Lucy Vickery

A fine bromance

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In Competition No. 3049 you were invited to submit a poem about a bromance.

Pairings including Friedrich and Karl, Laurel and Hardy, Nigel and Donald lit up an entry that was witty, touching and generally pleasingly varied. I liked Chris O’Carroll’s ‘Boris and Donnie’, a twist on Jimmie Rodgers’s ‘Frankie and Johnny’. And Bill Greenwell had the same idea, only with David and Jonathan from the Book of Samuel as the loved-up duo. Commendations also go to Shirley Curran, Jonathan Pettman, A.C. Smith and John Morrison.

Basil Ransome-Davies’s entry transported me back to the 1970s, when real men wore chunky cream-and-brown hand-knit cardigans. He and his fellow winners, printed below, are rewarded with £25 each.

There’s a legend in Bay City

They don’t tell to strangers much,

Concerning a man in a cardigan

And his buddy, Detective Hutch.

I got some of the skinny

By bribing Huggy Bear.

He’d shuck and jive, then ‘Man alive!’

He chuckled, ‘What a pair!’

‘Man, that was made in Heaven.

They were sweethearts, you can bet.

It’s a proven fact, opposites attract,

Like a blond and a brunette.

‘You see, whenever Starsky

Or Hutch had a wandering eye

For a fancy skirt, they might get to flirt,

But the woman had to die.’

Basil Ransome-Davies

Not many there are who

Befriend Netanyahu,

Play Cluedo with Trudeau,

Get it on with Macron.

Next month we’ll be seein’

Him hug the Korean —

Like everything else with our Don

It’s a con!

So don’t be deceived,

He should not be believed.

Soon all those world leaders

Will be left on the shelf.

They’ll be down in the dumps,

Thinking their hearts were Trump’s.

When the only true bromance

Is him with himself.

David Silverman

There’s nothing new to Bromance,

It’s not girly or grotesque

But a literary romance

Properly styled the ‘picaresque’.

Consider Twain’s creations,

Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn,

Whose mutual admiration’s

Carried them through thick and thin.

All along the Mississippi

They have acted out our dreams;

Two boy-men, sassy, dippy,

Scheming wild, preposterous schemes.

Their ilk are in abundance

But it’s strictly guys, so, please

Think always Butch and Sundance,

Never Thelma and Louise.

Mike Morrison

We met on the North Lawn — we met on the South,

Ah yes, I remember it well,

I was reflective — and I was all mouth,

I charmed — and by golly, I fell.

We talked of our meeting in Paris that night,

Gazing down from the Tower on the City of Light,

I championed the left — no, you championed the right.

Ah yes, I remember it well.

Embracing like brothers — like brothers in arms,

We bonded — but didn’t quite gel.

I was for arms deals — I sounded alarms,

I’d barter — I’d blow them to hell!

We pined when we parted — I phoned every day,

I longed for the White House — or Champs Élysées,

Where we’d felt for each other — in most every way.

Ah yes, I remember it well.

Alan Millard

Their secret correspondence shows

That with each ruthless master move

Their mutual admiration grows

To form a gruff comradely love.

They find so much in common, share

Some ponderously blokeish quips

And even at one point compare

The way they dress their upper lips.

But what most bonds them is to know

The loneliness that comes to sour

The sense of triumph that should go

With exercising god-like power.

Josef and Adolf never met

Before they broke up, bromance dead;

Their fates divided them, and yet

They’re linked as moral twins instead.

W.J. Webster

The love I shared with Arthur was

Celestial, of purest form;

Wild, wonderful and ever warm

Transcending nature’s many flaws.

We shared our souls and understood

Profundities we did not speak;

Our love engulfed us, week on week,

Providing us with heaven’s food.

Will men in future months perchance

Regard the subject of my art

As something sprung from Cupid’s dart,

A monument to male romance?

I do not care. My love is seen

In lines that brought me years of pain;

Yet having lost I found again

Remembered buds of what had been.

Max Ross

No. 3052: a sonnet on it

You are invited to submit a sonnet to a well-known contemporary figure’s characteristic feature. Email entries to by midday on 6 June.