... Local Government
If you can keep your seat when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can charm your leader not to doubt you
But be prepared to sack him when time’s due;
If you can scent out victory, and snatch her,
Triumphant, from disaster’s very jaw;
If, when the roof leaks, you can be the Thatcher
With only broken reeds and men of straw;
If you can use the press, not let them use you,
Can be discreet, but get your leak in first,
Be principled if pressure groups abuse you,
But spin a soft line when you come off worst;
If still you thirst for public recognition,
But don’t take notoriety for fame,
If you can learn to knife the opposition,
But watch your colleagues’ daggers just the same;
If you can master estimate and budget,
And learn to spout out jargon with the rest;
If you can find a subtle way to fudge it,
To have your cake and eat it, as is best;
If you can hide your heart and court the voters,
And say you’ll solve all problems in a trice,
And stick your foot in doors and smile at floaters,
And pat their filthy dogs and say, “How nice!”
If you can twist the unforgiving minute,
To prove you always vote the people’s way,
Yours is the ward and every voter in it
(Except that few will turn out on the day).
If you can keep your family’s supper waiting
And hawk the Party’s message, door to door,
You’ll get your fill of ridicule and hating,
But never mind – you’ll be a Councillor!
Glyn Roberts 2008
I will not invent weapons before one in the morning.
I will not go to war before I pray.
I will not mislead the House while sitting down.
And I will tell at least five truths a day.
Aidan Baker 2008
comes the dawn at midnight
the stars are tired of being gazed at,
the stars are just one inch too far away.
beneath the talons of low branches,
minutes shrivel and decay.
September darkness drinks my lungs,
bloom along the path I've chosen.
angels queue for my unsettled dust
and all my
gravestone memories lie frozen.
she comes with lips like rain kissed roses,
like moonlight spilled across the flood.
are clear as sky when all the swifts have flown
these beyond price moments, I stand outside my blood.
David King 2008
in the air dust
bits of piecrust
under bed dust
coming must dust
to ashes dust
Les Wilkie 2008
Late Now for Unicorns
One balmy summer's night
Under the full moon's light
A maiden and a unicorn, they met
But come the light of dawn
The unicorn was gone
A hairy ass was next to her in bed
And this is what the hairy ass said
"You can only catch a unicorn once
That's what makes a unicorn unique
But now you've had your unicorn fun
Why not try to capture me?"
The maiden nearly screamed
And hid beneath the sheets
She said, "My lovely unicorn's a lie!
You're not a mythic beast
A pretty fallacy
Oh hairy ass, you took me for a ride!"
This is how the hairy ass replied
"Well, if it's too late now for unicorns
Why not try another horned beast?
You don't really need a unicorn
Now's your chance to ride on me."
The maiden sat and thought
About the beast she'd caught
Then looked at him in quite a different way
His back was broad and strong
His tail was really long
Yes, quite the cutest ass she'd seen all day
And then she heard the hairy ass say
"I love the lusty smile that you're making
Makes me think I'll soon regain my horn
So say you'll be my magic maiden
Let me be your unicorn."
Anne Murphy 2008
The Poet on Form
by Anthony Watts
villanelle is villainous;
devious and Dylanous;
liable to spill on us
limerick is fiddlestick;
to make you choleric;
It's not at all sublime.
has an IQ
thirteen (just like you).
wonder, did it strike you
That to write one is a crime?
roundel and sestina –
don't know which is meaner.
issue a subpoena
abort them in their prime.
sonnet is a bonnet
some fourteen ribbons on it.
sign it or 'Anon' it.
You can sell it for a dime.
Anthony Watts 2008
Ghosts of Marlow
From Maidenhead to dreamy Marlow go
The winding roads that trace the river's course
Through dappled meadow-lands or wild hedgerow.
And here, in golden days, by coach and horse,
Came motley bands of literary men:
Bluff Izaak Walton with his angling rod,
Or Percy Shelley, with ecstatic pen
Contending some high argument with God;
While his poor Mary, cooped in Albion House,
Proof-read the galleys of her 'Frankenstein',
Then set decanters for a mad carouse,
As Leigh Hunt brought Lord Byron down to dine
(Or so we're told) with Peacock; whose renown
Sprang from his 'Nightmare Abbey, here composed;
When all their table-talk was jotted down
To ginger up the next book he proposed.
Perhaps they laughed about how, long before,
'Twas rumoured Good King Charles with romping Nell -
The Merry Monarch with his merrier whore -
Turned Marlow Place to love's sweet citadel.
While unaware that, in some later year,
When their bright lives were wasted to the bone,
The town would host a poet held their peer -
Tom Eliot in a wasteland all his own...
So, fired; 'How glorious to discard one's load,
And settle here, a troubadour, instead!"
I mused a while...then shrugged...and took the road
From dreamy Marlow back to Maidenhead.
Adrian Brown 2008
You have to knock three weighted cans
from a shelf with a pellet smaller than
a fingernail. As if the game wasn’t already bent
(like the sights) and the barrel sent
the other way, twisted. The first shot’s always
astray; your second’s a glancing ricochet.
By the third trigger-squeeze, you might
hit something. But I don’t resent this outright
cheating, in fact I welcome it, and say:
all guns should be made this way.
Anthony Scott 2008
Upon A Morning
Once upon a morning
of a misty twisty day,
a Goblin woke from a dreamless sleep
and went along his way.
He shook hands with a foxglove
and rang a bluebell's door,
he rode upon a horse chestnut tree
and heard a dandelion roar.
He came to a fork in the road
and then a knife and spoon,
he took a drink from a buttercup
and saw a cowslip, then swoon.
As he bullrushed over
and helped her to her feet,
a dog rose barked at him
so he ran swiftly down the street.
He knocked and opened the jackdaw
of the Little Pixie's house,
but there wasn't mushroom at all for him
so he closed the dormouse.
He lentil at the window
and looked around inside,
"Ah, just the very person,"
the Little Pixie cried,
"I avocet of papers
I'd like forsythia you to sign,"
and he gave him a penguin and pointed
"there, on the dotted line.
Thank dewberry much,"
the Little Pixie, said,
he curlewed all the papers up
and then went off to bed.
"That's two good turnips I've done today,"
the goblin said, now yawning.
"I think I'll take a rest
and while away the morning."
He came to a bed of roses
and onto this he crept,
wondering what the fuchsia would bring
the Goblin gently slept.
Terry Hopwood-Jackson 2008
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