guarding your hole,
neither your wife nor you
will cuckold the other's colourful soul,
on your coming two.
for strife is your least
affliction to fear of in life;
so gaze at the geese, and take time to feast
for a drink with your wife.
perhaps you'll mourn
- to the honeyguide's carefree song -
two eggshells torn, but a third one born
who survived the wrong.
one swan swam on a mere.
we saw one more.
This is perhaps my favourite product from a recent experiment. The challenge involved writing only with letters which had no “heads” or “tails” – i.e. I didn’t use any letters which extend above or below the line. It turns out that this is fully half of the alphabet, and a good deal of punctuation on the side. The constraints of working only with the letters w, e, r, u, o, a, s, z, x, c, v, n and m are quite frustrating, but yield interesting results! The result is “flat poetry”, poetry with both hands tied behind its back, where each line is unerringly neat as a ruler.
If you give it a go, please comment below!
I also wrote a few longer-form story poems in this format, which I’ve shared in three separate posts on my Patreon page. If you’re interested, you can start reading here.
UPDATE: this type of writing is called a lipogram, specifically the omission of a letter or letters from the writer’s bag of tools. I don’t know if anyone has done flat poems before. Other lipograms may, for example, avoid using all vowels except the letter “a”.