Monday, December 31, 2012

Tuesday Poem - Boys Own Annual by Rhyll McMaster

Boys Own Annual

What a shame
girls aren't more like boys.
Girls want to change the rules.
What a shame
they don't ever play the game.

In a Boys Own Annual view of life
the punch, the grab, the shout are haute couture.
The moon-about is paramount.
Boys need never realise, need not be clever.
Boys need not mature.

Girls don hats and gloves their mothers wore
and play at Houses under trees.
Girls are bossy.
They seem to like responsibilities,
don't love the mystery of scraped knees.

Boys like the smell and sometimes-touch of boys,
their stop-start world, well-debated challenges,
hatched plans never carried out,
the detached stare.
Boys like it when they never have to care.

Boys know girls are the enemy
because girls keep calling in the debt.
Girls block the light that's shining
straight down on Boys Own Mighty Heaven,
that glazed place where time's ephemeral, yet set

where boys can rest their case
without entering a plea
and wander home at sunset
for their tea.

This poem is from Rhyll's newest book – Late Night Shopping – published by Brandl & Schlesinger. The book is such a delight. Sharp and funny and eloquent.


  1. Love this ! It has the ring of archetypal truth, expressed through simple, familiar, material image. Brilliant.

  2. Unsettling. It sounds so Enid Blyton, as I'm sure the author intended. But when you think about what it is saying (or not saying)...