INTERVAL FOUR: Off The Peg, Or, Moose To Goose


 Bruce McGuffin: Moose Musings*

The mighty moose that masticates
Wet pond weed as it contemplates
Its many moose friends and their fates
On local roads and interstates

Has come to think it could explain
To moose who have not yet been slain
And walk on highways in the rain
Here in New Hampshire and in Maine

Survival calls for more than luck
And fewer of them would be struck
To breathe their last in roadside muck
If on each moose's rump was stuck

A phrase deterring roadside strife
"Brake For Cars, It Could Save Your Life"

*No moose were harmed in the composition of this poem

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Steve Bremner: Nunc Pro Tunc

Legal Definition of Nunc pro tunc: [Latin] Now for then
— used in reference to a judicial or procedural act that
corrects an omission in the record, has effect as of an
earlier date, or takes place after a deadline has expired.
Merriam-Webster Law Dictionary

We gather together ‘cause now it’s permitted,
Our teeth having gritted for much of two years:
No school days or birthdays, High Holy Days or Earth Days
Except for fans of Zoom. (Were those really my ears?)

We’ll now mix and match up to catch up and patch up.
Let’s throw a Thanksgiving while trees are still green,
Cheer friends’ and relations’ postgraduate ‘graduations’,
And sneak an extra birthday in June like the Queen.

The world owes us meetings and greetings and eatings,
Let’s go, and not toe the old calendar line.
The ‘Rona has thrown us, and yet rather neatly shown us
That Now’s as good as Then, and Whenever’s just fine.

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Jerome Betts : Robot Refectory Service ?

(“Parsons Automatic Feeder “- Advertisement)

It comes with cutlery and plates
And cooks divinely, Which? relates,
Sets tables, chants a grace, and waits
And buttles at a clinking waddle
To make big church affairs a doddle.
They call it their ‘5000’ model.

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Rumi Morkin: Fantasia On Green Ideas

‘Colorless green ideas sleep furiously’
Noam Chomsky, Syntactic Structures (1957)

The Muse is busy, so this poem's mine,
with fantasy in almost every line,
inspired by words grammatically correct
but meaningless – so what can you expect?

In my cerebrum – top left of my brain –
reclining in the comfy soft terrain,
some verdant, fresh ideas met to discuss
a Chomsky theory, with much noise and fuss.

He said kids' understanding is innate
for learning language. He was known to state:
they know how language works right off from birth,
just as a seed knows how to sprout from earth.

But since my fresh ideas themselves were seeds
of clashing future plans, inventions, deeds,
fierce arguments broke out and tempers rose,
while several, tired out, began to doze.

Soon all of them were lying in a heap,
still furiously arguing in sleep,
in conflict over whether babies know
exactly how they'll talk – before they grow!

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Jane Blanchard: With Deference to Preference

(A project in development by Forestry and
Land Scotland proposes to use pine martens
as ‘bouncers’ to keep grey squirrels out of
the Highlands. Guardian)

Should some pine marten have a yen
to move into a man-made box,
it soon can choose a Scottish den
above the Wall, below the Lochs,

with access to abundant prey,
the carriers of squirrel pox,
their fur not native red but grey,
their teeth a threat to timber stocks.

Pine-marten looking at camera

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Jerome Betts: Soporific Survey

“Are you a poor sleeper? Try a country
hop pillow . . . “ – Advertisement

A Gallup expert claimed today
He nods off on strong beer’s bouquet.
Effective eight times out of ten
Records this most precise of men.
The other two, the truthful pollster
Admits he has to drink his bolster.

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Drew Nathaniel Keane: Imperial Index

“ Bronze finger found at Louvre is remounted on to
Constantine’s hand at museum in Rome” - Guardian)

Old Constantine has got his finger back,
United to his hand without a crack.
The Louvre, which thought the fragment was a toe,
Misclassified the digit long ago.
The Emperor for his part had resigned
Himself to loss and found his peace of mind.
Although for years he mourned his mighty grip,
It’s more than Rameses (that sneering lip
And shattered visage buried in the sand.)
Had I the choice, I'd take the broken hand,
For while it's true just one has been restored
(Which isn't quite enough to grip a sword)
And though a pointer isn’t quite a quorum
At least it is the princeps digitorum.

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Susan Jarvis Bryant: A Bibliophile’s Betrothal

“Beware you be not swallowed up in books!
An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.”
–John Wesley

I’ve slammed shut well-thumbed tomes without a frown.
Each antiquated adjective and noun
Will now give way to days of me and you.
To Rochester et al, I’ve bid adieu.

All plights and plots that toyed with heart and mind
Are in their rightful place, they’ve been consigned
To boxes in the attic – lofty heights
For damsels in distress and men in tights.

I will not stroke a spine or sniff a cover.
I won’t ascend the turret stairs and wuther
Through realms of gothic, Heathcliff-driven lust.
It’s time to let my Darcy gather dust.

I used to wander lonely as a cloud
Through Manderley (far from the madding crowd)
Until you slipped into my inglenook…
I dropped my guard and then I dropped my book.

An ounce of your love’s worth a hefty pound
Of pages turned in search of what I’ve found.

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L. A. Mereoie: Fowl Play

“Anser brachyrhyncus-60-75 cm-
Pink-Footed Goose”
RSPB Pocket Guide To British Birds

An insouciant fellow
With a fine’s been landed.
He poached pink-footed
And was caught red-handed

Pink-Footed Goose in grass looking right