Sonnet for the Shrews

aviator
Aviator by Billy Norrby

 

Sonnet for the Shrews

Come, mistress, stay – no patriarch am I !
No zealous male, yet you rebuke me so;
I never wish to dim your spark of eye,
For not all men are as Petruchio.
I plead, do not agglomerate my sex,
And score the mixture only by its worst –
When many brothers scant deserve this hex
Of deeming women-passionate as curst.
If chauvinistic authors grumble loud
And laud a brute as model for our kind,
Then know of we who wish you still unbowed
And retch at thoughts of ‘taming’ such a mind.
Far better shrews, for shrewdness thence hath sprung
In women sharp of wit and swift of tongue.

 

 

The Voice Speaks

wanderer
Wanderer above the Sea of Fog by Casper Friedrich

 

The Voice Speaks

            (in reply to Rupert Brooke’s The Voice)

Late in the dusk, in the ancient woods
I saw a poet on my stroll
In desp’rate search for solitude,
At one with all and deep of soul.

I bid him “Ho !” and “What a view !”
But he just sighed at ‘one-of-those’.
From lofty heights, his dagger-eyes
Shot down along his haughty nose.

So strange, we took so diff’rently
To seeing beauty silver-pearled –
When I see set a sun so soft,
I want to share it with the world.

I guess for really clever chaps,
We little people must appal –
There’s some so full of inner peace,
They need no other folks at all.

An Ideal Crony

ideal husband
A lobby card from the 1947 Hollywood adaptation of An Ideal Husband, artist unknown.

 

An Ideal Crony

Sir Robert Chiltern, Bart –
A plummy, chummy, bleeding heart,
Who made some dosh insider trading –
Suddenly his star is fading
When extorted by a high-class tart.

What ho !, his chums in high-up places
Shall protect him from disgraces –
Don’t let on, don’t make a fuss,
For don’t you know he’s one of us ?
So stiffen up the lips on both his faces.

So what, a sacred trust was sold ?
We’d do the same for thirty gold !
So call the playwrite with the sharp wit,
Sweep it all beneath the carpet –
No need that the voting plebs be told…

 

 

Waifs & Fodder

chatterton
The Death of Chatterton by Henry Wallis

 

Waifs & Fodder

Impressionist painters in poverty
On canvasses lacking in threads,
Glamorous silent-screen starlets,
And bereted and bearded reds,
Scientists seeking-out secrets,
And dare-devils pushing their luck –
They died too soon and died too young,
When fortunes came unstuck.
In days before the drugs did for,
Disease was the way to go –
Consumption, of course – or else it’s the pox –
Or the needs of the narrative flow.
Heroines, gothic or chivalrous,
In novels antique or sublime –
They’re dying too young from the loin or the lung,
Yet they’re dying precisely on time.

 

 

Katya

farm cat

 

Katya

My life was good on Manor Farm –
Just catching rats and lapping milk,
And sleeping warm and safe from harm –
I had no qualms with Jones’s ilk.
Yet revolution saw it scrapped –
Ah well, a cat will soon adapt.

I let them give their speeches,
And I let them hold their votes,
As they banned all booze and breeches,
And they argued beets or oats.
I snoozed between the awed and rapt,
Because a cat can soon adapt.

By hoof and feather, cart and plough,
We each must labour, none must shirk –
But rodents are our comrades now,
So I am out of work.
My talents must remain untapped –
But hey, a cat shall soon adapt.

Yet I smell blood, and I smell fear,
Among the cowed who used to crow.
They ought to leave, but still they’re here –
For where else can these rebels go ?
They’ve made their home, and now they’re trapped.
Farewell – a cat must soon adapt.