Tag Archives: sonnet

Lover boy

After Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun


My lover boy is nothing like a ten,

More like a two (I’m being generous).

He’s got a face like Jerry crossed with Ben,

His feet are rank, his farts are perilous.

His eyes are bad; he cannot see a thing,

And often goes out with his fly undone.

His knobbly knees look just like knots in string,

And where there once was hair, there now is none.

The only six-packs near his abdomen

Are those he drinks to make his belly fat.

I’m also pretty sure most normal men

Don’t bite and chew their toenails quite like that.

And yet I find him sexier by far

Than any footballer or movie star.


(c) Helen Lewis 2008

To a Dinner Lady

(After Shakespeare’s Sonnet XVIII)


Shall I compare thee to a proper cook?

Thou art more surly and more obdurate.

By such rough winds our children’s guts are shook

That summer hols have all too short a date.

Sometime too hot thy curried mince doth taste,

And globs of gristle often blight thy stew.

Thy grease-slick gravy looks like toxic waste,

And rumour says thy custard’s made from glue.

But thy eternal lunchtime shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that scowl thou wearest,

Nor shall inspectors claim thou mak’st the grade,

When none will eat the food that thou preparest.

So long as school’s a place where lunch is bought,

So long liv’st thou, and that gives food for thought.


(c) Helen Lewis 2008

A geologist’s love song

When all that’s left of London is a pile

Of trendy rubble on the ocean floor,

When Everest’s a gentle, rolling mile

And the blue-green Orinoco flows no more,

When poison arrow frogs and parakeets

Paint a jungle sprung from Egypt’s sand,

When thorn trees offer shelter from the heat

That bakes Alaska’s dry and dusty land,

When our race takes up its place beside T. Rex

As ‘Homo Sapiens – Exhibit A’,

When scholars scratch their heads and try to guess

The meaning of these words I write today,

The atoms that were me will still be true

To everything that once was part of you.


© Helen Lewis, 2004

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