On writing

Arthurian alliterative angst
The original owner of my moniker Merlin
Lived his life in a turgid time,
An ancient age, when nutty knights
Did fruitless feats designed to display
Their sturdy strength and relentless resolve
To dangerous dames who sat and sewed,
While smiling sweetly to chivvy their champions.
By generating guilt and raising rivalry,
These lofty ladies deferred desire
And courtly love converted lust
Into a slightly sad desire to serve.

The incompetent king could not control
A court of nobles, who nibbled and gnawed away
Like rats, reducing his rightful ruling power.
So he cooked up countless clever quests,
To reduce the risk that idle hands
Would dare to do the devil’s work.
Strong men astride their trusty steeds
Sought golden grails, sacred or profane
Containing religious relics of blood or bone,
Cloths, cloaks or shrouds, swords or shields.

Their glorious goal meant terrible trips,
Through forests full of frightful fiends,
And wild, wicked, wizened witches,
Who’d watch and wait to waylay them
By changing shape, to comely loveliness.
Surviving this, consistently, they’d climb
High hills owned by ogres and giants,
Challenging them to desperate duels,
And pass through valleys of vexatious trolls,
Taking tolls or forcing forfeits.

In the end, their energy exhausted,
They’d turn their horses’ heads homewards,
To find that pernicious palace plotting
Or repulsive rumours had reduced their role,
And so would renew their weary climb
From the foot of the familiar slippery pole.
A sword in a stone, a lady in a lake
A Briton, French and Celtic cast,
Has generated legends galore
Quite good for such a curious crew.

Writer’s biscuits
My belly’s bounty and
My saliva’s solace,
You sit and stare at me.

My coffee cries out for
Conspirator’s company.
My diet denies me. I
Turn away, angry at
Trivial temptation, and
Return to write till my
Second sip stimulates
Wilting of will, so I
Sidle to your shelf and
Lift the lid of your tin
And take two, three or more,
To savour your sweetness.

My torment’s protracted,
Temptation’s extended.
And subsequent sips bring
A deeper desire to
Sin far more sugarly.
Rhyme time
The words that rhyme with numerous
Are certainly not numerous.
I think I’ve found the one that’s best
And here I’ve put it to the test.

To find a rhyme with axelotl
Is easier, but it still takes bottle.
I searched for long to find out what’ll
Rhyme, and then recalled its mottle.

And lines that terminate with lizard
Are rhyming hell. It really is’ ard.
Even for a rhyming wizard,
The right rhymes don’t come in a blizzard.

If the coast you live on is Jurassic.
You’ll know it followed the Triassic.
The monsters of those days were classic,
Each one with enlarged thoracic.

They include the brontosaurus
And its foe tyrannosaurus,
Plus the plated stegosaurus.
And the giant megalosaurus.

Where we live, in deepest Dorset,
Our poets have not had to force it
Or fit their lines into a corset.
We’ve Barnes and Hardy to endorse it.

But if you’re finding rhyming rough,
And you feel you’ve had enough,
Give up your metre, abandon form.
Free verse is now the lazy norm.

You can write just what you want.
And instead let half rhymes count.
Let words assert their assonance.
It’s time for the internal rhyme, and
One way to succeed with readers
Is alliterate anything, anytime, anywhere.

But still, the eye, the ear, the brain,
Craves rhyme, just like cocaine.
It helps to love, to memorise,
Enjoy much more, internalise.

The words that rhyme with poetry
Help end this verse in symmetry.
And just a touch of irony,
Which fails to achieve Byrony.

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