This poem won second place in the North Carolina Poetry Society’s Katherine Kennedy McIntyre Light Verse Award in 2015 and was published in Pinesong Magazine.

Happiness Postponed

by Beth Browne

Management hereby announces
that all present happiness
will be postponed indefinitely
due to unforeseen circumstances.

All sunrises and sunsets will be
overcast and without drama.
Everyone will age a year
without a birthday.

The moon has been instructed
not to show its face
and a permanent cloud cover
will obscure the stars.

Sexual intercourse will be avoided
by all species due to danger of orgasm
and possibility of procreation
which could lead to potential joy.

Chocolate and ice cream will be
unavailable during this period
and meals will be restricted to
raw vegetables and brown rice.

Winter will continue until
further notice without
hope of a thaw or bud-break.
Slow drizzle will persist.

Planting of seeds is discouraged
due to possibility of fruitful germination.
We apologize for any inconvenience.
Thank you for your cooperation.

Bear Pond

Published online at shortpoem.org, January 2009

by Beth Browne

If you were an animal,
you would be a bear

Not a black bear but a warm,
glossy brown

And the pond named for you
would be dark with silt

Reflecting no sky, or moon,
but thick like fur

And when I slip
beneath the surface

You will hold me there,
breathing for me.

-read online-

My very first published poem, “Deep Sea Dreams,” was published in Crucible, the literary magazine of Barton College, in the Fall 2007 issue. Although it was not in my opinion the best poem of the three I submitted, it fit their undeclared rather dark theme. Nevertheless, I was thrilled.