Poems of the Week

All at Sea

by Steven Urquhart Bell

“Climate change: UK sea level rise speeding up”
BBC News

Our gulls are not the scenic sort; they’re nothing but a pest.
They swoop on you in summer when the young are in the nest.
A rising sea will baffle them; they never ride the waves.
They make a living robbing bins and snatching takeaways.

You’re woken every morning by the screeching and the clatter.
They’ve never even seen a fish that wasn’t fried in batter.
A flood might inconvenience us; for them it would be grim—
They’re all fat lazy bastards and they’ve never learnt to swim.

Comfort Zones

by Dan Campion

“NASA Spacecraft Finds Pits on the Moon That Always
Hover Around a Comfortable Temperature”
SciTechDaily

Not by an islet’s blue lagoon,
The ideal climate’s on the Moon?
Perhaps its Man will grant a loan,
Since, down on Earth, we’ve blown our own.

Come Fly

by Steven Kent

“A 17-minute flight? The super-rich who have ‘absolute disregard for the planet’”
The Guardian

(To the tune of “Come Fly With Me“)

Come fly with me, come fly, let’s fly away.
I’m rich—my rule: burn exotic fuel,
Let the common people pay.
Come fly with me, come fly, come fly away.

Come fly with me, we’ll float to Hollywood.
In La-La Land there’s an indie band,
And I hear they’re pretty good.
I’ll never fly commercial like I should.

Once I get you up there where the hoi polloi can’t go
It’s my show,
Don’t you know.
Once I get you up there I’ll be taking you cross-town;
We’ll come down
When my Instagram is updated.

Weather-wise, who cares what this might do.
The carbon burn isn’t my concern—
Buddy, screw that CO2!
It’s perfect for a pointless afternoon, I say;
Come fly with me, come fly, let’s fly away.

“Naptime Has Come,” the Walrus Said

by Kaitlyn Spees

“A 1,500-pound walrus named Freya has been lounging on boats off the coast of Norway,
often damaging them and causing some to sink.”
Snopes

Restlessly recklessly
Freya the walrus’s
Naps are a menace, most
Boat owners note.

Standard behavior for
Feral celebrities;
Oh-so-entitled-ly
Rocking the boat.

How Hot Is It?

by Paul Lander

It is so damn hot
I bet Ted Cruz heads to Nome
Instead of Cancún.

Thumbs Down

by Chris O’Carroll

“Why is it that the women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are
the ones most worried about having abortions? Nobody wants to impregnate
you if you look like a thumb. These people are odious from the inside out.
They’re like 5′2″, 350 pounds, and they’re like, ‘Give me my abortions…’”
—Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) addressing college students at a
conservative conference

Matt Gaetz is not inclined to knock you up.
Of lust-provoking tea you’re not his cup.
Your body isn’t one he wants to use,
So just shut up about your right to choose.

You never had a stake in Roe v. Wade
If Matt says you’re the type who can’t get laid.
Why should you care how red-state laws might screw you?
The issue’s moot; Matt doesn’t want to do you.

Liberty-Gibbet

by Julia Griffin

For Tam

(with apologies to Robert Frost)

“Justice Samuel Alito, appearing for the first time in public since penning the opinion that reversed Roe v. Wade,
mocked foreign criticism of the decision during a speech he delivered in Rome. … ‘Religious liberty is under attack
in many places because it is dangerous to those who want to hold complete power,’ Alito said. ‘It also probably grows
out of something dark and deep in the human DNA—a tendency to distrust and dislike people who are not like ourselves,’ he added.”
CNN

If you have rights which still survive,
You’re male or over 45;
You will not mind us cutting short
Young female types’ demand to thrive.

My little mare (I call her Tort)
Likes Freedom—the religious sort
That only can be guaranteed
By us, your God-appointed court.

For Church is State, we’re all agreed,
Directed by your judges’ creed
(The Pope has doubts, which he can keep)
For all the Liberty you need.

Though Libs are leery—dark and deep,
From British Prince to Meryl Streep—
Henceforth distrust will not come cheap.
Henceforth distrust will not come cheap.

Too Faithed

by Clyde Always

“Rep. Glenn Thompson Voted Against Same-Sex Marriage,
Then Attended His Gay Son’s Wedding”
Rolling Stone

This marriage-equality bill I abhorred.
It flies in the face of the word of the Lord!
Now, if you’ll excuse me… Would those in the room
please all raise a glass to my son and his groom?

Putin Decoy

by Alexander Pepple

“…Vladimir Putin may have been replaced by a lookalike body double during a trip to Iran this week,
a top Ukrainian intelligence official said. The Russian president, who has long been rumored to be ailing
with an illness and possibly cancer, appeared more alert and mobile than usual during his visit…”
New York Post

Proof that it isn’t him has not been founD
Unlike with Stalin, who used the Rashid doublE.
Tackling cancer? He should be more lethargiC;
Instead, he strides like a Red Square superherO
Nervous nations find that double nuttY.

Royal Rein

by Ruth S. Baker

“Tourist gobsmacked after Queen’s guard screams at her for touching horse’s reins”
The Daily Mirror

The air was scorched and far from frosted:
A guardsman with a tourist lost it.
The ground was parched and very hot too:
Though all the signs implored her not to,
She grabbed (as all who like to ride’ll
Confirm is wrong) his horse’s bridle.
He yelled at her. Soon after, Twitter
Replied, en masse, that they’d have hit her—
Not all, admittedly, but most did:
Thus, she and he (and horse) were roasted.

Bloodsport LIV

by James Hamby

“…Donald Trump said that LIV Golf has been worth billions in publicity
for Saudi Arabia ahead of the upstart golf league‘s third tournament,
set to be held at Trump’s course in Bedminster, New Jersey.”
Insider

9/11 was a cruel affair,
Kashoggi’s death a crime…
But should a former POTUS care
When he can make a dime?

The Heist of Absurdity

by Alex Steelsmith

“A German woman turned herself in for a brazen art theft,
but claims she lost the painting [by Pieter Aertsen].”
ARTNews

Pieter Aertsen… [was] called Lange Piet (‘Tall Pete’) because of his height.”

Frustrated, flustrated
German authorities
weren’t inclined to be-
lieve her at all,

knowing that maybe the
unverifiable
tale that she told, like the
artist, was tall.

“Currency”

by Nora Jay

“Damien Hirst to burn thousands of his paintings to show art as ‘currency’
He created 10,000 unique dot paintings in 2016, each with its own title,
that were later linked to corresponding NFTs and sold for $2,000 each.
Buyers were given the option of keeping the NFTs or trading them in for
the physical artwork. … Twenty-four hours before a deadline before a deadline
of 3pm Wednesday, 4,180 people had chosen to swap their NFT for a physical artwork,
with 5,820 opting to keep their NFTs… . The alternative version is to be destroyed,
with the physical artworks—oil on paper—going up in flames…”
The Guardian

Art lovers! Which is it to be:
A canvas or an NFT?
You get, in each, an equal prize:
The canvas is of A4 size,
And daubed with paint as through a dredger;
The NFT’s a blockchain ledger,
With all the charm those words confer.
This choice confronts the connoisseur:
The one you choose by 3 pm
Survives. The other I condemn.
So far, the NFTs have more
Enthusiasts, by 5:4;
And shortly many sheets of dots
Will sizzle at a rate of knots.
A smaller sum of NFTs
Will perish by computer keys,
Which proves: though some may be undone,
Non-fungibles are not non-fun.