Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 134

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For this week’s prompt, write a “let’s get serious” poem. There is serious, and then, there’s serious. I’ll let you decide which serious your poem is going to tackle. Seriously.

Here’s my attempt:

“Apocalyptic Signs”

And just like that, the world did not end.
We waited as if maybe, but not really,
because the world never ends
when they say it will.

You know how little boys are always crying
wolf, though some things did go missing:
random socks, pocket change, pencils
and pens. The world did not end,
but we didn’t let it ruin our day.

*****

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165 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 134

  1. cynthia stewart

    Seriously

    We all know what to do to get in shape.
    But there are so many ways to do it –
    You can get lost in the calories, exercise styles,
    Good Carbs, Protein, L-Carnitine, Fasting.

    But when you get serious, it is easier because,
    You just do what will work, whatever it takes,
    Keep doing it and don’t stop,
    And ignore the rest.

    Cynthia Stewart

  2. Walt Wojtanik

    Thanks to all who have expressed interest in my chapbook, WOOD. I have updated the details on my blog and some may have received an e-mail. If you haven’t gotten notification yet, please shoot over to:

    http://wjw2356.blogspot.com

    for the information. The CDs audiobooks will contain two bonus tracks of material not included in the book. This has indeed been an experience. Thanks to Robert for setting the example.

  3. Ralph J. Fitcher

    Hey all, it’s been awhile. Thought I would write this just to say hi. Not my best, and done very quickly. Enjoy. Ralph.

    Come and Go

    It seems all too often we come and go
    Leaving the only thing we know
    In search of that which is more
    Seeking a thrill we’ve all felt before

    When that which we leave behind
    Is loving, gentle and kind
    As we leave, we dare not look back
    That we might be perceived by the courage we lack

    Though, to return we must
    To the one place we can trust
    To be as warm and safe as a mother’s womb
    Only to leave again, all too soon. . .

    Ralph J. Fitcher
    June 5, 2011

  4. Marietta Goretti

    Seriously
    I wanted to invite him
    but lost his address

    Fortuitous perhaps

    he would bring
    his family
    his extended family

    his polypussy cats
    his hideous pugs
    his fractured friends
    his bevy of fans

    he would storm out
    leave me in the lurch
    again

    because the cucumber
    wasn’t sliced wafer thin

    because I spilt tea
    on his erasure poem
    scrawled on my damask
    table cloth

    pity
    it would be nice
    to have an
    off the planet playmate
    to be silly with

    just a numero uno
    sans multiple you knows
    but not to be
    unless he gives
    a guarantee
    of fidelitee
    countersigned
    by the waving tree

  5. Joseph Beckman

    Pearl Just checked with the missus and nope no Sara in this house but I do remember that when I started writing my comment Sara’s had not shown on my screen yet. If it helps my grandfather moved my dad’s family from Pennsylvania a few generations back. Maybe it is in the DNA.

  6. Walt Wojtanik

    FIN

    Silent intruder
    coming to call while you sleep,
    keeping his appointment
    to take who he wants
    He can’t wait for you to be
    ready as he, he slinks
    in the darkness. He lurks
    in the light of day, come
    what may, when your day comes
    the drum beat will silence without
    violence or struggle. Lock your doors,
    and a window awaits. Death be not proud,
    be he thief in the night
    or comfortable friend, it spells the end.
    As serious as a heart attack.

  7. Colette ;D

    ~ Let’s Get Tereus ~

    Philomela was raped by her
    brother-in-law, Tereus.
    Her sister, Procne,
    said, "Let’s get serious,"
    and boiled him a surprise
    that was really deleterious.
    The philomel will never tell
    what made her so delirious.

    { a serious little morsel from classical mythology ;D }

  8. Sara V

    Hi Pearl! Nope don’t know Mr. Beckman, but appreciate his comments on my poetry 🙂
    Leigh and I seemed to have the same words too–guess you were just inspiring a "warm, wonderful" mind meld in all us PA’ers <3

  9. Taylor Graham

    ORIENT

    Magnet in a darkened room, the song
    of seabirds as you speak the word
    for “gull” in twenty languages.
    Seriously, does the world get smaller
    as we sail beyond its edges?
    Time and space contracting, the straits

    opening with each new idea. How
    shall I get my bearings when
    the instruments need a better satellite,
    a truer star? Polaris taps out its
    Morse; the turtle-shell sings of sands
    breaking open, eggs like plosives.

    A new dialect, salt of oceans
    on the tongue. If opening a book closes
    other pages, I’ll dream in oracle
    bone script. Seriously, our port-of-call
    is Jenseits, fluent in all tongues.
    We log our lives by dawnings.

  10. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Let’s GET SERIOUS!

    In the middle of the room
    Sunlight streaming on their heads
    They grinned and laughed milk through
    Their not grown noses
    At "Serious" their unfriend who still to school wore "Keds"

    Serious sat in a far corner  near the hallway
    Book propped up on the wall
    Eyes bright behind thick lenses
    Lost in his read he knew no fright at all

    "Hey Serious" they called as always
    Across the heads of nibbling, chewing, slurping others
    " Hey, we’re talking to you" they shouted above the din
    Anyone who had been watching could see trouble about then to begin
     
    Their spittled voices missiled over the head 
    of lunch lady Miss McGee there busy twirling a lock of her long  hair 
    At Mr. Kaye, the tall new gym teacher sharing lunch duty with her standing near her there

    Muscles bulging from his bright white Anyplace Middle School knife creased ironed tee
    Twirling, smiling,  shifting from one pretty foot to the other Serious’ would-be savior,  
    Love-lust-struck, now completely oblivious-irresponsible, pretty Miss McGee

    Serious’ book was just reaching a grand crescendo, his heart pounded with his protagonist
    When the Middlers,  plain right there out in the sunlight threw the first milk carton at him
    And that first hurl missed

    Serious barely noticed, heard the splat and felt a bit of spray
    But his hero was on the seas a-sailing and so he missed the assault moving inexcorably his way

    Felt the spray on his ankle, heard the roar of voices lost on the sea
    Never saw them rise and run past giggling girls toward him
    Never heard their "LET’S GET SERIOUS! " rage-charge filled with glee

    "We’re coming for you Serious, you wormy little nerd
    Sitting with your flippin book in your corner
    Think you’re cool pretending we’re not heard!"

    But Serious’  hero was on the mast the roiling seas slapping hard on tipped boated side
    As Miss McGee sidled three inches closer to muscled Mr. Kay
    Heated to a boiling point hard for her to  any longer stay cooly to abide
     
    No one would say they heard them run, knock Serious from his seat and slap, punch and kick
    Until from his nose on that particular lunch-room day mightily did spray geysered blood thick

    Serious hardly knew what had happened, had learned to ignore them long ago
    From on the floor, book in half tore, glass-less now they were a hazy blur in motion slow

    They laughed and hollered into his face and attempted to tickle him with fingers stuck in hard
    "Come on and fight or at least laugh, do something" they hissed "you creepy quiet "reee-tard"
    And mind you, Miss McGee and Mr. K.  had slipped out the kitchen door into the school-yard

    There was no one to hear the cruelty that later each, every and all would solemnly deny
    Even though Kristina, with a Down’s baby sister, did hear it all and face in hands hard cry

    Serious lay on the floor his glasses thrown and shattered
    Beneath his teeth he tasted the salt of the mighty roiling sea
    This to him was all that mattered,not the ways of violent boys
    or the ways of giggling girls who fussed on and on and nattered

    In fact this type of boy snd girl were ever to Serious
    Little more than odd phenomena who were simple and mysterious

    (Planned he when he went home to research "group behavior in lunchrooms and the absence of appropriate protection as mitigated by the intervening variable of an intense good read.")

    Serious smiled within at his new project, undaunted, unprotected, unhurt by the physicality
    For Serious this was within expectable parameters of how his life had evolved and come to be..

         
      
    ( whoops sorry for the repost of this looong poem…needed spacing and some changes on re- read)

  11. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Thanks Rose….my mother is a 35 year survivor of breast cancer
    Heiberg…. Hi there and thanks…. I write silly too….( sometimes)… Which did you enjoy?
    Thanks to Domino
    Meagan. … I write triolets? Thanks. Which ones did you enjoy?
    Thank you Joseph Beckman for the mention
    Leigh.. I am delighted that you are feeling at home…you are obviously welcomed by moe than "moi".
    Thank you Nancy
    Thank you Marie
    Thank you Sara V. are you and Joseph Beckman a couple? Your comments were identical.

    Back later or Monday for more reading and commenting on others. Some wonderful poeming here!

  12. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Let’s GET SERIOUS

    In the middle of the room
    Sunlight streaming on their heads
    They grinned and laughed milk through
    Their not grown noses
    At "Serious" their unfriend who still to school wore "Keds"
    Serious sat in a far corner  near the hallway
    Book propped up on the wall
    Eyes bright behind thick lenses
    Lost in his read he knew no fright at all
    "Hey Serious" they called as always
    Across the heads of nibbling, chewing, slurping others
    " Hey, we’re talking to you" they shouted above the din
    Anyone who had been watching could see trouble about then to begin 
    Their spittled voices missiled over the head 
    of lunch lady Miss McGee there busy twirling a love of her long  hair 
    At Mr. Kaye, the tall new gym teacher sharing lunch duty with her standing near her there
    Muscles bulging from his bright white Anyplace Middle School knife creased ironed tee
    Twirling, smiling,  shifting from one pretty foot to the other Serious’ would-be savior,  
    Love-lust-struck, now completely oblivious-irresponsible, pretty Miss McGee
    His book was just reaching a grand crescendo, his heart pounded with his protagonist
    When the Middlers,  plain right there out in the sunlight threw the first milk carton
    And missed
    Serious barely noticed, heard the splat and felt a bit of spray
    But his hero was on the seas a-sailing and so he missed the assault moving inexcorably his way
    Felt the spray on his ankle, heard the roar of voices lost on the sea
    Never saw them rise and run past giggling girls toward him
    Never heard their "LET’S GET SERIOUS! " outraged cry
    "We’re coming for you Serious, you wormy little nerd
    Sitting with your flippin book in your corner
    Think you’re cool pretending we’re not heard!"
    But Serious’  hero was on the mast the roiling seas slapping hard on tipped boated side
    Miss McGee sidled three inches closer to muscled Mr. Kay,
     Heated to a boiling point hard for her to  any longer abide  
    No one would say they heard them run, knock Serious from his seat and slap, punch and kick
    Until blood from his nose on that particular lunch-room day mightily did spray geysered thick
    Serious hardly knew what had happened, had learned to ignore them long ago
    From on the floor, book in half tore, glass-less now they were a hazy blur in motion slow
    They laughed and hollered into his face and attempted to tickle him with fingers stuck in hard
    "Come on and fight or at least laugh, do something" they hissed "you creepy quiet "retard"
     Miss McGee and Mr. K.  had slipped into the yard
    There was no one to hear the cruelty that later all would deny,
    Even though Kristina, with a Down’s baby sister, did hear and face in hands did cry

    Serious lay on the floor his glasses thrown and shattered
    Beneath his teeth he tasted the salt of the mighty roiling sea
    And this to him was all that mattered
    The ways of violent boys and giggling girls who nattered
    Was ever to Serious a phenomenon quite mysterious

    (Planned he when he went home to research group behavior in lunchrooms and the absence of appropriate protection as mitigated by the intervening variable of an intense good read-
    Inside himself he smiled at the new project… undaunted, unprotected, unhurt by the physicality)
    For Serious this was within expectable parameters of how his life had evolved and  come to be..

         
      

  13. Catherine Lee

    Hi friends,
    Glad I could make it to the party this week, even if I’m late. 🙂

    Mason Jars

    Wide-mouthed mason jars are perfect
    For drinking lemonade at night,
    Dressed up with lemon slices
    Like your mother always did.

    You too a long drink
    Before each open-eyed kiss,
    Your mouth placed on thickest threads,
    Addicted to the feel of residual sour.

    You hated those jars for reminding you
    Of our pretend house and our pretend love,
    A sour passion too raw for normal.
    The breaking was real enough.

  14. Catherine Lee

    Hi friends,
    Glad I could make it to the party this week, even if I’m late. 🙂

    Mason Jars

    Wide-mouthed mason jars are perfect
    For drinking lemonade at night,
    Dressed up with lemon slices
    Like your mother always did.

    You too a long drink
    Before each open-eyed kiss,
    Your mouth placed on thickest threads,
    Addicted to the feel of residual sour.

    You hated those jars for reminding you
    Of our pretend house and our pretend love,
    A sour passion too raw for normal.
    The breaking was real enough.

  15. Rachel Green

    Jiggedy Jig

    home after a few days
    to sleep in my own bed. Ways
    to fuss the dogs are found
    while trying to sleep.
    The sound
    of fox and crow a far cry
    from the mournful sigh
    of gulls across the loch.
    Roaming on the beach
    with sea-salt spray in our hair
    no care
    for today but finding shells
    and pretty stones, to reach
    for contentedness among the hills
    and highland mountains.
    Now back, with shells and rock.

  16. Dennis Wright

    Serious, Maybe

    Somewhere off the road in southern Indiana
    I came to this coffee shop serving food
    where they make the best coffee on the scene.
    "Give me the right bean" the cook said,
    and "I can do the brew". Although he looked
    like an Armenian, he said he was American.

    And so I ordered a cup and a bit of to eat;
    toast, butter, and an egg. The egg like the sun,
    looked right at me complete and reminded me
    there was once when I was a snowman back then.
    When you laughed so hard and brought me the rain.
    Do you remember back then? You were such a card.

    I went to find relief before my journey anon.
    I found dirt upon my hands, washed, looked up
    to the mirror to see the words "The Beast"
    You scratched on the rim of the frame for me,
    a word from your place on the other side
    of the moon. I see your fine hand in the line.
    I took my feet out the door, put my foot to the floor.

    Then down came the angels looking for some souls
    to take with them to that great room in the east
    where people would wait in earnest for what
    they would hear when at last their lord appeared.
    The radio was filled with news of those pious many
    who saw no reason to work were they did not want
    or live with those who they no longer love.

    The road disappeared but for a highway to the sky.
    It was the only road this vehicle would drive
    the cruisematic permanently on, the wheel locked on,
    I drove up to a door. Found a large room floor
    so spacious well meaning room to wander. The
    pious were not and all heard was chatter.

    And arrived a glow of light, they looked away,
    like it had to be. I sought to hide my disbelief
    but found no walls to slide behind and escape
    their gaze of whar others see. You were there
    wondering aloud, "How did he get here?" and,
    I, of course have no answer to give to you.

    I wish I could tell the rest of this odd story.
    These people and places seem to hold intrique.
    My memory grows dim as this tale hangs on a tether
    swinging in the breeze leading to no answer why
    I am here and the pious are not. It’s a mystery.
    Someone said "do". Southern Indiana was gone.

    You stand there again. Well how could I pretend
    that your rain could ever mend this aging snowman
    who wends through the roads of America seeking
    a piece of the song the singers sing in the hours
    of the day weaving the tune of the day. Of course,
    it can never be. I melt in the sun of this dream.

  17. Taylor Graham

    LET’S GET SERIOUS HAIKU

    Rush hour – I’d be
    a cloud above it all and
    not in a hurry.

    You claim the sign read
    PERMS $10. I’d swear
    the sign said POEMS.

    That old mulberry
    they cut – it was so messy!
    I mourn a sister.

    In the vet’s office
    I hold my dog and ponder
    our mortality.

    No stops for fast food
    or the mall. I’m headed back
    home to my wildwood.

  18. Elizabeth Johnson

    Here’s mine finally… better late then never, right?

    He Goes Out

    "I could not love thee, dear, so much, loved I not honor more."
                                                               Richard Lovelace

    He goes out
    from his refuge, his
    home, to strive
    against foes
    of his homeland, to
    war, that he might live in peace.

    He goes, not
    loving to leave, but
    engaged by
    honor, by
    duty to his country,
    his motherland, his mistress.

    He goes with
    God and gun in hand,
    armed and brave,
    competent,
    to win freedom for
    his home, his wife, his children.

  19. Mike Bayles

    Take Cover

    Sirens scream
    when winds blow
    under a cover of black clouds
    a storm breaking through
    a sultry day.
    You must take cover.
    Drop everything
    and grab your children
    and radio and flashlight,
    no time to take stock of your life,
    not now.
    Move orderly
    downstairs
    seek cover
    wait
    out the forces
    unseen
    as they
    twist along
    the plains
    somewhere,
    and cower
    in shadows
    of your
    life.

  20. Nancy Posey

    Bruce,
    Love the villanelle. Since I have folks in Alabama, this series of storms really touched close. I heard from my sister this week that groups have gone from Tuscaloosa to Joplin to help with search and immediate needs, knowing how important and urgent the first days are.
    Thanks for the poem.

  21. Heiberg

    Oh, Rose Black, you leave me without words.

    Maria Elena, thank you. That was what I wished for.

    And Pearl. Though you write some very "social-realistic" poems, and I just like to play, I must say, you sometimes hit me and you did so today. Thank you.

  22. Bruce Niedt

    Going to a workshop on villanelles and triolets next week run by Molly Peacock, so I have to get in practice:

    Storm Season

    I swear it sounded like a train.
    It ripped apart most of our town,
    as we stood bleeding in the rain.

    Baseball-sized hail destroyed our grain,
    the sky turned ugly, green and brown.
    I swear it sounded like a train.

    It came so fast we can’t explain,
    my wife, still in her white nightgown,
    as we stood bleeding in the rain.

    The splintered houses, hearts in pain –
    God’s finger touched and shook the ground.
    I swear it sounded like a train.

    In Joplin, Tuscaloosa, strain
    is in our faces. Springfield’s found
    themselves, too, bleeding in the rain.

    This havoc wants to numb the brain,
    but we won’t let it tear us down,
    we swear. It sounded like a train.
    We stand together in the rain.

  23. Willy

    SUPPLICATION

    God,
    why
    must I
    be the one
    to die? Please, let me
    try one more time to reach for the
    sky; let the children see how high they can climb up on
    my branches; and let my old leaves
    provide shade as they
    dry, sigh, cry
    just one
    more
    time.

    W

  24. Rose Black

    Such a moving, encouraging tender poem on breast cancer PKP.I’m sure this will be a great comfort to many.Your heart priliks with empathy and love.

  25. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    There for a few more days

    She pulled up her shirt
    Face ashen
    Touch here, do you feel it?
    Weeks later
    Crammed between plated
    Radiology
    Twirled minature pizzas
    Flattened and knifed
    She pulled up her shirt
    Face colored relief
    See, just a small scar
    A few bruises
    Weeks later
    She messages
    Bad news
    She folds arms 
    across the breasts
    Still there for a few days
    Safe and sinister 
    Shirt pulled down, 
    Tucked in tight

  26. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    SE …There is a profoundly exquisite well of sparkling grief and fathomless longing which you illuminate brilliantly…these poems..in my humble opinion need to be gathered into a collection. Simply stunning…and always moved to the core of being – you touch the "hurt, lonely, aching, yearning" places. Yep, you touch where it hurts and others respond with …Yes…that is where it hurts…just right there…..

  27. Rose Black

    Let’s get serious
    the word
    is:
    surrender

    Say
    ‘I do’
    and
    the muse
    will be
    cool

    she will rise
    from the ashes
    all smudgy and black
    grab you by the shoulders
    and get you back on track

    and if you grovel nicely
    she’ll fetch you jugs of mead
    and give you words of honey

    but always sleep
    with one eye open
    the muse will remember
    how you broke her

  28. Marie Elena

    Daniel Ari: Just clicked your link. HA!!

    More greatness from Patricia (Convertible) and Beth Camp.

    Sharon, you have a way with riveting lines:
    “Your bed remains alive and weeps”
    “The scent of dead leaves crawls in my shoes”

    Glad this poem is not your reality. Would love to hear you read this particular piece at Buddah’s site.

  29. Heiberg

    BED AND BREAKFAST

    Through this noise of
    hard work,
    bills,
    and luckily,
    salaries,
    I look up and see
    your smile and
    listen when you say:

    Let’s get,
    serious,
    the word
    is:
    happy.

  30. Heiberg

    Sorry, I missed a letter – that is for the one whe cared to read this, sorry. How a "r" makes all the difference. Sorry, and I’ll send the corrected version in a minute.

  31. Heiberg

    BED AND BREAKFAST

    Though this noise of
    hard work,
    bills,
    and luckily,
    salaries,
    I look up and see
    your smile and
    listen when you say:

    Let’s get,
    serious,
    the word
    is:
    happy.

  32. S.E.Ingraham

    Domino – thank you for your kind words and thoughts – please, though – for anyone who thinks that poems was in any way shape or form related to reality – uh, no … glad it had that much impact, I think …

  33. Michael Grove

    Thank You J.Lynn – Really taken by your skype fight club.
    And Walt… please shake and wake the muse. You have 30 days yet to lead us onward and upward to poetic greatness. Here is a serious quintain…

    Messing Around

    It’s time we all just stop messing around.
    Some see the shallow waters there as deep.
    It’s peace within your soul that must be found.
    So share some love today before you sleep.
    What goes around will surely come around.

    By Michael Grove

  34. Beth Camp

    "Let’s get serious"
    <li>
    No one can say what will happen
    to Mother’s handkerchief embroidered in blue,
    the journals, the drawings, scraps of poems,
    love letters tucked in favorite books,
    packed and unpacked again and again,
    the dried flowers from my daughter’s wedding,
    the quilt blocks begun and nearly finished,
    a favorite cup with yellow cats.
    No one can predict
    who will come to take all this away,
    not even with the most careful preparations,
    not even with the most trusted friends.
    I’m remembering an old Greek woman
    who lay in state on the floor in an empty house.
    I only hope for kindness
    even from strangers on that final day.
    </li>

  35. Domino- Diana Terril Clark

    Laurie Kolp “The Keys Hold the Key” was haunting yet still lyrical. I could feel every gasp.
    mike Maher – “and it Alone” – as I have come to expect, your take on the world is a bit askew to what I normally perceive – which is awesome because that’s what we look for isn’t it. “I taste of flames too” Fantastic closing line.
    Nancy Posey – “Seriously Now” – all excellent questions and many of them I’ve wondered myself.
    MA Dobson – “World Without End Amen” I don’t know whether to laugh or cry… But I still like it. ^_^
    PKP “Getting Serious” really tells it like it is… I think I prefer the June giggles to that much reality, though.
    Brandi Lynch – “All’s Lost” epic and tragic and beautiful.
    Shannon Lockard “Is it Time?” – Please tell your daughter for me, childhood is short, but immaturity is forever. ^_^
    Walt “Do they really miss me?” – Yes.
    de Jackson “Brass Tacks” Your prose is so lovely, thank you for sharing you with us.
    Andrew Kreider “Pumping Iron” as the mother of three sons, I totally get this. I like it very much!
    Jane Shlensky – “Slogan” tore me up because I wonder things like this too. “Semantics” was so well-written – I totally saw that cavalier and have felt the same sense of inappropriate, yet totally appropriate humor given the opportunity.
    Joe – “Al of a Sudden” I’m sorry for your loss. I hope you feel better soon, ‘cause all dogs go to heaven.
    Buddah Moskowitz “Silly and Magnificent” is just that. ^_^
    vivienne blake “Gynarchy” A point when the arguments go on: Once a month a woman will have her cycle with all her unreasonableness and random decisions – how will she handle the country then? Why, for at least a few days, just like a man.
    Brian Slusher “Walking Past the Graveyard…” Well said – no unnecessary words!
    Leigh Spencer “Serious as a Heart Attack” words fail me, it was so … good! I read and reread.
    Taylor Graham “Emergency Dog” Had my heart in my throat too. I’m glad he is okay.
    S.E.Ingraham “Ever Since you Left” left me in tears… So sad. Thank you for sharing, and I hope things get better.
    Daniel Ari “The narrative nebulae” Loved it – and really loved the clicky bonus. ^_^
    Patricia A. Hawkenson – “Convertible on the S-Curve” Served the bugger right.

    Thank you for the mentions: MA Dobson, PKP, Marie Elena, Nancy Posey, Joseph Beckman, J.lynn and Sara McNulty, It means a lot!!

  36. Dennis Wright

    Getting Serious

    Eisenhower lied about U2.
    I was twelve years old and what did I know.
    I believed him. He was president.

    Orson Wells actually ruled the world.
    It says so here in this history book
    I thought it was Tonto who ruled all.

    Now I am disallusioned so I
    will pack up my saddle bags and move
    away, perhaps to Costa Rica.

COMMENT