or "The Papist"
- O green, green, green! They all came out of the green.
- He writes with the left who once wrote with the right,
- From where I stand no sound is heard
- "FOR THOSE IN PERIL ON THE SEA"
- Auntie's Inferno is long since extinct,
O green, green, green! They all came out of the green.
Casting their cares to the wind, they shout to each other with glee.
Why must I listen?
So green is the sea,
The sea that in this awful place is, O, so rarely seen
When the molluscs glisten.
O fie, fie, fie! I toil and I truggle and try:
Casting my fetters away, I strike up a chorus in D.
Whom must I strangle?
So orange are we!
So horribly orange, our glow has infected the sky
Like a rotting Spangle.
O woe, woe, woe, I shine with a luminous glow,
Labouring over fields of glutinous loam.
When shall I slumber
While writing this pome?
Or reciting the lies that I shall never know,
Forgetting the number?
O death, death, death -- my parents are both out of breath
Through breathing their last in a shoemaker's box,
Drowning in leather
While clutching their socks
And pronouncing in Gothic a low shibboleth
Predicting the weather.
He writes with the left who once wrote with the right,
And does in the day what he once did by night,
And those who knew him now take fright
And warn off their kin from a similar plight.
He cries in the rain who once reigned with a cry,
And furrows his brow with a sizeable sigh,
And his awful errors multiply
The quotient of eight by the sum of reply
'til the powers that be become banned from the sky
And are forced to descend on a lame eremite.
The lad, on the rung of a ladder, was wrung
By the neck for the song so appallingly sung,
With lugubrious larynx and terrible tongue,
With a warbling wind from a labouring lung.
Alas, Orgelusa, his time was now up:
He drank curried vole from an old paper cup
As if the volcano was about to erup';
Then he grope, and he grape, and he gripe and he grup.
On August the 8th I arose with the pup,
Which I fed with a turnip and wild rubber bung.
I feel like a pear of a peel at a fair:
A lascivious Czechoslovakian au pair.
From where I stand no sound is heard
Save shrill and lucid mutters,
And still no thought my mind has stirred save
"How few cats have stutters."
And with this truth I'll live my life
Until my grey beard crumbles
Or leaves me and attacks my wife,
Who always groans and grumbles
A graceless squaw who plaits her hair
And fashions shapes exotic,
And sleeps while floating in the air
In postures quite ungainly,
From where I sit no smell is small,
No sight is sought unsubtly.
The lighthouse keeper, ten feet tall,
He closed the door quite shutly.
His mouth wedged open by a spoon,
He kicked the knavish curry
And shouted, "You may leave quite soon!"
-- they all left in a hurry.
A graceless hare who squats alone,
And sings in basic Turkish,
For two is comely, three's a crone,
And four is scarcely lawful,
["FOR THOSE IN PERIL ON THE SEA"]
Upon a far-off gloomy shore
Where octopoids made merry
My father left a bottle brown
Enclosure which was like a town:
A city drowned in sherry.
The first day that he left it there,
To board his vessel briny,
It dug a hole full six foot deep,
(As if an ageing witless creep
Had dreamed it up in senile sleep --
his intellect is tiny).
The phantom Welder raised the eye
My father helped him pickle,
And looked around the burning bath,
Awaiting the dire aftermath
Of frying Sodium in the hearth.
-- These fearsome fiends are fickle.
His eye, it leapt from wall to wall.
We squashed it with a racket
But, bouncing back, it broke a vase;
The Welder, rolling loud his "r"s
In imitation of Papa's
Said, "If it squashes, sack it."
The hedgehog's in the nesting-box,
The wild ducks are prickly.
My father stunned them with a mace;
The Czech book-keeper fell from grace,
And Grace fell silent quickly.
Auntie's Inferno is long since extinct,
As extinct as the greenhouse to which it was linked.
The greenhouse decayed as the sunflowers grew.
The flowers grew green as the sun house did too,
Till everything burst with an ominous "Bang"
And the debris was scattered to farthest Penang,
Where uproarious natives seek widely furore,
Till the day dawns again and their knee-bones are sore.
The kneebones delayed as the coronaries crew
Had a thrombotic vote just to see who was who.
But hold, ye Arabs!
Avast, ye Scarabs!
Elope, ye Lapps!
And turn off taps!
Begone, all Fins
For as the poll was counted out,
We curried flavour with the lout
And laid the regal plinth:
"FONDUE makes the heart ABSINTHE",
And melts the wax of love,
As it cries out aloud to the heavens above,
©1973, 1999 The Rat Fathom Poets
Edited by Peter Christian
May 31 2023.