Poem number 4. A pantoum (see definition below), written as a poetry group exercise. The exercise was to write a poem inspired by a newspaper headline. The headline which, for some reason, caught my eye was :
Would be Thief Flees Sex Shop : “An intruder who tried to steal a blow-up doll and sex toys from an adult shop left deflated after being caught in the act. The shop owner’s son entered the store in Shepparton at 1.30am to collect some personal belongings when he stunned the browsing burglar. “He told me to let him out or he would stab me,” Trent Broughton said. “I was with my girlfriend, in shock and a bit sleepy so I just thought it best to let him out. Then I saw he had two armfuls of gear on him. “I told him I wasn’t opening the locked door unless he put it down. “He dropped it at the door and then fled. “As he left he was apologising to me saying he only did it as a dare”
Sex Shop Pantoumime
The sex shop thief pulled up his hood,
took his time selecting stock,
dropped his stash at the door and fled,
when the owner came to check the shop.
Took his time selecting stock,
a lonely man with time to spare,
caught by the owner in the shop,
he only did it for a dare.
A lonely man with time to spare
and friends who thought him slightly queer.
He only did it for a dare,
a chance to prove he had no fear
His friends who thought him slightly queer
all disappeared when he was caught.
His chance to prove he has no fear
as he stands alone today in court.
The pantoum, a poetic form filled with repeating lines and rhymes. The form originates in Malay. Poem consists of quatrains (4-line stanzas). No limit, but there should be at least 2 stanzas. Each quatrain has an abab rhyme scheme. However, the poem can follow an abab/bcbc/cdcd/etc. rhyme scheme throughout. Lines 2 and 4 of each stanza become lines 1 and 3 of the next stanza. Ideally, lines 2 and 4 of the final stanza will become lines 1 and 3 of the opening stanza.
Copyright Mike Hopkins 2013