In Competition No. 2869 you were invited to submit a poem on any theme as it might have been written by the diminutive, myopic warden of New College, Oxford Revd W.A. Spooner, whose gift for mangling words bequeathed us such comic gems as ‘The Lord is a shoving leopard’.
Not everyone was laughing, though. ‘Am I the only one who finds this exercise extraordinarily difficult?’ wailed Brian Murdoch. He’s got a point. Judging the entries was a brain-addling process, so goodness knows what torture it must have been to write them. The winners take a well deserved £25 each. Sylvia Fairley snaffles £30.
Send my abandoned tart to hell
In flames, my fuel crate;
The witch I’m bedding sent a note,
A catalogue of hate.
What balm can ever tease my ears?
(I need to know my blows…)
She says she’ll book my calls for tea,
I’d rather lose my toes.
I’ve ‘wooed her with a lack of pies’?
‘A shining wit!’ she said,
‘Why don’t I go to Bates Motel
And shake a tower instead?’
No woman now will heal my start,
I’ve flung out hags — a warning
That girls, like words, are found to buck
Me up; the truth is dawning.
I could be buying in lead, but no,
The dizzy beauties of the day
Prevail. No time to kill and boo
Or kiss, to whelp me on my hay.
I put the radio on: today’s
Stop Tories on the BBC.
I shower and dress — tight lie for once;
A tasty piece of host, and tea.
I heave the louse, my nosy cook,
And then, as ever, fart to steer:
Did I forget to dock the law?
To lack my punch? Relief: it’s here.
It’s raining now. I join the fey
And graceless, as the pain now roars.
The warring burqas wait. A crane
Trawls in. We mind the dozing claws.
While putting the lawnmower shack in the bed,
I observed that the door had become rather creaky.
Had the minges got hoist? ‘Oh, forget it!’ I said;
I was hungry and thirsty, exhausted and peaky,
For lowing the morn is a task I find tough,
So I strolled to the restaurant, aptly called ‘Mabel
Tanners’. Though crowded with elegant fluff,
I was rapidly teated at one vacant sable.
I glanced at the menu, and toyed with the ‘Tongue
Served with Lips and boiled Cheeks’, ‘Lack of Ram’ (à la carte),
Or some ‘Real, wild Vice’ if it’s tender and young.
And dessert — what about a ‘Trench Raspberry Fart’?
No, I thought I would stick to my usual fare,
And I called the obsequious waiter. With luck,
My unruly old tongue wouldn’t cause him to stare
When I ordered my favourite dinner: ‘Fried Duck’.
My love was racked by faking queers,
The kind that banish hope.
I gently sought to tease her ears
And fill her hole with soap.
She claimed she felt all fig and bat,
Like Friar Tuck, she said.
A very cunning stunt, was that;
It went right to my head.
So did those jests of Bruno, and
Soon we were nearly rude.
With lips and fingers, hung and tanned,
She showed she was pro-nude.
Beneath her bold griefs I could feel
Her rare beer, so more-ish.
Then I awoke. It wasn’t real,
Only a half-warmed fish.
I shall follow my cart’s horse
And grind the face of love:
I tope to haste sweet wedded bliss,
A-hoy to Jim Above.
A helpmeet who will wear my bays,
As musty trait of mine;
Who’ll share her warmth and beat my head —
Extend the lunar spine!
I do not yearn for lowing flocks
Or fancy tight cold girls;
A sappy whole is all I ask —
I can’t stand girlish churls.
No crook or nanny overlooked,
I’ll mind my fate aright;
Then by the warrant of my turds
I’ll feel our suture tight.
To me, alas, the only fame belongs
That once I chanced to speak of kinkering kongs
When what I meant to say was conquering kings
Well, many a man has said more foolish things!
Most other tangled words which bear my name
Are not my own, It seems to me a shame,
That I, who in the schools worked hard and long,
Need lend my family name to words said wrong.
I’d like to think the joke is wearing thin.
I’d like to think that a distonguished din
Does not for aye reserve a deputation
Solely for wangled turds.
No. 2872: thanks but no thanks
You are invited to submit an author’s acknowledgments page that contains subtle indications that no thanks at all are due to those mentioned. Please email entries of up to 150 words to email@example.com by midday on 29 October.