The House that Jack Built

This is the house that Jack built.

This is the widow that lived in the house that Jack built.

This is the rent that was owed by the widow
That lived in the house that Jack built.

This is the benefit for the rent
That was owed by the widow
That lived in the house that Jack built.

This is the cut, that had to be deep,
That was made to the benefit for the rent
That was owed by the widow
That lived in the house that Jack built.

This is the Minister, half asleep,
That ordered the cut, that had to be deep,
That was made to the benefit for the rent
That was owed by the widow
That lived in the house that Jack built.

This is the mansion that didn’t come cheap,
That’s home to the Minister, half asleep,
That ordered the cut, that had to be deep,
That was made to the benefit for the rent
That was owed by the widow
That lived in the house that Jack built.

This is the tax – to the poor, pretty steep –
That maintains the mansion that didn’t come cheap,
That’s home to the Minister, half asleep,
That ordered the cut, that had to be deep,
That was made to the benefit for the rent
That was owed by the widow
That lived in the house that Jack built.

This is the widow, it makes you weep,
That paid the tax – to the poor, pretty steep –
That maintains the mansion that didn’t come cheap,
That’s home to the Minister, half asleep,
That ordered the cut, that had to be deep,
That was made to the benefit for the rent
That was owed by the widow
Who got notice last week
To leave the house that Jack built.

– by Bill Lythgoe. This poem won 1st prize in the FRP Open Poetry Competition 2016 

I have been writing poetry seriously for about five years.  During this time I have won four prizes and been published in Writing Magazine and been shortlisted by them several times. I won second prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly competition and was published in their Oct-Dec 2013 magazine. I have also won prizes awarded by the Wakefield Red Shed and Nottingham Poetry Society. I have also been published by Earlyworks Press, Strong Verse, Southport Fringe Poetry and in Forty-20 (the rugby league magazine!). I write to express myself but want to communicate with other people, so winning prizes and getting published helps me feel I’m on the right track.