As a kid, I used to believe in the Seven Seas – But which on Earth were they ? Clearly the Channel, the North and the Irish, But which were the other four ?, I’d say. But then I learned there were dozens of others, From the Med to Aegean to Adriatic – Time for a rethink, I thought, to the map – Clearly the rolling waves weren’t static !
Some people say they were numbered by the Arabs From the Gulf to the South China Sea, Others that they represent the oceans In one big continuity. But some say currents can separate them, So some shall flood while others seep. And others again say the seas are layers From the sunlit shallows to Challenger Deep.
As a kid, I used to believe in old salts’ notion, Until I did no more – And then I believed in the Panthalassic Ocean, Lapping ev’ry shore. And then I believed in gradients and upward swells For the flows to surmount – Yet the tides never asked their name as they rose and fell, And the seas can’t count.
Agatha Christie cherished the Tories, Kept the masses out of her stories – Servants were faceless, background filler – Never the victim, never the killer. Whodunnits by nature are class-based, though, With chaos disrupting the status quo, That must be traced and rooted out Before it spreads its dangerous doubt. Now true, she distrusted businessmen, And makes them villains agen and agen, Not like a blue-blooded, honourable gent – But was this an anti-Semitic bent ? Of course, she hated the socialist – But wait, with her there’s always a twist ! Just witness her Nile when splashed on the stage, With Poirot banished back to the page – Instead, a Canon is quizzing them, While building his new Jerusalem – One wonders what he might behold ? A commune or sorts ? We’re not quite told. And then, at last, there’s Mr Smith – The snidy lefty they’re travelling with. Part hypocrite, but only a part, When a short-hand typist catches his heart. He makes some good points along the way, That it’s hard to imagine our Agatha say – Perhaps once the cuts had been applied, It left no room for a seedier side. All-in-all, a little less sour, Just as Attlee was coming to power. For this one trip, it must be said, It wasn’t only her herrings were red.
All my school-mates, all my former colleagues – All now broken links. When clicking on their memories, I find each name and face un-syncs. I’ve left a trail of 404s behind me, An archive of data decay – I’ve got no backup with which to remind me, As all my friendships leak away.
Plenty of poets who only learned English later Have plenty of English to tell, Which makes their poems all the greater – Using their step-mother tongue so well. But usually, only in free verse, it must be said, Not often in rhyme – (Unless they are writing in pop instead, Cos that happens all the time !)
You can’t understand a word I’m saying That’s okay, let me sing it all again Tu ne peux pas comprendre un mot que je dis That’s okay, let me try to explain Du kannst kein Wort verstehen, das ich sage But I’m sure I can make my meaning plain Non potes intelligere verbum me dicens But no communication is in vain
All we need to do is turn the subtitles on Activer les sous-titres Schalten Sie die Untertitel ein Conversus in sub textu And we all can get along And sing the same song in our own way Because we all say Yeah and Okay.
Blue, is hard for nature to be it – We’re told “no pigments” is the why. Forget-me-nots, though, give the lie, And kingfishers darting by, And rocks of lapis lazuli, And the irises of Lady Di – And Planet Earth, I hear you cry, Together with the frigging sky ! So yes, the ancient Greeks could see it, Just as well as you or I.
I will never condone an execution, It is no solution to crime. And I have no truck with zealotry, Give me liberty ev’ry time ! So I won’t swing the axe for preference, When my deference has deceased – I’ll turf you out of your feathered bed, But I’ll spare you your head, at least…
Hang-out the bunting, And string-up the flags, Polish-up the fronting, And hide-away the rags – Toady-up with treacle And dream of days-of-yore – We’ve never been less equal Since the Second World War.
Roll-out the barrel, And goose-step the boot, Sing along the carol While standing to salute. Tweet-away like blackbirds, And dream-away like cats, We’ve never been more backwards Since our arses got so fat.
Shout-out the new reign, And ra-ra the crowds, Hope it turns out nice again, Let’s pray-away the clouds. Top-hole and tally-ho, And dream we rule the waves – We’ve never had a say, though, Since we’re corporation slaves.
Dig-out the three-piece, And doff caps and bonnets, The fawning must not cease In its biscuit-tins and sonnets. Tear-up far too eager, And dream of wealth unchecked – We’ve never been so meagre Since we sold our self-respect.
The garland-weavers’ co-op Having pruned the May-queen’s crown With the wrong sort of dead-heading, Give the Springtime Sun a frown. Well, the pole-erectors union Won’t take this lying-down !, As the tulips will not open, While the waterlilies drown – And the morris-men eschew the white, And the Beltane brides the gown, As the fellowship of fairy-folk Are marching through the town.