Saturday 18 March 2023

Five Poems by Ken Gosse


One-Hundred-Words, No More, No Less


One-hundred-word stories for me are just fine.

Some are aesthetic and many divine,

but some have been poured from a bullfrog’s fine wine:

the results an emetic, progressive decline.


My best are ekphrastic, where words will entwine

with the artwork of others which help to refine

many visions fantastic, though not only mine;

some iconoclastic—not meant to malign;

and sometimes synclastic, where all sides align;

but mostly gelatsic with wavering design.


But now the end nears and so I must resign.

This is not allegory as one might define.

Not yet a full story, it ends with this line.



The Noir Clown Tavern (Three Limericks in 100 Words)


For a clown, she was dainty, not burly,

but her smile hid a streak very surly.

The first one who spoke

was the butt of their joke

though she warned the fool, “Don’t call me Shirley!”


The next clown was roly and poly.

The third one was masked like a goalie.

Shot one, ate some sweets,

then they sent a few tweets.

Left the body but took his cannoli.


Even noir clowns can have a bad day,

often needing of a fast get-away

but a dozen per car

means you can’t travel far—

with twelve bladders, gang plans gang agley.


Ménage à Few, a Sonnet in 100 words


Whenever interfused in twos or threes,

or four, five, six, upright or on bent knees,

reclined or on all fours, in front, behind,

above, beneath, the posturing designed


with rhythm tempoed for a pas de deux

(trois, quatre, cinq, or six, exceeding teux),

each voice appended to this sing-along,

cacophony creates a raucous song.


Few words, incessant panting, grunts, and groans,

the F word consummating shouts and moans

as Musketeers shoot muskets, all for one,

and damsels in undress enjoy the fun.


That’s what most movies show us that they do.

But me? I’d rather we be me and you.



Over the Edge of the Final Frontier (100 Single-Syllable Words)


At the edge of the Earth there’s a wall

marked by kelp, trash, and spray paint’s rich scrawl.

Most say it’s a hoax—

it’s the edge to some folks.

One man chose this search for his call.


He crossed every pool of the deep.

He swore that he would not sleep

in calm or storm.

He found this norm—

land, rock, or sand were its keep.


’Twas then he made his last pledge:

he’d search from a home made space sledge

which he’d tie to a loon

and he’d fly to the moon.

One step sent him over the edge.



The Giant Plastic Crystal Ball Candy Dispenser (A 100-Word Fantasy)


A great plastic spaceship in wonderland

with goodies and wantums in high demand

exists in a world beyond all your dreams

and yet you can’t get there, at least so it seems,

for the aisles are a maze all intended to daze

an intrepid explorer or treasure adorer

with miles of aisles where each turn beguiles—

all road signs encrypted, each pathway unscripted.


You wonder if Santa must guard the North Pole

with similar measures, the way a black hole

keeps astronomers guessing what lies deep inside

because, perhaps, that’s where our dreams all reside.


And then you wake up.

Ken Gosse usually writes short, rhymed verse using whimsy and humour 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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