Poems of the Week

The Species of Orange

by Catherine Chandler

“I hope they now go and take a look at the oranges . . . the oranges of the investigation.”
Donald Trump (during a photo op with the Secretary General of NATO)

It might have started back in Spain—
Valencias by name—
or maybe in the Middle East
where Jaffas take the blame.

One might suspect the Chinese with
their Jingchengs, or a plan
by Vernas out of Mexico,
Hassakus from Japan.

Or was it all a homegrown plot—
a Florida Midsweet
or Sunstar or a Texas Joppa—
wouldn’t that be neat?

But no. The source of Mueller’s probe
(I wish that he were gone)
is sitting in the Oval Office:
Agent Orange Don!

Moral Vaxity

by Nora Jay

Refusing physicians’ routines
Is what Christianity means.
Don’t think I’m litigious:
I’m only religious,
And God disapproves of vaccines.

Your science is godless and vague:
It’s time to rethink and renege;
Meanwhile I will fight
For my God-given right
To the measles, the mumps, and the plague.

Sea Legs

by Julia Griffin

“An ancient four-legged whale with hooves has been discovered, providing new insights into how the ancestors of the Earth’s largest mammals made the transition from land to sea.”
—The Guardian

A fossil’s come to land with grooves,
Indicative of tiny hooves,
Which, as it seems, evolved to grow
Upon each light fantastic toe.
This leggy creature, we may guess,
Was not a natural success;
It found its landed prospects dim,
And so, in time, it learned to swim,
Began to float, enlarged its scale,
Inflated and became a whale.
Encoded in such bones we see
The also-rans of history;
Behold a tale which has no proof
Except a lonely little hoof
From Moby Dick’s ancestral kind,
Anonymously left behind.

Slime and the Conways

by Nora Jay

“White House adviser Kellyanne Conway clearly is tired of having to answer questions about her husband George Conway’s criticisms of her boss, President Donald Trump.” 
—USA Today

George v. Don and Don v. George
Stick in George’s spouse’s gorge.
Which is dearer, Kellyanne:
Con+way or Con+man?

Hot Water

by Ruth S. Baker

“Naked Swedish police officer apprehends fugitive while visiting sauna”
—The Guardian

In a hunt for larger fauna,
Hunters choose protective dress
But when working in a sauna,
We believe that more is less.

Trails get hotter, trails get colder:
Steaming cops still stalk and prowl;
When we tap you on the shoulder,
You had best throw in the towel.

A Bright Side

by Julia Griffin

Though Theresa’s sometimes reckless,
She can surely choose a necklace.
Want to load her with reproaches?
Gaze a while upon her brooches!
Never have the nation’s jeerings
Stopped her airings of her earrings;
Though we’re sick of Brexit’s foolery,
I for one will miss that jewelery.

Pompeii Up Front

by Ruth S. Baker

“A well-preserved frescoed ‘fast food’ counter is among the latest discoveries unearthed by archaeologists in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. The 150 or so thermopolia, or snack bars, dotted across the city were mostly used by the poorer residents, who rarely had cooking facilities in their home, to grab a snack or drink. Typical menus included coarse bread with salty fish, baked cheese, lentils and spicy wine.”
—The Guardian

The busy paupers of Pompeii
Frequent the snack bars every deii
And grab some salty fish and lentils
To gulp in their unfurnished rentils.
Forget the beauty of the frescoes:
Bereft of Walmarts and of Tescoes,
They’d eat, without the thermopolia,
Probably worse and surely slolia.

Bad Fit

by Nora Jay

“First All-Female Spacewalk Canceled Because NASA Doesn’t Have Two Suits That Fit …
The two astronauts who were scheduled to walk together in space on Friday, Anne C. McClain and Christina H. Koch, would both need to wear a medium-size torso component. But only one is readily available at the International Space Station.”
—The New York Times

Out on a limb in empowering women,
Poor NASA acknowledged themselves in a fix:
This was a spacewalk, it wasn’t a catwalk,
And sadly they hadn’t two suits in a 6.

Clothing compliance is not rocket science:
No need to design for an alien race;
Girls need their torso, like boys (slightly more so):
Don’t let it be said they’re not suited for Space.

Night of the Long Spoons

by Julia Griffin

“The illusionist Uri Geller has called on the British people to help him in his efforts to telepathically stop Brexit by sending their own telepathic messages to Theresa May’s mind, compelling her to revoke article 50.”
The Guardian

Though Britain’s head’s beleaguered head
Is fraught with loony tunes,
It soon may entertain instead
The lord of bending spoons:

Inside Theresa’s bludgeoned mind,
That dark and groaning cellar,
She’s scheduled presently to find
The words of Uri Geller,

A means of contact (not a joke
And not remotely shifty)
Which will compel her to revoke
The clause that’s numbered 50.

He also plans to visualize
A second referendum
(If any spoons confront his eyes,
It’s possible he’ll bend ’em.)

The British, he goes on to urge,
Should join him in his labors
And telepathically converge
With all their friends and neighbors

To offer Mrs. May a boon:
A message, not in cipher;
If this should come with hints of spoon,
At least a spoon won’t knife her.