Poetry 101 – N. E. Skull


Picture 170

A lecture hall filled with eager ears,

And fingers rushing pens across pages

Like inkwell olympians.

The professor tells his students what the poem is about.

And what it is not about.

And what to think.

And what to feel.

And what the right answers are

For when those thoughts and feelings will be graded.

The ghosts of Keats and Shakespeare

Are in the front row,

Rolling their eyes.

First Draft – N. E. Skull


Picture 168


Or is it draught?
No, it’s definitely draft.
There’s a draught in here,
Better close the window.
I should close the curtains, too,
So as not to get distracted by the waves outside.
Is that a boat?
It’s surrounded by seagulls –
Must be a fishing boat.
I wonder how far out the boat must go
In order to yield such an impressive catch?
I wonder what kind of fish they are.
I should know, I’ve lived here long enough.
First Draught, first draft, first raft…
I wonder if I could build a raft,
If circumstances needed me to.
I doubt it. For some reason this worries me.
I’ve never been much of a craftsman.
I search “How to build a raft”.
It feels important to me now.
More important than this first draft.

The Church Of Saint Margaret Of Cortona – N. E. Skull


Picture 167

Our Father, who art in heaven,
The sacraments – why only seven?
I could think of three or four
To even out that sacred score.

Lipstick on his Roman collar,
Befitting of a holy scholar,
Three years since her last confession,
“Forgive me for my indiscretion.”

Bum implants beneath her habit,
Should Father Whitely think to grab it.
Thank you, Lord, for life’s sweet splendours,
Thigh high boots and lace suspenders.