The Spoonbill Generator

Offhand Emblem

If the captain's metaphysic [P]

Fails, and everyone gets seasick [Roland]

Who will save them? Richard Crashaw? [fester]

Or will John Milton, at the masthead, [P]

Staring blindly at the compass [Roland]

As he might a molten rickshaw, [Apsley]

Certify the final rumpus? [Roland]

If the colonel's inelastic [Beefy]

And it snaps, that can be drastic [fester]

Who's to worry? Galileo? [Roland]

Or John Milton, on the poop-deck, [Apsley]

Staring blindly at the mainbrace [Fatty]

As he might a jar of mayo [loaf]

Serialise his nightly brainwaves? [fester]

If the sergeant's periphrastic [Apsley]

In his songs, and not fantastic [loaf]

Who would know? Helen Keller? [JS]

Or will John Milton, as the helmsman [Fatty]

Staring blindly at the chartage [Apsley]

Wish he'd brought a large umbrella [TG]

Like the one he lost at Carthage [Roland]

If the corporal's choleric [TG]

Chiefly when he sails from Berwick [loaf]

Who's to calm him? Archimedes? [fester]

Or will John Milton, acting bosun, [Apsley]

Staring blindly at the sextant [fester]

Dreaming of the distant cedars [Roland]

Find the cure that's surely extant? [Apsley]

If the private's Archimago [Fatty]

Cannot tell his rice from sago [Beefy]

Who's to bother? David Bowie? [loaf]

Or will John Milton, our cowering mute, [JS]

Staring blindly through the hail-stones [Roland]

That descend from Valpariso [Apsley]

Sort the female from the male bones? [Fatty]

Thus, the very ending ... [loaf]

Into outer space descending, [Apsley]

Amen ... ding ... [loaf]

Contributors: P, Roland, fester, Apsley, Beefy, Fatty, loaf, JS, TG.
Poem finished: 20th January 2001.