Friday, 1 April 2016

Josef Visarionovič’s Final Dream

I’d started writing a poem about
Josef Stalin’s final dream,
having first come up with what I thought was
a half-decent punchline/ending.

I’d picked the metre,
then started on the first few lines,
after which, things pretty much ground to a halt.

I hadn’t had much sleep the night before,
the osteo-arthritis in my left knee
was interfering with the muse,

and my handwriting seemed to be having
a mini mental crisis all of its own.

Instead (although I’d tried and failed
this several times in the past)
I thought I’d try my hand at writing
a poem in the style of Billy Collins:

a personal, but not quite intimate, piece of
chatty, easygoing, narrative, free verse,
whose demotic turn of phrase
would be so lucid

that even a ‘lecturer’ in teacher training
might understand it.

And yes, I did finally get round to writing down
that half-decent punchline/ending, namely:
Josef Stalin dreamt that after his death
they renamed Leningrad Lemongrad in his honour.

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