Ed’s Top Ten Favorite March Madness Poetry 2014 Poems: #3 and #2

We are now just TWO days away from the start of the March Madness Poetry 2015 tournament! Speaking of two, one matchup last year featured two of my favorite poems of the event, from two authletes that brought their best stuff in every round, culminating in this tight battle featuring two really tough words:


Bad Bus Behavior
by Darren Sardelli

You’re rude and insubordinate!
This nonsense needs to stop!
Your bus was just pulled over
by an angry, irate cop!

He saw you squirting ketchup
on the windows, doors, and seats,
then caught you spitting spitballs
at civilians on the streets!

I heard you used a pogo stick
to set off the alarm!
You stuck your gum in Brenda’s hair
and sneezed on Adam’s arm!

These acts are inexcusable!
There’s no more to discuss!
You’re relieved of your position
as the driver of the bus!


The Amoeba Gang
by B.J. Lee

Albert the amoeba, a microscopic thief
had stolen from the hydra clan and now had come to grief.
The Unicellular Police were hot on Albert’s trail.
His pseudo-feet moved oh-so-slow. Would he be thrown in jail?
He tried to hang with slime molds, but they swam away from him.
The rotifers rejected him; his prospects now looked grim.
But suddenly he had a thought, a bright, pseudonymous plot—
a perfect way to slip and slide from this tight, ominous spot.
He fissioned once. He fissioned twice, and quick as one-two-three,
Al and Hal and Sal and Cal, all said, “It wasn’t me.”


What a matchup! Darren’s Bad Bus Behavior is just straightforward setup-and-punchline fun for kids, and they rewarded him for it, as he took the Classroom Vote 12-to-3. And B.J.’s The Amoeba Gang … Wow. Pseudonymous was a killer word, arguably much more than one “seed” harder than Darren’s insubordinate, but she used it brilliantly here, in my opinion. A clever story, with flowing language throughout, and a fantastic punchline. Whether out of necessity or intention, she also pulled off a neat trick with the meter shift in her fourth couplet (the D-D, plot-spot rhyme), which accentuated her prompt word just as she set out to “define it” with her fissiony finish. The authletes sided with her ever so slightly, 25-20, and she eked out the Public Vote by just nine votes, 128-119, sending her to the Elite Eight en route to the Final Four.

Click here to see these poems (and reader comments) as they originally appeared in #MMPoetry 2014.

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  • BJ Lee

    Thanks for including my poem here, Ed! That was an all-nighter, to be sure! Darren – I LOVE this poem. You totally GOT me with your slick turn-around ending! :) So much fun!

  • Buffy Silverman

    Two terrific poems–I had forgotten how brilliant both of these were. Loved the twist at the end of both poems. No need for B.J. to use a pseudonym with Al/Hal/Sal/Cal’s clever escape.