People love to grumble over supermarket bread – “It isn’t really fresh, you know” I’ve often heard it said, “It’s made in batch in Swindon and then frozen” they explain, “So all they do in bakeries is heat it up again.” Croissant, bap, or pumpernickel, Loaf-lovers sure are fickle – Kneeded crumpets, seeded squabblers, Talking sourdough and cobblers.
You know, that doesn’t bother me, as long as they still taste – And oh!, the smell of toasted carbs will never go to waste. But why are still-warm loaves just plonked on open racks for show In the air-conditioned hell that sucks all moisture from the dough ? Cardboard slices, leaden grain, With all self-raising turned to plain. Golden crust and pain-au-choc, As dry as dust and hard as rock.
1. At least with patrons David and Patrick, They visited the lands which went on to claim them – But George and Andrew are strangers to Albion, (We had local talent, but no-one can name them). I bet they never heard of us, we’re just hicks from the sticks – They’re busy being famous, they won’t return our call. To patronising saints, we’re just fanboys with a crucifix – Mini-me Man-U supporters, posters on the wall.
2. But then, what does it matter anyway ? Especially for England, Especially on George’s Day. The red and the white are only for fascists – The Guardian insists, And the bleeding hearts will wail – The flag is now the possession of the Mail. Haven’t you heard ? Patriotism is a very dirty word. The only time, the only time That national pride can still be shown Is during the World Cup alone. And when they lose, that very day, The flags must all be put away And never more be flown.
3. Ah, perhaps I’m being too hard, But still the Left can’t lose the twinge To see their homeland as only bland and scarred. They never can relax their guard, Or shake the shame and cultural cringe – They love the stranger, hate their own back yard. And yes, I know the old old stories – Slaves and Empire, toffs and Tories – Nobody’s disputing – But still there’s Newton, Attlee, and the Bard ! So all the more the need, I say, To set aside a National Day ! Forget old Georgie – let’s be cannier, Make ourselves a Saint Britannia – She can be our national birthday card !
Why are there so many zombie films about these days ? I would say they’re testament to our improving ways. We have beaten violence, beggered hunger and disease, And quarantined our lust for blood into our fantasies – Shoot a Nazi, gas a pedo – harmless fun for kids to play, Just regulation bogeymen without the shades of grey. Squash pedestrians with trolleys, No need to feel even sorry, Killing humans sure is fun when there’s no guilt to pay !
April – Month of Aphrodite, Flirting with fertility. The earth responds to her almighty, Springing with virility. Tributes thrust from out the ground With kinaesthetic keenness, As bulbs are bursting, bound by bound, To hail the month of Venus.
Easter was a goddess too, And once she wooed the blooms aloft – She called them up, and up they grew, Her sun was warm, her rain was soft. Forget the death her name evokes, Forget the manly, fabled sin. Let’s open blinds and loosen cloaks To let her April in.
April only makes a fool of fools, But that is all of us. We’re all believers, come our turn, Who rarely twig and rarely learn. We’re far too busy-bees to question rules, We’re far too nice to suss. Not all the time, it’s true, but then We’ll soon enough be fooled agen.
April only sets the trap, and waits – It’s us who makes it spring. It’s up to us if we succumb, If we’re the sharp or we’re the dumb. And if we spy the ruse, and shun the bait, We still admire the sting – For gullibility, it seems, Will spark our love and build our dreams.
April only gives us all a chance To fool our foolish selves – And boy, we’re ruthless in our art, We know our weaknesses by heart ! We never see the cunning serpent’s glance When we are rolling twelves – Reality is harsh and glum, So keep on fooling us till kingdom come.
To the nicest baddie I ever knew – Always cast as a goon or a creep, I guess you wear that air of menace When that’s what’s needed of you to seep. You’re not exactly anyone-for-tennis, But behind those brooding eyes is something deep. Your humour is too quirky To belong to all these villains you engage – Your smile is given freely, Yet you have to keep it hidden on the stage – But your secret gentle side, The one you hide behind your sneer, Could not be more sincere When off-duty and confided between friends. You could have been a leading man If fate had had a diff’rent plan – But you were never one to follow trends. And hey, at least you had some fun With ev’ry yob and wayward son – And anyway, the day ain’t done, And this ain’t where the story ends. I could go on, but I know you’re shy, And I guess you get the gist – So here’s to the sweetest bad guy That I’ve ever booed and hissed !
I wrote this about a friend, you don’t know him, don’t let it bother you.
It’s always strange to say goodbye, Especially after all the years I’ve known you. Of course, we do not hug or cry, And we both know I’ll never write or phone you. Just a matey slap on the shoulder And a handshake that’s a bit too strong, And a gradual feeling of being older – It’s all so brief, yet somehow still too long. But even in restraint, we say it all, Though we’ll never realise – The clues are there, however small – The nervous laugh, the sheepish eyes. And then it’s “Should be off” and “See you maybe”, “Give my best to your old mum”. I guess I’ll kinda miss you, vaguely, Now and then, for years to come.