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Cat in a Hat
(With Apologies to Stevie Smith)
by  Clive Collins

I never toss it up and down,
This hat cost more than sixty pounds
With a tat tut tiddle my hat brown.

Flip up the brim to play the clown
And then like Bogart tug it down
With a tat tut tiddle my hat brown.

I like to wear it round the town.
But take it off when I sit down
In caff or pub or griddle my hat brown.

Oh lid, oh tile, oh titfer brown,
My crown that sits upon my crown.

PHOTO: A Cat in his Hat (Tokyo, 2010).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I gave up trying to write verse when my first girlfriend ditched me, but thought I might manage an affectionate pastiche of Stevie Smith’s poem “My Cats”. She also wrote a poem called “My Hat,” but that is beyond the pale so far as I’m concerned.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Born in Leicester, England, Clive Collins has spent the greater part of his life working as a teacher in Ireland, Sierra Leone, and Japan. He is the author of two novels, The Foreign Husband (Marion Boyars) and Sachiko’s Wedding (Marion Boyars/Penguin Books). Misunderstandings, a collection of short stories, was joint-winner of the Macmillan Silver PEN Award in 1994. More recently his work has appeared in online journals such as Penny, Cecile’s Writers, The Story Shack, and terrain.org. He was a short-listed finalist in the 2009 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. A chapbook of his short stories is to be published by Red Bird Chapbooks in 2017.