Miscellaneous verse

A Goat’s Blog (click to  read A Goat’s Blog)

 

Ode to the Wellington Monument

Wellington Monument, Wellington Monument,
Shaped like a bayonet, piercing the sky!
Built for the Duke, the great soldier, Prime Minister,
Hoping perhaps he’d call in, by and by.

Wellington Monument, Wellington Monument,
High on the hills over Wellington Town!
What shall we do with you, aged and crumbling?
Can we just wait till your stones tumble down?

People of Wellington, people of Wellington,
Why did you build, and yet not make it strong?
Why did you build a triangular monument,
Weak at the sides and extended too long?

Wellington Monument, Wellington Monument,
How shall we aid you? How can we repair?
Buttresses, flying, with symmetry trigonal,
Offer a profile distinctive and rare.

People of Wellington, people of Wellington,
Did you foresee, when you built on the hill,
Did you foresee the expense astronomical,
Trusting the future to pick up the bill?

Wellington Monument, Wellington Monument,
Tribute triangular, towering, tall,
Folly felicitous, problem precipitous –
Have you a friend who is rich, you could call?

Wellington Monument, Wellington Monument,
How shall we care for you, proud on the hill?
How shall we strengthen you, aged and crumbling,
So our descendants may see you there still?

 

On Worcestershire Beacon

On Worcestershire Beacon at one in the morning;
There’s plenty of time till the day will be dawning.

We’ve bidden farewell to the old –
The last of the year that is gone;
And now it’s two thousand and seven,
To greet us and beckon us on.

The earlier rains have departed –
Those furious storms of the day;
The westerly winds, blowing strongly,
By midnight had swept them away.

The moon is approaching its fullest;
We can just see the path by its light.
The ground may be muddy and slippy,
But a torch is not needed tonight.

Our eyes get attuned to the darkness,
Discerning each boulder and log,
The labrador-black of the shadows,
The shadowy black of the dog.

Malvern and Worcester beneath us;
The Droitwich transmitters alight;
The Cotswolds are outlined, and Bredon,
But Wales is dark in the night.

Above are the midwinter stars,
The Pole Star and Cassiopeia,
The Bear, and Orion the hunter,
All shining to welcome the year.

On Worcestershire Beacon at one in the morning;
Don’t linger too long, or the day will be dawning.

 

We’re off to Darfur on a Donkey

For the Charity, Kids for Kids

We’re off to Darfur on a Donkey,
There’s her, and him, and there’s you.
We’re starting today; it’s a very long way,
But we know that we must see it through.

We’re off to Darfur on a Donkey;
We’re taking two vets and a nurse;
The Donkey looks wobbly – ‘Remember Tom Cobbley’,
I tell him, ‘it could have been worse.’

We’re off to Darfur on a Donkey –
My Goat and her kiddies and me.
My Goat has a boat which she sails on the moat;
We’ll need it for crossing the sea.

We’ll get to Darfur on our Donkey;
No matter how long it will take;
We’ll show that we care for the folk who are there;
We’ll get to Darfur for their sake.

We’ll get to Darfur on our Donkey;
There’s work to be done in that land;
The kids in Darfur are so desperately poor –
You know that you must lend a hand.

We’ll get to Darfur on our Donkey,
A land that is riven with strife;
Oh let the kids play! In their homes let them stay!
They’re children: they just want a life.

We’ll get to Darfur on our Donkey;
My Goat is at home in that land;
She has lots of kids, and they’ll meet all the kids –
Together they’ll play in the sand.

We’ll get to Darfur on our Donkey;
Its dry – there are wells to be drilled
There’s midwives to train. Then along comes a plane
Or some bandits and people are killed.

We’ll get to Darfur on our Donkey;
He knows how to carry a load!
He’ll carry your daughter – or firewood or water;
He’ll patiently follow the road.

We’ll get to Darfur on our Donkey;
He’ll learn how to carry the sick;
How gently he’ll pull, even when the cart’s full;
The smoothest of paths he will pick.

We’ll get to Darfur on our Donkey –
And then we’ll come back in a plane;
Our Donkey is wise, and his destiny lies
In Darfur, so it’s there he’ll remain.

 

Thoughts on being 70

For Poetry at the Avenue, August 2011

I’m growing old, that’s my condition.
There’s no escaping it –¬ and yet…
Sometimes I think I’m in remission.

At seventy years, there’s no magician
Can halt the tide, my age reset.
I’m growing old, that’s my condition.

My being yields to slow attrition.
I’m tired and weak, and I forget.
I’m growing old, that’s my condition.

But life is full, and good; cognition
Seems OK; I’ve no regret.
Sometimes I think I’m in remission.

I might just mount an expedition
To Timbuktu or far Tibet,
Just to show I’m in remission.

I’m growing old, that’s my condition;
But here we are, for poetry met;
I’ve brought the wine, and two baguettes.
Today, for sure, I’m in remission.

 

The echo’s lament

You’ve no idea how tired I get,
On duty every day and night.
I’m never given any rest.
It isn’t fair; it isn’t right.

If someone near me says a word,
I always have to answer back.
I can’t pretend I haven’t heard;
When someone quacks, I have to quack.

I’ve had enough. It’s time to act.
The situation’s out of hand.
I’ve had enough, and that’s a fact.
The time has come to take a stand.

I’ll make a sign and put it here,
Carefully crafted out of lego.
I’ll write the words in letters clear,
‘Please do not disturb the echo’.

April 2010

 

Marigolds on the moon

I was listening to Radio 4 today;
I was listening carefully; I heard them say
They’re just coming up with this marvellous scheme
(I’m sure that I heard it – it wasn’t a dream);
They know it will work, and they’re starting soon:
They’re going to grow marigolds on the moon.

They’re going to grow marigolds on the moon!
Imagine the desert, with marigolds strewn!
Perhaps there’ll be poppies; delphiniums too;
I don’t really know, but this much is true –
They’re going to grow marigolds on the moon.
We’ll go there and see them this afternoon!

Radio 4 Today Report, 18 April 2008. Marigolds grown on material with composition of moon soil, plus bacteria

 

Road safety

Remember: never drink and drive;
Keep sober as you go your way;
It’s better, far, to think and thrive.

The breathalyser can deprive
You of your licence. Let it say,
‘Remember: never drink and drive’.

Or else your car may take a dive
And end up all in disarray;
It’s better, far, to think and thrive.

When beer or wine or gin connive
With friends in leading you astray,
Remember: never drink and drive.

Take pleasure in the road, and strive
The skills to learn, the laws obey;
It’s better, far, to think and thrive.

Till ever two and two make five,
Till cows above the moon display,
Remember: never drink and drive;
It’s better, far, to think and thrive.

 

THE EARTH AND US – HENRY HASLAM