just watch those lobsters jive
cavorting up on deck
bopping a danse macabre
in their potted discotheque
as we caper in our kitchens
they’ll go waltzing while we whisk
our friends the kind crustaceans
will salute us as we frisk
we’ll clap their claws
in loud applause
as they boogie twist and tango
but the greatest thrill
is the lobster quadrille
with a slice of mango
dancing on the boiling sand
dining deep beneath the sea
with claw in claw and hand in
hand with some for you and
more for me
take your places
form a line
the music’s about to
start throw your partners
into the brine
and tear their limbs apart
up the cry goes
for nobody knows
when the dancing is done
and nobody knows
if it’s even begun
so pass the spoon me
hearties pass the spoon
it’s far too late for supper
but it’s not quite
time for tea
the table’s set most
trumpets toads and
while fainting waiters
discourse wittily of
deaf and dainty pheasants
be sure to take a
turn or two
with each bumbler at the ball
and just before those sleepy curtains
fall SCREAM lobsters
I love you one
I kiss your frilly tails
now rolled up in your
marinate your hearts
with a splash of
avec sauce asks
just a little
the mock-turtle says
into his plate
for Jonathan Jones
whose side are you on
that question again
wont leave me alone
even in the national gallery
anything but labour
im looking at tit
ian a socialist in the museum
stoppages all out
all my adult life in the past
a cynical muscle
the case has been made
worse disruption to come
nonsense art people
kids in the summer holidays
visitors who come all over
a lot of ordinary people
savage neoliberal ideologues
i love its hard
down the workers
face soft old
oil strike many
a long tradition
rooms and rooms
the most extreme provocation
public service i cant help
i dont think
throw its weight about
i didnt think
seriously put out
much of my lifetime
whose side am i on
a tory i am
Good evening. It’s an honour to be here.
People of Britain: I salute you all,
And assure you that you’ve nothing to fear.
The government has its eye on the ball.
The opposition may bluster and smear,
But my Cabinet colleagues can stand tall.
The crisis is over, good times are near.
In every village, there’ll soon be a mall.
The promises we make are ones we’ll keep.
This much I pledge: our targets will be met.
Banished forever is all cause to weep
Because anything you want, you will get.
You’ll have perfect teeth and a good night’s sleep.
Your kids will receive a free fluffy pet.
Though mountains be high and valleys be deep,
I guarantee water will remain wet.
Compassion’s our watchword. Make no mistake:
We value the old, the poor and the sick.
Because that’s why we’re advising that cake
Is a good alternative to bread. Kick
A beggar, by all means, and make him ache,
But carrot should be used as well as stick.
In exchange for a picture of a steak,
Homeless riff-raff will give your boots a lick.
Now is the time for action. What I’m told
By the normal, everyday folk I meet
Is that they expect our plans to be bold.
This much I promise: cookies will be sweet.
Never again will hot chocolate be cold.
Warm ice-cream is something no-one should eat.
Plus doctors will be sacked, hospitals sold:
For details, refer to my latest tweet.
This wonderful nation truly is blessed.
Proud is our destiny, happy our fate;
Let nobody tell you we’re not the best.
The future is coming; not long to wait.
Proles in factories, working without rest;
Slave labour for all children under eight;
Life in jail if you fail you’re grammer test.
We’re in this together. Make Britain great!
the curtain is still
a cold night cloaks the wet grass
as i yearn for wind
serried bamboo spears
streak down on life’s low bustle
with precise malice
each drenching sliver a taunt
in mockery of shelter
Fair youth who sports disrobed in snow:
Prithee, what’s thy madness? Dost know
That Winter wreaks its mischief cold
On caitiffs young alike as old?
Thy tender years shall spare thee not
Its fell regard. Art thou a sot?
By thy antics, I see that ale
Or wine hast thou imbibed; though pale
Thy body is, thy cheeks are red,
Thy lips as plump as one well-fed,
Thy nose a glaring shade of pink:
‘Tis clear thy senses, drowned with drink,
Betray thee to thy doom. Reason
Hast thou none, bold swain; the season
Grips with bleakness chill, and our days
Its wrath doth ravage. Only gaze
With eyes dismay’d betwixt thy legs:
What once was proud, now plaintive, begs
For warmth and succour. Oh, ’tis sad
To see it suffer, for ’tis clad
In nought but frost-worn woe, its hue
A healthless, weak and wilting blue.
Think, what’s more, on its fellows: those
Soft jolly orbs thy leman knows
So well―see how they are dwindled!
Can frozen joys be rekindled?
This brumal brunt they bravely bear,
But shrivelled thus beyond repair,
They’re of no use, and are defunct.
Desirest thou to be de-spunked?
Desist thy pranks; thy clothes put on,
Else, naked still, ensure th’art gone
To some more temp’rate spot and mild
Where free may’st frolic as a child.
Hie thee hence to less hiemal climes:
Away with thee; I’ve no more rhymes.
In nets of doubt my limbs are caught
As I my lover seek to please.
My mind’s gripped by a fearful thought
That casts out every hope of ease.
My breath quickens, my skin goes pale.
Even now, as I lewdly flail
And shudder as my bedsmate brays,
With mournful notes the music plays
While I my passion’s store expend.
There’s nothing time cannot erase –
Does love’s sweet passage have an end?
Has lusty verve no high-walled fort
Secured against time’s harsh decrees?
Shall stout defences come to naught,
Their ramparts routed by the breeze?
No castle can protect its grail;
The king shall weaken, though he rail.
From crag to sand each rock decays;
This transition ought not amaze.
The painful truth we must perpend:
If nothing lingers, nothing stays,
Then love’s sweet passage has an end.
Life is long, but youth’s voyage short,
For degrades each ship by degrees.
The worn-out vessel’s held in port,
Too old to brave the thrilling seas;
Its frames, once mighty, now are frail –
Yet still the seaman longs to sail!
The ropes loosen; the canvas frays;
The decrepit mast limply sways.
The captain stirs to patch and mend;
He craves those salty ocean sprays.
But love’s sweet passage has an end.
Bewail this wrong before the court,
You’ll have poor answer to your pleas.
There’s no redressing Nature’s tort
When all your wealth its bailiffs seize.
No sly parliament can prevail:
Each politician’s bound to fail.
No knotted legislative maze
With perplexing turns meant to faze
Shall timeless laws a jot amend.
These bills’ defeat the house dismays,
Yet love’s sweet passage has an end.
Let this lesson be soundly taught:
Those merry Metaphysic fleas
Who with our mingled blood disport
Must succumb to the wry disease
That leaves no creature brisk and hale.
Ardent verses are no avail;
Delude yourself that lines of praise
In honour of your lover’s ways
Shall the unerring clock suspend,
When all’s told, the same question weighs:
Does love’s sweet passage have an end?
Aged and feeble in far-off days,
I’ll turn to see with squinting gaze
Time’s dark backward abysm extend,
Beclouded by memory’s haze;
For love’s sweet passage has an end.