Thursday, 27 July 2017

Justine Greening's Favourite Teacher.

"Give me a child for seven years
And I shall give you the man"
Give me a boy to fill with ideas
And I will give you a woman.
For the child is the father of the man,
But I shall reduce him, each day, to tears
And teach him to be the mother instead, as far as I possibly can.
Give me a child for seven years
And I'll fill up his mind with irrational fears
Discredit his instincts, and laugh and jeer at every masculine plan.
Give me a girl, let her live among queers,
And I shall give you the man.
She'll be butch, she'll be hard, and her learning will span
The sphere of the self, for other spheres
Might bring her in contact with old fashioned views, as one finds in the Bible or in the Quran.
Give me a boy to fill with ideas
And I'll teach him how we must never allow others to see us
As others see us, but control the narrative, always scan
The subtext for 'hate', in each conversation with his peers.
And I will give you the 'woman'
Who deals with flames with a fan
Who burns with a fury, resents the careers
Of those who mature as men. Give me Peter Pan
I'll give you Wendy, and s/he'll never follow the course that nature steers:
Give me a child.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The Time Before And The Time Afterwards



In the time before, there was May, in bloom,
Parts of April, parts of June, 
As if a wand had been waved over a canvas, 
Seventeenth century, Flemish, 
Turning burnt umber background to lapis lazuli sky,
Tulips, lilacs, roses in suburban gardens,
Lawns with daisies strewn.
In the time before there was love and irritation,
There was 'do your homework, tidy your room'.
There were your clothes folded neatly,
Which you would wear again,
Little worries about your education.
There were photographs that did not make me cry,
Of you, in blue checked romper suit,
Golden curls, apple cheeks, laughing eyes, not camera shy.
In the time afterwards there is May,
Whose beauty I will never love again.
There will be June and the thought of your not seeing it,
Other people's children pouring out of school,
And your not being amongst them,
And the great tight pain in my chest as I try
And fail
To stop this sob becoming
One great primeval wail.



Wednesday, 10 May 2017

2 am

The cat has no conception
Of the crime 'cultural appropriation',
He's howling and shouting as if he's Siamese.
Stalking the long corridor,
In my direction,
Testing acoustics he has tested before,
Caring nothing for my disapprobation,
His worms need feeding and he can't cope with his fleas.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Loved One

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/01/rise-live-stream-funeral-half-venues-can-now-broadcast-services/

Nearly 50% of Funeral Venues have the capacity to live stream ceremonies via the internet:

"Mr Joyboy has fixed up the camera in the corner,
Your loved one looks, so beautiful,
We've given him the beatific smile,
I'm sure every mourner,
Here, and those who can't attend, but dutiful
To the idea of "paying their last respects",
Watching online, will agree.

Some of Mr Joyboy's special effects:
Eg. the "scream" as the coffin enters the furnace, you'll see
Go down particularly well,
With our more youthful clientele.
While older mourners, the ones who still insist
On being an "in person attendee"  
Find it a bit upsetting,  who can resist
The temptation to turn a funeral into a scene
From a horror movie,
Especially when it's going to be seen, on screen?

For an extra fee
Mr Joyboy can arrange knocking
To come from the coffin, 
And one of the undertakers to rush up with a key
To try unlocking it
And letting your loved one free,
Only to be defeated,
As the coffin rushes towards the fire.
The inevitable end, can be filmed in slow motion
Then repeated,
To drive home the memory.


Of course we all aspire
To show our devotion 
To our loved one in ways that are dignified,
We don't want our relatives and friends to be mortified,
But movies are best with some kind of action.
Take advice from Mr Joyboy,
An expert in both film and funeral direction."


Monday, 1 May 2017

A Little Ditty For Mr Farron (to the well known hymn tune)

Jesus shall reign, where the sun don't shine,
For acts of buggery are quite divine,
If you want votes, forget your soul,
Declare you'd put your Roger into any old hole.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Some Kind Of Bower Bird Some Kind Of Silverback

Some Kind Of Bower Bird Some Kind Of Silverback

Behold my wonderful display
Of bright ideas and things to say 
I fill my bower, every day,
With all the latest takes on things
Arrange them in a pleasing way,
And show them off and spread my wings,
I know what's fact, what hearsay,
And all the complex games men play,
When to react or to delay,
I make my own moves carefully.


I have a truly vast array
Of knowledge, though not too much tact,
I like to balance and to weigh,
It seems impressive, and yet, to act,
When clever words are said and done,
Is what it is to be a man.


And so I often join the fray,
And beat my chest and grunt and shun
The cautious types who must be rogues.
I know that my tribe have a plan,
I can't now deal in shades of grey,
No time for pow-wows, dialogues,
My side do not have feet of clay,
We're strong, we're right and I, for one,
Must speak out strongly and inveigh
Against the other, vile clan.


I fill my bower, every day,
With bright ideas and things to say,
Because I really must convey
My intellectual prowess, 
For it truly helps to mask
The simpler motive for my task
In life, which I would only here confess,
Is to punish, hunt and prey.





Thursday, 6 April 2017

Some Form Of Umbrage



Some form of umbrage can always be taken,
And the small, perceived slight will always awaken
The mind to another small grudge, stored away,
Wrapped up with care, 
For a special occasion.
And the slighted are right, they are never mistaken,
And poke at their wounds all day
And dig in their heels and will not be shaken,
Enjoying the sense of grieved frustration,
Believing themselves alone and forsaken
By friends who might dare
To suggest that they are 
Victims of their own, 
Petty, imagination.