The Poets and the Thief by Marc Woodward

Ten poets in a room,
some imbibing wine,
when from the back a
ruckus started.

“A thief! A thief!
he’ll rob us blind –
he’s here to steal
our work, our souls,
our sacred lines!”

“Don’t be so dramatic dear..”
another replied “..and anyway – did I really hear
‘rob us blind’? good grief, oh dear!
Don’t you think you could do better here?”

“Yes..” a third spoke up
“..and to speak of ‘soul’
is over used and meaningless,
surely you agree?”

There then followed a hubbub:
much exclamation, declamation,
formal decree
and general hullabaloo

during which

the thief slipped away
with a sack of poems
he’d craftily purloined,
but, I’m sad to say,
very few were new
or freshly coined…

Marc Woodward is a poet and musician from Devon. His writing reflects his rural surroundings and often has a macabre undercurrent. He has been published widely including at Ink, Sweat & Tears, Prole, Avis, The Jawline Review and The Poetry Society and  Guardian sites as well as in anthologies from Forward, Sentinel, OWF and Ravenshead. His recent chapbook ‘A Fright of Jays’ is available from Maquette Press.


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.