INTERVAL THREE: Nine Under Ten


Gail White: Picnic At The Beach

The sand dunes form a sugar cup
Where we and all our kids are fed.
We want to see them all grow up;
They want to live to see us dead.

The waves ebb out in foamy fluff,
the sea is blue as advertised.
No doubt we’ll all live long enough
to see our wishes realized.

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Robert Gordon Reynolds: Holiday

Down I rush
to the sunlit sea
and the sunlit sea
she winks at me.
And laughing I
pull off my clothes
and tickle the sea
with my naked toes.

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Henry Stimpson: On First Looking into So-And-So’s Cruise Brochure

Much has it travelled in the realms of gold,
Round many palmy islands has it been,
But now, at last, my cruise ship has come in
Gleaming on slick pages so bright and clean.
I look long with a wild surmise,
And silent, breathe its pure serene.
Then, from my sofa I arise
To call their toll-free line. I’m sold!

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Wayne DePriest: On Insurance

Betting that calamity
will visit you some day
while paying someone else
to bet the other way.
And all the while you're paying
all that money in,
you have the secret hope that
the other guy will win.

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Martin Elster: Fact or Fraud?

(After Robert Frost)

Some say we’d never touched the Moon,
I say we had.
I’d watched one summer afternoon
an Eagle landing on the Moon.
They intimate that I am mad
to think it wasn’t all a hoax.
“No rocket left that fake launch pad!”
declare those folks.
It’s rather sad.

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Bruce McGuffin: Greetings

As almost everybody knows
When someone asks you how it goes
The truth is they don't really care
If life is good, or bad, or fair.

They're asking but they don't expect
A tale of how your life was wrecked
By unrequited love, or worse,
you suffer from rejected verse.

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Richard Fleming: The Penguin Mafia

Penguins look like small fat men
in dinner-suits awaiting lunch.
They shuffle to and fro on ice,
their webbed feet going crunch, crunch, crunch.
They could be gangsters, penguin-style,
but which fat penguin is the Don?
The landscape may be white as snow
but something fishy’s going on.

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Terese Coe: Leave Him at the Boyfriend Crèche

Few will accompany you to the savage
depths of the casualwear racks.
Shopping is a disgusting experience,
to be countenanced only upon threat of
threadbareness or worse,
Theda Bara-ness. It is
the kind of activity that goes well
with binge behavior.

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Pat D’Amico: Devil’s Food

He is usually dressed in black.
He has hidden his horns and his tail.
I repel him, but he will be back.
He knows my resistance is frail.
He’s confident that he will win,
(He always has sooner or later)
But today I resolve to be thin –
Begone, you dessert-cart waiter!

Waiter and dessert-cart before two diners