The Decimal Hen


The Burbler of Servile
Dire BT's

  1. There's crying in Coburn and Kashmir tonight
  2. The death of many men cannot be praised
  3. Bicycles everywhere
  4. As to orientation I've begun a new elite
  5. A winter day, a Pinter play,
  6. The untold tenets of a lesser man
  7. Decay for teeth that live on bread and cheese!
  8. I have striven all my lives to find the Elixir of Tooth

There's crying in Coburn and Kashmir tonight
There's wailing and baring in Bath
But silence prevails, for nobody wails
On passion's perennial path.

On passion's perennial path sits my love
In poison's pedantic reprieve
And pray as she ponders why nobody wanders
Up to the parsons who grieve.

Up to the parsons who grieve did I sidle
Through poison's perpetual passage
Behind the locked gates where Aqualung waits
For a soothing remedial massage.

Tonnage, wells of rusty teeth
I woot it is no occident
That nubile numberplates from Neath
Dismay the unwed Occupant
Of latent buzzards sleeping-bags
Like dismal, suffering, halting hags
Whose horrid teeth decay,
And hymn the passing day.

There's laughter and license tonight on the bakes
And dancing (debauched) in the Dales
There's cold baths for all, the short and the tall,
For wombats, wild weasels and whales.


Drown your partner eight times eight
And bid him ne'er return
Too late.

The death of many men cannot be praised
As the body-littered sea-bed goes to show
As the ocean-deep detritus will unfailingly delight us
While we groan in woe at corpses in the snow.

The death of one and all leaves us amazed
We gape aghast: the coffin flutters by
The fees for father's funeral were frightfully unremuneral
And wailing weasels wearily wonder why.

My life is now a knee where shepherds grazed
Where phlox and crooked capucinos grow
Where monks threw buns at naked nuns
Who prance in vats of viscous dough.

To spend one's life submerged knee-deep in Greece
Where fruit and nuts are eaten by the score
Of sundry safety-matches played with no-balls, byes and catches
Is certainly if nothing else a bore.

But hold your mouths and set the lake on fire!
Let loose your ears, and put it out with wax!
Extend your nose - extinguish thus the pyre!
And stash the charred remainder in these sacks

O terrible racks!

Bicycles everywhere
Dancing shoes
Pumps that go "pigs!" in the dusk
The glow-worm moos
As it noisily chews
Its head.

Cows iridesce
Eagles putresce
The universe now putrefactory
Whore's frosty rhymes
(At visiting-times)
Are read.

Troilus was sacked
My baggage is packed
Cassandra she sate at the cesspit-
And sang all the while
Of a far fairer isle
To bed.

"Lustre of Troy!
You nauseous boy!
We'll send you post-haste to Poland
Clear up the mess
This emetic excess"
She fled.<>P

As to orientation I've begun a new elite
(Conceivably a rabid eastern yak)
Or else a fetid mongoose bound for Cuba or for Crete
Will you kindly get your hippo off my back
And quit my shack.

My system is so excellent for ascertaining apes
(My ape-timer is running somewhat slow)
St Simian Stylites dressed in 30,000 capes
Will you please remove my handcuffs - I must go
To let him know.

He knows not what is not the road for evanescent toads
(We hear him natter - Jackanory's here)

Who cry "I surely without doubt am fibbing `bout the loads
Of waxen substance flowing from St Cyr
Beyond the weir."


The water flows like milk
Tis thicker far than blood
Or aught else of that ilk.
I die with a sultry thud.

A winter day, a Pinter play,
By dint of deep deception
Into a zebra's ear were changed
An insecure inception.

A summer night, no number sight
A rum of odd titration
Combined in equal quantities
To dissipate the nation.

An autumn morn, of mortar born
An awk conceived of concrete
His stubborn wings so badly cast
Of feathers ferro-concrete.

A season rid of reason's ID
Were dark from dusk to dawning
And so the year evaporates
In black we stand here yawning.


Summer, winter, autumn, spring
Each palls long ere its end
To equinox and solstice cling
For Jamès is my friend
And, sadly, cannot sing
Or comprehend.

The untold tenets of a lesser man
Were held unsmiling up before the court
And long before the judge's speech began
I knew the value of what Steerforth taught.

Although of sense my words reveal a dearth
They're anagrams of epitaphs from Ur.
They're culled from crosswords done in Perth
And bibles set in fur.

A noisome gathering of Grecian goats
Who hacked and demolished the toaster
Each singing different, unharmonious notes
Like an unoiled roller-coaster.

An orgiastic conference of nesting pears
Took place upon the 80th of last week
And like a stallion casting out his mares
The fruitbat gave an unromantic squeak.

Beneath the crust, four decomposing rats
Were startled by the nuns who came to tea
And furry bibles don their shoes and seats
And leave the rats to Harkness and to me.

I'm hiding in a block of gothic flats
A sharp and occidental pile (with bats)
And Fastnet is my mother's resting-place
Where she must wash her sinful feline face,
Which none can see.
Oh, think of me!
And wash more often...

Decay for teeth that live on bread and cheese!
Reprieve for sweet-toothed men of Aberporth!
The thaw for snow-clad mountains in the north
No colds in winter now for those who wheeze.
December brings renewal to the tongue
That tastes no tea; I thought the other tooth
Would bring at least a fleeting glimpse of youth
To hobbling sailors deafened by the rung.
But eaten meals deserve a plangent note
And stomachs sigh with nothing to digest.
Take from your eye the beam - then cast your vote
Against the tyrant who subdues the west.
Thus we who see all knowledge is in vain
Conceal this fact: our college is in pain.

I have striven all my lives to find the Elixir of Tooth
In all the spheres, the B.D.A., the asteroids of Zooth
But wisdom fails me, eyes grow dim, and seeking for the truth
Is futile
Scarcely utile
Most uncouth!

I've attempted since my childhood to discover what it is
In all the bright receptacles where philiphilies fizz
But no one tells me where to go, and making for Cadiz
Exhausts me
Exhorts me
In quiz.

I'll try tomorrow stringently to tie up Steerforth's claim
That the parts of whom he seldom sees are every bit the same
As those that sip the supple soups in Soupy Simon's game
But hark!
The bark
Of fame.

Tonight's the night! I'll bite (through spite) the lamp
I'll burn the guy and strike (from grief) the camp
And lisping there again I'll win a gamp
Collect it on