Sunday 27 November 2005

The Economic Sonnet

When onion prices reach the sky,
When inflation crosses limits
And domestic budgets stretch
Governments fall as people cry.
Ministers must then use their wits
Trying to please every kvetch.

But what if champagne hits a high?
The cost of condoms you can't bear?
Viagra costs a thousand pound,
The flow of vodka becomes dry
Fishing rods are also dear
And a guitar's price is not sound.

The dismal government economist
With humour now has made a tryst!

Condoms used to measure inflation

Tuesday 22 November 2005

Doggerel [Japanese Genius] (might be disgusting)

The best of Japanese creative power,
Is the invention of the bum shower,
Bum shower,
Bum shower,
Japanese shower.
The best of Japanese creative power.

No Canadian pine tree's grandeur
Need be ruined to make tissue paper.
No paper,
No paper,
No tissue paper.
Save the Canadian pine tree's grandeur.

No Indian low-caste labourer,
Need be degraded as a night-soil carrier.
No labour,
No labour,
No degrading labour.
Save the Indian low-caste labourer.

So the best of Japanese creative power
has been to save the glory of nature
Of nature
Of labour
Of dignified labour.
The best of Japanese creative power!

Saturday 19 November 2005

A Song of Spring

I saw you first at midnight miss,
When the brawl had just begun,
Your nasty growl and bark and hiss,
My heart had then been won!

That foolish pack across the street,
Thought that they’d raid our dump,
With zero idea who they’d meet,
Got bitten in the rump!

Your features in the moonlight shone,
Your howl was loud and clear,
And when the watchman threw a stone,
Your snarl it made him fear!

I’m black and shine with pedigree,
Of pure-bred mère and sire,
You mongrel of vague ancestry,
You’re the one I desire!

I see you scratch behind your ear,
Hindleg in comely poise,
You seize my heart, my dearest dear,
And of all the other boys!

Your mangy teeth, flea-bitten fur,
The remnant of your tail,
Make me at night, my pretty cur,
In lovesickness to wail!

The way you snarl and bite and tear,
To guard your rubbish bin,
What intruder would try to dare,
The glorious mess you’re in!

What human tune can match your song,
When at the moon you bay!
The way you dodge those missiles flung,
My soul is yours today!

But now I see a rabid male,
His love to you offer,
Your manner’s coy, you wag your tail,
Dost thou his suit prefer?

Alas bitchkind, heartless, unkind,
Perfidious and unfair.
I start to grieve, but never mind,
At another I stare!

Read at my first Pune readmeet, and rediscovered tonight.

[Published in Kavi Kala - The Visual Poetry Project, ed. Madness Mandali; Cinnamon teal 2010]

Wednesday 16 November 2005

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Harriet,
Happy birthday to you!


Happy long life to you,
One seventy five!
You've lived long dear Harriet,
Happy birthday to you!

Green beans and celery,
pink hibiscus cake,
Have a party dear Harriet,
Happy birthday to you!

You've come a long way,
from Galapagos,
You've been around dear Harriet,
Happy birthday to you!

Rise and fall of empires,
One world war and two,
You've seen much dear Harriet,
Happy birthday to you!

When life is threatened,
When nature is lost,
You bear a flag dear Harriet,
Happy birthday to you!

May we protect your kind,
For the sake of conscience,
We love you dear Harriet,
Happy birthday to you!

I wish I were you,
At peace with the world,
Happy birthday dear Harriet,
I wish I were you!

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Harriet,
Happy birthday to you!

Wishing Harriet the tortoise a very happy 175th birthday!

Saturday 12 November 2005

Day after Tomorrow

There comes a time to live,
A time to thrive,
A time to die,
and a time to be forgotten.

There comes a time to protest,
A time to survive,
A time to go to jail,
And a time to be forgotten.

There comes a time to stand again,
A time to fight and lose,
A time to fear and despair,
And a time to be forgotten.

There comes a time to rise again,
A time to fight again,
A time to struggle and win,
And a time not to be forgotten.

There comes a time
- to start all over again,
A time
- when the day after tomorrow has come,
A time
- when the star of hope has risen again,
A time
- when old woes may be slowly forgotten.

There comes a time again,
A time when tyranny ends
- That time has come today,
A time when the people are free
- That hope has flickered again,
A time when betrayal is far away
- That fear has faded for now.

There will come a time,
- When hopes will fade away
And madness will descend upon us again.
But today is not that time.

Today is a time to reflect
- That the struggle has borne fruit,
A time to be happy
- That old sorrow has gone away,
And a time to rest
- And let hope guide us into the future.

To Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Sunday 6 November 2005

Tell me

Tell me
whether you think their motives are not futile.
Tell me
whether the right thing to do
is react in the way they want us to -
to hide in our bathrooms and cower in fear.


Tell me
whether we should believe our hands are rendered invalid
because we pricked a finger.
Tell me
whether the juice shop whose cylinder had blown up
has gone out of business.
Tell me then,
whether I'm right or wrong.

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