As I considered material for our last purple poetry prompt, visions of Barney–that short-armed, purple, sing-songy dinosaur–haunted me. He, dancing in my mind’s eye, musing that classic children’s standard, “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family.”

“Shut up, Barney!” I thought. “There are serious poets that visit these parts and they want serious prompts.”

He was unrelenting, kept singing his song, like a drill bit boring into skull.

Determined to write a prompt involving something more substantive than a dancing dinosaur, I wracked my brain for purple material, settling, finally on exploring the historical context of the nursery rhyme of Little Jack Horner. Remember Mr. Horner, that precocious boy with a knack for extracting whole plumbs from a pie using nothing but his thumb? The oft-forgotten back-story of the nursery rhyme finds its roots in bribery, treachery, and King Henry VIII’s quest to subvert the Catholic Church and take its gold. And just as I was beginning to tease out the nuances of this plum poetry prompt…

“I love you, you love me….” Barney usurped the story with his own utopistic notions.

*For more about the manner in which Barney's intrusions cramp my style, follow me over to Tweetspeak today. And jump into the mix!