19-30



A Summer Sonnet

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
With due respect to Shakespeare, I shall not.
After all, spring's the season who bears May
And "darling buds" won't last a day that hot.

Maybe the bard lived in a different time
When summers were still "temperate" and nice:
No global warming and no blazing clime.
The earth, then, must have been a paradise.

Sitting here with sweat drops on my forehead,
Let me compare you to an autumn night.
A cool breeze and a cold drink in my bed,
No scorching sun but a gentle moonlight.

   So long as the sun burns the earth away
   I shan't compare you to a summer's day.

by Niloufar Behrooz

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Niloufar Behrooz is a PhD candidate of English Literature at the University of Isfahan, Iran. She is a poet, writer, self-taught musician, university lecturer and night owl. Her work has appeared in Classical Poets Society, Lighten Up Online, Loch Raven Review, Literary Hatchet, Litro, Haiku Presence, World Haiku Review and elsewhere. Her most recent nonfiction will appear in an upcoming anthology. She is also an avid animal lover and she used to have a dozen rabbits who would've probably colonized the earth if her mom hadn't begged her to send them away. You can find her on Instagram @niloufarbehrooz

19-29



The Web Site of Innisfree

I will log on now and virtually visit Innisfree,
The builder says my second home there is almost complete:
Sub-zero fridge, home theater, garage for my RV,
And lake views from the master suite.

So now I have a piece of it; I had to buy in quick
When NAFTA dropped some whining farmer over the edge.
Of course, if values rise, well, it's just arithmetic,
And a Maui condo's a better hedge.

I will log off this site for now; Innisfree can wait:
I hear my smart phone ding, my Facebook's filling constantly,
And there's an episode of CSI on Channel 8—
I'll watch it in 4K Ultra HD.

by Tom Schmidt

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After decades spent launching academic paper airplanes from ivory tower windows, Tom Schmidt now composes poems from the tree house he built above his bee-loud glade in central Vermont. His outlook is much improved. Now and then an editor likes his work, but more often his family and friends do, and that's a deeper satisfaction. His grandsons are more impressed that he can make authentic noises for eight different kinds of construction vehicles. And they love the tree house.

19-28



Thirteen Ways of Looking at a French Fry Potato

I
Among fifty fast-food restaurants
the only touching thing was
a bag of fries.

II
Yo,
french fry potato.
The skinny is
you got no skin.

III
Add salt, ketchup,
melted cheese,
their essential function
is to please.

IV
French fries kill
more people than
guns and sharks,
but no one's afraid
of french fries.

V
When I met you
at McDonald's
I thought you were
an über tuber; fashionably
thin yet filled with fat.

VI
The French call it
a pomme frite,
c'est magnifique,
je ne sais quoi,
bon appétit.

VII
Do french fries really come
from France? Non non ma chère,
ils viennent de Belgique.

VIII
They say you're a "fast" food
but there are worse sins
than "going all the way"
at lunch or dinner.

IX
Oiled in and oiled up,
greased with goodness,
greased with greatness,
cholesterol killing
but Barkis is willing.

X
How 'bout we go to
the couch, potato,
or do you want to
go somewhere else.

XI
A man and a woman
are one.
A man and a woman and a french fry
are one.

XII
You may look like
a small fry
but taste wise
you're the big potato.

XIII
It was morning all afternoon.
It was raining
and it was going to snow.
The french fry sat
in a plastic tub.

by Martin H. Levinson

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Martin H. Levinson does not teach creative writing at Stanford. In 2017, he was not awarded a fellowship from the NEA. His poetry has not been published by The New Yorker or the Paris Review. Levinson lives with his wife in New York City. He is grateful for the recognition he has not sought or achieved and plans to continue to work in obscurity.

19-27



Stopping an Intrusion on a Summer Evening

Whose drone this is I'll never know.
It's right outside my window, though.
I'm sure it sees me lying here
In bed and naked head to toe.

My dog is freaked, and makes it clear
The awful thing must disappear.
It's getting late, for heaven's sake,
The lightest evening of the year.

He barks and howls without a break.
The only sounds he hears me make
Are words I seldom say, like "(bleep)!"
And now he knows I'm wide awake.   

The owner of this drone's a creep,
But I have shotguns in my keep,
And aim to get a good night's sleep,
And aim to get a good night's sleep.

by Alex Steelsmith

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A writer and fine artist, Alex Steelsmith has coauthored three nonfiction books and more than 200 articles that have appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today. In addition to Parody, his poems have appeared in Light, Lighten Up Online, and other venues. When not writing parodies and light poetry, he takes himself very seriously.

19-26



Pees

I think I shall never see
A poem as welcome as a pee.

A pee whose easy time is quit
Will not eject from its cockpit.

A pee that begs of God all day
Oh let me sprinkle, let me spray.

A pee that's hard to personify
Hiding his Truth in old one-eye.

Under whose torrent bark has flown
Back when my wild oats were sown.

Parodies are made by fools like me
But only Flomax can make me pee.

by Thomas L. Wiseman

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Thomas L. Wiseman is a poet, literature and writing teacher, and punster. He earned PhD and MA degrees from Tulane University and a bachelor's from Penn State. He retired from full time teaching in 2007 but was back at it in 2008. He is now a part-time instructor at Portland Community College-Rock Creek Campus in Oregon. He reads anything he can get his hands on but prefers Parody, The Onion, and Mad Magazine. The only news he watches is The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.