Apr 22, 2013

ONE A DAY #20 and MAG 165

The Poem a Day Challenge invites poets to produce a new poem every day during April. This poem fills the role One A Day #20 as well as being a response to Tess Kincaid's picture prompt for Mag 165, "Monhegan's Schoolteacher", 2004, by Jamie Wyeth.

Boys Will Be Boys 

Myself when young did long frequent
a Grammar School where boys were sent
to learn to conjugate and parse
and stab each other in the arse
with pen nibs, or launch paper darts.
This was more fun than algebra.

You need to know on the first floor,
connected by a huge locked door
there was a Grammar school for Girls -
(They're the ones with plaits and curls)
who were instructed by the Dame
to "Not go near those wicked boys"

When I progressed to Upper Fourth
a new boy came from way up North.
"Meet Simpleforth" Headmaster said.
"Show him the ropes from A to Z,
where he can hang his cap and coat.
And don't forget the toilets."

This new kid was not one of us.
You never heard him swear and cuss.
He never risked a fart in class
and never did he fail to pass
the weekly tests that Joe Plug set
on Palmerston or Gladstone.

Yet Simpleforth proved worth his keep.
He quickly found by digging deep
that, though co-ed was frowned upon
the School Rules showed there was just one
joint class where Boys and Girls could meet -
Biology!  Oh, how fitting!

We lads declared our dearest wish
was the microscope and Petri dish.
We clocked the sidelong, girlish stares
and asked them "Shall we work in pairs?"
We passed the exams lying down!
Three loud Hurrahs for Simpleforth!


  1. Very nice writing, and thanks for striking a blow against word verification!

  2. Theres something very Harry Potter avout this, i can see Professor Mcgonagall shooing you all along, while Dumbledore watches the young aspiring Dr FTSea wizard sagely from his frosty window. !

  3. Would you believe,Doc, my Grammar School had the same 'great divide' though not a door - a central school hall which we all managed to share, but at strictly different times, of course!
    Oh, would that a Simpleforth had appeared in my day! And in case you're wondering, I did take O level biology. Hehehe! Long may Co-Eds rule...

  4. I liked this very much, even though the last lines didn't rhyme (is there a name for this?)! Oh - and I got 90% in biology O level (what about you, Jinksy?).

    1. No idea, Frances - don't forget I'm older than you - we just got bits of paper saying 'Pass' as far as I recall. Though I seem to remember a green, foolscap size certificate sort of thing after A levels, but still have no recollection of it showing percentages. All very archaic now...

    2. Thank you Frances. The form is sometimes known as "The Lazy Poet Sestet" in rather the same way that "Free Verse" is sometimes known as "Lazy Poets' Poetry."

    3. I didn't take Biology. For some strange reason I regarded it as a "soft" option.

  5. Love this playful little romp through time .........

  6. Such a charming and vivid tale =)

  7. I giggle every time you use "Simpleforth"...

  8. Oh this was a delight, and yes a tad bit of Harry Potter it was that wild of a ride.... Simpleforth it was not...simplyfun indeed it was!

  9. ...and thank you for turning off the word verification! YAYYYYYY!!!!

  10. "And don't forget the toilets."

    I love that.

  11. Read it, then read it again only out loud for the pure joy of it. Really great poem and one of my favorite posts of yours.

  12. Ah, boys will be boys... what a fun one. Hurrah for Simpleforth!


Thank you for stopping by. To make life easier for you I have turned off the new indecipherable and time-wasting verification words. Would you care to "feedback" to Blogger and complain about them, like I did?