Friday, 25 November 2016

Cheap Echomimesis

In an attempt to stay on the dry Keats and Chapman had spent the evening writing traditional verse into which they sought to incorporate the names of Japanese poetic forms. They read aloud their compositions, but found them disappointing and as a result the two friends were becoming irritable. Their self-enforced sobriety wasn't helping.

It was late when Keats put down his pen, cleared his throat and intoned,
'From a lofty bough
The dove bested the poet
With its own haiku'

Chapman frowned and said, 'Not bad, but the humour's a little heavy-handed'

'Unlike your use of 'tanka' in a limerick?', enquired Keats as they simultaneously reached for the Bushmills.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016


   Keats and Chapman were keen birdwatchers. Furthermore, they prided themselves on their taxonomic acuity when it came to the class Aves and rarely missed an opportunity to flaunt their knowledge. Such opportunities were limited, however, as no one else solicited their often colourless explanations.
   Once, when they were plodding through the wetlands of Patagonia, their boots caked with mud, and discussing whether the name of the region really was derived from 'those of big feet', Keats spotted a large white bird swimming gracefully in the distance. Squinting through his monocular he pronounced with satisfaction, ' Coscoroba Swan'.
   'Coscoroba coscoroba',' confirmed Chapman resheathing his telescope, 'an interesting case; known as a swan, but bearing many characteristics of a goose'.
   Keats wondered aloud how his friend would categorize such an atypical waterfowl.
   'I would say it's a swan goose'.
   'What kind of an Anser is that?' asked Keats, confusingly.

Friday, 1 April 2016


As I knelt,
Gathering dust,
A harvestman drifted by,
Its transient presence,
The familiar question,
Its apparition,
An answer.