Photography © Chad Parenteau


Stowaway Ursine

Shall I remind you of the way you were

The day you washed up in a seaweed clump

On Cornwall’s shore? You didn’t have much fur.

Without a tummy, arms and legs or rump,

Appearing like a dirty chamois rag,

With just a nose to hint you’d been a bear,

And caked with plastic, pebbles, sand and slag,

You stank to heaven up on high—to where

Us vicars get our inspiration from …

Remember then? But now you are reborn.

Sewn back and stuffed with teddy-bear aplomb

In brand new fur, you’re whole—but I’m now torn,

Not knowing whence you stowed away. So I’m

Examining your kelp to trace its slime!


Mike Mesterton-Gibbons is a Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Florida State University has returned to live in his native 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. His poem was inspired by the news story, “Battered storm teddy bear found in Cornwall lovingly restored.”

Chad Parenteau is Associate Editor of Oddball Magazine.