I saw my first-ever goldfinch in the garden today. Aren't they lovely?
I received a particularly interesting and entertaining birthday present this year and I’d like to share it with you.
It was from the official Poet Laureate of the Honourable Company of Truckshunters - J Arthur Smallpiece. Along with a recipe for Spicy Lentil Soup (which I have not yet tried), he sent me a poem which, along with all his others, is of the very first water.
The preamble reads as follows…
As you know, the place is littered with sub-standard works of modern ‘art’ - pretentious junk called ‘installations’. Not to be outdone, I am producing large amounts of sub-standard ‘literature’ which I refer to as ‘ejaculations’. These take the form of a short prose introduction followed by a few lines of doggerel, with footnotes as required.
So pin back your ears for my most recent ejaculation. I imagine it will be your favourite birthday treat.
And less of the cheek!
There follows the poem itself, which is entitled
THE LOVESONG OF J ARTHUR SMALLPIECE
In which the Bard responds both poetically and philosophically to one of Life’s irritating vicissitudes.
I mustn’t cry on the outside - it doesn’t become me, you see;
Yet my girlfriend of several years’ standing has recently walked out on me.
I besought her not to forsake me - I’ve begged and pled all I can.
But she tret me with total ignoral AND WENT OFF WITH SOME OTHER MAN!
(Pause for sympathy.)
We’d met in the bar of The Beehive. She was strapping and minimally-dressed;
She was the barmaid from heaven and I was unduly impressed.
Like her beer, she was fresh and full-bodied - and tasty and rather well-kept;
Her service was fast and efficient; her use of the hand-pumps was deft.
Her demeanour was courteous and charming; her features were pretty and cute
And her flesh was outstanding and tempting and luscious like over-ripe fruit.
(Pause for gasps of incredulity.)
My replacement is brawny and burley - a bit of a lad, it is said -
With a nasty brass ring in his nostril and a great big shiny shaved head.
His ears are vajazzled with jewellery, there’s a scar down the side of his face
And his body’s as hard as bell-metal, with tattoos all over the place.
(His dog is a pit-bull called Genghis - a savage unlovable brute
That slavers and goes for the postman - and looks like his master, to boot!)
(Pause for sharp intake of breath.)
So, I mustn’t cry on the outside; though his muscles are bigger than mine
I’ll console myself by assuming he’s a shallow and uncultured swine.
He is, most likely, a bully - not gentle and caring, like me.
He’s like an ill-bred gorilla - I think that we all can agree -
Who’s uncouth, crass and quite charmless. And he doesn’t write poetry, I’ll bet -
Which is something that that little madam will come, I hope, to regret.
(Possibly. And that’ll teach her.)
Because of the shock to my system and the pain that I now feel inside
I’m thinking of giving up poesy - my muse, it has withered and died.
I’m feeling low and despondent - not carefree like I used to be -
So if there’s no restitution, there’ll be no more fine verses from me.
The poet has added a footnote…
Don’t worry!!! I’m only joking. I just make all this stuff up. I’m still at it. In fact, I’m writing a piece entitled The Disturbing Tale of Neville Hardacre and the Lady Vicar as you read this. You must be looking forward to your next birthday already!
I am, J Arthur; I am!
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