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Fan fiction 20: Andrew Marvell

To a green thought in a green shade my thought Returns unfurling beneath leaves’ lifetime Comfort zone. Teal, emerald, olive, lime Given and so imagined anew, resought. Down to earth depends branch, leaf and flower Day at the beach bikinis to beanies Night pollution hazes Gemini and Pisces Extinction news ignored by mere powers. To a green thought of another green world I can only summon thought of this world Eternal atmosphere unfurling unfurled Traced down to the watering-can fanned Over the garden on an acre of land And the seed packet scattered by hand.
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Fan fiction 19: Alfred Tennyson

  Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do And digitize print past into new norm The follies and wonders in microform, The lost in time and the much ado. Upper case and lower down to a dot … Into the valley of dots go all the words Their meanings immured, their tenses interred, Fresh longevity since newly begot. O firewall they price higher and higher! Saying who has access and who has not, Jolly plunder for the highest buyer. O subscription to civilisation! Canon to the right and canon what’s left, Search terms retrieving available rations.

Fan fiction 18: John Milton

They are servers who only stand and wait Post over land and ocean without rest Each singly. Thousands at their bidding pressed Speed send/receive. Their humans accelerate The in-tray workload, feed their programmed need Blindly task the flat screens’ fleeting shadows, Leave open still unread countless windows That hold old news in limbo and new links breed. The server, herewith their maker, presents Correct with useless information packed In daily scrolls clicks, feeble to prevent Morphed overload. Half-blind their humans bent At interface of this dark world are racked Considering how now their life is spent.

Fan fiction 17: T.S. Eliot

I have measured out my life in coffee spoons As others measure theirs in honeymoons. For some hairdryers, singing in choirs, Others are terminally frequent flyers. Life’s the credit column for bean counters The book shut hard when figures falter. Waiting for a word is a lover’s calendar; Time overflows, when not a colander. Each to their own, goes the stopwatch platitude, Winding the timepiece, setting the alarm, Pretending to adopt a zen attitude. Seconds may stretch to an eternity. Sonnets give an impression of calm charm Then press tender buttons of insanity.

Fan fiction 16: Joni Mitchell

  You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone Sung cheerful as a yellow submarine Long-playing decades, the revolving scene Change Yourself Now becoming Once Upon. I am curious (yellow) to hear the song Heard a hundred times every note a line To another time when it was all mine And yours knowing what you’ve got, then it’s gone. It will be you and me inside the taxi The yellow taxi our lifetimes done Taken away, late last night. No maybe. Like this golden great tracking down the years We don’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone Listening again to its jokes and fears.

Fan fiction 15: Stephen Spender

I think continually of those who were truly great, My sixth-grade teacher, calm with numbers, time The basics of map contours, end-rhyme To a room of fifty. Didn’t hesitate. My history teacher too, the flaneur of crime A walking argument at the blackboard; In class, chalk was mightier than the sword, A Renaissance man in his own lunchtime. My medieval tutors’ future views Patient, their infinite preparations, Translating cribs into the latest news. And that teacher on whom I had a crush And others yet with fancy curricula/-ums. She asked me a question, made me blush.

Fan fiction 14: Basho

The frog fell into the pond drop-ker-plop. Frog made little impression this instance. Pond was out of its depth and all surface. Ripple scarcely made a ripple on top. Daily world continues serenity Sky sheen water abstracts green seeded scenes That night unblues to show world’s harsh careen Through high-tailed stars, black hole uncertainty. Drop-ker-plop. Clearly the subject is sex. Or gravity. Or levity. Theories abound. Theories splash down into a pond of texts. Concerts concern us, keyboards’ defiance Choral symphonies, the copies of sounds That reach our ears daily. Then, silence.