The Fall

Now, if you’re sitting comf’tably,
then listen to my ballad;
it is a Summer evening tale
of pizza and of salad.

“I’ll take the plates out, love,” I said,
“for your hands tend to shake,
but I am steadier and I’d hate
the crockery to break.”

The threshold proved my downfall – I’m
not sure what happened there,
but suddenly I found myself
in transit through the air.

A plate went flying from my grasp;
I heard a sickening sound
and turned to see the china spread
in pieces on the ground.

My pizza lay in disarray –
condemn me if you must –
I grieved more for my olives which
were rolling in the dust.

Meanwhile, and somewhat overcome,
I lay there in a huddle.
Was I in need of ambulance
Or just a hubby cuddle?

We checked and found me shaken more,
than usually dazed,
but only with a twisted foot,
a hand and elbow grazed.

We shared the unspoilt pizza;
the salad bowl was fine,
since all clouds have a lining so
we drank our fill of wine!


Manchester, May 22nd 2017

So many lives cut short, so many altered,
the music overcome by screams and groans,
when evil walked unchecked into the foyer
as concert-goers left to journey home.
Some call it cowardice – there lies confusion –
he blew himself up too – that takes some nerve;
the tragedy is in the sick delusion
that Paradise is what he now deserves.
What God with any sense demands the slaughter
of innocents – and all the grief and pain,
each one somebody’s son, somebody’s daughter
who’ll never walk in through the door again?
So many grieving hearts will never mend;
when will destructive hatred ever end?


Jenni Wyn Hyatt, née Williams, was born in Maesteg, South Wales, UK, in 1942. She worked as an English teacher in Worcestershire for many years before moving to Ceredigion in Wales, where she worked as a freelance family history researcher. She now lives in Derbyshire with her husband, Pete and cat, Mabon. She began writing poetry in 2010 and has had poems published in ‘The Lyric’, ‘The Road not Taken: A Journal of Formal Verse’ and elsewhere.  Her first collection, ‘Perhaps One Day’, was published in 2017.   

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11 Responses

  1. Joe Tessitore

    I was wondering who was going to have the dubious honor of following Leo in the line-up and hoping that it wasn’t going to be me. You,however, handled it with remarkable poise and grace.
    These are two exceptional poems from the opposite poles of the emotional and structural spectrums.
    Well-done Jenni!

  2. Amy Foreman

    I really enjoyed reading these, Jenni, and look forward to seeing more of your work!

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    The ballad is quite nice, and I’m glad to see this neglected form in use once again. I would suggest two minor changes.

    In the last two quatrains, the first lines depart from the metrical pattern (always a mistake in traditional light verse). They are in triple rather than quadruple meter, unlike all the previous first lines. I’d do the following to solve the discrepancy:

    We checked and found me shaken up…

    We shared the unspoilt pizza pie…

    A change of this sort (by adding the missing syllable to each line) restores perfect symmetry to the poem. Also, in the second quatrain there needs to be quotation marks around the words /from your hands…/ all the way to /crockery to break/, since this continues the reported speech of the narrator.

    • The Society

      Thank you, Mr. Salemi! I have implemented your latter edit, which appears to be an oversight on my part. For the suggested line revisions, I leave it up to the poet.
      -Evan Mantyk, the Editor

  4. Jenni Wyn Hyatt

    Thank you for restoring the quotation marks, Mr Mantyk! Thank you for your comments, Joseph. You are right! In the penultimate stanza, ‘more’ should be on the next line, as it sounds fine when read aloud. In the final stanza, we would never say ‘pizza pie’ here in the UK so I need to re-work the line some other way. Thank you for pointing this out!

  5. Fr. Richard Libby

    Congratulations, Mrs. Hyatt, not only on writing good poems, but on displaying such a range. “Manchester” is as touching as “The Fall” is light-hearted.


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