Apprentice Villanelle by Jean Taylor

I’m going to fold the paper one more time,
If it’s not right it can’t be put away,
And then I can get started on my rhyme.

I find this poetry’s a ball of slime,
A tortured wasting of my precious day.
I’m going to fold the paper one more time.

I’ll fold it neatly so the creases chime
And make a pattern that is sure to stay
And then I can get started on my rhyme.

Wanting to write is surely not a crime,
I only need a poem not a play.
I’m going to fold the paper one more time.

Perhaps that way I’ll change the paradigm.
The paper will be perfect in its way
And then I can get started on my rhyme.

Parnassus is a tricky hill to climb
I don’t get far and then I go astray.
I’m going to fold the paper one last time
And then I can get started on my rhyme.

Jean Taylor belongs to Words on Canvas – a group of ekphrastic writers who work in collaboration with the National Galleries of Scotland. Her poetry has been published in a range of publications including Orbis, Northwords Now, Freak Circus and Poetry Scotland.

 

No Shit Sherlock by Dru Marland

There are so many different kinds of poo
but study of them comes with some restraint;
it’s not a thing nice people do.

The neatly excavated badger’s loo,
the strangely fragrant, fish-scaled otter’s spraint;
there are so many different sorts of poo.

Boned pellets hiccuped by the owl -tuwhoo!
may look like droppings, but they ain’t
-they’re still not things nice people do;

poked with a stick, these things tell true
a tale of what the beasts last ate-
and there’s so many different kinds of poo

Pellinore’s horn of fewmets, too,
would tell where Questing Beast had went
-he’d show them to nice folk like you.

It is a habit I’d commend, and do,
For time spent studying nature’s time well spent;
there are so many different kinds of poo
even (shhh!) the kind nice people do.

Dru Marland lives among voles on a canal, and draws pictures of them and other creatures, and fixes engines now and then.

 

Big Hair by Susan Jordan

I knew at once I loved you for your wig
especially when it slipped over your eye.
I’d never thought that hair could be so big.

I must have seemed like such an awful pig.
It made me laugh and then it made me cry.
I knew I had to love you for your wig.

You looked just like a schooner in full rig;
I hoped your sailing wouldn’t pass me by.
I’d never thought that hair could be so big.

I realised you didn’t care a fig
and if you took it off I’d want to die
but still I knew I loved you for your wig.

It didn’t take you very long to twig:
a passion such as mine could hardly lie.
You’d never thought that hair could be so big.

You look at me bewildered as I dig
for all the very many reasons why
I knew I had to love you for your wig.
Who ever thought that hair could be so big?

Susan Jordan was inspired by 52, Jo Bell’s wonderful online group, to start writing a lot more poems. Her work has appeared in print and online magazines including Prole, Obsessed with Pipework, Snakeskin and Ink, Sweat & Tears. Her first collection will be published by Indigo Dreams in 2017.

 

mad girls love art by Laura McKee

I thought to write a villanelle
like Sylvia and Elizabeth
I didn’t like it and it smells

It really didn’t go as well
as Sylvia’s or Elizabeth’s
I thought to write a villanelle

It’s hell it’s hell it’s hell it’s hell
I’d rather try some crystal meth
I didn’t like it and it smells

I used to have an auntie Nell
I used to have a flatmate Seth
I thought to write a villanelle

I’m crawling back inside my shell
I’m changing all my names to Jeff
I didn’t like it and it smells

For travel sickness take a Kwell
I like to sing Sunshine on Leith
I thought to write a villanelle
I didn’t like it and it smells

Laura McKee writes poems by mistake. Last year she had a poem on a bus for the Guernsey International Poetry Competition, was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and nominated for the Forward Prize Best Single Poem.