Shakespeare has a Bad Day, by Clive Donovan


What is the question? To not do or do.
Do not do it lest it be more fortunate
That not doing may be the best?
But best to not do tardily, I guess.
Be not so tardy in this enterprise
For we may well wish to own this ill upon us
As those who wish us ill may not in actuality,
And in the end the not doing of it should surely be
My own will let to suffer right whatever cost.
Oh would it were that being just would be
Just not to do or yes, just do it
Or no, or yet, yes, maybe.
What's it all about anyway?
Toby or not Toby?

Clive Donovan is the author of two poetry collections, The Taste of Glass[Cinnamon Press] and Wound Up With Love [Lapwing] and is published in a wide variety of magazines including Acumen, Agenda, Crannog, Prole, Sentinel and Stand. He lives in Totnes, Devon, UK. He is a Pushcart and Forward Prize nominee for 2022’s best individual poems.


Shakespeare’s Skull by Oonah V Joslin

It seems someone stole Shakespeare’s skull
despite the warning on his tomb
that ‘cursed be he who move my bones.’
It seems somebody stole his skull.
G.P.R. shows that it is gone.
They had to break through brick and stone
inside the church to steal his skull
and yet this sacrilege was done.

It seems someone stole Shakespeare’s skull
end of the nineteenth century
and later boasted openly
that they had taken Shakespeare’s skull.
The science of phrenology
paid for such items handsomely.
Someone bought it. Alas poor skull!
Now you are lost to history.

Oonah V Joslin is currently poetry editor at The Linnet’s Wings. She lives in Northumberland and a constant state of panic.