from Desolation Row

By | 28 February 2005

The Unknown Soldier charges glasses:
word has gone around
our enthusiast Prime Minister
has been discovered drowned.
He was washed up next a pillbox
and received a salute:
the President's instructions
were pinned to his bathing suit.

The once-runt receives favours
for achievements not his own
They sit him down with crayons
and tell him how he's grown.
Adults seem to overlook him
-no matter what knee-rub he tries-
He stops his watch as evidence
of what time he arrived.

Your last remaining passport
is in the teeth of a Basset Hound;
Due to its good breeding
you cannot take it to the pound.
Its owner is a simper
drawn on a rocking horse
He will only blow his horn
if you agree to be main course.

A mess of unfed kittens
are lined up in a row
and drowned in odds and evens
for having nowhere else to go.
All except those spat out
by the pedigree machine
that guarantees our borders
and full saucers of cream.

The hard recruiting Sergeant
settles an old bet – as to
the Scout Master's birthday
and what present he should get.
The lieutenant pastes the Monarch
to a naked man and has it framed,
The Sergeant has the remains of Baden-Powell
welded to a weather vane.

The imitation Sister Florence
betrays her hide-out game
by giving the wrong needle
and misspelling her name.
Her lantern flickers weakly
as she soothes you to your rest
the words to Auld Lang Syne
are tucked into her breast.

The newlywed returned to sender
sinks and cannot seem
to recover any altitude
in his mistress' esteem.
She trims his big toenail
and thinks him grown rotund
while he butters both sides of toast
and re-treads trodden ground.

The one-armed train conductor
is a month ahead in dues
His stamp upon the ticket
is congealing into a bruise.
He lives with the parking inspector
beneath a garbage lid
and presents a stick of perfect chalk
as an anniversary gift.

The pretty monkey dissident
is depicted as a lush
Downing soused bananas
peeled back from the brunt at lunch
He is an old-style disturbance
rolling marbles under hooves
and brandishing a permit
to operate as sooth.

The pedestrians are silent
by the written request
of a twice-promoted librarian
and an uninvited guest.
One indicates one's purchase
in cash register charades
“From Intimates to Politics”
by the Marquis de Sade.

The reluctant school Head Mistress
has her cigar and her cane,
A student and past Master
are locked on Lover's Lane.
A prefect is convicted
of insufficient beef
and marking his page in Leviticus
with a marijuana leaf.

The recovered anorexic
is lauded for the gain,
The recovered alcoholic
throws himself under a train.
The disorder inventory
loses a commissionaire
and the invalid canary
that shat crutches in his hair.

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