Peter Austin



In final year biology
The project was a stunner;
Lucinda, punching air, declared
That nothing could be funner.

Its aim was to reengineer
The flytrap named for Venus
(The mouth, to be specific, of
That insect-eating genus),

Produce a crop that gobbled mice
And purge the furry foison
That plagued a nearby granary,
Avoiding traps and poison.

Lucinda got to take one home
For daily observation,
But howling, at review time, took
The place of jubilation.

“Wherefore the tears?” her teacher said,
“The notebook stained and soggy?”
Beside herself, Lucinda bawled,
“The homework ate my doggy!”


Hockey news: at last the locals
Win (by one) a game at home;
Cut to sports bar: painted yokels,
Muzzles fringed with lager foam,

Brandishing concussive glasses,
Mock the milk-and-water foe:
“Kicked ’em in their skinny asses—
Buncha dummies—go, team, go!”

Cut to coach—erect of hackle,
Busting with analysis,
Semaphoring pass and tackle,
Glove’s-end save and hair’s-breadth miss,

Sketching an intensely pyrrhic,
Season-saving second-half,
Substituting panegyric
For redundant epitaph. …

Other news: propane-filled tanker
T-bones school bus; none survive;
Country, says prepotent banker,
Headed for a swallow dive.

Peter Austin is the author of three collections of poems and a short novel in verse. His work has appeared in such places as Iambs & Trochees, The New Formalist, The Raintown Review, The Pennsylvania Review, and Contemporary Sonnet. He lives in Toronto.