A crossword book with a pen attached –
Now isn’t that thoughtful…there must be a catch…
Of course ! It’s a pen, not a pencil they proffer –
It’s starting to look like less of an offer.
We have to commit to the answers we choose
No try-this-for-nows or perhaps-that’ll-dos.
Just black squares and white squares,
Such tiny wee white squares,
And make one mistake and the whole grid will sink –
So pencil-pussies best beware,
This game is won by those who dare,
By those who leave their mark on life in ink.
Berlin – City of the english Language,
All Thanks to Hollywood and Touristdollars –
With bilingual Signs to ease our Angst and Anguish,
And fluent Secondtonguers and subconscious Scholars.
From Burntborough Square to Prince Elector Way
Welcome to Berlinnington-on-Spray.
They’ll haul me in the dock, one day,
To face down my accusers,
And place my fate within the hands
Of twelve good folk and true.
I’ll shiver in the dock, one day,
The haunt of knaves and bruisers:
Where many made their final stands
Before the kangaroo.
It’s not the judge
Whom I should fear,
Though they drag me here,
Intent to smear my name.
No, my innocence or shame
Is solely in the verdict of my peers:
As proud as me,
And stupid, sometimes,
From bigwig sharks
To little guys:
Folk I know
Down to the letter –
Folk like me,
For worse and better.
And how will they view me, these folk ?
As one of them ? An av’rage bloke ?
As someone who could someday be themselves ?
So send me down or set me free,
But you, m’lud, can’t humble me !
For justice, guilt and mercy comes in Twelves.
April was sulky this year,
And May was too shy,
And June was a truant who failed to appear,
And then came the tantrums of jealous July,
And August was but an imposter
Who left us quite sober,
And as for September, it seems we had lost her –
And soon we were greeting the gloom of October.
So where had our Summer gone, all Summer long ?
Hiding above the clouds, he was.
His rain was heavy, his wind was strong,
And as to why – well, just because…
But that is the way of the weather, we say,
He’s always been fickle round here –
When all four seasons are met in a day,
Yet no Summer met in a year.
Not a comment on this year’s actual weather, just a general mope when we get a bit of rain.
I’ll never be the star of the show
Well, I’ve always known, I guess –
You smile, and never tell me no,
And you never tell me yes.
You don’t commit, then don’t arrive,
You never notice what you’ve done.
I shrug it off, to best survive,
And tell myself it’s not a shun.
You always have excuses, sure,
And good excuses, without question,
Why, so sorry, must ignore
My ev’ry invite and suggestion.
All my life, I’ve followed behind
(When I’m even invited at all),
And all of you smile, with never a mind
To the flower you shoved by the wall.
The kids have got a brand new toy
That’s cheap and fun and ev’rywhere –
It brings them joy in the bright, fresh air,
It’s something they can share on dates,
And something to deploy with mates.
How dare they ! These noisy louts ! This raucous zoo !
These brash young cupids all a-pout,
All mugging to their stupid stick –
We have to skew these buggers, quick !
They should have eaten up their sprouts,
Instead of dining on mange-tout !
They get about too much, these kids,
They ought to learn to do without.
They’re trying to extend their reach…
They need constraining –
Loitering about the town,
We need to teach the little jerks –
So salt the leaches, swat the gnats,
I swear the mouthy snots are gaining !
Keep the little sprats from reigning –
Keep ’em reined-in, keep ’em down !
Keep ’em straining, wipe their smirks !
It’s time these clowns learned where it’s at –
They want our crown – we can’t have that !
So stop their fun and make ’em work
To pay for our retirement perks.
The little berks ! The pushy brats !
I might glimpse you in passing
On the bus or in the park,
Or on your way to mass,
Or at the flicks, or after dark.
You sometimes wear the cutest cap,
And ankle socks and shorts –
As I shift my coat upon my lap
To hide my inner thoughts.
I never did a thing to show,
The thing that you can never know:
I don’t know why I’m made this way, you see,
But so I am:
I can’t deny these thoughts are part of me,
Behind the dam.
And like as not, will always be,
But there they’ll stay, and never free –
For even you can’t turn my key:
My will is strong, my lamb.
Inside, I long to clutch you,
But instead I’ll run a mile –
And I’ll never even touch you,
And I’ll never even smile.
And I’ll hate myself a little,
Or I’ll hate myself a lot,
Cos I know you’re far too brittle
For the loving that I’ve got.
I never did a thing to coax –
But run along, here come your folks.
So sharpen up the pitchforks, tie the noose,
And watch me dance.
I doubt I’ll even run, for what’s the use ?
You’re all a-trance.
Why wouldn’t I commit abuse ?
I broke no law, but what the deuce,
You can’t abide me on the loose !
Why even take the chance ?
I know that feeling that you feel,
That urge you feel you have to act upon.
But take my word, it isn’t real
It’s just an urge that we can heal –
We can resist, for we are steel !
(Although, in truth, it’s never fully gone.)
Don’t vent your hate before your children,
That won’t do.
Don’t let them see and learn your hate –
They’re only young – it’s not too late !
If you hate me for loving children –
Leave me be – because you love them too.
I don’t mean to imply anything about the artist – Victorians certainly fetishised children and childhood, but in a very idealised and utterly non-sexual way. It’s just strange to look on these types or portrait with our modern eyes.