Only a real man writes poetry. At least that’s what Aunt Winifred told Nephew Hayes. Lesser men grovel around in prose, but a real man writes a poem.
Hayes had been dating Mabel for over a year now. He wasn’t an overly clever chap but he thought he might string together a line or two of poetry. Anything to impress Mabel. Anything to make her go weak at the knees.
Mabel’s such a pretty name
It makes the birdies sing,
But I can’t make it rhyme with anything.
Hayes screwed it up and dropped it on the floor.
You are my sunshine on a rainy day
You are a restful park bench on my way
You love me especially when I pay.
Again Hayes screwed it up and dropped it on the floor. There was getting to be quite a pile of paper there now. It was also getting to be late afternoon, and Hayes was getting depressed. He began to think he’d be better happily grovelling around in prose for the rest of his life.
A violet by any other name would smell as sweet
And you smell.
Hayes screwed it up and threw it on the floor. And then the doorbell rang. Hayes answered the door. There was an envelope. It was a message from Mabel:
I haven’t published a poem on this blog since last July, so here goes. Once again I have had the singular honour of winning the week’s “Terrible Poetry Contest”. My thanks to Chelsea, the instigator and judge. The theme for the week was “Engineering Failure”. I now know better how an astronaut feels when stepping on the surface of the moon – profoundly humbled by the experience. So here then, for your edification, is the terrible poem on “Engineering Failure”. Of course, it could double as a love poem if you want to use it for that.
Thou wert my gate in the fence of life; a doorway in the corridor of existence; a hole in the wall of being
Now you have shut the entrance to your heart and I am shattered into a pile of quaking reinforced concrete. No more will I hear your euphonious voice wafting over the plastic barrier of time; no more will my nostrils sense the scent of your hair on the yellow brick road of vivacity. Oh the audacity!
You have become an engineering failure, a total engineering failure; in fact you are the biggest engineering failure I have ever encountered in my life. And you are fat. I wish you all the Botox you can lay your hands on. You need it.
Strumpet! Strumpet! You have no reason to blow your own trumpet for thou art a total engineering failure! Thou wert my gate in the fence of life but now you are just a pile of rocks – to say nothing of your choice in tasteless frocks.
There you have it. Success has once again tempted me to blather on and on about myself – but, dear me, this is not Facebook. Mind you, I don’t belong to Facebook – or Twitter, or Instagram, or anything except this blog. I don’t even have Google Chrome. In fact, I don’t know if I’m utterly “Yesterday” or completely “Tomorrow”. I’m trying not to get spied on. I don’t even purchase anything on Amazon because of the astronomical cost of postage to New Zealand. Which accounts partly for why I am still reading stuff like Clarissa and Joseph Andrews with the odd contemporary thing thrown in that’s on hand such as John Millington Syne’s Riders to the Sea (my favourite play) and Mrs Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters.
So I hope you have a nice day – in fact a happy, happy day – and don’t feel bad if you haven’t got time to learn the above poem off by heart.