No-one likes a joke more than a Stoic
But there is little ‘laugh-out-loud’
When ‘dressed-down’ by The Ministry of Furies
For failing to support their new ‘Sport-Art’   –

Like everyone I’m ‘running to stand still’
So must have missed their Match   –
Then   –   paranoia pumping   –   ‘Oh please no   –  
Not ‘Berlin’?

Reducing Imagination to Competition   –
The only ‘composition’ those politicos approve   –  
They cannot love   –   so strut to ‘micro-manage’   –
It makes them seem so clean and spruce and fit   –   Ah yes
‘Fit for what?’ you ask
Digging deeper vaults and shoring walls
Where Truth and Beauty can be shot to pieces?

They ‘poo-poo’ any poet who has the power
To call King Arthur from his sleeping barrow
Robin Hood to give them Green
Lullaby of forests from his long-bow when released   –
They deduce every knight appears from Knightsbridge   –
So handy for shoplifting Harrods   –

My gift-list is placed elsewhere   –
A twitching Itching-Powder for a truss
A Green-Teeth dolly-mixture for a doris
Vampire Fangs for self-devouring boris
Look into your Lucky Bag
Mucky-Puppy melting snack or ‘sunak’?
Reeking Lotus?   –   place in coastal water
Presto! putrid petals or ‘patel’
Rubber vipers storm the last plane out
‘Slithey Toves’ or goves
Low Comedy Comedians!

Now set down The Round Table
See three modes of capital economy:
The Swedish or the Japanese
Or America’s   –   the harshest   –
Was this latter really our best choice?
Do you remember voting for it?
Or was it imposition and assumption
By those we elect to protect The Common Good?
And are they compromised from doing this
As covert shareholding ethic-shirking sharks?

Who smile behind our backs   –
Artists who lack their Machiavellian demeanour
Patronised who write an ‘English Literature’
For their Jingoistic England that couldn’t care less
Except to sell all ‘assets’ to the tourist

Except to oust and de-grade
The arts from school curricula
While they ‘sympathise’ on high ‘of course’
They who are the lowest of the low



Bernard Saint
Illustration: Claire Palmer



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