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Nail on the Head


The Day of the Unborn

The day will come when research clinics,
cosmetic shops, laboratories,
sewers and landfill sites will open
and give up those whom no one sees.
They’ll rise and march against the living:
unborn, undead and unforgiving!

A host of billions, all the children
who never saw the light of day
will be emerging from the refuse
around the world, come out to play
and wreak their vengeance on the living:
unborn, undead and unforgiving!

Armed with the instruments that killed them,
all those unwanted will condemn
their foe and do unto their mothers
what once their mothers did to them,
an army dreaded by the living:
unborn, undead and unforgiving!


Address of Apology

We're sorry we've been too busy working,
inventing, designing, producing, promoting,
selling or repairing dish washers, washing machines,
tumble and hair dryers, microwaves and disposable nappies
in order to assuage your terrible lot,

We're sorry we've been too busy creating
the fashions that find your approval,
the kissproof lipstick and the tearproof mascara,
the one-night dye and the reddest nail polish,

We're sorry we've been too busy with our careers,
trying to catch up with your material needs,
bullying each other on the way to the top
in professions that we detest and despise
but that we perform until our dying year,

We're sorry we've been too busy writing,
staging and broadcasting the soaps you like
to keep you entertained from dawn till sunset,

We're sorry we've been too busy mowing the lawn,
digging the weeds and fixing the car,
mending the pipes and laying the carpet,
painting the walls and carrying home your shopping,

We're sorry we've been too busy killing and dying
in the wars of the nations, attempting to secure
and to enhance the lifestyle you're used to,

We're sorry we've been too busy making the money you spend
to take part in your struggle against male domination.


The Accident

The sergeant got a call, ‘This is
Officer Hill; I went
up to the protest, but there was
a horrid accident.

‘I don’t know what to do,’ he sobbed,
his voice was close to tears.
The sergeant answered, ‘Now there, there,
tell me what grinds your gears.’

‘I fired a shot into the air,
just to disperse the crowd,
and one of them dropped dead; I fear
my mum will not be proud.’

‘Just keep your calm,’ the sergeant said,
‘and do not lose your head;
the first thing you should do, young man,
is making sure he’s dead.’

After a short but poignant pause
the sergeant heard a shot.
The officer, back on the phone,
asked him, ‘All right. Now what?’


When Shakespeare Got a Day Job

The glover’s son had great ambitions
and future plans he didn’t hide.
‘I’ll be a playwright and an actor,’
he told his parents, full of pride.

‘Quit dreaming,’ said his hidebound father,
‘that is no steady type of work,
but I’ve secured you a position
in Marlowe’s Spices as a clerk.’

So William Shakespeare got a day job
and kept accounts day in, day out,
while in his head he made up stories
of kings and heroes, trust and doubt.

Once his employer checked his notes and
read out, ‘”To be or not to be” -
what does that mean?’ - ‘It’s an idea
I have to write a tragedy.’ -

‘I’m paying you for your accounting,
not to write plays or marching tunes;
you’ve time to scribble in the evenings,
the nights and Sunday afternoons.’

So William worked and spent the evenings
with wife and children, and he’d keep
his writing to a few short verses
after the children went to sleep.

And on his fifty-second birthday
he met with friends to celebrate,
but later, with one ale too many,
William collapsed and met his fate.

The priest said at his grave, ‘We’re grieving
today with this man’s family
who lost their husband and their father,
a man of great integrity.

‘He was a generous provider
who had a way with words and ink;
in his spare time he did some writing,
played billiards and enjoyed a drink.’


Religious Tolerance - Getting it Right

At Doright’s annual all-staff party, hampers
with bacon, sausages, pork loin and bread
were handed out to all with the exception
of Seth and Ahmed who got cheese instead.
Seth raged, ‘Because I’m Jewish you assume
that I’m religious? God, the degradation!’
And while the other staff enjoyed themselves,
Seth sued his bosses for discrimination.

The year that followed they had learned their lesson
(or so they thought) and gave, advertently,
regardless of their names and ethnic background,
pork hampers to each single employee.
When management announced the welcome news
the company’s continuing success meant
a rise in wages, all the workers cheered,
and Ahmed sued his bosses for harassment.


The Good Shepherd

With his trusting flock in the morning
the good shepherd sets out to seek
a green pasture on which they'll be grazing,
and he'll let them drink from the creek.

And he tells them a bedtime story
when at night they are going to sleep
of the paradise that awaits them,
and he then bids good night to his sheep.

And he sees them again at Easter
when the village meets under the trees
and prepares them upon a table
in the sight of their enemies.


The Lost Sheep

When it was Emma’s bedtime,
mum tucked her in before
she told the well-known story
of the Lost Sheep once more.

‘A shepherd had a hundred
sheep, and when one got lost
he didn’t rest until he
retrieved it at all cost.

‘Why do you think the little
sheep left his company
and that of all the others?’ -
‘She wanted to be free!’

‘No, sheep don’t look for freedom;
it just had lost its way,
and so the shepherd searched for
the one that went astray.

‘Why do you think it mattered,
since ninety-nine were left?’ -
‘She was his Sunday dinner
of which he was bereft.’

‘No, it’s because he loved it
he went out in the cold
to find the sheep and safely
return it to the fold.

‘If only one is missing,
Jesus will make a fuss:
the Good Lord is our shepherd,
and he loves all of us.’

But Emma told her mother
before she went to sleep,
‘The Lord is not my shepherd,
because I’m not a sheep!’


The Antizeus

The Antizeus has come to us
to lead mankind away
from Father Zeus whose love for man
and gods will never sway.

Born of a platypus, he has
fulfilled the prophecy
that he would be emerging from
the world of zoology.

Zoo keepers raised him in their home,
so no one else could find
him; now he’s fully grown and will
try to destroy mankind.

With pow’r from Cronus he’ll perform
great miracles to show
that he commands all worldly things,
and soon his clout will grow.

He’ll teach that Zeus does not exist
and tempt his flock and more
to follow false and wicked gods
like Vishnu, Christ and Thor.

His body bears, concealed, a mark.
Now here is wisdom since
the red inverted thunderbolt
his nature will evince.

And all of his disciples he’ll
initiate with coal
and burn his mark upon their palm,
their bottom or their sole.

He’ll conquer nations, one by one,
and, while Zeus’ anger grows,
against Olympus they will march,
the Father to depose.

No guns can harm him and no swords,
no guillotine or noose:
a golden eagle, nothing else,
can kill the Antizeus.

His reign of terror will commence
when Athens he devours
and last eight years, four months, five days
and fourteen and half hours.

But then, with thunderbolts and lightning,
on rage Zeus will embark
and cast him into Tartarus
with those who bear his mark.

And Zeus will then reclaim his throne
to govern gods and men;
after the debris is cleaned up,
all will be well again.


The First Supper

The disciples met in Joseph’s
house who had the table laid
to commemorate the selfless
sacrifice their Saviour made.

Mary stormed into the meeting
and dispersed her brethren’s gloom,
‘He has risen! He has risen!
There’s no body in the tomb!’

‘That’s great news,’ said Joseph, smiling.
‘Sure, the Lord is homeward bound,’
and he sliced the meat for supper,
and he passed the chalice round.

Everyone was in good spirits,
until John looked at his fork
as he chewed and asked politely,
‘Surely you’re not serving pork?’

Simon Peter took the chalice,
drank and smashed it with a thud,
turned around and barked at Joseph,
‘That’s not wine, Joe! This is blood!’

‘Do you not remember, brethren,
what our Saviour said before?
Eat my flesh and drink my blood, and
you shall live for evermore!

‘He has given us his dogma,
we’re supposed to live by it!
Hold on, I’ll just put another
juicy femur on the spit...’


The Anthropophagi

They say their God came down to Earth,
became a man and gave them
eternal life the day he died
upon the cross to save them.
How do you think they treat the man
who died for them and one day
will bring them to his paradise?
They eat him on a Sunday.

He taught his humble fellowmen
the easy-to-infer fact
that not a person in this world
except himself is perfect.
They are forgiven once a week
and sin again on Monday;
as for the man who saved their souls,
they eat him on a Sunday.

Their ancestors were primitive,
and human sacrifices
were fried or barbecued and served
with native herbs and spices.
But then came Christ, and now they are
more civilised – their fun day
is when, unseasoned and uncooked,
they eat him on a Sunday.


Knights in White Satin

Knights in white satin,
always shunning the day,
letters they've written
come down to a K.

They love the darkness,
wear the blood drop and cross
dress to kill ruthlessly,
and they'll show you who's boss.

And they love it,
yes they love it,
oh how they love it!

Like evil fairies
they emerge from the woods,
grown-ups that dress up
in white robes and white hoods.

Sometimes I wonder
what these terrible knights
wear underneath it -
is it stockings or tights?

And they love it,
yes they love it,
oh how they love it!


The War to End All Wars

‘This war, like the next war, is a war to end war’ - David Lloyd George, 1916

When hundred years ago the trenches filled
with soldiers first, and with their corpses then,
there was a notion nevermore again
could there be war, nor that much blood be spilled.

The War to End All Wars would tomb the sword
and end in a new order of evolved
countries, their conflicts peacefully resolved
at the round table or the drawing board.

You know how well that went. Their magic spells
have failed us, and their battles didn’t cease;
today all nations of the world want peace,
albeit according to their terms, or else…

Thus armament producer, xenophobe,
cleric, tycoon and head of state agree,
commemorating the centenary
with multifarious wars around the globe.


Warming to the Globe

'I want it, and I want it now!'
the delegates heard their leader rant.
'To heat our factories and homes,
I want my nuclear power plant!'

But her advisors tried to point
out, as they had so often tried
before, that due to risks and costs
the plant could not be justified.

'I do not want us to depend
on filthy Arabs, and much less
on those unruly miners who
left our economy in a mess!

'If global cooling brings that new
Ice Age of which the world now speaks,
our country shan't be held to ransom
by union bosses and by sheiks.'

'The climate change reversed, my Lady -
over the past two years the Earth
got slightly warmer, and that trend
seems to remain, for all it's worth.'

'Then that must be the CO2
that we emit - it should be banned!'
The scientists laughed out, 'Just like
that raindrop that sank Doggerland.'

'If we could prove that it is so,'
the Prime Minister kept her calm,
'then all our problems could be solved
by raising the global warming alarm.

'There'd be new products and new jobs
reducing levels, we could tax
all CO2 emitting fuels,
and we'd get Greenpeace off our backs.

'There's an entire industry
to be developed while we shan't
forget the science to support it,
and I could get my nuclear plant!'


The Wakefield Legacy

So Andrew Wakefield got the patent
for his vaccine; a heart’ning sign,
but there’s a hurdle: the existing
vaccine is working fine.

To slam it, he composed a paper,
claiming that it caused Crohn’s disease;
that claim was very soon refuted,
but Wakefield didn’t cease.

Taking advantage of the needless
panic that swept the world by storm,
he now alleged it caused autism,
remaining true to form.

Parents refused to have their children
protected by vaccines, and so
children are dying of diseases
defeated long ago.

Though scientists disproved his findings
and found his methods to be slick,
unscientific and abusive,
he still makes people tick.

Struck off the register, dishonoured,
the world of science saw him gone,
but in the deaths of countless children
his legacy lives on.


Parental Advice

Do not go down that road, my child!
That’s no respectable career;
you would be hated and reviled
for spreading misery and fear.
Though it may seem like easy money,
the consequences won’t be funny.

You’d live on others’ hard-earned pay,
extorting money from the poor,
you’d break up homes, and you’d betray
those trusting you whom you abhor.
You’d be insulted, shunned and highly
despised despite the life of Reilly.

You’d snub the vulnerable which
depend on you whom once you knew,
be at the mercy of your rich
superiors whose bidding you
must do, regardless of the morals
you may have left, to earn your laurels.

And we will not have anything
to do with you if you should see
it through; think twice before you bring
dishonour on our family
and live with hatred and suspicion;
do not become a politician!


The Spirit of Democracy

Each night, to vex the ones they scoff
and play a game called ‘straining scum’,
the misoplebeian horde rides off
to raid the people in the slum.
They’d storm into their homes to eat
and take whatever they can find:
their food, their blankets and their peat;
their mission is to rob them blind.

And anyone who dares complain
that he is driven to the brink
is dragged outside and feels the cane
before he’s told, ‘Your people stink!
You all are rotten selfish brats:
you breathe our air, ungrateful grumps,
you drink our lake and eat our rats,
and then your corpses fill our dumps!’

The misoplebeian horde then rides
back home to their estates to rule
the country, to oblige their brides
or sip martinis by the pool.
But each quadrennial they face
a fleeting period of grief
when they are entering the race
as slum dwellers elect the chief.

At first many a gobshite cries,
‘Things will get better in my grip!’
and then the country’s topshite tries
to hold on to his leadership.
‘This is no time for change,’ he’d say.
‘If I stay chief, I’ll reimburse
those who were wronged - just stay away
from these, because they’ll rob you worse!’

Sometimes a slum dweller may run
for chiefdom, but there is a cure:
the misoplebeians sling for fun
a spoonful of some bull’s manure
at him and say in disbelief,
pointing at him whom they estrange,
‘Do you want him to be your chief?’
ensuring things will never change.

One day somebody who had worked
his way up from the slum to be
a misoplebeian with a murked
sense of belonging asked with glee,
‘Why don’t we exile them? Those scabs
have no possessions, class or skills!’ -
‘Have you gone mad? We need the plebs
to do our work and pay our bills!’


The Necessity of World Hunger

Capitalism, as they say, creates
a better world for our society
through competition, freedom and the right
to choose from an immense variety.

How beneficial capitalism is
to humankind can easily be seen
in supermarkets where we buy our food,
in restaurants and in your firm’s canteen.

To maximise their profit, they prepare
and stock more food than needed; then, bar none,
the rest goes to the skip, prevented by
security from feeding anyone.

This wastage is imperative for them,
as anyone with eyes can plainly see,
because of course they’d sell a little less
if they left out the out-of-dates for free.

The food that’s wasted in the Western World
could feed this planet several times a day:
world hunger is a necessary part
of our beloved capitalistic way.


The Spirits of the Living

Fear not the dead! They’re dead now, the slaves you raised by hand,
the ones you starved for profit, the ones you killed for land.
But while your former victims are dead and buried deep,
the spirits of the living will haunt you in your sleep!

In daylight they obey you and do as you compel,
but when you both are sleeping, they rise against their hell,
revealing without mercy the beast within the sheep:
the spirits of the living will haunt you in your sleep!

You get up in the morning and brush your dreams away,
as do your listless subjects, for in the light of day
the spirits of the living retire, and for your sake
you better keep on praying that they may never wake!


The Truth Puts On Its Shoes

When it saw that in the hurry
its right shoe was on the left
foot, the truth began to worry
that its foe might be more deft,
and the world enjoyed a snooze
while the truth put on its shoes.

It corrected its position,
and it held its tongue to trace
back the cord in one big mission
to untangle the knotted lace,
and the world enjoyed a snooze
while the truth put on its shoes.

Then it spent another while at
it to feed the lace back in,
noticed it had missed an eyelet
and went back and rubbed its chin,
and the world enjoyed a snooze
while the truth put on its shoes.

The procedure was repeated
with the left, the knots tied tight,
and it uttered, unconceited,
‘First I had to get it right.’
And the world enjoyed a snooze
while the truth put on its shoes.

When the truth, now good and ready,
stepped outside with facts to share,
its opponent had already
staked its claims out everywhere,
for the world enjoyed a snooze
while the truth put on its shoes.


Holocene Days

It was an August night in Barcelona.
A weak old man limped forward in despair;
the ice cracked heavily beneath his footsteps
as he approached the fire lit in the square.

The others let him through to warm his body.
‘Thank you for that! I wish that I had been
born hundred years before my time to witness
the heydays of the joyful Holocene.’

‘What is a Holocene?’ somebody asked him,
a dimwitted expression on his face.
‘A metal band, another word for acid,
or just the name of some exotic place?’

‘It was a short eventful interglacial
in which most of the ice had thawed away;
the Holocene gave birth to modern humans
and slowly made us what we are today.

‘Our rivers and our lakes were never frozen,
not even in this northern latitude,
the Pyrenees entirely free of glaciers,
and people everywhere grew crops for food.

‘The countryside was green and full of wildlife,
and even in the city flowers bloomed,
tall trees were growing all along La Rambla,
but now the ice has all of them entombed.

‘The summers were so warm that people sweated
and wore no coats nor scarves this time of year;
they lay near naked in the parks, on beaches
and cooled themselves with ice cream or cold beer.

‘Sweet Holocene! My grandpa used to tell me
about the last few years when gradually
the ice returned and in some decades covered
the hills and plains as far as one could see.’

Of course this is a glimpse into the future
in which once more the Quaternary casts
her icy chills, so let’s, with merry spirits,
enjoy the interglacial while it lasts.


The House Slaves’ Lullaby

Like shifting sands in the desert
are the souls of the slaves. Some now call
for a big revolution to free us,
but believe me, we slaves are too small.
- Now hush, little darling, and sleep.

It’s true that most slaves are compliant,
but not all remain silent; equipped
with a voice, many offer resistance
by screaming out loud when they’re whipped.
- Now hush, little darling, and sleep.

But we do not fight back when we’re punished,
for under their stringent regime
our authoritarian masters
may even forbid us to scream.
- Now hush, little darling, and sleep.

So you shouldn’t rise up against them
lest they catch you and make you repent!
Instead you should ask them for freedom;
and if they say No, be content.
- Now hush, little darling, and sleep.

Be docile and don’t climb their fences
and trust them, whatever they say,
and if you obey, you might even
become overseer one day.
- Now hush, little darling, and sleep.

You don’t have the right to perturb us
with demands so extreme and bizarre:
your courage is heartless and treason
for exposing what cowards we are.
- Now hush, little darling, and sleep.

And if we were given our freedom
and managed to leave this hell
with all of our kin and belongings:
who’d be there to feed us, pray tell?
- Now hush, little darling, and sleep.

The slaves in the field are enduring
more hardships; when they, in their plight,
kill the overseers who wrong them,
they may even be in the right.
- Now hush, little darling, and sleep.

But we slaves in the house of the master
have all that a slave could desire:
we have regular working hours,
a bed and a place by the fire.
- Now hush, little darling, and sleep.

Stay away from all those who urge changes,
from the rebels’ base plots and their schemes,
and the god who made slaves for his pastime
only curse in your thoughts and your dreams.
- Now hush, little darling, and sleep.

(inspired by Ulrike Meinhof's open letter to her foster mother)


The Original Teddy Bear

Once Teddy Roosevelt went a hunting
in Mississippi with the boys;
while all the others got their bearskins,
he had no luck and lost his poise.

To make the president feel better
and offer him a victory,
the guides chased down a bear next morning
and tied him to a willow tree.

Their deed went unappreciated
and put the president to shame,
‘Your sense of sportsmanship is wanting -
you lads should know this is no game!’

He pointed out with disapproval
while looking at the guides askance
that, other than a human native,
a bear deserves a sporting chance.


Che's Last Watch

The day that he was captured, Che Guevara
was tied up in a mud school to confess;
the prisoner requested a short meeting
with the school mistress, Julia Cortez.

'You have this dump, and they have their Mercedes -
if they spent less, you'd have a little more.
Those guys can do without their status symbols,
and that's exactly what we're fighting for!'

When Che was killed, before they dumped his body,
a CIA man took his watch, aware
that one day this would be a priced possession:
though Che is gone, his Rolex is still there.


Unherded and Unheard

The sheep were grazing in the field
when some of them approached their peers,
‘This is about the guy who shears
our fleece, and this must be revealed!

‘Do not believe his solemn vows
that he just wants what’s best for us;
when we’ve grown up, without much fuss,
he’ll send us to the slaughterhouse!’

‘How dare you utter such a thing?
The next time, could you spare us please
your old conspiracy theories
and chew your grass and wait for spring.’

‘These are some pictures where they slit
the throats of sheep before they’re bled
and cut to pieces; we’ll be dead
if we don’t run away from it!’

‘They’re photoshopped; you know quite well
no sheep hangs from its hooves like this!
The shepherd loves us, and it is
slander to tell the tales you tell!’

While all the docile sheep just frowned,
all the seditious sheep left home
and went outside the gate to roam
the forests and the fields around.

The docile sheep are now interred
in shepherd’s pies, on sale for cheap,
while all the free seditious sheep
remain unherded and unheard.


Black Sheep

I’m black - so what? Diversity is nothing
to be ashamed of. I shan’t let you keep
your uninformed opinions; do you really
think that my colour makes me less of a sheep?

You say you sympathise and look for treatments;
I need appreciation and not cures.
I’m happy; when our fields get cold in winter,
my fleece absorbs more of the sun than yours.

And when, while you are getting sheared in springtime,
due to my colour I am left in peace,
do I not feel your anguish and allow you
to warm your trembling bodies at my fleece?

Still you insist that I become like others
and don’t stand out in your community.
An all-white flock is colourless and boring,
and I see nothing wrong with being me.

Bleat all you want, I shall not bleach my woolfell
to fit your standards, and I feel no shame:
you laugh at me because I am so different;
I laugh at you because you’re all the same.

(Inspired by the Jonathan Davis quote)


Great Minds

When Alfred Russel Wallace wrote
to his friend Charles, suggesting
how species may emerge and showed
it could be proved by testing,

His evolutionary idea
by Darwin wasn’t doubted;
he had, now for the twentieth year,
worked on a book about it.

A presentation was prepared
by scientists of a feather,
and Wallace and Charles Darwin shared
its authorship together.

The moral of the story (you
may find it chauvinistic):
great minds do think alike, it’s true,
because they are autistic.


Autism Cured

Professor Meantwell found a cure
for autism that could
eradicate the feared disease
from humankind for good.

He also had a time machine
which he had learned to fly;
he took the potion and some nuts
and baked them in a pie.

He travelled back through space and time
and finally beheld
the cavern where the primal group
of Homo Sapiens dwelled.

A bunch of hairy cavefolk stared
at him, and when they saw
the flashlight he took out, they shrieked
and dropped their jaws in awe.

He gave them each a slice of pie
which (without fork, I guess)
was eagerly devoured; he deemed
his mission a success.

But when he flew his time machine
through dark foreboding skies
back to the present, he was in
for quite a big surprise:

A bunch of hairy cavefolk stared
at him, and when they saw
the flashlight he took out, they shrieked
and dropped their jaws in awe.


Stone Age Boy

‘It seems that for success in science or art a dash of autism is essential.’ - Hans Asperger

‘What would happen if the autism gene was eliminated from the gene pool?
You would have a bunch of people standing around in a cave, chatting and socializing and not getting anything done.’
- Temple Grandin

Karoo sat in the corner
from sunrise until dark,
he banged two stones together
and waited for the spark.

While all the other children
played hide and seek outside,
he didn’t feel like seeking
and didn’t want to hide.

The adults kept on talking
while sitting in a row
and eating food they’d gathered
from underneath the snow.

His father once went over
and asked the boy, ‘What good
is it to play with flintstones
and branches and dry wood?’

‘I’m trying to light a fire,
like that after the storm
in which we found the burning
tree branch that kept us warm.’

‘What makes you think that banging
two stones will light a fire
like thunderstorms are doing?’
the father did enquire.

‘I saw it at a rockfall
beside the little pit:
one rock dropped on another,
and a small spark was lit.’

‘Good luck,’ his father told him,
returning to his peers
to whom he told the story:
Karoo could see their sneers.

Karoo sat in the corner
from sunrise until dark,
he banged two stones together
and waited for the spark.

One day he saw a little
bright spark that lit the wood,
and soon the pile was burning
away the way it should.

The others gathered round him,
brought kindling and admired
his patience and his talent
and that he never tired.

Karoo was celebrated
and lauded by the lot,
‘Come sit with us, we’ll give you
the best of what we’ve got!’

He said, ‘I’m far too busy,
I won’t neglect my chore:
we’ll need a fire more often,
I need to practice more.’

Karoo sat in the corner
from sunrise until dark,
he banged two stones together
and waited for the spark.


Fitting in a Box

There is a box for politicians
(which prolly should be dumped or burnt),
there is a box for the accountants
with inventory, or so I learned.

There is a sable box for clergy
as well which slowly gathers dust,
there is a box for secretaries
where current fashions are discussed.

There is a box for lots of different
inhabitants. Without a doubt
this is the box for wayward autists:
here we fit in by standing out!


Creations

They eat all things they can get hold of
and know no manners and no shame,
they urinate at every corner
they pass to stake their petty claim.

By making noise to wake a graveyard,
the poor neglected creatures try
to gain attention by annoying
the neighbours and the passers-by.

They jump around like they’ve been bitten
by flees or demons, though they may
prove that they’re clever by retrieving
the things that others throw away.

They stick their nose in all excreta
that others dropped in any place,
then they’re returning to their owner,
sit up and lick their hand and face.

Each one of them has done and tasted
the sickest, vilest thing there is:
as God has made man in his image,
man has created dog in his.


Canicidal Fantasy

Anyone who hates dogs [...] can't be all bad.
- W.C. Fields

'twas the most pleasant of all noons
within the perfect dream. That day
the birds were heard, the footpaths clean,
and all the playgrounds safe for play.

We celebrated in the streets,
embraced and sang for all it's worth,
and everyone rejoiced, 'The dogs,
the dogs have vanished from this Earth!'

The barking ceased - in peaceful parks
again we heard the joyful birds,
and those who walk no longer walked
a slalom round the smelly turds.

The air was light and Life was good.
The children ventured out and then
reclaimed their playgrounds, knowing they
would never be attacked again.

Nobody knew, of all the vets
and experts who were unprepared,
how all this planet's dogs had died
within one night, and no one cared.

But I examined several dogs
to have this miracle unfurled
and bring the recipe along
for testing in the real world.

Yet I woke up before I solved
the canicide's sweet mystery,
because my neighbour's mutt had barked
me back into reality.


The Demon Duck of Doom

When visiting the Miocene
in North Australia, my dear child,
remember many unforeseen
dangers are lurking in the wild.

There’s a particularly grim
example of Anatidae:
a duck that doesn’t fly nor swim
but roams the forests hunting prey.

At eight foot tall, it’s understood,
five hundred pounds of feathered greed
will chase you through the ancient wood:
the demon duck of doom must feed!

So when you innocently rove
the woods and stumble o’er a knag
and hear a quack from yonder grove,
best leave your breadcrumbs in the bag.


Procrastination

Our destiny remains unsure
until our fate unfolds,
but one thing that I know for sure
is what the future holds.

The future holds a .44
and points it at my back,
‘Don’t move until I’ve shut the door
behind me with a smack!’


The Hitman Across the Road

He finds his targets on the net
and leaves his opponents pale:
he focusses and aims and shoots
and claims his reward without fail.
But if a neighbour needs his help,
he’ll say ‘One favour owed!’
and do the job wholly free of charge,
the odd hitman across the road.

He mostly sticks to his own rough crowd,
all rowdies through and through,
but every now and then he might
take out a young girl, too.
You can see him practice on the lawn
of his most humble abode
amongst the plentiful mounds and knolls,
the odd hitman across the road.

He’s one of those guys with bodies well-kept
(and well wrapped up as a rule),
but he sometimes carries a stiff one around
when the young ones come home from school.
The people in our street simply say,
‘We all have to carry our load,’
and so he is able to carry on,
the odd hitman across the road.


Damascus

On the road to Damascus he faltered when a radiant beam from the skies
seized his mind in a moment that altered both his fortune and that of mankind.
He fell down on his knees, aching under the sharp pain of his senses’ demise,
and he heard a hard voice which like thunder pierced his ears while the light left him blind,
‘Saul of Tarsus, you’re wasting your talent by assisting the High Priest and kin
who all laugh at the arrogant gallant who sneaked into their faith like a thief.
You weren’t born one of them, and you never will advance from the rank that you’re in,
and his daughter’s rejection forever sours the taste of your new-found belief.

‘You can surely remember the glory of the temple where Bacchus you praised
who was born of the fair virgin Kore to his father, almightiest Jove,
on the twenty-fifth of December as the Sun from the cross had been raised,
that his mysteries, try to remember, were your comforting treasure trove.
You’ll recall how your god had turned water into wine by a nod of his head,
and how Bacchus fell victim to slaughter, died and went to the underworld
to console Orcus’ captives, and rather three days later he rose from the dead
to ascend to the throne of his father where his triumph in splendour unfurled.

‘How they spoke of the heavenly palace of the Saviour who’d given his life,
how you drank his red blood from the chalice to atone for the sins of your youth;
then you rendered your heart to a woman whom you craved to become your own wife
and discarded all things that were Roman, and you called it your quest for the truth.
With her father you hunt the beginners of the Way, the disciples who teach
that the death of one Christ redeems sinners and that Yahweh rewards earthly strife,
and who worship the buried pariah who did preach what the Pharisees preach,
just because he is called the Messiah and says women may conquer the life?

‘Here’s a sect that cries out for a leader! Here’s a cult of its founder bereft!
Here’s the molding clay for the reader of the scriptures to fill in the gaps,
here’s a chance to rewrite Jesus’ mission and to close the large void he has left,
recreate him in sacred tradition of Lord Bacchus Almighty; perhaps
all the Christians will soon be rejoicing in your view when they hear the good news,
and the Romans and Jews may be voicing their delight at a covenant hurled
amongst those who are preaching disaster: one religion for Romans and Jews
with yourself as their High Priest and master – a faith to take over the world!’


Leaving the Nest

In Joseph's small carpentry shop on Rogue Alley
his son dropped his hammer and opened his gob,
'I've had it to here! I'll be leaving this valley
today, and I'll look for a different job!'

'And what will you do?' asked his father with patience
and picked up the cross that his son angrily
had thrown to the floor. 'You've no qualifications -
there is a great future in carpentry!

'We do not take orders, we are our own bosses,
and yesterday morning our workload increased:
another large order for two hundred crosses
came in from the Romans; they must plan a feast!'

'I hate making incense cases from briar
and crosses from dogwood and tables from pine:
I want to go out and become a messiah
and fix this bad world and become the Divine!

'Do not try to stop me, I'll leave on the double!'
but Joseph stayed calm and said, 'Listen to me!
Messiahs are homeless and always in trouble,
and people despise them for what they can see.

'Messiahs do not get their salaries weekly,
not many disciples will follow their call;
I know you will fail, and I know you will meekly
return to your cross, Son, in no time at all!'


Giving Thanks

Nearing the grave, the holy man decides
to make another pilgrimage, intending
to honour Him who blessed his life and who
gave him the sacred gift of understanding
the languages of every beast and man.
Taking his staff on which he is depending,
amongst the turbulence of the crusade
he struts through war-torn plains for many moons,
‘With this last pilgrimage, Almighty God,
I thank thee for thy providence and boons!’

The starving locals willingly give alms
to help him on his journey, and the seeker
of God continues on his way, a song
upon his lips, but soon the road turns bleaker,
the sun burns hotter and the birds depart.
In the deserted wastelands he grows weaker
as hunger and fatigue at last set in,
but then he’s spotting, just before he swoons,
date palms beside a stream, ‘Almighty God,
I thank thee for thy providence and boons!’

And in a dale he finds the carcasses
of victims of the holy war, all scattered
across the glade, being devoured by wolves,
and one exclaims, ‘Oh Lord, thou hast unfettered
thy creatures from their deadly enemies,
thou punishest them like they never mattered
and mak’st them turn against each other to
protect and feed us!’ - In the afternoon’s
dim light he kneels and howls, ‘Almighty God,
I thank thee for thy providence and boons!’

(Based on Jean Meslier’s Oriental Legend)


The Yule Ride

It’s when the days are at their darkest
and when the nights are long and cold
that all the world’s good little children
will be rewarded hundredfold.

They’ll leave a boot beside the chimney,
filled up with carrots and with hay,
before they go to bed and dream of
the treats already on their way.

And in the night an old white-bearded
man will be riding on his mount
across the still deserted night sky
beneath the stars he scarce can count.

Wherever boots are on the rooftops
his eight-legged horse which knows the drill
will lick its lips and be descending
to greedily devour its fill.

The sage will stuff the boots with candy
and toys and mount his steed anew
whose shiny nose is red from drinking
the blood of those its master slew.

And once the presents are delivered,
Odin will swing his axe to seize
the men and gods who have opposed him
and butcher all his enemies.

At dawn a lot of happy children
will check their boots and have a ball.
In case that Odin didn’t get you,
a happy Yuletide to you all!


The Nightmare of Christmas

I came not to send peace, but the sword.
Matthew 10:34

‘twas the nightmare of Christmas, when all through the West
the bonfires were lit for the feast, and the best
of the harvest and cattle that plentiful year
had produced were brought forth, since a new one was near.
But their sun god had died, and the nights became long,
and he had to be wakened by fire and by song,
so he’d generate day light and warmth for each field
which it needed another harvest to yield.
And after the people had eaten their share,
they prayed to the sun god to make him aware,
and worshippers danced to the song of their priest
when Christians with torches approached from the East.
They beheaded the dancers and slaughtered the chiefs:
‘We must put an end to your pagan beliefs,
barbarian customs and godless ways!’
With this they mowed through the crowd to praise
the Lord who had brought them eternal life
by massacring children, husband and wife.
And they heard them exclaim as they killed with delight,
‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!’

The few who survived became Christians by force;
their descendants now follow tradition, of course,
and celebrate Christmas for all it is worth
when Jesus was born to bring peace to this Earth.


Black Mass

The timbal kept on beating
and stirred the strident brass,
the angels dropped like windfall
when Father Death said Mass.

The clerestory enabled
no ray of light to pass
the dingy little windows
when Father Death said Mass.

He roared we all were evil
and doomed to live in Hell
for being disobedient,
selfish and vain as well.

God is our Lord, he ranted,
His order will prevail:
He made us in His image
and hates to see us fail!

Outside the sun was shining,
and on the rampant grass
the daffodils were blooming
while Father Death said Mass.


Lullaby for Pious Homes

'Mum, I can't sleep tonight because I fear
the old invisible man who's in my room
and watches everything I do, who'll hear
all things I whisper and who'll spell my doom,
who will come out to get me before long,
and who will burn me if I'm doing something wrong.'

'Oh darling, there's no need to be afraid
of God! I'm certain that he loves you still;
he'll only punish those who disobeyed,
but he'll reward all those who do his will.
You'll be in Paradise with him one day
if you do everything your priests and parents say.'


Healthy Competition: God and the Devil

During their annual business dinner
God and the Devil checked the notes
of all their recent slaughters, telling
each other buoyant anecdotes
of their adventures. Reminiscing
on his past heydays, God recalled
how his disciples glorified him
with genocides in days of old,
with human sacrifices, witch hunts,
the Inquisition, holy wars,
and after he had finished ranting,
the two began comparing scores.
God and the Devil know the score:
whom will you help to butcher more?

God made the start, ‘Religious conflicts
killed thousands: children, women, men.
Seems the crusades are fading out now:
some thousand in Afghanistan,
but with the hatred and confusion
I spread in holy books, I still
reach individuals who make it
their business to fulfil my will:
thousands of honour killings, stonings,
murders of atheists and gays
and apostates who will not follow
my laws in the determined ways.’
God and the Devil know the score:
whom will you help to butcher more?

‘Religious terror was successful
in wiping out thousands of lives
of those professing wrong religions
on which their detestation thrives.
Thousands are there who killed their children
obeying me, Almighty God:
some by denying medication
while others didn’t spare the rod.
Due to my ban on condoms, hundreds
of thousands died of HIV,
and every mass and serial killer
has been brought up worshipping me.’
God and the Devil know the score:
whom will you help to butcher more?

The Devil said, ‘You’ve lost a lot of
disciples in our little game,
with people openly refusing
to kill each other in your name.
The less you’re worshipped, praised and prayed to,
the less the bloodshed on this Earth,
and thanks to ignorance and progress
I’ll soon catch up for all it’s worth.
You boast that last year you’ve been sending
hundreds of thousands to their doom;
but I caused fifty million mothers
to kill the children in their womb!’
God and the Devil know the score:
whom will you help to butcher more?

So God called Rogziel and told him,
‘We need to think of one infaust
event to kill hundreds of millions,
something that makes my Holocaust
look like a children’s party favour,
a tragedy that will secure
my lead, a grave unprecedented
calamity that can assure
mankind that I am still as wrathful
as in the days of old, back when…’
He hesitated for a moment -
‘I think,’ he said, ‘I have a plan…’
God and the Devil know the score:
whom will you help to butcher more?


Kind of Doctor

Clara dressed up, excited
about her latest date –
what kind of doctor was he,
and would he show up late?

He was a man of culture,
gentle and well-behaved,
and Clara kept on wond’ring
how many lives he’d saved.

The restaurant was crowded,
but soon the waiter led
them to their place. A woman
came up to him and said,

‘Thanks, doctor, for your kindness.
Now I’m in shape, and on
Sunday I will be running
the charity marathon!’

‘Who was that?’ Clara asked him
after she went away.
‘That lady is a patient,
I trashed her child today.’


The Legacy of Marie Stopes

Marie Stopes pioneered the concepts of
family planning, contraception and
of birth control in times when views like these
were quite unlikely to find many a friend.

Since she prevented pregnancies, some called
her antilife; she managed to disarm
them by insisting that, once life emerged,
this life must be protected from all harm.

In all her clinics nurses had to sign
a declaration they would not inform
about abortions nor assist in them,
because for some this might have been the norm.

Her friend Avro Manhattan pressured one
of his kept women to abort - the case
came to Marie’s attention; disgustedly
Marie called him a murderer to his face.

Will Carpenter named his abortion shop
after Marie and soon found out that this
was not a good idea because Marie
sued him for libel and for damages.

Two decades after she had died, she still
was an authority to which one would refer,
and so Marie Stopes International
named their abortion business after her.

They were successful from the very start,
and every time somebody raised a brow
about their unbefitting choice of name,
they said, ‘Who cares, she will not sue us now!’


Golden Opportunities

When all one believes in seems lost, and one sees
not a ray of hope for great plans Fortune shuns,
Fate sometimes provides opportunities,
but these must be noticed and grasped at once.

Fort Pitt lay besieged by thousands of proud
Lenape reclaiming their land and their skies,
while inside the walls of it smallpox broke out,
and soldiers and citizens died just like flies.

‘A pox on those Indians,’ barked Major Trent
as the corpses lay piled in the hospital’s court,
‘for keeping us trapped!’ when the message was sent
that two Indian chiefs had arrived at the fort.

‘Six nations are gathered and keen to attack,
but they all have agreed when we asked to delay
hostilities, giving you time to pack
and leave the fort and the country today.’

‘I’m grateful for your concern,’ Trent replied,
‘but we’ve all that we need in the fort, and apart
from that, three armies will fight at our side,
so go and tell them that they can start.’

But since they meant well, wrote the misanthrope
in his journal, and out of respect (God forbid)
we gave them two hospital blankets. I hope
it will have the desired effect.

                             - It did.


Lighthouse Keeper

Being a lighthouse keeper
is all one needs to be:
to live in peace and quiet
while keeping an eye on the sea,

To watch the changing colours
of the ocean and the sky,
the indecisive tide as
the world of blue rolls by,

To sit there in the evenings,
having a pipe, a drink,
and to decide at leisure
who’ll live and who will sink.


Viruses

A virus may sit on a blood cell.
It may be aware of its identity;
it may be able to spread to the neighbouring cells;
it may be conscious of the damage it is doing,
and even conscious of the fact it’s doing it
to a much larger living organism;
but never, never will it be able to picture
this organism and the suffering it causes it.

Now man may sit on a planet...


Ornithanatos

The eagle killed a pigeon
and picked it to the bone,
and as they were still callow,
the nestlings hadn't flown;
so after he had dinner
he killed the squabs as well,
then grabbed them with his talons
and rose above the dell.

But when he reached his eyrie,
a horrid sight was shown:
someone had killed the eaglets
and picked them to the bone!
'Who did that?' he was fuming;
the magpie slyly said,
'I think I saw the sparrow
pass by as if he fled.'

The raging eagle summoned
the birds both great and small
and told them, 'What has happened
is a disgrace to all
who want to live in freedom;
therefore we must declare
war on the vicious sparrow
and all his mates out there!'

The others cheered the eagle
and honed their claws and beaks,
and you could see the falcons
patrolling mountain peaks,
the keen woodpecker drumming
to raise the battle heat
and nightingales a marching
to the rhythm of the beat.

The songs ceased in the forest,
drums beat for years on end,
and from each twig and offshoot
there hung a feathered friend,
the heavens were deserted,
the meadows stained with gore,
the roofs turned into mass graves
when the birdies went to war!

The dove opposed conscription
with the two-letter word:
he'd never raise his pecker
against a fellowbird.
He called for peace and prudence;
before he could draw breath,
the eagle had passed sentence,
and he was put to death.

Who had a score to settle
declared his enemy
an ally of the sparrow
and joined the killing spree;
the spoonbill had no weapon
to call his own and was
the first one done away with
under the crowd's applause.

The songs ceased in the forest,
drums beat for years on end,
and from each twig and offshoot
there hung a feathered friend,
the heavens were deserted,
the meadows stained with gore,
the roofs turned into mass graves
when the birdies went to war!

The sparrows were too scared of
the mighty birds of prey,
and so they'd kill their offspring
and smash the eggs they'd lay,
the magpies cruelly listened
to their victims' final cheep,
and chicks in arms dismembered
their playmates in their sleep.

The starling stabbed the blackbird,
the heron drove his bill
right through the noisy ducklings
when on a distant hill
the sparrows' nests were spotted
as the sun rose in the east,
and only minutes later
the vultures had a feast.

The songs ceased in the forest,
drums beat for years on end,
and from each twig and offshoot
there hung a feathered friend,
the heavens were deserted,
the meadows stained with gore,
the roofs turned into mass graves
when the birdies went to war!

When the last sparrow perished,
the few survivors hailed
their leader who concluded
that justice had prevailed.
'We finished off the sparrow,'
he said. 'God heard our pleas,
and every bird is safe now
from his atrocities.

'And yet we must continue
our struggle and our strife,
for still the other finches
try to control our life
and take away our freedom;
we'll make them understand
that we will not surrender
but fight until the end!'

The songs ceased in the forest,
drums beat for years on end,
and from each twig and offshoot
there hung a feathered friend,
the heavens were deserted,
the meadows stained with gore,
the roofs turned into mass graves
when the birdies went to war!


Peace Policy

If I would be the President
of the United States,
to Mars my army I would send
beyond the pearly gates.

They would defend our freedom there
against the Little Green;
they'd slay and kill them everywhere,
because they’re small and mean.

And if they bothered the UN,
our veto soon would stand -
nothing could stop our brave young men
from fighting for their land!

And if they should approach the press,
they'd also have to fail:
I'd shut their stations, cause distress
and put them all in jail.

And if they ventured to strike back,
our allies we would call,
and mightily we would attack
till nothing's left at all.

Our boys would fight on distant stars
and therefore leave their hearth;
disaster then would reign on Mars,
and peace would be on Earth.


American Harvest

On the sunset of Civilisation
they were watching the fall of the dome
where they prayed to the god of their nation
on the morning when Terror came home.

Once the uniforms killed one another
with a gun or a sword or a knife:
the Americans chose not to bother
and bomb cities, erasing all life.

Those who call for revenge slaughter millions
while they censor those telling the truth,
test new weapons on blameless civilians
and loot drugs to get rid of their youth.

Those who love to destroy any culture
they do not understand choose their prey,
pick the meat from the dead like a vulture
and enforce the American way.

Any race that won't follow their orders
is subjected to genocide,
and the tyrants securing the borders
of their colonies don't have to hide.

Now the victims of horror and slaying
serve as bait in the massacadrome,
and the innocent crowd will be paying
for the morning when Terror came home.


The Bushmen's Vendetta

Boom, boom! The Bushmen beat their drums
and rattle every skull and bone
they made in former feuds: here comes
the tribe that won't be overthrown!

'Somebody has attacked and killed
our people in a savage way:
the vow of vengeance be fulfilled,
somebody soon will have to pay!'

Firm justice would their chief prescribe,
and if they can't get hold of him,
the Bushmen shall erase his tribe
and tear his neighbours limb from limb!

Boom, boom! The Bushmen throw their bombs
on children, men and women; furled
in sycophancy, their pogroms
are being hailed by the Civilized World!

Best recited to the monotonous beat of a single tom-tom, in a low and threatening voice: slow at the beginning, getting faster towards the end of each stanza.
The last line, as it speeds up, to be read with ironic enthusiasm.


There’s More Business With War Business

In this planet’s control centre flourish
those who’ll usher us into a dreary
and dark future, and keenly they nourish
the bald eagle who rules his White Eyrie.

But this bird is a bloodthirsty vampire,
and Humanity’s mightiest scorner
now ensures the American empire
soon will cover the world’s furthest corner.

And whenever his foes are defeated
it’s surprising how promptly he’ll stumble
across used-to-be friends he has cheated -
else his wealthiest industry’d crumble!

So he’d tell an old satrap, ‘You’re rising
up against me while try’ng to distract me,
and there’s no need of proof ere chastising
any nation that may have attacked me!’

With that blank-but-determined expression
home on Anglo-American faces
he gives order to start the aggression -
he stays home, but his army goes places!

He proclaims that each war as it happens
is inclined to be Liberty’s sprinter,
making sure the producers of weapons
in his country get safe through the winter.


A Marching Tune

A one, a two - a marching tune
to keep your mind beneath your feet,
to keep your loyalty immune
and stamp your orders in the street.

A one, a two - turn left, turn right
as we command you; think not, go!
The enemies you have to fight
are evil 'cause we tell you so.

A one, a two - salute before
superiors“ (Superior? Ha!
Could anything on earth be more
ridiculous than soldiers are?)


Last Call

Thy flesh was white and so is mine,
as white as that of stainless sheep,
and still my wound is just as deep -
what better is thy flesh than mine?

Thy blood was red and so is mine,
as red as some sweet summer's rose,
and yet the wound still grows and grows -
what better is thy blood than mine?

Our lives are spotless and divine:
we never fell from our belief,
it may have caused us joy or grief -
thou hadst thy values, I have mine.

For love of man thou once didst die,
and diest again for all the shame
wherever people call thy name
and make thy hymn a lullaby.

I live - alive I'll always be:
I won't be crucified with jeers
nor hurt with jaded soldiers' spears;
take up thy cross and follow me!


Father’s Things

My father has a rowing boat,
hey-ho, hey-ho, hey-ho,
and when I row his rowing boat,
it goes extremely slow.

My father has a jar of wine,
hey-ho, hey-ho, hey-ho,
and when I pour his sparkling wine,
my sense of style I show.

My father has a mistress fair,
hey-ho, hey-ho, hey-ho,
and when I meet his mistress fair,
he thinks to school I go.


God's Day Off

It was the birthday of my girl:
I got an earring with a pearl,
and after work I planned to ride
a hundred miles to see my bride,
but then I heard the foreman say,
'I'm sorry you'll work late today’.

It was God's day off! It was God's day off!

I did the duties I dislike,
and after work I took my bike.
I had to speed, whate'er the cost,
the Gards have raced me but they lost;
another twenty miles to town,
and in a bend my bike broke down.

It was God's day off! It was God's day off!

I spotted, coming to my feet,
another bike beside the street,
the keys still in it - I jumped on,
and in a second I was gone.
I hardly could believe my luck,
but suddenly I saw the truck.

It was God's day off! It was God's day off!


© Frank L. Ludwig