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With apologies to A.B. (Banjo) Paterson

I had sent my favourite ditty to an expert in the city
For I wanted his opinion and I asked him to be frank,
And an answer came by e-mail, turns out “he’s” really a female,
And she said her name was Shirley, and she said my poem stank.

Yes her comments they were biting, said that I should give up writing;
Take up knitting or macramé and destroy my old laptop,
For my writing was simplistic, terrible, anachronistic,
And if such rubbish was published would be sure to be a flop.

For my work was quite appalling, I should seek another calling,
And she said if I persisted to at least discard the rhyme,
For free verse was what was needed, this had all good poets heeded,
For they knew that formal poetry was now a major crime.

And she said she may report me, if she did then they’d deport me,
For the politicians didn’t like purveyors of such verse,
(Formal poetry they’d banned it – free verse, none could understand it,
And the public never read it for it just kept getting worse).

And she finally concluded, I was mad, quite self deluded,
And she said I should seek help for I was clearly quite insane.
So I sent her back an e-mail, and despite her being female,
It was colourful, explicit, and in some ways quite profane.

I’ve a vision of her staring as her nostrils wide are flaring
From the window of her office at the faces in the street,
And beyond the traffic winding as her teeth are slowly grinding
And with luck her corset’s binding as she sits there on her seat.

And that night I see her dining, to her friends Shirley is whining
Of this reprobate who sends her verse fit only for the trash,
And she tells the arty-farty – her beloved literati,
That were she to have her way such bards would surely feel the lash.

But you know, I pity Shirley, down there in the hurly-burly
Of the city where she has to ride the never ending trains.
If I had to swap with Shirley, then one day I’d get up early,
Take a gun, go for a nice long walk, and then blow out my brains.