Smuggled Art

A poem

I slipped a counterfeit poem
under the brim
would use it as a decoy
if pushed
declared I had nothing to declare
she looked sympathetic
as she asked me to remove my hat
looked puzzled
by its collection of bus tickets
and bookies’ dockets
are you a poet sir
she challenged
certainly not I replied
replacing my hat
secretly pleased with her question
glad she hadn’t turned the tickets over
or checked the napkin in my back pocket



© alexander 2023
UKA Editor's Pick!
Views: 1595
critique and comments welcome.
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I think this is quite intriguing. I was entertained reading it, but can’t somehow get away from the thought that I am missing something. (I probably am. That’s me!) Nevertheless, in the good old writing tradition I am left wanting to know more: Like, for example, what on earth is on the napkin! Well done.


Aha! I actually got the napkin bit because I was exactly the same. When I started writing the poems came so thick and fast, while driving, in the shower, eating out etc, so anything that came to hand was utilised.

Sadly these days I have to sit and ask for a poem and wait patiently to see if one comes 🙂
An interesting peep into your world.
Alison x


A lovely viewpoint. 🙂

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The things one uses to smear poetry on when one is desperate.

Nice work, Alex. Imaginative piece. I look forward to your further submissions.


An adroit, delightful and unique conceit – at least I’ve never seen poetry described as an art so precious/valuable you’d have to pay duty on it when crossing from one country to another (Smuggled Art; declared I had nothing to declare). I read this out loud several times and found, depending on the perspective I assumed, amusing or tongue-in-cheek cloak and dagger, that it has a repetitive underlying rhythm which adds to its charm and effectiveness. From the amused view: what a character your speaker is with his love of gambling/risk taking shown by his collection of bookies’ dockets and… Read more »

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