Light Verse II

More lines for those who don't always take their poetry too seriously.

For reasons (sort of) explained on Light Verse I, these lines were originally on the same page, but had to be split.

Firstly, for fans of Lord Alfred (or, thinking about it, maybe not) there is CHARGE OF THE LIGHT VERSE BRIGADE. Then for those who go in for strange rituals, there is GOTHIC ROMANCE. For the more cynically minded, there is FRED FASTBUCK'S SCHOOL OF WRITING, which had the temerity to be a runner-up (puff-puff) in the VER Poets Competition. Obviously judges aren't what they used to be. And finally (as they say), there is IS RHYME A CRIME?. This was also a competition entry. It was entered under what must be a serious contender for the title of most cringeworthy nom-de-plume ever: The Right Hon Guisard Fortue-Voyces.

Have you met my brother?


Charge of The Light Verse Brigade

Previously in Roundyhouse Magazine.

                                     Half a rhyme, half a rhyme,
                                     half a rhyme onward,
                                     into the World of Words,
                                     we noble six blundered.
                                     'Go, the Light Verse Brigade!
                                     Make for the puns!' we said.
                                     Into the World of Words
                                     we noble six blundered.

                                     'Go the Light Verse Brigade!'
                                     Was there just one amaz'd
                                     now that the poets knew
                                     Tennyson had been plundered?
                                     Ours not to sit and sigh;
                                     ours not to sob and cry;
                                     ours but to do - just try.
                                     Into the World of Words,
                                     we noble six blundered.

                                     Prosody to right of us;
                                     prosody to left of us;
                                     prosody behind us;
                                     rare metre thundered.
                                     We were rondeau'd with fine rondel;
                                     sonnetted with villanelle -
                                     but we just rhymed like Hell.
                                     Into the World of Words,
                                     shouting our doggerel
                                     we noble six blundered.

                                     Flash'd all our wits so rare;
                                     rhyming rhymes they wouldn't dare;
                                     ignoring rules without a care;
                                     we versified so barmy.
                                     Desperate to make our jokes;
                                     right through the lines we broke.
                                     Ted Hughes and Larkin
                                     reeled from our master strokes,
                                     shatter'd and sunder'd.
                                     Then we sat back, yes,
                                     we gallant wordmongers.

                                     Prosody to right of us;
                                     prosody to left of us;
                                     prosody behind us;
                                     rare metre thundered.
                                     We were rondeau'd with fine rondel;
                                     sonnetted with villanelle.
                                     We that had rhymed so well
                                     were lost in the World of Words,
                                     with our charming doggerel.
                                     Just one now was left of us,
                                     left of wordmongers.

                                     When will our glory fade?
                                     O, the wild mess we made!
                                     And all the world wondered.
                                     Wondered at the charge we made;
                                     wondered at the Light Verse Brigade;
                                     as we noble six blundered.



                                     I once went out to shoot a bat
                                     with a black-robed Goth, in Transylvania
                                     (true story this, and that's a fact;
                                     happened while I was in Romania).

                                     Dusk was falling in Old Carpathia
                                     as we waited arrival of species Chiroptera.
                                     The Goth stood there in full regalia
                                     and I wondered if I'd made some error.

                                     But things aren't always what they seem:
                                     the Goth was a disciple of Vegetaria,
                                     and if shooting bats sounds like a dream
                                     the truth was that we used a camera.



                                     Death to all adjectives,
                                     that's where success lives,
                                     short sentences, ten words, no more.

                                     Don't tax the concentration span
                                     or you will be an also-ran.
                                     Have you heard all this before?

                                     Market research is good for your purse,
                                     even if your writing's indifferent or worse.
                                     That's not the important part.

                                     Get your foot in the editor's door
                                     or else you'll only end up poor.
                                     And never mind your bloody art.


For two voices.

                                     What is your name?

                                     My name is Mary Terkle.

                                     Now tell me your game.

                                     I'm Chairman of our Writers' Circle.

                                     Where were you on Friday last?

                                  Defendant (sing-songily):
                                     Where I've been most Fridays past:
                                     In a writers' workshop, busy writing.
                                     I always find it so exciting.

                                     Would you like to read your work?

                                  Defendant (To Audience):
                                     That's a task I never shirk.
                                     We are of the Writers' Circle:
                                     Vera, John, and Mary Terkle.
                                     We like to make our poems rhyme;
                                     we like to do that all the time.
                                     Our favourite is the rhymd couplet;
                                     we're trying hard to find a rhyme for THET-

                                     Stop! I've heard enough,
                                     of untruth, and this rhyming stuff.
                                     I know your name's not Mary Terkle:
                                     you just had to find a rhyme for circle.
                                     your name's June Moon, with a murky past...

                                     Oh my goodness! Found out at last!

                                     You may as well confess it all
                                     or else you'll never leave this hall.

                                     It's true: I'm guilty of the terrible crime
                                     of sacrificing poetry on the high altar of rhyme.

                                     Now, leave the stand in humiliation.

                                  Defendant (Murmuring):
                                     Please take nine hundred other rhymes into consideration.

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