The Spoonbill Generator

Unending Mitigation

Remind me to unwind the clock [P]

For time has never been my friend [TG]

Since I lay, bleeding, on the block [Roland]

Pursuant to my end [P]

Not caring how some dull decree [Roland]

Might any moment set me free [P]

Rewind the tape, and play again [TG]

Those gloomy strains of yesteryear [Roland]

That issue from the steamy fen [P]

Corroding all good cheer [Roland]

And drowning many fearful men [P]

Before they shed a tear [Roland]

Record these thoughts lest time forget [P]

The days we shared before the blight [TG]

That tinges time with raw regret [Roland]

And saps our sacred will to fight [P]

We must befriend posterity [TG]

And tame its wild temerity [Roland]

Reverse the thread, and try once more [TG]

To ravel up the tattered sheet [Roland]

Which sheltered us from Mistral's roar [TG]

And Boreas's slicing sleet [Roland]

Then go and stand against the door [TG]

And gargle thrice with Hellebore. [Roland]

Reject the pleas of those who smile [TG]

In circumstance inapposite [Roland]

To us, whose total lack of guile [TG]

Is all we dare admit [Roland]

As we all stumble, single file, [P]

Between the shadows steeped with bile [Roland]

Repeal the laws which punish fish [P]

With drowning in the open air [Roland]

And favour those whose only wish [P]

Is scales in place of hair [Roland]

And to become a tasty dish [P]

Befitting such as Lillian Gish [Roland]

Reveal me as the fool I am [P]

Too tolerant, too meek, too mild [Roland]

And probably, at heart, a sham [P]

With vice unreconciled [Roland]

Then solace me with one small dram [TG]

And give me sixpence for the tram [P]

Rejoice! Yet in rejoicing, tell [Roland]

No lies, for they will find you out [TG]

And when your sould you try to sell [P]

you'll find, without the slightest doubt, [Roland]

You're doomed to fry in deepest hell [P]

and end your days a battered shell [Roland]

Contributors: P, TG, Roland.
Poem finished: 13th January 1999.