In Competition No. 3083 you were invited to submit a poem or a short story that begins ‘It started with a tweet…’.
Hats off to Philip Machin for an appropriately pithy submission:
It started with a tweet —
There’s nothing wrong in that —
But, sadly, indiscreet:
It ended with a cat.
Elsewhere, in a varied and engaging entry, there were echoes of Shelley’s skylark, Lear’s owl and Hitchcock’s Birds. The winners below are rewarded with £25 each.
It started with a tweet, a joke
at his expense, okay, but just
a quip intended to provoke
a smile or some quick counter-thrust:
instead he opted to deplore
its tone, which others duly liked
not to approve of more and more
until the growing numbers spiked
much hope of coming to a truce
as we were hit on either side
by covert forces now let loose
that could, it seemed, not be denied
the chance to give or take offence
at total strangers’ tweeted words
and make bewildered victims sense
the swooping screeching of The Birds.
It started with a tweet, the sort
thumbed out before the brain
could re-engage its should-I?/ought
or common sense complain.
A knee-jerk tweet, a silly spat,
a calling of rude names,
a Trump-ish mindless tit-for-tat
like childhood’s playground games.
A nothing-much from nowhere, he
felt he could do no harm.
Some nose-thumb, up-yours repartee;
nothing to cause alarm.
But one retweet goes far and wide;
a squeak becomes a roar.
He never meant it, multiplied,
to start a global war.
It started with a tweet, as so much does.
Dip one toe in the maelstrom and you’re lost.
It ended with disaster and the fuzz.
I have the viewpoint of the double-crossed.
One tweet led to another, then we dined.
I ordered tournedos, she chose the carp.
I got a vivid preview of her mind.
The meat was boot-sole but the wit was sharp.