Totemic Polemic

Americans' Superheroes.
Sorting the World's woes.
Though hogs might fly,
Before they'd cheer for Gun Control Guy.

Or do you like

America's Superheroes.
Sorting the World's woes.
The one Superhero bound to turn necks red?
Background Checking Fed.

"Molon labe" by Fkerasar.
 Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons


Another Victim of Bullying?

Grant Shapps
Downed a stiff Schnaps
When told by some Tory Lord
To fall on his sword.

Or do you prefer:

Grant Shapps
Found editing Wikimaps
Open to mishaps.
Poor ol' Michael Green.


Greedist Sympathiser

Roger Wilco,
Though trained to obey by Sgt Bilko,
Failed miserably back in Civvy Street;
As a Bank Compliance Officer he got beat.

© CBS Television


Seeing a Man About With A Dog

Reflected slow pace.
Comfortable companions.
Aged man and dog.

or do you like

Reflective slow pace.
Ruminating past glories?
Aged man; old dog.


It's not black nor white

Grey waves, leaden clouds
Wind blown fighting tops twixt swell
Slate battleship hulls

Credit: IWM

Or do you prefer

Cold green-grey waters
Lowering leaden-grey skies
Steel-grey hulls and men


Frozen Waste

Captain Scott
Consigned with regret his ponies to the pot.
Though he drew the line at oats,
Preferring to stare at imagined goats.

or do you prefer

Scott of the Antarctic
Scorned a chap-stick.
British chaps prefer a stiff upper lip
To looking like a weedy drip.

Credit: Antipodean Selfie


Guilty As Charged

Had Marie Skłodowska Curie
Sat on a jury;
On ionizing radiation her verdict
Would have been easy to predict.

"Marie Curie circa 1920" by Unknown - Christie's.
Licensed under Public Domain via Commons


Cloud Base

Orthogonal Tor
Stark lines softened by white light
Slanting through base clouds.

Or do your prefer

Impressionist tooth
Stark through diagonal muslin
Landscape spread below.


Burning Issue

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin,
Told by a man to put her thesis in the bin,
Was proved right;
Hydrogen illuminates our day and our night.

or do you prefer

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
First of the pioneering astro-wimmin.
Disliked heavy metal;
Light elements kept her in fine fettle.


Infinitely Archaean Hyperborean Hyperbole

Did H. P. Lovecraft,
In his second draft,
Change the molehills of sadness
To mountains of madness?

"H. P. Lovecraft, June 1934" by Lucius B. Truesdell
Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia


On checking the label

Sugar hypercubes
Are more or less fattening
In four dimensions?

Credit: "8-cell-orig" by Jason Hise
http://www.jasonhise.com. Licensed under CC0 via Commons


Thousand Metre Stare

That thousand yard stare;
Is war so much more hellish
Now we've gone metric?

By Royal Engineers No 1 Printing Company [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Knock! Knock!

Alexander Graham Bell
On hearing someone at the door "Isabel" yell,
Agreed it's necessary on a bike,
But in a 'phone it's as vital as a mike.

credit: Wikimedia Commons


We're Not Out Of The Woods Yet

Breadcrumbs dilemma.
Maze guide or attractor of
The Cookie Monster?

Or do you prefer

Breadcrumbs dilemma.
Maze guide or attractor of
The Baked Good Monster?

or even

Breadcrumbs dilemma.
Maze guide or attractor of
The Crumble Critter?


The Fourth of Alice's Friends

The Red Queen
Never allowed her flamingos to preen.
Their beaks were buffed with Polish polish
Scented with essence of Swish fish.

credit: John Tenniel


Taken from the Deep

Action Stations still
Watches no longer governed
By Mighty 'Ood's bell

or do you prefer

Slumber undisturbed
Fifteen hundred fathoms deep
No more hours' tolling

 Copyright: Paul G Allen.

Bravo Zulu, Mr Allen and team for recovering HMS Hood's bell from the Denmark Strait, at a depth of ~2,800m, and donating it to the Royal Navy's National Museum. It will serve as a memorial to the 1,415 officers and men who died when she sank on 24th May 1941 in action against the KMS Bismarck and Prinz Eugen. Only three men, Briggs, Tindall and Dundas survived her sinking, though they too have now joined their shipmates.


First of Alice's Friends

Humpty Dumpty
Had no need of a dictionary
He was all broken up to find
Ground is also the past tense of grind

credit: John Tenniel



Eyes seared by the light
Of the second atom bomb
Less fame but still death

"Nagasaki temple destroyed" by Cpl. Lynn P. Walker, Jr. (Marine Corps) - 
DOD "War and Conflict" image collection (HD-SN-99-02900). 
Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons


What's occurring?

Thought Barycentre
Heart of a Welsh coastal town
'Til New Horizons

Credit: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA's New Horizons probe brought everyone's attention to the barycentre - the common centre of mass around which two (or more) bodies orbit. Where one body (eg Earth) is much larger than the other (eg, the Moon), the barycentre lies below the surface of the larger body. Where the difference between masses is smaller, or non-existent, such as is the case for Pluto and its largest satellite Charon, the barycentre is clear, as both worlds in such a binary system can be seen to be orbiting around it.

credit: "Pluto-Charon System" by Stephanie Hoover - Own work. Wikipedia


Of cattleships and bruisers

The Reverend William Archibald Spooner
Was no mean crooner;
A career ended sooner
by his rep as a keen mooner.

credit: Vanity Fair, 1898


The Brigantine Mary C.

Sarah Elizabeth Cobb Briggs,
A hen frigate furnishes a woman poor digs.
But it must've been some sex pest,
To cause all to quit Mary Celeste.

Or do you prefer

Mrs Benjamin Spooner Briggs
Tired of sea shanties and nautical jigs.
But why abandon the Mary Celeste
With all the rest?

Inspired by reading a review of Valerie Martin's The Ghost of the Mary Celeste in the latest BIG ISSUE, and recalling the first time I came across this mystery in the four volume Shipping Wonders of the World, edited by Clarence Winchester in 1936.


No Scientific Method In His Madness

When L. Ron Hubbard
Came out of the pulp fiction writer's cupboard,
The religious cult he built
Was based on gilt.

On recently seeing the film documentary GOING CLEAR at the Little Theatre, Bath.

Credit: http://www.lermanet.com/scientific.htm


On the way to the Pub...

Bat in darkening
Vain struggle to view the world
Through its aural eyes


Bat in darkening
Vain struggle to view the world
Through its sightless ears

Which do you prefer?


White Van Boat Man

A. E. Van Vogt
Oft cap'ned a Van Boat.
He cleaned up not as a Smuggler or a Fisher
But with his Weapon Mops of Isher



No longer following the trawler

Seagulls' plaintiff cries
Accuse Man of swapping fish
For burgers and chips

Or do you prefer

Plaintive cries echo
Aggrieved seagulls yearn for fish
No more found at sea

Do please let me know.


Limited Offer

For this week only
Eurostar not Northern Line
Gains you Waterloo

By Thomas Kelly editor (private collection) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons