Peter Austin


Charity Casino 

It’s said there is, in Reno,
A charity casino
Where pleasure and philanthropy combine;
Where, while your wallet lightens,
The future faintly brightens
For someone with an ulcerated spine.

Of course, that’s while you’re losing:
The more your wallet’s oozing,
The better for the homeless of Peru;
The second that the draining
Reverses into gaining,
You’re robbing those who’re less well off than you.

So lose, and when this duty
To every persecutee
Has tumbled you, an addict, into debt,
And if you’re still in Reno,
The very same casino
Will catch you in its charitable net.

Two Silly Poems


The oddest of birds is the penguin;
In bookstores it’s usually found
Being greedily gobbled by bookworms
Instead of the other way round.


with apologies to Felicia Dorothea Hemans

The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but he had fled;
“I’ll put that out!” he cried, and woke
To find he’d wet the bed.

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 and his wife and three daughters live in Toronto, where he teaches English at Seneca College.