I heard he ate raw-potatoes, like apples, He drank neat drain cleaner, Moved like a swinging cannon-ball, And spoke like a slick-tongued lizard.
They say he lived down an abandoned rabbit-hole But not in a tenement, and he had webbed feet, But never swam (Water made him sweat). I don't think he had wings.
Rumour has it that he sliced his bread with a spoon And poured bourbon into a bucket To water his peace-lilies (They all died). He couldn't've been a wizard.
The postman said he kept a caribou in his garden And an elephant under his stairs, Two crocodiles lived in his tear ducts And he had a winged serpent that ate only its tail.
The weatherman told me his car was a write-off, The wheels were all buckled, He could understand the grasshoppers calling And sang back through his tweeting nose.
A copper implied that he was packing A nickel-plated pistol, which was always fully loaded And always had the safety off And the holster was well waxed.
I heard on the radio that he saw the needle and the damage done To his purple tunic, so he learned to do needlepoint. Mrs Oldbury was sure his soul could limbo under a millimetre But a head the size of his wouldn't fit under a cloudless sky.
The church-going fireman swore he wore Bright spandex trousers so tight you could tell his religion, And his hat gave away the fact that He didn't have a single hair anywhere on his body.
In the end, it was proved his shoes were buckled and polished, And his diary said he wanted to be drawn in a smart suit. He didn't live in West Wallaby Street, And ended up, like all of us, drawn in a hearse.
The bells began to ring upon hearing That war was all but done across the sea. We ran out to the streets to men cheering And girls were weeping in unbridled glee. "My son will soon be home," a mother cried, But a stoic envoy approached her house. He told her that her only son had died Then left with stolid face to home and spouse. The taste of victory is poison now To that old woman grieving on her knees. She waits for the government to allow Her to conscript his ashes to the breeze And finally he's free to find his way But she'd rather he be with her one more day.
Vulgar but choral the language emerging Meandering slowly with bombast converging Brings to crescendo the towering notes Plummeting deep with skewed anecdotes In lyrics that pull into stark and clear focus The twisted, pure stamen of early spring crocus Covered in lusty, dusty, gold pollen Brewed into honey to sweeten the stollen Devoured with beer in swinging beer hall By punch drunk fist slingers descending to brawl And driven to frenzy by thumping wild beat Firing them onward upon their hooved feet Collapsed and defeated out in the cold street And again in the morrow for all to repeat.
I milked the stars for these gems. I filtered the photos for these curves. I bridged the jaw for this grin. I pierced the heart for this back-beat. I trekked the galaxy for this warp-drive. I stretched the internment for this experience. I willed the force for this left-hook. I killed the beat for the pass-out.
Tinie Tempah, English rapper, songwriter and entrepreneur, was born today in 1988.
Joe Frazier, American professional boxer, died on this day in 2011.
Revolution was born in the rolling fields of France. The turning was here, with the surf in the vineyard. The twittering of swallows in thatched eves, The chattering of famished farmers in smokey inns, The clinking of pottery tankards to rouse blood, Fists flying in bluster after sinking a few more. The daylight charging down the shutters To prod bed-bound stragglers in quivering guts. The explosion of fizzing vomit across the dusty field To top off the pains of a night on the village. The haze floating above the crops and above the heads Of the staggering host, plotting and stewing New plans of change to put to bed that injustice. In the rollings fields of France, revolution is born.
John Fastolf, English landowner and soldier, model for Shakespeare’s Sir John Falstaff, died today in 1459.
Fear now for the young, So fixed on the streets. For there is no captain For this doomed youth, Just the grinding of metal on bone.
The streets are their trenches, Their poppies spat from Spray cans on a concrete canvass And the playgrounds and dark corners bear All the bloody stains of their encounters.
Their hearses are drawn By popping white horses, The crowds of mixed colour Shuffle to mixed verses Of grimy beats from shared playlists.
Forgotten as quick as a fallen star, They are left behind like the others left behind. All that remains is an abandoned room, A tree stump, covered in coloured ribbons, And a sign saying: Goodbye, Son.