Artwork © Eric N. Peterson


Bare Essentials

Bikinis, trunks and speedos would appal

Assorted Snakes and Ladders players who

Reveal themselves in Hemswell Village Hall,

Espousing their commitment to eschew

Excessive garb—save one reporter there,

Sans underwear, uncovering bits for

Some journalistic scoop on why Brits dare

Expose their all for starkers Scrabble or

Nude chess. He’s told that bareness frees a chap

To be at ease. But when fresh tea is brewed,

It’s poured out through a spout above his lap,

And tea is hot … which leads him to conclude:

Life’s bare essentials for a journalist

Should not be just a Fitbit on the wrist!


Mike Mesterton-Gibbons is a Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Florida State University who now lives in York, England. His acrostic sonnets have
appeared in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Better Than Starbucks, the Creativity
Webzine, Current Conservation, the Ekphrastic Review, Grand Little Things,
Light, Lighten Up Online, MONO.
, The New Verse News, Oddball Magazine,
Rat’s Ass Review, the Satirist,
the Washington Post and WestWard Quarterly. The poem was prompted by the Independent story: “Snakes and ladders in the nude: How 7 million Britons became hooked on naturism.”

Eric N. Peterson is from Atlanta, Ga. He’s been drawing cartoons all his life. He leans towards the absurd, imaginative, and the surreal, as that’s where all the flavor is.