I heard you have a show needs stopping, Heard you have a house needs bringing down – Heard you have a shoe needs dropping, And a tin or paint that needs a town. Huzzah ! Hurray ! Hear hear, I say ! Woof woof, ring ring, Aye-aye, chin-chin. I heard you have a boat needs rocking, Joint needs jumping, hell needs breaking loose – Got a buster that needs blocking ? Call me in a jiffy at the deuce !
I sit upon this rock to warn the sailors all to keep away, I even sing to them a warning sound – But guaranteed, there’s always some who cannot help but stray, Just to get a better gawp at what they’ve found. They could have sailed on by, as many do, onto a safer bay – Not got distracted till they ran aground. Yet once back in the tavern, you should hear the traps I lay ! It was never fault of theirs they nearly drowned !
A running bump along my arm Is memory that I was scarred – The grave to mark a childhood tear That now you’d scarcely know was there. I got it playing down the farm, Or maybe tripping in the yard – I must have hit the surface hard, But in the end did no real harm. A trophy I must always wear, A lesson learned, a minor scare – I smile to think how I am marred, And like to stroke it sometimes, like a charm.
It sits beside my first tattoo, That’s self-administered, indeed – A careless stab with ball-point pen, A funny-coloured freckle, then. It used to be a deeper blue, As if I’m of a noble breed – It must have hurt, but didn’t bleed, And now just sits there, still in view. I could not even tell you when, But certainly by age of ten. It can’t be scrubbed, it can’t be freed – I like to poke it sometimes, as y’do.
Always getting in our way, By stringing threads across our paths, Or playing statues on our carpets, Getting trapped inside our baths, Or hanging down from lightshades Or on wing-mirrors, left unchecked, Or guarding rarely-opened doors We never asked them to protect – Always forcing us to shoo them, Leaving webs that we must snap – No wonder we believe the lie That some get swallowed while we nap !
Always stinging beads of dew, And cupboard-lurking in surprise, Always scuttling just in view Of the very corners of our eyes – Yet when the flies are buzzing, buzzing, Where are they to shoot them down ? And all that silk as strong as steel, Yet can’t be farmed to spin a gown. Always raising jumps and squeals And relocated in alarm – No wonder we believe the lie That spiders only bring us harm.
Alfie O’Ryan is quite the star, With a name as bloated as he – Some call him Beetle Juice, Some call him Battle Geese, Lord knows what he was to Ptolemy.
And then there’s Wry Gull and Puppies in Booties, If I eat a careener, will it turn out Serious ? And do we get to call these, The Piss Keys and the Higher-D’s ? We need an Older Baron to make it less mysterious.
Well, how should they be pronounced ? We have to teach ourselves by the ounce – We read them in textbooks with no overseer, Just Awful Yuccas and Cassy O’Pier.
As I’ve detailed elsewhere, Betelgeuse was pretty much dead to Ptolemy. I have heard it suggested that he didn’t care for the fixed stars because they were, well, fixed – unlike his real passion, the wandering planets.
Show me a god, any god, before me, And I’ll wrestle him wrath to the ground – I’ll grapple his incorporeal might, I’ll douse his strange and ineffable light. Bring me a god, any god, before me, And I’ll leave him imploded and bound – I’ll haul him before the judgement of Hague, To count for each smiting and censure and plague.
Hey, have you seen this ? Chillis give us allergies !, I watched it on The One Show and I read it in The Mail. Never mind the experts – they claim our claims are fallacies, Yet we know how we feel – and we’re feeling rather frail.
Hey, have you caught this ? Cucumbers cause impotence !, I found it on the internet – it’s all there if you dig. So much for ‘mostly water’ ! That’s Big Salad’s influence, They pump them full of chemicals – that’s how they grow so big !
Hey, have you scoped this ? Sweetcorn gives us cancer ! I heard it at a coffee-shop, and in a waiting room. So sure, go ahead, if you want to be a chancer, But know I told you so when those yellow lumps bring doom.
Hey, have you shared this, at Waitrose or Pilates? Let’s spread the word and spread the fad, and let our bodies heal. Let’s get some trendy diets at the nation’s dinner parties, Then maybe I won’t have to taste those bastards ev’ry meal !
The trouble with a drum machine Is that it hasn’t got an ego, Trouble with a drum machine Is that it always keeps in time: The fourth beat goes where the first three go, As do the crash and click and chime. Ev’ry beat created Is so beautifully weighted And it comes along precisely When a beat’s anticipated. With never a roll and never a fill It just keeps beating, Beat-beat-beating, Beating on and on until At last the plug is pulled, the button pushed, The damn thing overruled and hushed, And finally each tireless brush and stick is still. The trouble with a drum machine From marching boys to jazz to pop, Is knowing when to make a noise, And knowing when to stop.
Halfway between the Tube and the office, I pass them each morning, sat on a front-garden wall. I pass them on neither a side street or high street – They watch us commuters, but we barely see them at all.
On always the same wall (perhaps it’s their own wall) – With placards and Bibles, but no blood and brimstone, they sit. I guess they’re a couple, I guess they’re retired, But what do I know ?- we haven’t yet talked, I admit.
For I have no int’rest in what they are selling, Though they’re barely selling, and no-one is buying it seems. But better by far their quiet shop-window Than Loud-Hailer Preacher, who stands by the station and screams.