What is the thing with feathers?
Who said, ’Peacock pie’?
What are the heights of the mountains
where the beautiful go to die?
And will you remember your cat,
smart Jeoffrey (for he can creep!),
when you are old and grey, like
an old half-witted sheep?
If we could stop all the clocks,
would that stop envious Time
from running out his race?
And would that be such a crime?
But what if I never speed?
Shall I never feel the thrill
of the Bacchic dance, the fine romance,
before I’m over the hill?
Dare I eat a peach, right here on the beach,
my trousers as white as lambswool?
Murmur softly to you, ‘Shall we dance?’
Do you think it would be too fanciful?
O Pussy my dear, to a small guitar,
let’s sing to the stars above,
‘Do androids dream of electric sheep?
And what is this thing called love?’
Dear Mr Golding,
We regret to tell you that we are unable to accept
the manuscript of your novel for publication.
Our readers have perused it with careful attention
and are unanimous in concluding that it is
entirely unsuitable for our primary readership.
They find the story implausible, the characters
the tone depressing, the theme itself unedifying, in fact
destructively controversial. This is an ugly tale
without redeeming features. We suggest
severe revision will be necessary if you intend
to offer Lord of the Flies to other publishers.
Frances Mainwaring (Miss),
MacPherson Children’s Fiction
(3) … and a senryu:
noooo, not me again!
why must it always be me?
bloody Delius …
Mandy Macdonald is an Australian writer and musician living in Aberdeen. You can find her in excellent company in anthologies such as Extraordinary Forms (Grey Hen Press), Aiblins: New Scottish Political Poetry (Luath), and A Bee’s Breakfast (Beautiful Dragons), and assorted print and online journals. When not writing, she sings.