Bob McKenty


The Exercist: a Poet Muses over His Workouts

The Health Club

This Temple is the place where you and I
Approach the Sanctuary (for a fee)
To kill the fatted calf and pudgy thigh
And make our sacrifice to Vanity.

The Rowing Machine

It is a modern Mariner
Absorbed in reverie
In his imaginary shell
Upon a carpet sea.
He rows with simulated oars
His motionless machine—
The only craft he dares to board
Without his Dramamine.

The Shoulder Press

I know (although it sounds absurd)
The lead I’m lifting heavenward
Will settle in my arms. I hope
They still can reach the shower soap.

Arm Curl

These handlebars won’t budge! I frown,
Then notice that some ape
Has pegged the weights ten notches down—
While I’m in top-notch shape.

Toned Up … And Down 

From pumping iron and treading mill
His body fat is nearly nil.
So firmly toned is he, I think
That when he hits the pool he’ll sink.

The Lap Lanes

The CFO swims west to east,
Then leisurely swims back,
Relaxed and buoyant. (Here at least
The bottom line is black.)

“Toned Up … And Down” first appeared in Fitness & Wellness Times.

Bob McKenty has been writing rhymed verse since 1942, when formal poetry was mainstream.