poem nine: a sonnet about pubs and syrup

For today’s poem, I’ve bastardised the Shakespearean sonnet form. It’s part of a for-fun collection I’ve been writing for my best mate Zoe – Sonnets About Pubs, Women, Sex, Death, Syrup and Patriarchy. I’m not ashamed: these have all been themes of our tipsy wine conversations, and my challenge from Zoe was to use them as inspiration for sonnets. Before today I’d done “pubs and patriarchy” and “sex and patriarchy”. Yes, I’ve been slacking. I started this project over a year ago.

Today we have “pubs and syrup”. In every location, in every country around the world (probably), there exists at least one guy (or lady) who attempts (and often succeeds) to sell stolen goods around town. This is in honour of those rogues, with a ridiculous twist – you know, to get the syrup in there.

Maybe Shakespeare would be proud. He seems to have enjoyed unusual characters.


You’ll always find him hanging round the pubs,
He brings in bits he’s lifted from the shops.
He’s always low on cash, he tries his luck
With selling stolen goods – don’t tell the cops.

People overlook dishonest ways
When it could save them money on a roast.
Besides, he’s friendly, visits every day,
And entertains the club with his ripostes.

This evening though, he’s done a different turn* –
He’s left behind the iPods, and the food!
But … cough syrup? The drinkers look concerned,
Still, no one wants to seem overly rude.

They say, “I’ll take a bottle, just in case.”
And stuff them in their pockets with good grace.


*Did I actually use the word “turn” in the turn? Yes. I’m an ass.


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