Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY TWENTY – Penelope Shuttle

Melania Fair

Oh Melania!    Silent soulful Melania!
You speak six languages but your silence persists.
What are you thinking, my lovely?

Statuesque Melania!    Tallest girl in Slovenia!
Tall as Michelle O or Eleanor R!
Beautiful secretive Melania!

Simon Cowell was a wedding guest.
So were Hil n Bill.
Your immobilizing wedding-gown was soon shed,

for its embroidery weighed a ton.
There’s a tad of Morticia Adams ’bout you, Queen Melania,
you’ve cast your spell on me!

Oh that Inauguration smile of yours!
Thy rose hath no canker, Super-duper Melania,

Do you suspect how subject old men are to lying?
Is that what your silence is saying?

Daughter of far Novo Mesto,
Sibyl of the fashion and cosmetics world,
let me be the dust under your shoe.

No one in my hearing will dare call you
a hollow pampered jade,
or fie you from news both fake and true.

While your lord and master mammocks away
to the general weariness of the world,
how do you spend your days, sweet Melania,

what vistas of horror and regret
behold through those hand-crafted lashes?
Ah but you persist, my gorgeous Flotus,
as doth the raven o’er the infected house.

Is your heart a stone?  If he should strike it,
will it hurt his hand?  Let us hope.

I don’t think you plan
to sing the sweetness out of that bear.
Instead you’ll wait till your mockery king of snow
melts to a White House puddle.

Then you’ll walk away, my Melania.

(with thanks to W.S. and J.M.)


Penelope Shuttle was born in 1947 in Middlesex, and has lived in Falmouth, Cornwall since 1970. Her first full-length poetry collection was The Orchard Upstairs (1980). This has been followed by several further collections, including: The Lion from Rio (1986); Taxing the Rain (1992); Building a City for Jamie (1996); and A Leaf Out of His Book (1999). A book of her Selected Poems: 1980-1996, was published in 1998. She has also written several novels and non-fiction books. Her eleventh collection of poetry, Will You Walk a Little Faster?, will appear from Bloodaxe Books in 2017.

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