By Tony Maloney
‘You can’t start a sentence with ‘and’,’ said the teacher.
‘Why not?’ Pete exclaimed with surprise.
‘Cos you can’t! It’s a rule that’s well taught. Change in Peter!’
Red rivers had cut through her eyes.
‘But professionals do it. Look here in the press.
‘And again! Right here in Harry Potter.
‘It’s effective to show when to stop, start or go.
‘That’s the rhythm of writing we’re after’.
But at Pete she raged: ‘It’s been taught ever since…’
The thought she was wrong caused a lemon-sucked wince.
Oh how hard it is for a sage to accept –
the teachings they’ve taught for so long are inept.
Yet many a cretin will peddle this lie.
But no-one when questioned will ever say why,
or even begin to give justification.
T’was made up when Britain ruled half of our nations.
Was it warty old teachers stole up to the heath?
In thickest black night did they howl underneath –
the moon with the dingoes and bid Kathryn cackle,
where Macbeth’s three witches had been left unshackled.
Did they brew ears of bats, otters’ noses and mould?
And poop in the pot to bid that it be told –
that ‘Ands’ and ‘Buts’ be strings no more to sentence starters’ bows.
Who cut their flesh and dripped their blood in spell to make it so?
The time is now! Reverse this witchcraft! Let’s all take a stand!
And liberate our children’s writes to start with ‘Buts’ or ‘Ands’.
Yet still it will be hard for many intellects to bear –
this ‘rule’ that they thought certain has been plucked from out of air.
It’s done when we speak and in script written down.
So why do professors raise eye-brows and frown?
But how can a scholar ingest information –
that questions their life teachings legal foundation?
So I’m calling on poets and song smiths and authors,
on journalists across the world – famed reporters,
to speak up and join as a band of word preachers.
And take on this fallacy! Educate teachers!
That’s how we can make the learned realise –
the lessons they’ve taught as the gospel are lies.
It’s time to tell all those who think that they’re yodas –
they’re not in Ferraris – they’re driving in Skodas!
Now hear this teachers. And give it a try:
Start a sentence with ‘And’ or with ‘But’. You won’t die.
Forget leopards and spots. Old dogs will learn this trick –
if it’s the first time they’re sent for a stick.
Now yodas true with humble hearts will open up their minds.
And let this poem signify a changing of the winds.
And a wonderful world it will be, it will be.
When we can make all of our teachers agree,
to remove their pig-heads that are buried in sand.
And we can then all start a sentence with ‘And’.
But alas! I do fear that they will never listen.
Too much pride there is in mistaken tradition.
So I’ll away to the pub and my sorrows I’ll drown.
And I won’t even start on the capping of nouns.