Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • I’ve devised a fun new project for myself, which I’m hoping will prove to be as entertaining to me writing as it will be to you reading. My task is to try and write a different form of poem each week. Simple right? Actually no, as I found out writing this one!

    This first poem (of many to come) is called a ‘Sestina’, which for those not in the know, involves six verses of six lines each, followed by a three line stanza called an ‘envoi’. The complication comes in when the last words of each line, as they are written in the first verse, must be repeated at the end of each line in each subsequent verse in a very specific pattern. You can find out more here -

    I've chosen some end-words just cos I love 'em and others to help the flow of the thing. It proved pretty tricky to do and I'm still not entirely sure it was successful, but I'll let you be the judge of that....

    The Patrons Of The Old Kings Arms

    The patrons of the Old Kings Arms, heavy and round,
    Waddled in once again, cackling madly and flapping their cracks,
    Competing with one another in raucous boasts, posturing,
    Guffawing and expelling thick gaseous poisons from rears gelatinous.
    Amongst them John Smythe, (to his friends John Smythe,) the most cantankerous
    Of the gang, hardly what you might call an amiable fellow,

    But he was the wealthiest of them, and could spot a needy fellow
    A mile away, choosing then to take entirely the longest way round
    To avoid him. Far from making his portly chums cantankerous
    Towards these fussy histrionics, they revelled in it, making cracks
    (Not wise,) while their chins wobbled and shook with laughter, gelatinous
    Folds of flesh thick and stiff, throwing heads back, posturing

    Poor, slovenly and lax in large leather chairs. Apart from Dickie, whose posturing,
    Was more theatrical, the diva of the group, and the most STD ridden fellow
    One could ever hope not to meet. With Crabs, Chlamydia, and virulent, gelatinous
    Pustules abounding, the proof was right there that if one searched in and round
    His lower areas for long enough, one might find somewhere in the cracks
    Dickie’s sticky pleasure zone. Those poor desperate girls, wretched, cantankerous,

    Paid to attend to his needs, retching after each unholy visit. ‘Rather cantankerous
    Than starved dead,’ they would say, scarcely believing it to be true. Posturing
    And preening, they would enjoy the expensive clothes Dickie would bestow, but the cracks
    Would show, not least in the white lines on tables and toilets they snorted with fellow
    Down and outs, but with the lines that also formed as frowns on once smooth, round
    Temples. But enough of the poor, back to the fat. Here we have Roland, stuffing gelatinous

    Treats into his already overflowing gob, clogging his cholesterol heart and gelatinous
    Veins, now more lard than blood. He is the laziest of them, aggressively cantankerous
    If woken from an afternoon nap, and travels everywhere, whether it be round
    To the pub or to the next room, in a motorised chair, robust, fitted for good posturing,
    Though his spine is shot to hell. In days gone by he was quite the ambitious fellow,
    But through ambition he got cocky, in being cocky he got lazy, then the cracks

    Of unethical practice widened as corners were cut and documents destroyed. But the cracks
    Weren’t but nothing to Roland, with lawyers so slick that dairy could not be gelatinous
    (butter wouldn’t melt) and he could buy any judge or silence any fellow
    He chose to mention. Now last of all Gerard, well, that man makes me cantankerous
    To be sure. There’s no amount of wit or cunning or slyness or posturing
    That could make me even speak of what he’s done. I won’t come round

    To even devoting text to that fellow. In fact I’d like to carve long deep cracks
    Into all their bellies, watch them crawl round in agony, trying to fix up their gelatinous
    guts...... But I’m just being cantankerous really. It’s all just posturing.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.