“What in the World?” © Nicholas Eugene Tonzola III


A Wind Is Ill If It …

A wind is ill if it blows nothing good:

While Paris turns its nose up at the stench

In districts where its striking workers would

Not gather garbage, legions of your French

Drain-dwelling rats delight in rancid smells

Inviting them to surface and find treats—

Served up as haute cuisine at top hotels—

In garbage bags piled high on Paris streets …

Lest you infer that only rats say “Bon!”:

Let’s not forget, olfactory disgust

Impels the chic to slap more perfume on,

For days on end, so sales of perfume must

Increase—perfumers too say “Bon!” in France.

The wind’s not ill if it brings some bonne chance!


Mike Mesterton-Gibbons is a Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Florida State University who has returned to live in his native England. His acrostic sonnets have appeared in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Better Than Starbucks, the Creativity Webzine, Current Conservation, the Ekphrastic Review, Grand Little Things, Light, Lighten Up Online, MONO., the New Verse News, Oddball Magazine, Rat’s Ass Review, the Satirist, the Washington Post and WestWard Quarterly. The poem was prompted by this BBC story “French bin strike: Paris holds its nose as waste piles up.”

Nicholas Eugene Tonzola III: “I try to look at the world with an artist’s eye. I consider myself an impromptu artist; the world we live in breathes art and we should observe and acknowledge it.”