Friday 4 February 2022

Five Fabulous Poems by Ken Gosse


The Foggy, Foggy Dews and Don’ts of Dewy, Dewy Fog


I wonder as I wander

through my foggy, foggy dew,

why, at times, I write a lot—

have I found something new?

And also, whether what I write

will ever interest you,

and if it does, is that because

we share some point of view,

or could it be you’re reading

’cause you’ve nothing else to do?


But at those times when I find I’m

in dewy, dewy fog,

I wonder whether I can’t write

because I’m in a bog,

and will this long, hot, soggy night,

which hounds me like a dog,

suck all the wind from ’neath my wings

or give my mind a jog—

the push it needs to leap ahead

to frog from pollywog? 


When in France, Spell as the French Do


The word “alarm” on tattooed arm

had nearly brought the artist harm.

’Twas “Mallarmé” it should display:

unfinished, one “l” short that day.


The Yankee sailor, in alarm

and angry that his left forearm

would lack the well-intended charm

of poetry, cried out “Gendarme!”


He said he would refuse to pay—

then noticed it was spelled that way

upon the note on which he wrote

“Malarmé” followed by this quote:


“The flesh is sad, alas!”

No more.

He knew his arm would be too sore

for “I’ll intoxicated fly!”—

words to be added, by and by.


A gendarme came and stopped the fray—

told him to pay then stay away,

for Mallarmé, misspelled in France,

could toll his hornpipe’s final dance. 


A Diamond on the Beach (a Walrus and Carpenter Poemid)





and a






along the beach,

hoping that each

would find in reach

friends to beseech


on the sandy strand;

the oysters they planned

to join hand-in-hand—

taking command of

appetites’ demand—


from whom they’d ascertain

which ones they’d entertain

with joyous songs’ refrain,

a dance where none abstain;

all those they would retain,

essential to sustain


their calm deportment,

very consequent

to help circumvent

their hunger’s relent;

their wellness augment


by de rigueur,

vim and vigor

(with a jigger

as a trigger,


though in stealth,

toasting health,

strength, and wealth)


for the




My Side of Genius


Don’t compare me to Shakespeare

when I write a verse

nor to Hawking when I watch the sky.

Don’t compare me to Einstein

when I do the math:

I’m no genius, although I may try.


I think, therefore I’m

quite confused half the time—

put to test, I’m not always my best.

My philosophy’s plain:

I just try to stay sane

in faint hope it may spread to the rest. 


The Dark Side of the Rainbow


Some Orwellian rainbow,

way up high,

there the drones carry cameras,

each one, Big Brother’s eye.


Someday, in the near future,

skies will dim,

and the dreams

that we fear to dream

will be filled with him.


Today, our privacy is dear

but it will fade and we will fear

Big Brother.

With watchers here and snitches there,

each poor man, brother, millionaire,

will fight each other.


Somewhere, under his rainbow,

dreams will fade.

Love and hopes all extinguished

by poisoned lemonade.


Till then, don’t wait and hold your breath;

We must resist—

we must not

welcome death.

1) The Foggy, Foggy Dews and Don’ts of Dewy, Dewy Fog

The title was inspired by the title of Ogden Nash’s article “Dewey, Dewey Fog” in the February 14, 1948 Issue of The New Yorker about the 1948 Presidential election campaign.

His article was a play on the title of the folksong “Foggy, Foggy Dew,” first published on a broadside around 1815,


2) When in France, Spell as the French Do

This was inspired by Stéphane Mallarmé’s 1866 poem “Brise marine” (“Sea Breeze”). It was probably mentioned in a Facebook comment: I’m not that familiar with Mallarmé. In it, he says he would like to flee to a place where birds are drunken as they fly over unknown seas. Here’s an English translation:


3) A Diamond on the Beach (a Walrus and Carpenter Poemid)

This is another Poemid (1st stanza 1 line 1 syllable, 2nd stanza 2 lines 2 syllables each. You published one of mine on December 14th last year). It has my two favorite characters, Lewis Carroll’s Walrus and Carpenter.


5) The Dark Side of the Rainbow

This is a parody of the song “Over the Rainbow” as sung by Judy Garland in the 1939 MGM movie “The Wizard of Oz.”

I posted it on Facebook in response to a friend’s post on April 3, 2018, which might not be accessible to you:

  Ken Gosse usually writes short, rhymed verse using whimsy and humor in traditional meters. First published in First Literary Review–East in November 2016, he has also been published by Pure Slush, Home Planet News Online, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, and others. Raised in the Chicago, Illinois, suburbs, now retired, he and his wife have lived in Mesa, AZ, for over twenty years, usually with rescue dogs and cats underfoot.

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