All mammals can swim, Or least, can float, Just paddle each limb And be the boat. It may be slow, And lacking grace, But it lets them row To a dryer place.
Even the elephant, Hedgehog, or bat, Even the fattest Or scardiest cat, Even the kangaroo, Aardvaark, or aye-aye – You know why it’s true ? Cos they’re mammals, that’s why !
All, that is, except for one – The landlubber giraffe. Once evolution had its fun, They’re not safe in the bath. It’s strange the way that they capsize, You’d think they’d learn to cope When possessed of long and mighty thighs, And a built-in periscope.
But on the land They look such gentry, Tall and grand When standing sentry. They are the backlash To the trout, Who make a splash By standing out.
The sudden shriek of a seagull Takes me back to the ozone, back to the seaside – To those Summers of sand and Ninety-Nines, Where the fish is fresh and the Sun still shines. From ever since I was knee-high, Be it Bournemouth, Paignton or Ryde. The seagulls were my holiday guide.
But these days, the seagulls are ev’rywhere, Yes, even in Winter, even in the bleak – When gloomy days in gloomy suburbs See dozens pecking kebabs from the kerbs, With ev’ry beak in a mocking shriek. Well, go ahead, gulls – for a second there I was back on the prom without a care.
When I first heard of what made androids dream, I wanted to know much more – Like where are the hordes of electric sheep All under the crook of a cyber-Beau Peep ? Yet ev’ry pasture dotted with white may teem With robotic ewes by the score, And so well made are these flocks of steel, They bleat and follow just like real… Do their eyeball glow with a laser beam That the ravens quake before ? Are their horns antennas, warning of fox ? Does their wool discharge with electric shocks ? I swear these sheep aren’t all they seem, It’s folly to just ignore… For the folds are filling with a new kind of lamb, A bellwether seeking to upgrade their ram.
Chickens can fly, if they want to, Turkeys too, Though they rarely do. Peacocks can manage the haul, Tails and all, When they need to shoo. So don’t let anyone tell you That they’re grounded – he hasn’t a clue. They may be lazy, yes, And yet these flightless always flew.
The old railway tunnel is gated now, The trains haven’t run for years. The bells never chime in the minster tower, The saints needn’t cover their ears. The caves are abandoned by hominids, And the pillboxes carry no guns. Besides from tramps and adventurous kids, Then the bats are the only ones.
The gargoyles are guarding the peregrines’ nests, In their makeshift high-rise habitats. They gurgles-down the gutters near their new houseguests, As they keep the drainpipes clean, and they trap the thieving rats. They shelter the chicks when the North wind blows, Inbetween the buttresses the parapets. They lure-in the pigeons, they ward-off the crows, And they scare-back the devils with their gruesome silhouettes.