Light Verse: Somewhat Satirical Poems:
In this section I've put poems that tend to deal with
social issues and that, while keeping one (metric) foot over
the line in lightness, are flirting with (horrors!)seriousness.
There are many other satirical poems on this website -- for
example, in the two sections with poems about psychiatry.
The poems in this section tend to be lighter and with a greater
stress on traditional light verse forms.
The too fastidious
Become fast hideous.
The Eunuch's Creed
We're prim and dressy,
Urbane, effervescent -
Life gets too messy
When you're tumescent.
He's Being Held For Observations
Christ fell among corrupted priests and Romans -
Alas! Pathetic mischance!
Then worse than that - a fate that should be no man's -
Christ fell among the Chrischance!
Emfunctioning the Dyspowerful
Our culture rife with babble psycho -
Minds mediocre think a like O.
Irony without eloquence is weak:
With foot in mouth, no room for tongue in cheek.
Hookers - Who Cares?
For legal tender,
No one to tend her,
Nightly rubbed tender,
Still can pretend her
Pleasure. God mend her,
Or else God fend her,
Sad gender vender.
God's Concern For Our Self-Esteem
The unexamined life is not worth living,
But gets an A, for A's are all they're giving.
Youse Choose What Chews Youse
Why can't the madman realize he's other
Than his mother?
You crooks all claim poverty or too much
wealth or too many candy bars or
something NOT you launched you,
The world has fired you into your
Just a tragec story,
Obsessions and compulsions and fixations--
you never picked 'em.
You're just a vickedem.
You all chant in unison the arid ditty
Of environment and hariditty
Of how you were as a child abused
and ill-used and contused
And almost never amused.
O how I wish ill-used youse'd find out
that besides being what youse
eat and what eats youse,
Youse're what youse choose.
Please find you're not your millieu,
A Highway Is An Out-Of-The-Way! Place
Here comes the highway - quick! Move the tombs!
Here comes the highway - quick! Move the trees!
The highway's still coming - your house moved too slow.
You birdnests and anthills, make way, won't you please?
The highway is coming - quick! Move those stars!
The highway is coming, and then come the cars.
But where are they going with deep grinding moans?
(Now where did we put those damn tombstones?)
Something there is that doesn't love a highway,
Would much prefer a shady lane or byway,
But big developers smile in their sly way...
And soon bull-dozers hum, "I did it my way!"
With all its timber at your feet,
The East untreed, young man, go West!
For EAST deceased, the WEST divest,
And nevermore Maine shall tweet.
[Note: As most readers will note, the last two lines are
a take-off on "East is East and West is West, and never
the twain shall meet." Since the East has been "untreed",
Maine shall "nevermore" tweet, though a raven may
still perch on a window sill to haunt a poet.]
If a chair is a chair and a table's a table,
It's mainly because they don't carp at the label.
A woman or black man...O why aren't we able
To say what they are? Have we lapsed into Babel?
Laugh If You Can, Sir
Holistic mags trumpet:
"Life - like it or lump it,"
For cancer is crabby
And like a crab, grabby.
You won't often grin, sirs,
Once caught in those pincers.
When called by a cancer,
When Lovers Lie
I'll love my sneering enemy,
But spare me, Lord, the agony
That's justified by this refrain:
"I didn't want to cause you pain."
In Favor of Niceness
Nitty gritty isn't pretty
Like a titty or a kitty.
Nitty gritty isn't witty
Like the life of Walter Mitty.
Nitty gritty's without pity,
Maggoty, not green and flitty,
Never even slightly giddy,
Cannot dance or sing a ditty,
Sounds just like J. Gordon Liddy.
Isn't it an itty-bitty
Shitty to be nitty gritty?
Little boys with shaven heads,
Bandy curses someone's read,
Puny, flex tattoos instead,
Pop their pistols: BANG! You're DEAD!
Pop at Jew, at Black, at Red,
Follow anywhere they're led,
Stilling crickets where they tread
Till Mama calls them home to bed.
And Notice All Those Clergy With Italian Names
It's crass to pray for status, fancy clothes
Or painful death for foes,
Or anything money can purchase
So we've set up solemn churches,
Whose vaulted spaces resonate with vaguely pious maundering
Fronts for prayer laundering.
On The Boer Constrictors
Always in the movies if you're Zulus -
Who lose? YOU lose!
Whereas historically those denizens of Natal
Won many a batal,
Some of them lulus.
At your own risk ignore
The trite, but true.
Abandon silly lore?
Try it...but rue.
For the Little Mermaid, Beheaded
(After feminists approved of the beheading of the Little
Mermaid's statue; "Hans" refers to the Little Mermaid's
creator, Hans Christian Anderson.)
For feminist Danes, a bitter pill:
A thought's the hardest thing to kill;
No problem mutilating bronze,
But she's intact while we have Hans.
Talk's Cheep (Morning and Evening)
The morning dove
Intends to love,
Each morn his suit...
Why don't they DUit!
We know they want to,
So why not pronto?
Isn't it true
they coo to woo?
Therefore they woo'd
If they but coo'd.
Here we lie nude...
Not to be rude,
But let US do it
Lest we rue it.
At night an owl
Began to howl
(Our troubled doze!)
Of tree and moss
To bulls that doze
But seldom sleep...
Their deadly creep!
There goes for good
"Where goes our wood?"
The neighbor HOO'd.
He knows now
There's no snow
Like nose snow.
Lesbian Ponders her Outing
Doubtful dyke asked
"Is the die cast?
To the Leader of at Least One Nation
Your fears of impotence
Drive you towards war.
To make what's limp grow tense --
That's all it's for.
What's left for you, eunuch?
Those you can't love, you nuke.
Joy in Cheap Stuff
The scarecrow's like a president - don't laugh! -
Relying on his stiff joints of chaff,
Believing that he runs the autumn lands
As o're the giant sheaves of chaff he stands.
[Note: The phrase that haunts this poem (or should, being
concealed in the title, line 2 and line 4) is "Joint
Chiefs of Staff".]
20th Century Express
Professors claim we're just our brains.
We wisely nod and follow
Our neighbors into shrieking trains
To learn the cost of hollow.
"Send Check to any Branch...
I think that I shall never see
A mortgage branchy as a tree,
For though it has a dozen ARMS,
It lacks the creaky wind-blown charms
Of twiggy leafy interweavings,
Though no less tangled with deceivings --
Lost points here and bank fees there,
LOW INTEREST, EASY...Ah, beware!
But then I'll never see a tree
As sweet as hard-earned equity!
God only makes a shady dell,
But fools like me, when houses sell,
Can profit from a shady deal:
At NOTHING DOWN -- hey, it's a STEAL!
A Few Deep Lines
Don't take the smiler for a fool:
Smiles save old age from inundation;
To years of smiles we owe creation
Of furrows that can drain off drool.
Nude Cornucopia Descending a Staircase
(Viewed From Behind: A Bun Dance)
(Written in response to someone who objected to the word
"cornucopia" in a poem as old-fashioned and trite.)
Young and avid, our poems are cornily copious.
Hormones surging, we clinch, hornily gropious.
Age-prickly, trembling, we thornily grow pious.
Old eyes, opaque, get grafts to copy corneas,
Until at last we join the corps necropious.
Shot Down by Slow Guns
Easy to tell when thought is nearly dead:
You can see the buzz words circling overhead.
They Neither Sleep...
Young bodies on the grass,
Not for a picnic lunch,
asprawl at Gettysburg,
The (Matthew) Brady Bunch.
Children Should Be Herded Without Scene
While I don't hold with those who make a fetish
Of idyllic childhood -- for children are generally
peevish, grimy and wettish --
Yet those who, in manifesto, polemic or sermon,
Portray children as parasitical vermin,
I applaud NOT,
For that would be robbing Peter Pan to pay Pol Pot.
[Note: Appalling Pol Pot led Cambodia during the period
in the 70s when he and his followers visited genocide
on their own people, killing more than a million.]
Regarding the Cell-Phoned Dull Gents [self-indulgence]
O pity the cell-phoned,
For they are not self-owned.
Reassess our I's?
Chemical Slave State
[SSRI = Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitor and describes
such dangerous and addictive drugs as Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil.]
He Came To Us Too Late
School Days, Cruel Days...
While their classes play,
Hear Johnny's teachers say,
"Children are just midgets,
Suffering from the fidgets.
Little Johnny's wild --
He's acting like a child!
Scolding doesn't work.
He's driving us berserk!
We can only hope he ate
His zombie-making opiate."
Honor has a silent aitch.
Why does honor hide its head?
We hain't cockneys 'ere, y'know --
All our haitches should get said.
Perhaps it's to remind us all --
By "H" not being sonorous --
That men must sometimes die for it,
For Honor can be onerous.
Poor criminals -- they'd do just what they ought,
If they weren't sick: It's malaise aforethought.
Who Screws Us? It is Incumbent Upon Us!
We have to fix the flaws
In campaign finance laws
Lest every incumbent
Be solely income-bent.
Bureaucracies soon become totalitarian -
Stuck in red tape till they're totally tarrying.
Government Of, By and For the Pigeons
The Stalins and the Neros
Are fond of statuary,
Till, crushed by marble heroes,
The folk grow statue-wary.
A Fishy Election
Though nine tenths of the law is possession
of the residency,
Some still insist Bush stole the presidency.
Others (who as vigorously sought it)
Say he bought it.
In a way, he inherited it.
Few say he merited it.
Anyway, he's stuck with it,
So why not wish him luck with it?
Otherwise there's no end of speculations,
As we chew over chads and peruse
There are, after all, explanations galore.
Perhaps Bush picked up the election where Al Gore
(That microphone hogging mugger
Whose name is an anagram of "galore"
just as "George W. Bush" is an
anagram of "Whose bugger?") --
As I was saying, perhaps Bush picked it up one day
Where Gore had carelessly thrown it away,
Perhaps thinking it was just someone else's money.
Can't you hear Dubya saying, "Honey,
Look what I found!" "Oh George! Don't soil it!"
Or perhaps when Clinton flushed it down the toilet,
The presidency was swept into the Gulf of Mexico,
Where it was swallowed (as so much was swallowed,
both by Clinton's sexy co-
Worker [that is, if she didn't expectorate]
And of course, by the electorate,
Whom you'd expect to rate
Clinton's performance poor -- both swallowers,
that is --
But he gets high marks, say surveys; though
Hillary never looks satis-
Fied...but is it perfume from a laundered dress
That makes me so digress?) --
Swallowed, as I was saying, by a giant fish,
Which, hooked by George, mouthed the words,
"Spare me, and I'll
grant you one wish,"
But George, though compassionate, couldn't read lips,
So he slit that fish from head to where, had it
not been a fish, it might have had hips
(And thus, equipped with both hips and those
pursy fish lips,
been qualified to serve
The previous administration with perverse verve,
But alas...) -- slit that fish, I say, and then,
Imagine George's utter amazement when,
From out that fishy gut plopped, somewhat
tarnished, but looking less worse for wear
than Monica (whom, for a reason that
will become obvious in a moment, I wish
were named Erica),
Yep, you've guessed it! Out plopped the Presidency
of the United States of America!
Brave New World
Sometimes the world seems old and stale
Like a hag with a cart full of bags,
But behold the brand new folks for sale,
Prices proudly displayed on their tags.
Why do politicians spin like tops?
Why don't they show us their hearts?
Because, like breasts, the unsupported are flops;
The topless, whether DEM or GOP, 'll topple.
A public man, to stay on top'll
Hide his private parts.
No Room For Angels
Because they stand on issues pin-point thin,
Statesmen, to seem upright, must spin and spin.
Our public schools stagger, reeling;
Vouchers overhead are wheeling.
Distances are Relative
They draw near, we withdraw...what is this? A dance?
How our liberal fondness for dissidence
Does increase with the distance of dissidents!
Stopping by Langley* on an Autumn Day
Whose woods these are I think I know.
The sign says "U.S. Government,"
(Both Central and Intelligent)
"NO TRESPASSING". But I must go...
I hope no watcher thinks it strange
To see me pause in spy-glass range
To watch these woods fill up with leaves
Behind which, covertly, who weaves
What woeful webs? My little car
Starts with a jerk. I can't go far
Enough from here, to where the woods
Do not conceal our neighbor hoods,
Where we make promises we keep
And at day's end serenely sleep,
Miles from these men who cannot sleep.
*Wooded home of the CIA.
Whose Tracts These Are
The woods are lovely, dark and cheap
For housing projects, where you'll sleep
Unbothered by the chirr and cheep
Of bugs and birds and things that creep,
For campaign costs are very steep,
And after politicians reap
The bucks that builders on them heap,
They're stuck with promises to keep
And miles where birds no longer peep,
And miles where birds no longer peep.
England's now so quaint, it's odd
When her soldiers bleed real blood.
Valentine Blues, 1917
Arose the Reds,
A violent brew:
And sowers too.
First the politicians give you
Very pretty snowjobs.
Then the pundit panels do
Their endless blow-by-blow jobs.
Better Luck With The Bucket Next Time, Dorothy
For eight long years Right Wing artillery
Targeted not only Bill, but Hillary,
Implying her cold as a witch's teats,
Raucously cheering her two defeats:
On health care, no passage of a bill;
Extra-marital massage of a Bill.
Having endured this eight-year pillory,
She's come out on top, like the other Hillary
(Sir Edward, I mean, who first climbed Everest),
Not that the critical chorus will ever rest
(Their motto must be, "Spare the Rodham,
Spoil the fun" -- like fleas, she's got em),
Not that I like her myself -- just enough
To want to remark that, Jesus, she's tough:
From wife betrayed ("got what she deserved")
To New York Senator -- titanium nerved!
Should anyone pity the pilloried Hilary?
Don't be sillary!
No Puttering With Putin
Putin's a cute un,
But Putin's not receptive to input;
He just wants you to stay where you've been put
Yes, yer durned Tootin'!
Not that I'm imputin'
He's a tyrant or Rasputin,
But people whose input might suit Putin
Would NOT be people dumb enough to elect Putin
To defend a liberal Constitut'n!
Are YOU dumb enough to elect a cagy KGB man
And not expect that when you speak out, in a cage ye be, man?
Who needs input
From a voter butting in with head in butt?
Without a doubt,
Such input would put Putin out.
No, it takes no Newton
To see that you'd best put in it
A sock before Putin
Puts a boot in it.
Though Horace Swell With Indignation
Though wives may weep
That war is hell,
When lives are cheap,
the whore does well.
As children, whispering of small things that swell bigger,
But as to tolerant maturity we grow,
We cease to snigger; we instead snegro,
Except for the politically correct, decent folk,
Far too snerious to snigger or snegro or even safroamerican
Mauve-mottled by cloud,
Gold-dimpled from rain--
Bringer-down of the proud,
Do you fancy the plain?
Good Buys In A Cruel World
When the world seems old and dreary
And the morning paper nags
And you can't punch--you're so weary--
Yourself out of wrinkled bags
Beneath your eyes, go visit Congress,
High on thrilling spending jags,
World of new men with new hungress,
All still wearing their price tags.
A Joker, In Short
To make a joke's his only goal,
His wit the brevity of his soul.
To My Successful Classmates
There's so much you in the me-est of me
And so much me in the you-est of you
That it ill behooves the rest of we
To hoot at who's not in WHO'S WHO.