Compulsory Mechanical Licence

assorted title cassette tapes
Photo by Vova Krasilnikov on Pexels.com

 

Compulsory Mechanical Licence

Sing it if you want to,
Cos I cannot stop you.
Pay me my royalties,
Do with it as you please.
For once a song is out there,
Then it’s out there for ev’ryone –
It’s out there for evermore,
They’re all out there together.
Until I’m dead for three score ten
And then it’s all for free forever.
But until that day,
If the author gets their pay,
Then the artist gets to sing away.
Permission isn’t theirs to grant,
And nobody tells anyone they can’t.

 

 

Was, Not-Was

subjunctive

 

Was, Not-Was

If I were to say today
If I was,
Would I generate a buzz
At my un-subjunctive ?
I doubt it.
Not to be presumptive,
But the world can live without it.
The less-pedantic folk
Have been dropping weres for years –
Not to provoke,
But only, it appears,
That they never learned a diff’rent way.
And who’s to say that what they say is wrong ?
Their meaning is as clear
To an ever over-fussy ear,
And all thanks to context –
That complex glue that helps us get along.
To make a counter-factual phrase,
They have no need for prissy rules
That sound like strays from olden days –
They do it fine with simple tools,
Without the fuss,
Without the spleen,
And ev’ry single one of us knows wholly they mean.

Don’t weep for changes in our speech –
It changed for you,
In all those words they wouldn’t teach
That once were dangerous and new.
They horrified your grandpapa, of course –
They made him jar, they made him hoarse.
But you knew better than your betters –
Broke the fetters on the Non-U,
Took these immigrants upon you,
Gave them voice and gave them force,
You let them all rejoice
And hoped they stung –
Rolling their illicit letters
Round and round your tongue.

So if I was to use the was
Is it because I like the buzz ?
But then again, perhaps
It’s more an unintended lapse,
And not a careless slur.
Or maybe I prefer
The ever-simple sound of was
I like the way she does,
So let her purr.
If that be all it is,
Or if that is all it be,
Let’s let the was be fancy-free –
As it were.

 

 

Lightweight Bulbs

wilted

 

Lightweight Bulbs

The first to life in the late of Winter,
The first to bloom in the newborn Spring –
While all the seeds are stilly sleeping,
Through the soil is something creeping.
Beneath the frost in the frigid hinter,
The bullets sprout as the robins sing –
From snowdrop first to tulip last,
By foxglove-time their time has passed.

But don’t bring bulbs indoors for Winter,
Don’t make the life for them too soft –
Or soon their show will disenchant,
With the leggy leaves of a spider-plant.
Don’t force a bulb to be a sprinter,
Rushing blooms to get aloft –
They shoot too soon, they shoot too bright,
Their heads too big, their stalks too slight.

The first to life in the late of Winter,
The first to wilt in the newborn Spring –
While those outside are stilly sleeping,
From the pots comes something leaping.
Far from frost in the humid hinter,
The sissies sprout as the carols sing –
From one-week first to next-week last,
By snowdrop-time their time has passed.

 

 

Too Many Mugs

assorted color mugs on brown wooden floating rack
Photo by Emre Can on Pexels.com

 

Too Many Mugs

Some of them are king-size,
Some of them are slim,
Some of lost their handles,
Some have chipped their rim.
Some, it seems, live in the sink,
While some have never touched a drink.

Some have faded transfers,
And some have tannin stains,
Some have slops and lipstick,
And some have glazing veins
In the cupboards, out of sight,
Are they breeding overnight ?

Some of them are funny,
And some of them are cute,
Some promote a company,
And some an institute.
They colonise the hooks and trees,
I’m sure I never bought all these…

Some of them are tobies,
But do they ever blink ?
Better put the kettle on,
I need to sit and think.
Coffee, sugar, spoon and jug –
Now where on earth has gone my mug…?

 

 

Nous Sommes Charlie

plantu
I Must Not Draw Mohammed by Plantu

 

Nous Sommes Charlie

Mohammad !  Yo, Hammad !
Say, what you so scared of ?
You won’t let us see you in pinkie and brow ?
What makes you so special
You get to be spared of
Our constant surveillance from cam’ras and eyes ?
The truth is, Mohammad,
We’re all of us spied on –
We’re all of us public and databased now.
So Jesus and Shiva,
And Thor and Poseidon,
Must get used to gawkers, or dress in disguise.

And as for your theory
We’ll worship your likeness –
I doubt that we’d give it much more than a glance.
For these days, we shrug at
The holy or righteous,
We’re far too anarchic, and sneerful and clever.
We see you, Mohammad,
But don’t see your proof.
But who cares ?  Stop sulking and join in the dance !
Don’t tell us you’d rather
Be veiled and aloof,
For these days all neighbours must rub by together.

Can gods and can mortals
Not laugh at each other ?
We’re all of us stupid – the flesh and divine.
So let fly the insults –
Don’t censor and smother !-
Say lard-bellied Buddha and pigeon-faced Ra.
From temple to steeple,
From Mecca to Delphi,
Your noses need tweaking, and so too does mine !
So smooth down the beards
And smile for the selfie,
And show us your best sides, your je ne sais quoi !

I know, Mo, I know !
When they’re thrusting their lenses,
It’s hard to keep posing, it’s hard to stay still.
But best grin and bear it
And drop our defences –
I feel a right charlie – but hey, c’est la vie !
When we lose our senses,
Our common and humour,
We end up with killjoys who actu’ly kill.
(Hey, I once heard you smiled,
Though that’s only a rumour…
But anyway, Mo, can you take one of me ?)

 

 

Starve the Addiction

color colour fitness health
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Starve the Addiction

And I’m never gonna smoke again –
I’m gonna be a Mormon, or a rescued beagle,
No more roll-ups, as high as an eagle,
Till the wheezes, the hacks and the rasps have taken the hint –
I’m gonna survive on placebo patches and mints,
Till I can’t stand the pain.

And I’m never gonna drink again –
I’m gonna be Methodist, or a prude,
Resisting the caffeinated and brewed,
Till the migraines, the slurs and the shakes have loosened the strap –
I’m gonna survive on organic smoothies and tap,
Till I can’t stand the pain.

And I’m never gonna eat again –
I’m gonna be a model, or maybe a monk,
Working out the body and cutting out the junk,
Till the ounces, the pound and the stones have fallen away –
I’m gonna survive on wholemeal carrots and hay,
Till I can’t stand the pain.