Category Archives: Poetry

Various and obscure poetry formats

This is a Pettigrew. It begins with a person’s name, reversed for poetic reasons, if you need, as I have. The name has to rhyme with last word of first line. Second and third lines are ‘freestyle.’ Ending rhymes required for the second and last lines. There is no other constraint.

I wrote this one for a Creative Writing homework exercise, when I had just bought Paul MCartney’s classical opus, his concerto. ‘Standing Stones.’

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McCartney, Paul, you may recall

once from Beatles plucked Wings

Now, in his contrition

He fills his head with much loftier things

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Note:

Having years ago come up with what I considered to be a killer second line at the time, and in, literally, seconds it has taken me the best part of ten years to finish the last two lines, which I just changed again.

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In the course , which was  first class, and had a great bunch of people,  when we returned to poetry a few weeks later the tutor tasked us with writing a ‘Villanelle,’ a highly structured poem, as you will see, but capable of sublime writing. Think about Dylan Thomas, and his ‘Do not go gently . . . .’ Here, is my poor effort, again influenced by Paul McCartney and ‘Standing Stones.’

The structure is:

19 lines composed of 5 tercets, three line stanzas, and a final quatrain, a four line stanza. The first and third line in the opening stanza have to be alternatively repeated in the last line of the other four tercets, and be the last two lines of the ending quattrain. End rhyme for every first and second line in every stanza. Simple.

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It’s been a hard day, Knight

Your first concerto now performed

Celtic legend burning bright

 

Listeners sent soaring in flight

Critics left wailing, to be be scorned

It’s been a hard day, Knight

 

Standing ovations, such a sight

The maestro deservedly adored

Celtic legend burning bright

 

Mystic stones, in majestic might

A new legand they have spawned

It’s been a hard day, Knight

 

Standing stones, silent witnesses to the fight

Of Celtic invasion, as it poured

Celtic legend burning bright

 

Witness your new hero here tonight

Witness heroes of old, gone yet mourned

It’s been a hard day, Knight

Celtic legend burning bright.

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Limericks

There was a young woman from Alnwick

Who, when told to “Keep calm and don’t panic”

Said “It’s all right for you, you don’t need a poo

And the queue for the loo is just manic.”

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A Women’s Institute member named Lisa

Thought she’d won the first prize for “Best Pizza”

Till it fell off the table, exposing ‘Dominoes” label

Which didn’t exactly please her.

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There was an old woman from Russia
Told the sailor “Ya don’t touch my tush, Ya”
When he chose to persist
She fractured his wrist
You don’t upset a feisty babushka

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A cold bloodied driver named Peter

Hooked his exhaust pipe up to his heater

When he started to choke

As his car filled with smoke

He regretted his custom-built feature

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The Infallibility of Fingerprints

Fingerprints taken using carve on from pencil, paper and sellotape. Not sure if much detail of prints can be seen. Original is better.
Fingerprints taken using carbon scraped from pencil, paper and sellotape. Not sure if much detail of prints can be seen. Original is better.

 

By William David Baker

No two finger prints are alike, or so I always thought
Then in a FutureLearn “Introduction to Forensics” I was taught
That the FBI arrested Oregon Lawyer, Mayfield, for bombing a Spanish railway station
Because he matched a partial taken from bomb parts found at the scene of devastation
He protested he was innocent, but was left in jail till three weeks later
The Spanish Police matched the marks to the real Lebanese terrorist perpetrator.

Doesn’t this dreadful tale just go to show,
that a singular evidential reliance will simply not do?
So dependent on modern science have we sometimes now become
That the basics can be forgotten in the clamour to see Justice is done.
Mayfield was a continent removed from where the outrage took place
Yet the FBI, in the infallibility of their database, far too much faith did place.

Now it emerges that 100 years of claimed infallibility
Have just been taken for granted, and never tested empirically
Claims of ‘zero-error rates’ are now admitted as just tales.
Scores of criminals, by our human frailties, betrayed, condemned and jailed.
Here’s an idea that might make civil libertines rant and rave and fuss.
Why not fingerprint every newborn and give the data robustness?

No baby is a Maynard. No baby a terrorist
But, if in evil they eventually enlist
Then give us the power to pursue them to the end
And the innocents we can then defend.

Road Rage

By William David Baker

INSTRUCTIONS
Because of my sensitive nature
And being a true gentleman too
I ask you to fill in the gaps yourself
And do try not to make them too blue

You may use some words more than once
Something you will have to – unless
Your vocabulary is bigger than that
of the kind of a prat
that we’ve all met before
that we’ve all been before
The kind who makes the following true.

 

You _______ , You stupid _______ ,
Did you see that? Did you see that?
When did he pass his test? I ask you!

Look at that one. Look at her. Look!
You’d think she’d never seen a roundabout before
There’s three lanes, luv
Take yer _______ pick.

Oh no, you ________ well don’t
I’ll die before I let you in chum
I’ll bet he’s a rep. Yes he is.
I can see his jacket hanging inside

Lights! Lights! Put yer _______ lights on
You’re not paying for the _______ electricity
See. That’s better.
Everyone gets the message eventually

Knight of the _______ Road be ________
You could drive a tank through that gap
Couldn’t you, Eh? Couldn’t you?

What do mean _______ bus lane?
I’ll give you ________ bus lane.
Let him out? Let him out? _____ off!
They wouldn’t let me out would they, the _______ ,

Come on. Move it. Move it you _______ ,
Use yer mirror. Yer _______ mirror, you blind ____ ,
If he gets any closer you’ll be sitting on his _______ lap

Get off the phone. Get off the ________ phone, for ______ sake
Look at the drunken _______. He’s all over the place
Where’s the coppers when you want one?

Faster. Faster.
It’s what yer right _______ foot’s for

Fog? You call that fog!
I’ll tell you when it’s _______ foggy
I’ll decide when to put my _______ lights on

Variable _______ speed limit?
I’ll vary my ________ speed when I _______ say so.
Someone’s set fire to that Gatso
Deserves a _______ medal, the ____

Yes I know it’s him I’ve been flashing
Take no _______ notice
No. Don’t look at him, look straight ahead
What do you mean he’s stopped at the lights?
What do you mean he’s coming over?
How big?
A _________ crowbar?
Oh, ____ !