Best seen, not heard

Writing poems which rhyme can tricky and tough
for words often look like they’re from the same bough,
yet the end of each line sounds quite different, though,
and best hidden behind a hiccough or cough.

I wonder, did this bother Byron or Yeats?
Or Larkin or Wordsworth, Auden or Keats?
Were opportunities found or simply just threats?
Could they write their rhymes without caveats?

But what should it matter when all’s said and done
if you should read this as scone when I meant scone?
It’s hardly a crime for which you need to atone.
It would all be baloney to an abalone.

So perhaps I should not be quite so afeard.
Some poems are best seen, rather than heard.


  1. Hi Mr. Bilston: I am not a “twitter” person. At 81 yrs old, there is only so much of social media I can handle, but I’ve seen your poems posted on Facebook, and have become a BIG fan! (ordering your books for more!) Today I read your modified “Eton version” of Rudyard Kipling’s “If.” I could not resist modifying YOUR version to fit my country, because everything in your version except the last few lines fits OUR former awful haired leader as well.” I call my modification (The Apprentice Version) – relating to his previous career in “reality” TV. Would love to share the modified last lines with you, if you are open to it ??? P.S. Your Refugees poem meant a lot to me. The caged children here just broke my heart. I donate to several immigrant advocacy groups.

  2. And thank YOU for contributing insightful, and delightful advocacy that will impact many.

    Here are my modified last lines:

    My last five lines:

    If you can stretch this country to its limit
    Or until you’ve thrown all honor in the dump,
    You’ll have this land and everything that’s in it,
    you’ll squat again in your offal office, Mr. Trump.

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