Andrew Ball


The trouble with Billy Collins’ poetry
is that it makes me think
I can write poetry like Billy Collins.
After all, we share the same stockpile of words,
although he would probably have said ‘medley’ or ‘portfolio’,
either of which would have been better.

And then it’s simply a matter of choosing the very best,
putting them in the right order,
and knowing when to stop.
This seems like a good spot,
(the anagram being entirely accidental).

His would have been carefully crafted
and he would probably have gone on
for another few lines,
scattering indelible images
that soared off the page
like spaghetti on the breeze.

No, that should have been ‘confetti’.
Maybe this isn’t as easy as I thought.

When he’s not trying to write, Andrew Ball raises Black Angus cattle on the banks of the Rappahannock River in tidewater Virginia, USA. In a former life, he was a Professor of Biochemistry and Microbiology, specializing in the secret life of viruses that very few people cared about. Poetry is much more difficult. In yet another life, he grew up in England.