by Mary Cresswell
Ozymandias In Orange
We found the bust of the statue and the lower part of the head,
the crown, the right ear and a fragment of the right eye,
archaeologists said of the new discovery. (Guardian, March 2017)
I have no lips and cannot speak a word
upon my head, a crown of course of gold.
Half of what you say I sometimes hear
a jagged bit of what you are I see.
In my breast I store each random thought,
no obvious connection with my head.
You thought youd gotten rid of me at last
but Im here and keen to drag you through the mud.
Time to raise me tall upon the sand
strew crepe paper garlands at my feet
let imagination fill the pitted gaps
let my word be heard as absolute.
Tell me, you who watch with such disdain,
whose name will last longer, yours or mine?
Lord Byron To His Car Dealer
You said the race was going to the Swift
and thus I purchased. Now I find that Im
cast loose in deepest suburbs bloody miffed
and no garage in sight. I havent time
to argue. Will you kindly stick your shift
replace this hulk with something more condign.
This night was made for demisec and nookie
not stuck here, trying to start your damned Suzuki!
The Pied Pipers Of ...
A motley of ratcatchers appeared on the tracks,
with the best of intentions to cover their backs
The township en masse to the party has come
to make predators pay for the evil theyve done.
First down were the cats: they showed them the door
with yowling and howling and flailing of paw,
and now that theyre shot of the bulk of the mogs
the worlds much improved for them and their dogs.
On the next night they collapsed in exhausted relief
but then heard the scratching of scrabbly feet
as all the roof spaces filled up in a trice:
one side with rats, on the other side, mice.
Out came the bait, peanut butter and yummies
what predators need to fill up their tummies.
Then the roaches attacked the largesse that they found
as it covered the walls and the gardens and grounds ...
Death to them all: to explosions of slugs
and elsewhere the amplifications of bugs
and god knows what else so even the rocks and
stones of the city were dripping with toxins.
The ratcatchers stopped and were quiet, perplexed
wondering what to exterminate next,
and the answer came: With minimal bother
were set up right now to knock off each other!
So they poisoned the farmlands and murdered the streams,
nurtured infections and colonised dreams;
neighbourhood heroes kept making new messes,
while big groups (as always) excused their excesses.
When the whole of the planet had nothing to lose
it sank back into primordial ooze
to wait for a spark like the big bang of yore
to start up the whole damn process once more ... ... ...
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