The Spoonbill Generator

Epitaph for the Ninth Night Shift

A snowman, weaned on Castor Oil [Roland]

Stout guardian of the winter soil [p]

And all the bleeding bones that it inherits [Roland]

A lighthouse, eating up the sea [P]

Denies transparent remedy [Roland]

To all who lack the five essential merits [P]

A fishwife, serving up the crust [TG]

That lay, discarded in the dust [Roland]

Well knows the cost of using borrowed time [TG]

An oilwell, in its winter plumes [Roland]

Can shrug off coughs and colds and rheums [TG]

And quite transcends its heritage sublime [Roland]

An orphan, drowsing at the gate [TG]

Betrays each broken magistrate [Roland]

And all the gentle folk who pass him by [TG]

A mongrel, barking on a mound [Roland]

Can sense the movements underground [TG]

Despite the clouded opal of his eye [Roland]

These facts, and many more beside, [TG]

Rock unrelenting on the tide [Roland]

And we can glean them if we have the knack [TG]

Yet Weilaway! Our wit being lost [Roland]

We cannot stand to bear the cost [TG]

And like the Trojan, fear th'impending sack [Angie's]

We shiver in our lightless hut [TG]

Quite silent, for our throats are cut [P]

And severed is each sinew of our souls [Roland]

Our feet are numb, our arms hang slack [TG]

And in our inner tubes, alack, [Roland]

We find a nest of unassuming voles [TG]

Whose impudence defies reward [Roland]

Let's throw the vermin overboard! [TG]

Despite our feeble limbs [Roland]

An Abbot, snoozing by the fire [TG]

Remembers some forgotten choir [Roland]

And hums a Sanctus as the candle dims [TG]

Contributors: Roland, p, P, TG, Angie's.
Poem finished: 19th September 1998.