Thursday, July 30, 2009

Marie Antoinette

“Let them eat cake,”
Was a dreadful mistake,
When the peasants were pleading for bread.
But much worse, by far,
Was the fashion faux pas
On the day that they cut off her head.

‘Pon the feared guillotine,
The sartorial queen
Didn’t take her black dress to her grave.
Instead, she wore white,
An incongruous sight
That the peasantry never forgave.

My country and western song

You didn’t rinse your wine glass; you just left it by the sink,
The bright magenta lipstick stains the rim.
You gulped the wine down quickly when I offered you a drink
And then rushed out the door to be with him.

Somewhere I imagine you are sipping your champagne,
His large hand resting lightly on your knee.
Your laughter flows like bubbles and dispels the summer rain,
The way it did when you would drink with me.

The vineyard has been ravaged by the worm of discontent,
The grapes lie small and withered on the vine.
I stand among the blackened leaves and wonder where it went
And why the sun decided not to shine.

So now I sit here sadly with the semblance of a frown,
Self-pity and great sorrow unconfined.
The wine has turned to vinegar but still I gulp it down
And hope that it will drive you from my mind.

But still I see the wine glass and its lipstick bright and red,
Laughing at me from the kitchen sink.
And though my mind is hazy, I can’t drive it from my head,
And so I reach out for another drink.

The theatre loving motor car

The theatre loving motor car buys tickets for the shows,
And can be found at many curtain calls.
The tourists are intrigued and turn round in the front rows
When he goes up to the balcony and stalls.

On Flying

Despite the fact that aeroplane’s keep crashing,
Despite that they keep falling out the sky,
Despite the way the warning lights keep flashing,
Flying’s still the safest way to fly.

The queues for Ryanair

Oh, why is it important to be first upon the plane,
Especially for a fifty minute flight?
Why do people feel the need to go through all that pain?
They really make a very sorry sight.

The moment that the gate’s announced, they start to form a queue,
Not wanting to relax and wait a bit.
They stand there for an hour or more before the plane is due,
Determined that they choose their place to sit.

Perhaps they feel its vital that they get a lovely view
Of all the shagging clouds that line the route?
Or maybe it is simply that they like to form a queue,
Though frankly I would not call it a hoot.

What the hell’s the point in booking short haul flights priority
When everyone is guaranteed a seat?
But more and more, I fell that I am in a small minority,
Although I find the logic incomplete.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another Millennium poem

We stood in the garden as midnight grew nearer,
Some had champagne while me Gran had Madeira.
Not many witness a change of millennia
And so, round the world, from Caracas to Kenya,
In every village and every town,
We waited to count those last ten seconds down.

Then, all of a sudden, Aunt Liz let a scream
(Which fitted in well with the carnival theme)
And started to kick her left foot in the air,
Which caused all our nephews and nieces to stare.
“Is that how you danced,” asked young Will with a smile,
“When Handel and Bach were the top of the pile?”

But ‘twas not a dance that Aunt Liz was performing,
But trying to escape from some black insects swarming
All over her shoes and ascending her tights,
Seemingly fearless of scaling great heights.
“I wouldn’t be in their shoes,” said bold cousin Bert,
On viewing them starting to nose up her skirt.

Where they had appeared from was anyone’s guess
But soon they had doubled Aunt Liz’s distress,
And everyone squeezed in our small plastic torch,
While Dad bathed the garden in light from his torch.
Then Grandad began to scratch at his bald head
“Oh Lord, we are all being eaten!” he said.

Black insects, black insects, we slapped at our trousers
While neighbours peered fearfully out from their houses,
Till Dad got a hosepipe and, in a wild panic,
Shot out more water than sunk the Titanic,
And yes, it worked well for the insects all drowned,
A thousand black corpses strewn cross the green ground.

Alas! We’d forgotten to count down the clock,
But we were all freezing and somewhat in shock,
It seemed as if we’d been caught out in the rain
As we stood around sipping our watery champagne.
Then Mam kicked one slowly and motioned to Doug
“Is this what they call the Millennium bug?”

Friday, July 10, 2009

To the postal assistant in Blanchardstown Post Office

Oh how I wish that I possessed
Your sense of laissez-faire,
That attitude of ‘sod the rest,’
That look of ‘do I care?’

The queue was half a mile long,
The mood was not that great,
A silent, disenchanted throng,
Like cattle at a gate.

Six hatches were not manned at all,
Just three were trying to cope.
The queue was moving at a crawl,
The damned, devoid of hope.

And then we saw ‘Position Closed’
Go up before your face.
‘Toilet break,’ we all supposed.
‘Go swiftly, with God’s grace.’

But no, you reached down to your bag
With most indecent speed,
And, taking out a gossip mag,
You then began to read.

You crunched an apple as you flicked
Right through that magazine
And, using your small finger, picked
Your nose till it was clean.

Meanwhile, evil mutt’rings grew
On our side of the fence
And violent thoughts were hurled at you
With blazing eyes intense.

But no, you carried on as if
You didn’t have a care,
Oblivious to the acrid whiff
Of anarchy in the air.

Every night, my prayers go flying,
Asking, if I may,
That I can come across you, dying,
After some affray.

And I’d produce a magazine
While you lie comatose,
And sit and read it, as I clean
The inside of my nose.

A lucky escape

The doctor’s letter fell upon the table.
I couldn’t comprehend the words I read.
Although my situation was quite stable,
I’d only one month left to live, it said.

Oh bother, I swore loudly with some feeling,
I suppose its time I took myself to bed.
And, shrugging, I stared upwards at the ceiling
That hid my deathbed lying overhead.

But then I read again that dreadful letter
And let a whoop that filled my wife with dread.
Suddenly I started feeling better,
As I saw the note was for my son instead.