Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Global warming? What global warming?

This morning I awoke with grace
Of God, the sun upon my face
And, as the day was heaven-sent,
I lay there in my canvas tent
And marvelled at those bearded loons
Who whistle eco-friendly tunes.
For aeons now they have insisted
Policies are grossly twisted,
Repeating, yea, ad infinitum,
We’ve obligations to rewrite ‘em.
They claim we should protect the masses
From the scourge of greenhouse gases
And “legislation needs reforming”
Due to so-called global warming.

(Greenhouse gases? Pah! My arse!
‘Tis but a science-fiction farce
That Cork and Galway may tomorrah
Fall like Sodom and Gomorrah!
‘Tis clear that both these wondrous places
Sport the very best oases,
And people in glass houses oughta
Smell the roses and the water)

And thus I lay in contemplation
Of the eco-situation,
While outside, my well nourished ass
Grazed lightly in the marram grass.
Why, just last week, as I recall,
I bought a paper at the stall
Of my old friend, Saleem Ka-bar
Down in the Blanchardstown bazaar,
And read how still those heat-deranged
Green activists claim Ireland’s changed!
And though I grant in certain ways
Old Ireland’s vanished in the haze,
I view their words with much regret
That they should come across so wet.

Oh yes ‘tis true, our travelling folk,
Still railing ‘gainst convention’s yoke
By roaming freely ‘cross the land
From Dunes of Mourne to Banna Strand,
No longer go “traditionally,”
(By 4 x 4, or SUV)
But ride along the harsh terrain
By virtue of a camel train.
And yes, ‘tis true that anybody
Now can cross the Shannon wadi
By walking without fear or dread
Across the arid river bed
And stay as dry as Israelites
Escaping to Mount Sinai’s heights.

But sandy fields of Athenry,
Where still the circling buzzards fly,
You’ve only changed by dint of colour
From verdant green to somewhat duller.
The farmers still protest the rates
Of subsidies for figs and dates.
And still I see familiar faces
At the dromedary races
(Where, I grudgingly confirm,
The going is routinely “firm”)
Where two or three may come together,
Still they moan about the weather,
And how this year they’ll go to Spain
To try and get a bit of rain.

Alarmist eco-friendly warrior,
Don’t you think we might be sorrier
If our climate were endowed
With drizzling rain and blackened cloud?
How could we cope with sudden storms
And sun that neither lights nor warms?
How would we know what clothes to wear?
How would the turbaned goat-herd fare
If we were prone to sudden showers,
Summonsed by almighty powers?
Seditious fires should not be fanned
Across our brown and pleasant land.
Thrilled to discover that this got 2nd place in the Trim Literary Festival Swift Satire Competition organised by the Boyne Writers Group

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Lisbon Treaty

Most tea-leaves are grown upon bushes,
So the vertically-challenged can reach ‘em.
The foliage grows thick and luscious,
(According to Stephanie Beecham.)

But in Lisbon, they grow a variety
On trees grown in soil that’s peaty.
Oh its quite the new thing in society –
The highly renowned Lisbon tree tea.
There’s brothels, bars
And burnt-out cars
And urban-art graffiti
And ladyboys
From Clonmacnoise
And dialogue that’s meaty.
Alien trips
On saucered ships,
Return to earth for E.T.
Murd’rous monks
Who dress as punks
And moonshine from Tahiti.
True or not?
Sure who knows what
Is in the Lisbon Treaty?
It’s a treaty of refinement,
Parliamentary realignment.
It’s intensive, comprehensive,
Both inclusive and extensive,
The definitive convention
Of diplomatic circumvention,
Both inventive and attentive,
With political incentive,
Full of ethical sub-clauses
‘Bout pan-European causes.
It’s productive and instructive,
Multi-laterally constructive,
A quasi-terminal solution
To a federal constitution.
Three unsuccessful entries into RTE Drivetime's competition to explain the Lisbon Treaty in 50 words or less

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Poverty Trap

He stares at the paint-peeling walls that surround him,
The settlement deeds that conspire to confound him,
And draws his deep-pocketed anorak ‘round him,
Lamenting his dire situation.

He checks down the back of the threadbare two-seater
To find a stray shilling to put in the meter
So he can hunch over his single bar heater
And try to restore circulation.

Life is cruel, life is crap
When your arse is ensnared in the poverty trap.

His chin is unshaven, his hair is dishevelled,
He wears the appearance of someone bedevilled
By gross accusations mischievously levelled
That basely conspire to haunt him.

He wishes his daughter would learn to write novels
And earn enough cash so he no longer grovels
In Drumcondra squatland in derelict hovels
Whose squalor now rises to taunt him.

Life is cruel, life is tough,
And I think that me belt has been tightened enough

His ribcage is prominent, his stomach is rumbling,
The sprout in the fridge is both shrivelled and humbling.
He dreams of the good times, distractedly mumbling
‘Bout trying to balance the budget.

He yearns for a burger on which he can pig out,
Of suits so much smarter than his current rig out.
If only he’d friends who would give him a dig out!
How could anybody begrudge it?

Life is cruel, and it hurts
When you can’t fly to Paris to pick up your shirts

How he longs for a fireside that crackles and blazes,
A plate of spaghetti with three bologneses,
And a big pint of Bass with a head – ah now, Jaysus! –
To wash down the plate of smoked salmon.

But now, though he plays to a national gallery,
He’s forced to conserve every grimly-won calorie.
Oh its hard to exist on a Minister’s salary –
And they say things were bad in the famine!

Life is cruel, life is gank
When you don’t have a cent to put into the bank

One day, he avows, when he heads up the nation,
He’ll make sure his colleagues don’t suffer starvation,
Constantly worried by gross deprivation
And fretting when poverty hits them.

No farting around in small step-by-step stages,
He’ll hike up their pensions and hoosh up their wages,
No matter how vocally everyone rages,
He’ll give them a wage that befits them.

Life is cruel, I can’t cope,
Doesn’t everyone see that I’m just a Joe Soap?

Life is cruel, life is crap,
When your arse is ensnared in the poverty trap.
I feel this one needs a word of explanation. I originally submitted this to the Strokestown Political Satire Competition 2008, without the italicised chorusy bits. To my surprise it was nominated and I realised I would have to recite it. As I have a stammer, I decide instead to sing it but realised it was a bit monotonous, so added the chorus bits.
At the Festival, I duly sang the original submission (as per the rules) and was totally gobsmacked when it won!