Competition 4 Results


You were asked to compose a plea by someone/thing wanting to be released from the well-known poem in which they have been too long imprisoned -- all in a maximum of sixteen lines and in the style of the original poem.

Reading all the entries was a delight.  But my heart was especially wrung by the plights of those featured below.  A free Get Out Of Gaol Card goes to Sue Scott’s Jabberwocky while Karen Doherty’s Tyger is rewarded with  the longer-term solution of a cake with a file in it.  All the others appearing below deserve to be excused slopping-out for at least a week.

Not a Brillig Day

'Twas brillig and the slimy toads
Soon stitched me up and that's no lie:
The Jubjub, my two-timing bird
And Bandersnatch her latest guy.

The rumours that they spread were false:
'The jaws that bite, the claws that catch.'
Come on - my dental work's a mess;
My paws would barely scratch.

I'm made the villain of the piece
Which frankly is a real disgrace.
I whiffle to my sticky end-
No chance to state my case.

'Twas brillig and I find myself
Disgraced, decapitated, dead!
Let that young boy galumph back home
With someone else's severed head.

Sue Scott


Tyger, tyger burning bright.
Blakey set my tail alight
just to get his poems read.
I am glad the bugger’s dead.

Verse on verse, I’m quite appalled,
his callous act has left me bald.
Year on year, I’m trapped inside
contemplating mewicide.

Set me free, dear reader, do.
My freedom quite depends on you.
Break the rhythm, miss a line
Then dress my wounds in i-ode-ine

Call the Poem PCA.
Do the decent thing today.
Save me from this endless curse,
let me roam through wide, free verse.

Karen Doherty  

To Her Thick Suitor

Had you a steady job and cash,
Plus better looks, then in a flash
I'd gladly show you ample proof
I'm many things, but not aloof.
You poets are a funny brood --
You'll woo me when it fits your mood,
Then just as soon your fancy turns
To nightingales or Grecian urns
Or trunkless legs of stone, so please
Don't lump me with the likes of these.
Such fickleness has never led
A poet to a lady's bed.
So Mr. Marvell, you can stuff
Your bloody time and world enough;
You're flattering yourself, poor boy,
To think disinterest means I'm coy.

 Brendan Beary

 The Raven

I am asking, if you'll let me, that you aid me and abet me
In my fervent wish to get me out of where, alas! I be:
In that rant by Poe, The Raven, where the poet, cruel and craven,
Keeps me pris'ner in his haven, 'midst his volumes. Woe is me!
I've been perched upon that Pallas bust for an eterni-tee,
And I'm quothing, "Set me free!

As Poe tells it, I won't leave him. He's a liar; don't believe him.
If I could, I'd like to heave him in a vat of boiling grease.
I bring curses by the gallon on the soul of Edgar Allan;
How I yearn to rake my talon 'cross his chest without surcease.
In the devil's wicked workshop he's a consequential piece;
I keep quothing "Help! Police!"

In conclusion, I'm a bird who of  ‘Lenore’ has never heard, who
Thinks the whole thing is absurd, who never once said "Nevermore".
Mae Scanlan

Lucy had hoped for a different biographer

Here beside the streams of Dove
I’ve lain for ages, mouldering;
a stranger, Wordsworth thought, to love,
too innocent for smouldering.

His great friend Coleridge found me quite
prepared to run amok.
But then he got too stoned to write.
Just my bloody luck!

Imran T. Parrek

Camberley's Daughter

He’s just a subaltern shooting a line
He likes holding hands and now it is mine.
He thinks he’s in love and he hopes that I care
And comments at length on the gloss of my hair.

I played him at tennis and I went and won,
His poor little arms caught the Aldershot sun,
On the verandah he smiles and I grin
He puts on the news and I knock back a gin.  

My dad bought the tickets to dance at the club
he gave them to him, and there was the rub.
He’s tied a bad knot in his evening tie,
Oh lord, he can’t dance; and neither can I.

I’m trapped in this poem with - he’s not my choice,
this romantic twit with a nauseous voice.
I’ve got to escape before twenty to one,
Please help! I can’t marry this figure of fun.

Rosa Johnson

Rock of Ages?

To be the Mistress of your choice,
So clean in manners, cheer in voice,
Is not, indeed, what I would choose.
It sets alight my equal fuse.
I do not want to be at all
The one who's at your beck and call.
So please don't write about my leg.
Humility drives me to beg.
To feast and frolic, sing and play
Is not for me the wonted way.
And in your verse, what could be worse,
A wife to whom you're not averse?
You say that blended in the urn
Is one great wish with no return.
But I prefer to be alone,
My ashes, one day, turned to stone.