Sunday, 23 April 2017

A Poem for Shakespeare

One night I was suffering with writer’s block,
As I sat down at my desk.
Every idea dashed on the rocks,
Like the Marie Celeste.

At 2 a.m I couldn't sleep,
So went out for a drive.
I thought that maybe it would keep,
My writing muse alive.

I parked up in a lovely town,
On the banks of the Avon.
Instinctively, I headed down,
To the place that was a haven.

The house that birthed an icon,
Stood there in front of me,
I pressed my hand against the stone,
And prayed for ingenuity.

I felt a tap upon my back,
 And a voice said, ‘Beg your pardon.’
And then I turned and saw him,
The son of Mary Arden.

His skin was ghostly pale,
Under the Stratford moon,
And he smelled like ancient ale,
Served in an old saloon.

‘If thou hast any sound,’ I said,
‘Speak to me, dear ghost.’
He replied, ‘Indeed I am dead,
And now I am your host.’

‘I can tell that thou art wrestling,
With the written word tonight.
And I’m thinking that the best thing,
Would be to let me help your plight.’

Shakily I handed him,
My latest manuscript,
 And with his ghostly hands so grim,
He flipped and flipped and flipped.

He looked at me when he was done,
And said, ‘I guess it's fine.
And while it might be a bit of fun,
It's not a patch on mine.

Your writing style, well it's OK,
I mean, it isn't bad.
But if you want punters to pay,
You'd better make it sad.’

I must have looked at him askance,
And in a confused state.
Because then he took a rapping stance,
And went on to elaborate.

He said, ‘My sad plays bring all the boys to the Bard,
And Hamlet? It's better than yours.
King Lear? It's better than yours.
I could teach you,
But I'd have to charge.’

‘Charge? I said. ‘How much do you want?
To teach me all your tips?
I'd pay a lot to hear that gold,
Spilling from your lips.’

He said, ‘I'm down from Heaven for the night,
And soon must return to it.
I don't want to make your wallet light,
So I reckon a tenner should do it.’

Eagerly I handed him,
His bargain of a fee.
Then he yelled, ‘Look behind you!’
And ran away from me.

I chased him right across the town,
And into a shop he flew,
Where he bought a bottle of Newky Brown,
And a tin of Special Brew.

It was then that I stopped in the yard,
And really had a think.
‘Who'd have thought the Immortal Bard,
Was that keen on a drink?’

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