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Poetry or Prose

I come from a long tradition of bush poets from the west

You may think that we’re old foggies and we’re maybe past our best

But Henry and the Banjo wrote their poetry in rhyme

And it may not be your cup of tea but it’s stood the test of time

For a century or more has passed and still it’s in demand

Throughout the length and breadth of McKellar’s ‘Wide brown land’

These days a lot of people claim that they write poetry

But they go and leave the rhymes out so it’s all just prose to me

They say it’s too restrictive finding rhymes for every line

But the bush poets all do it and we seem to manage fine

So passing prose as poetry means they aim for second rate

But if they call it prose instead some could be classed as great

There’s no end of subject matter, which will suit a rhythmic beat

Just present it with panache and a lot of metric feet

So why act all pretentious claim they’re poets when their not

Why not take pride in writing prose if that’s the skill they’ve got

I reckon it’s about the name, it’s sounds cool to be a poet

But there is no name for what they do, I reckon that they know it

And saying you write prose maybe sounds a little lame

So they’re redefining poetry and hijacking the name

But why should they denigrate our art just cause they cannot cope

A poet should write poetry, is that too much to hope?

But if it doesn’t rhyme then they can argue till they’re blue

They’ll be just another bunch of jumped up prosers in my view

© Greg Joass


(Written for a poetry slam in Denmark WA. I didn’t win, but I got out without being lynched!)

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