Shakedown: A Poem


Image Credit: Chris Sampson (Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)

Image Description: A Sontaran Costume

A poem by William Shaw enjoying its first publication on this very website.


All Rutan things are subject to decay

And when space summons, Sontarans obey.

This latest was a world of trees and fields,

Of colonists and natives; all would yield.

And yet, alas, these troops did not contend

With Time Lords and their unexpected friends.


The smuggler was still running when they came

To take the planet like a rapid flame.

But in his wooden cell, there sat a man,

Whose eyes were cunning as his clothes were bland;

He took their native jailer by the hand

And tapped the subtle rhythms of a plan.


Sontaran law is swift; the two condemned

To death by blaster at the long night’s end.

Their pleas for justice faltered in the face

Of martial law unfolded over space.

Yet those great conquerors had overlooked

The silent natives, as the humans took

Their quiet for the colonised’s consent,

And had not thought rebellion might ferment.


The cunning man was living in the trees,

Had learned to talk through touch as they did, seen

Their plans for revolution, clad in green,

Would bring their would-be masters to their knees.

These were the men he’d summoned with a tap,

Their swift escape from the Sontaran trap.


As fugitives they swept through nascent dark,

Dealt brutal death to one Sontaran bark.

And as the smuggler slunk back to his craft

To make clean his escape, he turned and asked

His cunning comrade for an earthly name.

The Doctor smiled, and thanked his fellow knave,

And with his newfound friends, he walked away.


The smuggler, whom good fortune late had spurn’d,

Mused how to spend his credits, once returned.

For pastimes, wealthy men require rich things;

Perhaps a yacht race through the solar winds?

This Prologue is the first part of a planned epick poem based on the writings of Mr Terran Cedicks; later volumes shall be published in the refined pages of as they are written. Please visit Mr Wylder’s establishment for more fine writings, and peruse his own volume, An Eloquence of Time and Space.

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