When Rick, a young workman from Limerick,
Started strimming, they yelled ‘watch that strimmer, Rick!’
When he slipped off the bank
Of the Shannon, and sank,
Then they cried ‘what a shame you’re no swimmer, Rick!’
If pigeon that’s sly does a sly coo,
And pigeon that’s shy does a shy coo,
Does a pigeon that strives
To coo 5-7-5s
From the top of a tree do a high coo?
This limerick’s started so well,
I could just carry on. What the hell,
If I reach line nineteen
With repeats, it will mean
That I’ve written a damn villanelle!
A talented poet called Nina
Attempted to write a sestina.
Her end-words were ‘bum’,
‘Bugger’, ‘bollocks’ and ‘cum’,
And then two that were somewhat obscener.
There was a young poet from Cheam
Whose limericks ran out of steam.
After four lines had passed
He just couldn’t be arsed…
Mark Totterdell’s poems have appeared widely in magazines and have occasionally won prizes. His collections are This Patter of Traces (Oversteps Books, 2014) and Mapping (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2018).