I spy your pain vast as the briny blue.
I smell the creosote that seals your hold,
but don’t let enmity be what you rue
in logging a life’s voyage when you’re old.

S.S. Resentment is a mutinous ship
of blaggards bent on vengeance, lust and greed
since first its bow was christened in the slip
ofpoverty, abuse, neglect and need.

But pirate mates have nothing warm to offer
when sleet is raining down upon your soul.
The gold is locked inside the Captain’s coffer
each time the ship is headed for a shoal.

It’s time to cast your spoils into the foam.
Set sail and chart a new course bound for home.


The Mall                            

On the list of things that I hate most of all
the one I hate most is a day at the mall
where all the offenses that rankle my brain
wage war on my senses: a full-blown campaign
to exact peoples’ cash, brains, taste, self-control,
individualism – a gluttonous toll.

Rampant consumption, pretense, bad food,
sales reps’ fake smiles all pushy and shrewd,
bass woofers blasting their arrogant noise
of play listed tunes the ad man employs,
shapeless bodies in too shapely clothes
show string thongs and cleavage as flesh overflows,
biker tattoos on ingénue skin,
spent kiddie cries in the echoey din.

Of all the “musts” the mall tries to ply
escape’s the one thing that I don’t have to buy.


J.C. Elkin: As a language teacher and founder of the Broadneck Writers’ Workshop in Annapolis, Maryland, I write in all forms, but my poetry has won awards with the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and Poetry Matters, and appeared in Kestrel, Off the Coast, Obsession, The Serving House Journal, Bellow, Earth’s Daughters and the Maryland Writers’ Association anthology Life In Me Like Grass On Fire. 

These poems are among the entries for the Society of Classical Poets’ 2012 Poetry Competition.

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