INTERVAL THREE: Ten Over Four

Susanna Clayson: Single Parenting

Mr mummy seahorse, how can he be
gender inclusive and consequently
have the best of both worlds parentally
bringing up his offspring as both he and she?

This mini marine stallion must gestate
eggs laid and donated by his sea mare mate
She leaves all the baby-care in the fins of fate;
mothering in seahorses is a male trait.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Bruce McGuffin: My Friend Hugh

The whole globe is warming, the ocean's more acid,
And though Hugh's a sea cow he's no longer placid.
“Stop burning those fossil fuels” Hugh firmly said,
"The coral is dying, and soon will be dead.
Then he added "It's high time we end this insanity."
So please do your part for the sake of Hugh Manatee.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Peter Emery: Choice Of Partners

Eye candy's dandy
and though clever's never
to be totally ruled out
it can be hell to live with
of that be in no doubt!

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Andi Talbot: Ex's and Oh's

I still put a kiss
at the end of my messages to you,
it's a subconscious act, I swear,
done entirely without malice,

though now, reflecting,

I wonder how badly it cuts you

to see the pixels gathering and
forming in the shape of an 'x'.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Tom Schmidt: The Perfect(ly Honest) Man’s Personal Ad

I’m tall, in shape, retain all of my hair,
Cook gourmet meals, and dance like Fred Astaire;
Rose up to CEO and then retired
To help the homeless; now I am inspired
To travel, stroll the beach, sip Chardonnay
With one who’s strong enough to seize the day,
Who’ll love a man who listens, gives, commits;
Just one more thing: she must have real big tits.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Henry Stimpson: Poem Typed on the Back of a Resumé

With four degrees, I optimize,
Enhance, streamline and empower,
So now please turn this sheet over.
I’ll solve your small and jumbo-size
Problems quite fast without a doubt,
So hiring me would be quite wise.
My CV, verso, tells no lies.
(You’ll never know what I left out.)

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Greg Duncan: Changing Times

I'm a modern workman
And I used to stop for tea.
But now I stop for latte
At a French patisserie.

My tea was in a thermos
Daily Mirror on my lap.
But now as well as coffee
Here there's wi-fi free on tap.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Derek Sellen: The Song of the Sock

I’m a lonely little sock,
like a sheep without a flock,
like a tick without a tock,
like a breeze without a block,
like a chef without a wok,
like a Kirk without a Spock . . .
Since they've gone and lost my twin
In the dirty laundry bin
I’m in deep psockological shock!

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Henry Stimpson: Reading George Starbuck at a Starbucks

Your last book Visible Ink
makes me laugh
as I warm in the sun’s
beams sipping a decaf.
Higgledy-piggledy your puns,
rhymes and bric-a-brac raf-
fishly make old words resync.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Julia Griffin: Abbey Poe’d

Five summertimes have passed
(Also winters) since I last
Went bounding on the mountains and the dells
(And the dells!),
And I marked that hoary hermit
With his absence of a permit,
And the Tinternabbulation of the Bells!

Ruins of Tintern Abbey. Steel-engraving 186s in guide book.