By Ken Gosse
Limerosity: The Love of Light Verse
There are those who think rhyming’s a curse and for poetry, nothing is worse. They’d bar patterns of rhythm which stow away with’m in lines which are simply adverse to the senses of those who converse in the hoity patois they rehearse, weaving nebulous phrases into obscure mazes to mold unknown words into terse or loquacious strains which they disburse, fully knowing that few can immerse in their fullness of light, hence the adage is right: “There is no substitute for light verse.”
How Green Was Their Kingdom (Fibonacci)
The King, overnight, had to roam in the swamp so he’d catch enough flies to be able to romp—but only the Queen knew his pollywog tale. The King often told her she’s lovely and frail as when he first found her, seeking the Grail. No response when he spoke, on his first kiss she awoke and when she gazed up at the skies, he saw a surprise: two lovely, bulgy, green eyes.
Will They Ever Return?
Two thoughts diverged in my bed, and I, I tossed and turned as the night went by. Too tired to wake, too restless to sleep when a third came along which I wanted to keep. So, having to rise (for a reason well-known), on completing that task, made the third one my own by writing it down in a notepad kept near, in the dark, without glasses, so I had some fear that by morning my scrawls would appear as if squalls would have rendered them useless, encrypted hairballs which no one could read and I wouldn’t remember, no more than in Jan what I did in December! But wonder of wonders—I still wonder now— by the dawn’s early light, without wrinkling my brow they were clear. But the others? For I had three ghosts who had kept me awake, just like Scrooge’s night hosts. Perhaps Ebenezer’s disorder was mine; a bad bit of beef, crumb of cheese, too much wine, and phantoms they were, with no substance but thought, for now they seemed gone and that left me distraught. To me, they had life of their own to be shared; to be born by the pen on the paper which dared to reveal my thoughts to myself (thence to more), but they faded away—phantoms passed through the door. They’ve not returned yet, though I still think they might, for I just found a fourth which came later that night and returned when I asked myself, “What had it said; that last thought, which had brought needed rest to my head?” It was something ado about memory lost, the effect of a mind being tumbled and tossed in the depths of the night while my dreams were converging till sleep overwhelmed my mind’s unsettled surging … And so, your bewilderment being well fed, now you know, as do I, everything that it said. Do you scoff and think something’s awry in my head? Please consider again—it’s the verse you just read.
Writing on the Fly
Sometimes I try to write on the fly ’cause a flea is so small without glasses my eye just can’t see him at all. But things may get worse when I’m writing a verse and a flea makes a call, then you might hear me curse at that fly on the wall. A fly may land here, very close to my ear, or perhaps over there, for it seems to appear that he just doesn’t care. But a flea likes to lite and fulfill his delight on a spot that is bare, a reminder all night just to prove he was there. Such thoughts I might post on this tiny-winged host— small tattoos on a fly— you can read them, almost, when you see him fly by. But “Reader Beware,” and protect your derriere from that tinier guy who can jump through the air even though he can’t fly. Sneaking up like a cat, you’ll soon know where he’s at! Then you’ll need to apply soothing salve upon that, slightly north of your thigh. Though a fly with my writing may not be exciting, remember and sigh that your cheeks, so inviting, could not be passed by— at least not by the flea who’s a friend of a fly.
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.