By Ken Gosse
[Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day for July 5th, 2022: “rumbling or gurgling sounds caused by the movement of gas in the intestines”]
They’re called borborygmi (the word rhymes with pygmy); not merely a figmy of imaginigmy, and come from a natural cause. They’re powerful sources which our gut endorses as we glean resources while food runs it courses— and yet, they’re considered faux pas. They’re shared world-wide by us all, deep inside, which we wish we could hide for, if heard, we’re decried and assaulted with many guffaws. Be glad and rejoice! Though we have little choice or control of their voice, they’re the rolls of our Royce and they truly deserve our applause.
Growing Old With Hazel
[Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s 1865 poem, “Brother William” from his book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which, in turn, was a parody of Robert Southey’s 1799 poem, “The Old Man’s Comforts and How He Got Them.”]
You are old, little pup; your squeak and your yelp have been traded for snoring since you were a whelp. We trained you, when young, where to pee and to poo; now accidents happen (sometimes to us, too). You are old, loving friend, and your joints are like mine; they’re stiff and they hurt and the stairs make us whine. Our savings are stretched for you diet and meds and sometimes you need veterinary NSAIDs. You are old, good companion. your fur’s getting gray. It lightens your schnoz. It’s like mine—here to stay. Though your muzzle has lightened and some teeth are gone, your smile’s more lovely than sunlight at dawn. You’re ancient, dear pup, and your hearing and sight make it hard to get out one last time for the night. We’ve aged along with you and can’t jump and play but while we’re together, you brighten our day.
The Thought Not Shaken
[A parody of Robert Frost’s 1916 poem, “The Road Not Taken”]
Two poems diverged in a restless bed and knowing I’d not remember both, they tossed and turned within my head while half awake; as both were shed, a third rose from the undergrowth. Then rising (for a cause well-known), I grabbed a notepad I kept near. Once written down, the thoughts I own were etched on paper, not on stone, and dim light left this restless fear: By morning’s light, would there be scrawls where thoughts had been the night before; my efforts leaving naught but squalls and useless scratches, cats’ hairballs— some language from a distant shore? But I can tell you with a sigh, not leaving this for ages hence: remarkably, the thoughts which I had pondered, now before you lie— awaiting your indifference.
Ken Gosse usually writes short, rhymed verse using whimsy and humor in traditional meters. First published in First Literary Review–East in November 2016, since then in The Offbeat, Pure Slush, Parody, Home Planet News Online, Sparks of Calliope and others. Raised in the Chicago, Illinois, suburbs, now retired, he and his wife have lived in Mesa, AZ, over twenty years.