Sing a song of sixpence and wait to hear it rhyme,
Taste the sour sweetness of a lemon and a lime,
Dance for what they’ll give you and sing for what they won’t,
But when they bid you go, I beg you make sure you don’t.
Don’t play their game.
I was taking part in the ‘Mini Saga Challenge’ on Protagonize, where you’re ‘tagged’ to write a 50-word chapter with a given title. I was given ‘Song of Sixpence’, and the poem above is what came out. It didn’t have to be a poem, it could have been anything, but that’s what happened.
It’s weird. It came out a lot darker than I was expecting. I was just writing down random things that fitted the title, hoping I’d get something out that was vaguely coherent, and it came out like this.
You know winter is approaching when the older members of your family start saying, “Oh, the nights are drawing in!” in that voice they used when they’re quoting Shakespeare / their parents / themselves (delete as necessary). And reading this poem through after I wrote it made me think of that.
There was a time when the lightest and funniest poetry I wrote was for these challenges. It generally wasn’t very good, and I’m most certainly not saying this is any good either, but it was light hearted. And then there was this.
I think it’s a sign of how my writing has changed that what started as a little challenge came out like this, don’t you? It’s like I used to have a kind of autumnal style – red and gold and brown, crisp but a bit messy with all the dead words lying around on the floor – and now it’s gone rather wintry. The nights come in much faster, when you’d think you’d have a few more hours of light.
I’m looking at this post now, actually, and thinking, What a pretentious, emo thing to say. But I’m not going to delete it, because I’m pretty sure blogging is about saying what you think, and this is what’s in my head right now.