Poems of the Week

Big News

by Ruth S. Baker

“The world’s tallest horse has died in Wisconsin”
“The world’s tallest sandcastle has been completed in Denmark”
“Italian farmers have grown the world’s largest cherry”
—Three headlines from the same week

The world’s biggest horse has gone flop—
As a marker for whom, or a swap,
Comes the world’s biggest fort
Of the sand-sculpting sort,
With the world’s biggest cherry on top.

Seaside Detraction

by Julia Griffin

“The world’s tallest sandcastle has been completed in Denmark …
Standing 21.16 metres in height (69.4 feet), the castle is more than 3 metres taller than one built
in Germany in 2019, which previously held the title, according to Guinness World Records. …

Its Dutch creator […] [wanted] to represent the power the coronavirus has had over the world
since the beginning of the pandemic. On top of the sandcastle is a model of the virus wearing
a crown.”
The Guardian

A
Crown
Of brown:
Feel desirous?
Look!  It’s virus!
What a dismal notion:
To raise, beside the ocean,
About five thousand tons of silica
And shape them like a death basilica.
Is this the avenue to Guinness Record glory –
Eight hundred inches (+) of beach memento mori?
For all its soaring arches, this is anything but more-ish:
The site is Danish, and the mood quite Castle Elsinore-ish.

Florida Key Vive

by Alex Steelsmith

“Elsa, the first hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic storm season, was downgraded to a tropical storm
Saturday… impacts [were] expected to begin Monday in the Florida Keys and the southern
Florida Peninsula.”
USA Today

Topical tropical
Elsa the Hurricane
kept South Floridians
on the qui vive,

begging the forces of
meteorology,
“Grant us a downgrade, or
elsa reprieve!”

The Fury and the Sound

by Bruce Bennett

Joey Chestnut wins the Crown.
Wolfs those hot dogs. Keeps them down.
Good for him! Long may he scarf!
I can’t watch though. I would barf.

Soaks the buns, which makes them slide.
How can there be room inside?
What will happen when they pass?
OMG! The groans. The gas.

Spare me thoughts of what’s in store
Once that crowd has ceased to roar.
Once there’s quiet, and his gut
Screams, Hey Joey, What is what?

I’ve been faithful. I’ve been true.
What, Man, have I done to you?

What if, with one giant cramp,
Joey’s gut does in the Champ?

Singer’s Delivery

by Nora Jay

“Opera singer delivers her own baby in the car while husband drives”
GMA

Those singers who give birth in cars
Must surely be contrarians,
Since such a circumstance debars
The chance of high C-sareans.

Piqûre Piquante

by Iris Herriot

“French posters of kissing couples promote ‘desirable’ side of Covid jab”
The Guardian

What kind of a bête or a boor
Would find la Covid an allure?
When you both have your Pfizers,
Then lock your incisors
And slurp all you wish. Ah, l’amour!

The Ballad of Allen Weisselberg

by Steven Kent

Indictment excitement
We’re getting somewhere now.
Justice a must is,
That much is clear.

The richer the snitcher
The more we should care now.
Squealing? He’s dealing
And Trump lives in fear.

Microcosmos

by Julia Griffin

“So happy to see you: our brains respond emotionally to faces we find in inanimate objects,
study reveals”
The Guardian

Three objects in a bounded space
Will call to mind the human face.
No matter what their form or size,
Two shapes can always stand for eyes,
The third supplying mouth or nose.
This pareidolic fancy shows
Our obstinate creative thrust;
Or is it vanity, or just
Plain loneliness that makes us find
Our kin so far beyond our kind?

In Every Sense

by Chris O’Carroll

“a disappointment in every sense of the word”
An ex-president on ex-attorney general William Barr,
who dismissed 2020 election fraud allegations as “bullshit”

A winner in every sense of delusion,
He’s fuming in every sense of deranged
At a crony in every sense of collusion
Turned outcast in every sense of estranged.

A loser in every sense of denial
With fraud claims in every sense of absurd
And trash talk in every sense of revile,
He bullshits in every sense of the word.

Give Prose A Chance

by Julia Griffin

“‘At first I thought, this is crazy’: the real-life plan to use novels to predict the next war”
The Guardian

My novel (working title: “Peace”)
Should help our global fears decrease:
The world it shows is one defined
By truth and equity combined,
Not mad, political caprice.

The wisest thoughts of ancient Greece;
Recycled boards of soft cerise;
Around them and between you’ll find
My novel.

No children fear to predecease
My calm, responsible police;
Non-partisan and color-blind,
A world awaits, more truly kind,
If only someone would release
My novel.

To Señor Emilio Flores Márquez

by Dan Campion

“Puerto Rican man confirmed as world’s oldest living male at 112 years old”
USA Today

Emilio Flores Márquez: Cheers!
Your secret? Love. No anger.
(My hope was you would name cold beers,
Mofongo, crispy banger.)

Your loving cup is fine by me.
Mild temper, I can’t boast,
But swear by the Sargasso Sea
I’ll try it. Hence this toast.

Cacophony on Court

by Jerome Betts

Lush green Wimbledon’s strawberries and cream,
Long bronzed limbs and white dresses a-gleam,
Make a summer’s day just like a dream . . .
Till Ms. Grunt slugs it out with Ms. Scream.

Ceremonial Duty

by Mike Mesterton-Gibbons

Crepe myrtles thrive in Montecito’s clime,
Except when weekly rainfall is too low,
Requiring irrigation. That’s the time
Embracing sacred duties Chumash know
Means not to tap a water source close by—
Or face some matriarchal Chumash ire! …
Not fair!” complained Prince Harry, with a sigh,
I left old England with my heart’s desire
And bought a royal mansion so we could
Leave formal duty far behind. But now,
Diverting holy water to our ‘hood
Upsets the Chumash leader … Let’s see how
To pacify her, to avoid a fray …
Your duty, Meg—I’m off to the UK!”

A Mixed-up Metaphor

by Alex Steelsmith

“…the banks are now among the biggest profit-generating machines in corporate America…
led by gains at Wells Fargo… and Bank of America… It might be a Goldilocksian time for the banks.”

KYMA.com

“A bearish investor, also known as a bear, is one who believes prices will go down…
(A bear market) leaves investors feeling pessimistic about the future…”

Smartasset.com

Stashity cashity,
Bank of America
likes the bull market, an
expert declares.

Irony: only in
un-Goldilocksian
times is it apt to be
dealing with bears.

Hunter Biden’s Artwork

by Pat D’Amico

No time should we waste
Accounting for taste
In the paintings some critics acclaim.
Let’s agree from the start
That to someone it’s art
The minute it’s put in a frame.