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.

One thought on “Seasonal Shopping Syndrome and Other Poems

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