Joan Butler : Missing, Presumed Read

May his feet become entangled, may his choriambs corrode;
May his dactyls be dissimilar in size;
May he meet a big cæsura when he’s halfway through an ode
And effect an unpoetical demise;
May his epigrams be epitaphs, his jingles out of joint,
His limericks awash with glooms and dooms;
May his haiku and his clerihews completely miss the point;
May he make a frightful mess of his pantoums;
May his spondees be despondent, every anapæst accursed,
Arrhythmia afflict each amphibrach,
He who dared to misappropriate my How to be Well-Versed
In Poetry −and never brought it back.


(First published in The Oldie)