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Poem and illustration by Anjo Lafin
Revenge of the doggerel dog

At the poets' work-shop
we were told
in words of fifteen carat gold -
if by critics to be feted
as opposed to baited
you would wish to be regarded,

This makes this verse appear
somewhat retarded,
or much worse.

I pondered, (oops, a nice poetic word),
the issue for a clichéd stretch of time.

Things did not look good.
Let it be understood
it would be easier
to set up a border post
and ask every passing ant or ghost
of one to wave a date stamped passport
under my disapproving nose
with a recent photo stuck within
than stop all rhymes from sneaking in.

I was lost, -
for words, for inspiration,
but an image rose to offer some salvation -
of those who do not like things to tie up,
be they critics, scoffers or assassins of imagination,
or merely those who like a little limitation
minus alliteration -
I see you bending to undo a shoe.
It has no laces and it sticks like glue
until you rip the Velcro strip,
an act that makes you wince
since the noise is poison
to your gentle ears, and goes on
longer than the pleasure of the mongrel
dog's smug woof in this poor doggerel.