75,000 Digidog to assist with an arrest…”
Daily Mail

When the going gets tough,
Send for Robo-McGruff.
Cheer the best-in-show strut
Of this crime-busting mutt,
AI-hound, cyber-pup.
(And no poop to scoop up!)

Jurassic Snack

by Dan Campion

“Flying giant pterosaurs had longer neck than a giraffe, say experts”
The Guardian

Experts say the darnedest things,
And dino boffins earn their wings
By making claims you can’t conceive,
Then finding bones so you’ll believe.

In this case, CAT scans clearly say
That interlaced trabeculae
On scales that beggar the giraffe
Served pterosaurs as rod and staff

By propping up huge necks, heads, bills
The very thought of which sends chills
Through anyone who’d rather not
Be forced to see their mammal’s lot
As snack food for some sauroid tot.

Playing Ketchup

by Iris Herriot

“Ketchup Shortage Creates New Market for All Your Old Packets”
The Wall Street Journal

The diners spread their cash like paste
When I’m sacheting by:
They’ve not forgotten how I taste—
The Ketchup on the Rye.

Neo Trio

by Ruth S. Baker

“Pentagon confirms leaked photos and video of UFOs are legitimate …
Sue Gough, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, confirmed to CNN that images and footage of a blinking triangular object in the sky, along with other UAPs that were categorized as a ‘sphere’, ‘acorn’ and ‘metallic blimp’, were taken by navy personnel in 2019.”
The Guardian

Far, far away they wheel and veer,
The blimp, the acorn, and the sphere:
No other sights are noted but
The blimp and sphere and oak-tree nut.
They pop up, soaring, turning, too,
FO, AP, and truly U,
Without a hint of creak or limp:
Sphere, acorn, and metallic blimp.

Queen’s Mate

by Julia Griffin

“Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, dies aged 99”
The Guardian

A Queen of England ends her life alone.
High ceremony does its best to hide
The aging woman on the ageless throne.

Her deepest griefs can never be her own,
And yet, for all the public pomp and pride,
A Queen of England ends her life alone.

The only monarch most of us have known,
She plays her part, whatever loss betide
The aging woman on the ageless throne.

They grew together as old trees have grown,
The consort and the seven-decade bride:
A Queen of England ends her life alone.

We trust her now to mourn but not to moan;
We might behold too clearly, if she cried,
The aging woman on the ageless throne.

What do we make of her? Not flesh and bone;
And yet we sense how much of her has died,
This aged woman on her ageless throne.
A Queen of England ends her life alone.