INTERVAL TWO: More Than Four

 5 assorted ties hanging from railTony Peyser: Distant Ties

Finding a tie on my wardrobe floor,
I can’t think what it’s still here for.

Last worn at the funeral for my mother?
Or a cousin’s wedding? One or the other.

Has something essential passed me by?
I mull this over for a little while until I

Realize my life still has occasions to rise to
But just aren’t ones I need to wear ties to.

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Susan McLean: Downsizing

Yes, it’s true that there’s not as much space there;
you can’t bring all the things you possess.
But your needs will be few when you’re based there,
and most people feel lighter with less.

You'll have zero regrets once you try it.
You’ll have neighbors galore, and you’ll find
that it’s green there, the neighbourhood’s quiet,
and the coffins are snugly designed.

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Terese Coe: Coronavirus Curse

Damn you, you’re invisible!
Lost to hearing, lost to scent.
Concealed and never risible,
at times a moronic accident.

Someone will pin you down and break
your sickly lust for death and choking--
cut you in half like a rattlesnake
and grimly witness your final croaking.

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Judy Koren: Confusion

Corona, so it seems, is here to stay
Or else would have already gone away.
Not that I welcome this destructive guest –
Far from it: disappearing would be best.
Useless, of course, to say our politicians
Should finalize some actions and decisions:
Instead they hand down ever-changing rules;
Obviously this makes them look like fools –
Now is the time for leadership, not party-politics duels.

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Oscar Kenshur: Deepest Discord

The gulf between them was at last too great;
This deepest discord made them separate –
Not that between his booze and her sobriety,
His godlessness and her great piety.
Him being thin and her a bit too plump,
His taste for Biden, and hers for Donald Trump,
Him wanting simple things, her wanting posher –
They clashed on loading dishes in their washer.

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Steven Clayman: The Elusive Riposte

The first riposte* we rarely boast.
A glancing blow it strikes, almost.

It’s not for naught the best retort
Is apt to be an afterthought.

The true deflator comes much later:
The shtick’s replayed on some poor waiter.

* The USA is a foreign country: they say things differently there.

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Chris Aspin: If Keats had owned a camera

If Keats had owned a camera, would he have felt the need
to spend long hours in writing verse that we're supposed to read?
Would he, perhaps, have commented, 'How useful and how clever!
This darling thing of beauty will be a joy for ever'.
then gone out snapping happily the tuneful nightingale
and next the mists and fruitfulness of some autumnal vale?

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Anna Lindsay: Dealing With Wasps

I'm listening to friends
discuss wasps' weirdness.
Not recommended: ploys
involving broomsticks, cardboard box
or screams. If, however, you do get stung,
they recommend a beer to keep you numb.

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Michael R. Burch: Less Heroic Couplets: Murder Most Foul!

“Murder most foul!”
cried the mouse to the owl.
“Friend, I’m no sinner;
you’re merely my dinner!”
the wise owl replied
as the tasty snack died.

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Jerome Betts: Under Fire

‘Hundreds of thousands of chickens
to be culled after Covid disruption’
           – Guardian 31 August 2020

Not clays, live targets to be shot,
Pheasants can pose the gun a puzzle
Since ‘sport’ demands, to spice the plot,
A chance, though slim, to dodge the muzzle.

The fowl who’re fearful by repute,
Their name not one to use in flattery,
Meet fates more certain than the shoot –
How many chickens dodge the battery?

Two battery chickens - one looking right, one left