A local poet muses on Lebron, spy balloons, a tragic movie set shooting, and ol' Joe Biden

click to enlarge A local poet muses on Lebron, spy balloons, a tragic movie set shooting, and ol' Joe Biden
Adam Schultz/Official White House photo
President Biden, creaky and sneaky!


Joe Biden can be a bit freaky
He's old and just a bit creaky
But his trip to Ukraine
Made it quite plain
He's also quite brilliant and sneaky


Up in the sky balloons do fly—
The Chinese say they do not spy.
    And anyway you guys do too
    Fly your balloons above Chengdu,
Beijing, Wuhan, and old Shanghai.

President Biden is not shy;
He may be old but he's quite spry
    And he knows what to do
        Up in the sky.

He takes no guff from gal or guy:
He'll squint and look you in the eye.
    And when you think you got one through,
    You'll soon realize he's bested you
And turned your hot air into pie
    Up in the sky.


I was playing HORSE with LeBron James
one Tuesday afternoon in the off-season
when I pulled out a 14-foot
fadeaway jumper and suggested
that was the shot that he should pull out
when the time came to break Kareem's
longstanding all-time
NBA scoring record.
Man, he said, that was sweet,
you shoot pretty good for a minor poet.
And then he took the shot and it bounced
off the rim and into this poem.


on the movie set
the gun was loaded with blanks
they rehearsed the scene

did the actor know
was it just one of his pranks
like a movie set

he picked up the gun
did the character give thanks
to rehearse the scene

a roughhewn cowboy
riding horseback spurred the flanks
near the movie set

the gun was pointed
the river flooded its banks
they rehearsed unseen

nothing could be done
to stop the shuddering shanks
on the movie set
they rehearsed the scene ♦

Jonathan Potter is the author of House of Words (2010), Tulips for Elsie (2021) and Sunrise Hexagrams (2022). His poetry has also appeared on The Writer's Almanac and in a variety of journals and anthologies. Potter hosted Naked Lunch Break (a lunchtime poetry open mic and reading series), moderated the Poets of the Pacific Northwest and Poetry Salon panels at Get Lit! and contributed work to Hotel Spokane, Only Time Will Tell, Verbatim, Pictures of Poets, and the 50-Hour Slam. He divides his time between Spokane, Kennewick and Montreal.

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