Poem: Chaos Theory

By Ila Selwyn

Poem: Chaos Theory

males may hold the controls but women can still outwit

Menelaus’s wife, Helen, was the reason for the

Trojan women used their wiles to keep their men from going to

warding off Covid, you need plenty of rest, so stay

Home, home on the range / Where the deer and the antelope

plays within plays can be like wheels within

wheedling is how some women get around their

mental arithmetic is still taught in some New Zea-

Land / Lots of land / Under starry skies above / Don’t

fences to keep out Mexicans is what Trump started

building a large wooden horse and leaving it outside Troy was a clever ploy to get

incisive minds are required for brain surgeons so they

Can’t give you anything but love, baby / It’s the only thing I’m

think I must be crazy to carry two bottles of wine home in my backpack now I’m

old, but still loved, my closet is filled with

Second hand Rose/ Even our piano in the parlour/ Daddy bought for ten cents on the

dollars and cents make sense, but I still think of weather in the Fahrenheit

scaling Mt Ngauruhoe is two steps forward, slip one back, whereas going down is moon

Hopalong Cassidy was the first TV western

seriously I’m amazed at performance poets who

Memories are made of this / Then add the wedding bells / One house where lovers dwell /

Three little kids for the

flavouring my poems with zest adds a bit of

Life upon the wicked stage ain’t nothing like a girl

suppose we women turn the tables on men

Bye, bye, blackbird / No one here can love and understand me / Oh, what hard luck

stories about women putting their men first are legion, but where are the stories about

Menelaus married Helen, the daughter of Zeus and Leda, a huge swan,

my mind boggles at the thought of them

Exchanging glances / Wandering the night / What were the chances / They’d be sharing love

before we go on, Hera was Zeus’ wife and sister and patron of marriage and child-

birth control should be a woman’s right, not decided by

mentioning something ‘bugged’ me, my mum pointed out ‘bugger’ in the dictionary,

then washed my mouth out with

Sunshine give me a lucky day / Moonshine give me the milky

weighed down with a pack of groceries, I arrived home with a sore

‘Back to the Future’ stars Michael J Fox but he, like me, isn’t a great

Sing, sing a song / Sing out loud / Sing out strong / Sing of good things not

bad-tempered Hera after the Zeus-Leda affair also probably felt pretty

Blue moon / You saw me standing alone / Without a song in my heart

without a doubt the cost of mail makes texting or e-

males may hold the controls but women can still outwit men

Ila Selwyn

Auckland, NZ

Our winning poem

Ila, 83, is a pensioner who loves to write poetry where the last word of one line is also the first word of the next line, until it is brought back to the initial line of the poem. In 2015, she won Auckland’s Going West Poetry Slam. She says of ‘Chaos Theory’: “I began with the first line as I do believe men still hold controls in many spheres of life and in far too many countries. From that point on, I did not know where I was going until I got to the end.”


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