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(20-06-1958 / Solihull, Birmingham, England)

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Catch 22 if you can

Word stretched her wings and,
When the Comma allowed,
She flew,
Brazen as a Painted Lady
With her Ringlets of gold,
High as Swallowtails.
The Gatekeeper let her past,
Accepting a Small Copper
For his trouble, an Orange Tip.
Fast as a Hairstreak she winged her way
To the Monarch
Who was fishing for Grayling
Near the town of Camberwell
'Beauty! ' he cried, 'what brings you here? '
Strutting like a Peacock
She asked for a Fritillary of ships
'Flotilla.' 'Whatever.'
Each with a Large Skipper
And a Red Admiral in overall command
To wage war on the purple Emperor's land,
To unleash Brimstone upon his domain
And reduce it to a
Small Heath, around it a broken Wall,
Brown Tortoiseshell patchwork
Of desolate wasteland.
'No! ' said the Monarch
'Aggression is for the Common.
Blue skies and happiness
Are my edict. Begone! '
The Word looked at her Map
And decided to try the
Queen of Spain far away.
She was never seen again
And the butterflies were happy.


(22 to be found - catch them if you can)

Submitted: Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Edited: Wednesday, February 08, 2012


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Comments about this poem (Criminal by Martin O'Neill )

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  • Diane Hine (3/7/2012 7:51:00 AM)

    I got 25 because I counted some twice. Cleverly concise and amusing.

    0 person liked.
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  • Paul Hansford (1/27/2009 4:57:00 AM)

    Well done. Not what I was expecting from the title ('Catch-22', the book?) but wittily done.

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