By Ken Gosse
Seasonal Shopping Syndrome
There’s a rumor potty humor snares the noblest consumer, ’cause what’s funny grabs our money like a landlord grabs a roomer. While we plot upon the pot to buy whatever we have not, sales events make so much sense our phones get blisteringly hot. As November nears December seasons’ sales flare from an ember; on Black Friday, pumpkin pie day, we will buy but not remember who it’s for or from what store (receipts on phones we all abhor). Some are returned—receivers earned regifting rights forevermore. Seasons nearing, hearts endearing grandkids we’re glad we’re not rearing, while kids spy pie-in-the-sky, we notice older ones start fearing Mr. Claus has shown some flaws in recent years, which gives them pause to think his list contains the gist but not the fullness of their cause. Some adults may fear results of gifts perceived to be insults; when disappointed, the anointed of their wisest friends exults. Everyone makes these mistakes, so recognize that good-will slakes our intense longing for belonging which true kindness undertakes. What is best is to attest the love residing in your breast and not to dread what may be said when celebrating with the rest.
At First Glance
Our eyes, unaided, only see a glimpse of our reality: we see the flash of lightning bolts but not the thunder’s mighty jolts; we see a rose by any name but not the perfume of its fame; we see the stars within night’s sky but not most planets passing by; we see a doorway in a wall but not the footsteps down the hall; we see a mouth which forms a word which might not match the meaning heard; we see an image, click a shutter, later see a blurry stutter caused by ghosts we cannot see traversing our reality.
Leave the Dishes—Take the Next Exit
And what of the dishes left undone, abandoned desires of others and self, dreams unfinished before the sun has risen, when new tasks begun replace past hopes left on the shelf? A disarray of uncharted goals heaped in a basin without any order, left there to wait for the tide which rolls the foam of its cleansing upon their shoals in a country without roads or border. A sink half empty or half not must wait its turn while you embark on new adventures, some new plot which draws you to some distant spot— no thought of some past watermark.
Quoth the Caterpillar, “Who Are You?”
I live in my world—you live in yours; a hole in the universe simply obscures our belief that in meeting and greeting and bleating we’ll reach understanding with neither demanding that you’ll think like me, therefore I’ll think like you (either can say this, from one’s point of view). Alas, there’s a lack in such communiqué which, publicly posted, could lead us astray to assume that our difference is due to some fence, not nature or nurture or like evidence. Perhaps I have four hooves but you have two feet— does the Kipling effect mean the twain never meet?
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.