Shakespeare Fanfic

I wrote this a little while ago and forgot to post it here.

“And I am sunburnt,” Beatrice says; she thinks
the Prince is making fun of her, or worse,
he’s looking to indulge his princely kinks
with Leonato’s niece. She’d laugh, or curse–
what does he think he’s doing, sitting here,
and talking like her brother or her friend?
Though sharp-eyed she can spot no frown nor sneer,
a flip remark will bring this to an end.
But “Wouldst thou have me, lady?” and she gapes
for just a second; can’t have heard that right.
A joke, then, but a gentle one, in case;
offending him would only cause a fight.
She wants someone to match her wit for wit;
Whoever might be, Pedro isn’t it.



I have always considered myself an indifferent poet at best, but lately things have been occurring to me that really work best in poem form.  I think I may end up sharing some of them with you, my Constant Readers, if only so they’ll get out of my head and make room for other things.

It’s the time of year.  The light and the crows and stuff.  It makes me want to write poems.

Grey Day

This is a poem I wrote years ago.  It’s one of my few attempts at poetry that I think is worthwhile.


The sky before dawn is grey and wrinkled as the sea.
The trees stand against it
with the hopeless courage of an outnumbered army,
black-ink drawings on pale paper,
hidden and revealed by shifting veils.
The fallen leaves make no sound beneath my feet,
all their color leached away by the chilly mist.
My hands in my pockets clench tight against the cold
And my feet are icy.

The Tyranny of Idiots

So, have you read The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes (  It’s the one with Bess, the landlord’s black-eyed daughter.  If you haven’t, feel free to follow the link, then come back.

Is it just me, or is this entire poem populated by idiots?  In rough order of severity:

  • Tim the ostler, who apparently didn’t stop to think that they’d want to know how he knew the highwayman was going to come back to the inn or why the highwayman would spend time there, or that the troops would treat Bess as the accomplice she was.
  • The redcoats.  Whose bright idea was it, exactly, to take the joke so far that the girl was tied up with a loaded musket?
  • Bess, who can’t think of any better way to make noise than to fire the musket that’s aimed at her.
  • The highwayman.  Oh lord, the highwayman.  Let’s put aside all that “though hell should bar the way” stuff, seeing as all it took was one musket shot to cause him to run like a scared chicken.  Anyway, when he learns that his lover has killed herself to save his ass, what does he do?  Goes riding up the road in broad daylight, yelling and waving his sword, as if that’s going to do anyone any good, and promptly gets shot.  One wonders what he was trying to accomplish.

Romanticism is all fine and well until it spills over into abject stupidity.

And no one can tell me what exactly a ‘love-knot’ is, so I’m bummed.