Lister D [writing as Mr Three Eighths]

An engine, earlier today...
I apologise in advance, the diagram to the right is for a far more modern petrol engine.

Before New Year I ran a competition over on Poets' Graves where the idea was to "Adopt a false persona for Christmas" — all the competitors entered anonymously and submitted one or more poems under a pseudonym.  We then had everybody vote for the best poems and best personae; and also a side-competition for people to try and unmask the perpetrators. 

Some of us had two false identities, just to be on the safe side; but I don't think this was really necessary as identifying anonymous poets, even people you know quite well, turns out to be surprisingly difficult... 

So...  this was one of my entries, written under the persona of "Mr Three Eighths," who is a vintage machinery enthusiast and only slightly modelled on a guy I knew at school.

This is a sonnet.  Sonnets seem to be my favourite form when I write a formal poem.  No idea why this is; except they are the most wonderfully compact, deep and rounded form.  I far more often start to write a free verse poem and subsequently discover it is a sonnet, compared to the other way around.

In case you are interested, I came third in the competition.  You can check out all the entries here, at least until we clear that forum out ready for another competition.

Lister D [writing as Mr Three Eights]

One and one half horse power and stationary
but for the necessary gentle rock
from side to side. Traditional, the case
is painted Brunswick green. Unshockingly
the magneto is the Lucas SR1
found in a sale and lovingly rewound
in three nights and the shed. A later model
fed from its fuel tank that's top mounted;
it also has chain drive. Bring it alive!
Fill the fuel, and top the water to two inches
from the rim. The governor wick and oil holes need
attention... sump, float, greaser and then drive
the flywheel back to reach 'compress'. Clench
the handle-- Ho! Who'd want a Fowler P?

Image attribution: "Single-cylinder T-head engine (Autocar Handbook, 13th ed, 1935)" by Andy Dingley (scanner) - Scan from The Autocar (Thirteenth edition, circa 1935) Autocar Handbook, London: Iliffe & Sons.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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