I am the Lord your God, And I clearly lay down word and rule – Do not interbreed your cattle, Nor produce a hybrid mule – For if your beef is tough, Then that is how I mean your beef to taste, Do not allow these foreign cows To make your home-grown bulls debased. Don’t raise a mule, but make do with an ass, And a smaller pack. Don’t mix your strands, But keep your garments pure upon your back. Don’t weft your linen with your wool, And mingle threads within your hem. And though these laws be heavy, Use no mule to help you carry them.
I say again, I am your Lord, No things of yours shall fraternise – Don’t plant your field with many seeds, Or who can know what shoots may rise ? Let pagans plant their carrots with their leeks To keep them company, But I say, let yours suffer by the fly, For it is sent by me. Now let the weevil dine on fruits and grains, And slugs reduce your yields, And praise my swarming locusts As they take your monocultured fields. Do not co-plant companions, For all your crops must stand alone – Just like my hungry chosen people In this wilderness I’ve sown.
We should put up statues To the mice that we have doctored, That we’ve prodded in the genome, And remodelled in the womb. We should hail as heroes All these spidermen of rodents With their mutant-managed powers That we twist and splice and groom.
Quick-grown maturity, Inbred for purity, With white fur unblemished, While their cultured cells outlive them. Red-eyed and pink-eared, Stripped-down and re-geared, Free of fleas and all disease (Except the ones we give them).
I try not to think of how much pain We put them through – It’s what we have to do To avoid the pain ourselves, I guess. They’ve brought us so much gain, But we’re too ashamed to speak it – The sterile dirty little secret of our great success.
We should sing a ballad To the mice who helped us conquer Tuberculosis, polio, Leukaemia and measles. Or give a quiet thank-you When a treatment proves effective – They keep us safe from swine-flu, So we keep them safe from weasels.
Dozens, hundreds, millions, A well-groomed swarm resilient – And when they die, attended by A white-frockcoated mourner. These un-cavy guinea-pigs, These wheel-running whirligigs, These supermodel-organisms Squeaking in the corner.
I try not to think how many mice Have died for me, Have lived a life of agony Because they are expendable, I guess. They are the devil’s price For our seeming immortality – Our flexible morality, that drives us to progress.
The stars only show up When we open up our eyes, With our pupils set on f-2 To maximise the skies. With focus to infinity To catch the light-years light And fast-films for retinas To turn the blackness bright. Our long-exposure eyelids Are timed to lift their veil – Thirty seconds is enough, Or else the stars will trail. And then our nerves develop it With not a blur nor wrinkle – It’s just a little grainy As the pinpoints gently twinkle.
Trudy Trusses loves the buses Which she rides to town – Urban-trekkers, double-deckers, Ones that bend around. Some are old and brightly bold, And red or green in colour – Some are new and grey right through, And others even duller.
Trudy Trusses makes such fusses Over diff’rent routes – The stops and times, the sprints and climbs, The stats and attributes. She watches who is in the queue, And who is getting off – The chef, the nun, the doctor’s son, The teacher and the toff.
Trudy Trusses swiftly susses Someone has to drive – The 12, the 3, the 7B, The weekdays 55. When she grows big, she wants that gig !, She wants to sit in front – To swoosh the doors of 24s And make their engines grunt !
Trudy Trusses sees the plusses In a job that moves. There’s folks to meet on ev’ry street, From pensioners to youths. You need a ride ? Then come inside ! There’s plenty room up top. Then home again through wind and rain, Just ring the bell to stop.
This poem isn’t necessarily set in Bournemouth, but I thought they deserved praise for one of the few places outside of London which still insist on the colour of their fleet.
Green men – as grey as stone, All talking with their mouths full, Look in any ancient church And you may find a houseful. Part of the grotesque gallery To keep watch on us mortals – Lurking round the capitals, And hanging from the corbels.
Green men, as Pagan as they sound, As yews and birches, As nature-sprites whose temples got rebuilt As parish churches. Or are they jolly demons, greening Hell And sprouting lies ? They don’t look very evil, though – But rather rustic-wise.
Green men, as vigorous as weeds Where priests don’t mow – Though Jesus doesn’t mind, it seems, Content to let them grow. So are they harvest gods of yore, Or mistletoes in larches ? Or are they merely hunkypunks, To decorate the arches ?
Puffing into Rugby, But this loco’s not a pipe, Shunting on to Inverness, With giant apples, ripe. Rolling out of Derby When the trees are like a fern, Let’s open up the fire-box, And watch the tubas burn. Pulling into Euston, Where the bowler-hatted rain – Then chuffing-up at Templecombe, With clouds above the train She’s right on time, in ivory black, But never bright cerise – The workhorse of the LMS, From Crewe to mantlepiece.
The Illiminati is very real, But it won’t be found in smoke-filled rooms. It lurks in the back of every mind – Subconsciously, it roots and blooms. It inducts us before we can even speak, And follows us into our tombs. There is no central authority, But the ghost of Tradition silently looms.
All of us, yes, ev’ry single one of us, Carries a cabal at the back of their thoughts – We feel at home with People Like Us, We all do, like we’re cheering on sports. But maybe, if we can recognise this, Then we needn’t feel so vaguely frightened – With a little patience, we’ll muddle through together, And finally be Enlightened.
Incidentally, the original Bavarian Illuminati’s goals were (according to Wikipedia) “to oppose superstition, obscurantism, religious influence over public life, and abuses of state power” No word on how they would ‘conspire’ to achieve this, but if by open persuasion then they sound like my kind of guys ! Unfortunately, the Catholic Church saw them as the Red Scare, and suppressed them.
But I freely admit to continuing the colloquial slander here.
My love is like my writer’s block It sneaks up from behind, It twists me like a weathersock, It leaves me deaf and blind, My confidences sharply fade, My workings have resigned, As all at once, my serenades Have quite escaped my mind.