Poems of the Week

I Me Mine

by Steven Kent

“The super-rich ‘preppers’ planning to save themselves from the apocalypse”
The Guardian

Now lord I am of all that I survey!
These barren postwar lands are still aglow.
My bunker kept me safe that fateful day;
I’ll rule the—wait, where’d all the people go?

Hot Air Buffoon

by Steven Urquhart Bell

“UK must insulate homes or face a worse energy crisis in 2023, say experts”
The Guardian

The folk upstairs, they make a din,
My anger is Vesuvian:
I blow my top, I curse and swear,
My blood like lava heats the air.

The insulation here is dire,
So when their noise provokes my ire
They’ve got themselves, at zero cost,
A self-igniting hypocaust.

Burlesqueue

by Ruth S. Baker

“Prospect of queue to join queue as Queen mourners told capacity reached…”
—The Guardian

I planned to join the queue to view
And bid a due adieu;
Instead, in lieu, I’ve joined the queue
To queue to join the queue.

I’m feeling blue: I thought I knew
The length that queues accrue;
Still, jusqu’au bout I’ll see it through
And queue to view the Q.

Ma’amalade

by Julia Griffin

“People leaving tributes to the late Queen Elizabeth II have been asked not to leave Paddington Bear soft toys,
marmalade sandwiches, and to remove the wrapping from flowers in an effort to make the tributes more sustainable.”
The Guardian

Grief finds its outlet in so many languages:
How may a nation express how it cares?
Witness these tributes of marmalade sandwiches,
Cellophane wrapping, and rain-hatted bears.

Time brings connection, assuring, reminding:
Our lives are played out against eras of kings;
Now a long era is done and we’re finding
The hardness of putting off childish things.

The Clock Is Ticking

by Bruce Bennett

“A ‘doomsday glacier’ the size of Florida is disintegrating faster than thought”
The Washington Post

It’s clear now that Doomsday awaits,
According to those who know Thwaites.
Your home on the beach?
Forget it! Just reach
For something that floats or inflates.

Net Loss

by Alex Steelsmith

“Ukrainian tennis player Marta Kostyuk refused to shake hands with Belarusian opponent
Victoria Azarenka after their US Open match… [because of] Belarus’ role in Russia’s
invasion of Ukraine.The pair instead tapped rackets at the net at the end of match.”
CNN

Tournament spurnament,
tennis competitors
met at the net, but a
lot was at stake.

Given what’s happening
geopolitically,
one had a feeling she
just couldn’t shake.

The Wild Crew Yonder

by Steven Kent

“Two Air France pilots suspended after [midair] fight in cockpit prompts cabin crew to intervene”
The Guardian

Please fasten seatbelts now, as we
Expect a bumpy flight and such.
Outside it’s nice as it can be;
Inside the cockpit, not so much.

Air France would like to make it clear
You’re very safe—I’ll say this twice.
We do not need a doctor here,
Although a bouncer might be nice.

Sus Not

by Dan Campion

“Is it sus that Merriam-Webster just added pumpkin spice? …
[Merriam-Webster’s] editors aren’t the only ones trying to keep up
with the ever-changing English language.”
NPR

It isn’t sus, but may be janky,
All this verbal hanky-panky,
Adding pumpkin spice and plushie,
Rendering the language mushy.
So say dumbphone cranks like me,
Still dialing “O” semantically.

Piddling Matter

by Mike Mesterton-Gibbons

“Goalkeeper sent off in FA Cup qualifier for urinating in hedge”
The Guardian

Position Number One’s where goalies play
In soccer. Here you needn’t sweat too much,
Defending, if the action’s far away,
Down by the goal of your opponents. Such
Long hours of doing little make you bored.
Intent on killing time, you rehydrate,
Not noticing how fast your water gourd
Gets drained until your urge to urinate
Makes this no piddling matter, though it is,
And forces you to find a hedge at which
To point away from thorns and have a whiz
The ref can’t see, until opponents snitch,
Ejecting you from play—the man in goal
Red-carded doing Number One, your role!

For the National Health?

by Philip Kitcher

Proud post-war Britons never would have thought
that decades of decline would strangle us.
Our herniated nation needs support—
but will the right prosthesis be … a Truss?

Auspices for a New King

by Philip Kitcher

“King Charles III reportedly considered changing his regnal name to distance himself from Charles I & II”
Fox News

Can any Charles enjoy a happy reign?
Do the first two show how the third must fare?
At his ripe age, not many years remain
to lose his head, or die without an heir.

Technical Question

by Dan Campion

“Super Long-Distance NASA Fix Restores [45-Year-Old] Voyager 1,
Roughly 15 Billion Miles Away”

ScienceAlert.com

Would techs say, I can fix it, why replace?
If our old laptops flew in outer space?

Snot Trivial

by Claudia Gary

“NIH-funded pediatric COVID-19 testing study finds [children as young as 4] can self-swab”
National Institutes of Health

It took a lot of funding
to see if they could do it,
but numbers have been trending
that we could not intuit:

Swabbing inside one’s nose,
then seeing that it’s twirled,
are skills we can disclose
to children of this world.