There’s water in the scuppers and the sea is cutting rough The bilge pumps are not working and if that’s not bad enough There’s salt water in the rum lads, there will be no getting drunk We’ll all drown stone cold sober when the fucking ship has sunk
The skipper’s drinking brandy, for he has a private store He says he’ll go down with his ship and what can he do more? He ordered the abandon ship, we cut the lifeboats free Not one of them would stay afloat. They sank into the sea
The life jackets are useless. They are soggy wet kapok We tossed them in the ocean and they went down like a rock The first mate said to swim for it, we’ve minutes to get clear Before the old girl founders, and drags us down with her
The bosun said there was no point for where then would we go? Unless there is an island near and that, he did not know So even if we swam and swam, and then we swam some more The bloody sharks would take us all before we reached a shore
I’ll take me chances here said he, and go down quick and clean Just then a huge wave swamped us. The biggest we had seen The old ship groaned and foundered, then settled on a reef The water’s really shallow here, to everyone’s relief. .
Now westlin winds and slaught’ring guns Bring Autumn’s pleasant weather; The moorcock springs on whirring wings Amang the blooming heather: Now waving grain, wide o’er the plain, Delights the weary farmer; And the moon shines bright, when I rove at night, To muse upon my charmer.
The partridge loves the fruitful fells, The plover loves the mountains; The woodcock haunts the lonely dells, The soaring hern the fountains: Thro’ lofty groves the cushat roves, The path of man to shun it; The hazel bush o’erhangs the thrush, The spreading thorn the linnet.
Thus ev’ry kind their pleasure find, The savage and the tender; Some social join, and leagues combine, Some solitary wander: Avaunt, away! the cruel sway, Tyrannic man’s dominion; The sportsman’s joy, the murd’ring cry, The flutt’ring, gory pinion!
But, Peggy dear, the ev’ning’s clear, Thick flies the skimming swallow, The sky is blue, the fields in view, All fading-green and yellow: Come let us stray our gladsome way, And view the charms of Nature; The rustling corn, the fruited thorn, And ev’ry happy creature.
We’ll gently walk, and sweetly talk, Till the silent moon shine clearly; I’ll grasp thy waist, and, fondly prest, Swear how I love thee dearly: Not vernal show’rs to budding flow’rs, Not Autumn to the farmer, So dear can be as thou to me, My fair, my lovely charmer!
Your smile. Is. Sausages, sizzling in a skillet Sounds like sage leaves singing sadly From the botulum of their hearts While the parsley and potato purr The yellow of the egg yolks hurts my ears Avocado. Avocadenza Thanks. Don’t mind if I do.
I do not like you little fly And I shall surely tell you why You walk on shyte and things that die And then you land upon my pie.
Don’t come here with your shitty feet And walk across the things I eat I just want pastry, gravy, meat, Not hours upon a toilet seat
So shoo fly, do not bother me Fly far away and let me be I only want to eat my tea Not Campylobacter jejeuni.
The poet has used several literary devices to consolidate his theme. Firstly he has chosen to write only three quatrains with a simple aaaa bbbb cccc rhyme scheme. This sets out the poem in a deceptive, child-like simplicity, almost as if the it were a nursery rhyme, seemingly concealing rather than accentuating the depth and significance of the tragic theme.
He uses internal rhymes, assonance and alliteration to establish a rhythm that seems to support the nursery rhyme theme, belying once again the significance, indeed, the very the depths of despair and desolation plumbed in the work. For it is important to know that this opus was written during the great pandemic of 2020, when people around the world sat isolated in in their homes, afraid of death, and talking to flies. And dying.
He hauntingly starts the first and third verses with clever literary references to great literary works written before; one an ancient Latin tale of distrust*, translated and extemporised, it is said, by Tom Brown himself during his schooldays, and the other a song now considered racist, by Brigham Bishop. It was ostensibly about a fly and a negro soldier in Company B during the American civil war. It may have deeper, darker meaning. He was not the boogie woogie bugle boy.
Both references reflect and project the anxiety and stress of the poet’s own times.
It is known the poet suffered a serious bout of Campylobacter diarrhoea shortly before he wrote this poem. It was severe, and lasted eight days, at the end of which he was beginning to fear he might not just pass more crap than should really be in one man at any one time, but actually pass away.
The poem ends with both a bit of scientific erudition, and poetic licence with the pronunciation of jejeuni.
So this poem can be seen not as simple doggerel, but a deep and meaningful metaphor describing the poet’s state of mind, and the state of the world around him, in which the pie represents a life full of happiness and fulfilment (meat and gravy), the fly a wandering traveller, unknowingly infected – or perhaps a thoughtless fucking food vendor who made a ham and egg burger after not washing his hands after using the toilet on Friday the 20th of last month at about 06:30 just after I picked up Lyn at the airport – (sorry!) – thus unintentionally bringing chaos and pain with him.
The brevity of the poem mirrors the brevity of life itself. The three verses represent the three stages of life; childhood, maturity and decrepitude, also known in literary circles as beginning, middle and end. The poet pulls no punches here.
In the poem, the toilet seat is a subtle metaphor for social isolation enforced as Lockdown, that leaves people sitting alone and lonely at home, unable to leave. Unable to be in company.
“Eat my tea” is a metaphor for “live my life”.
Campylobacter jejeuni is clearly also a metaphor, and a clever one at that, for the dread COVID 19 coronavirus that threatens the enjoyment of life itself.
By cleverly not mentioning toilet paper, a necessity when one has the trots, the poet brings it to mind by carefully not juxtaposing shitty and toilet seat in the same verse. This reminds us of the vast amounts of paper (read money) that the pandemic is costing society.
My word this guy packs a lot of meaning between a few lines.
You didn’t know I could be so bloody deceptively deep.
We talk about melanoma and avoid the C word. When I was first diagnosed, my GP advised me to let my family know that I have joined the 66% of Australians who have, or shall have, skin cancer. They are, he said, genetically predisposed to have it too. Hopefully not the ones with melanin. I do so hope that.
I’m a cancer patient. A few of my friends, but not one of my family except my Dad, have asked how I’m dealing with that. Well enough, I thought, thanks for asking.
Until now. I’m beginning to have reservations. The latest melanomas are deeper, and spreading faster. Therefore the cutting is deeper and wider. For the first time today I had internal stitches. My frigate bird lost half a wing. The two we biopsied on my back will be excised next Friday. The biopsy results were not good. They will be the biggest yet.
So far, Mehdi has done the cutting and stitching of two melanomas at a time in half an hour give or take. Today took longer. The next two will take at least an hour.
Considering this latest batch of seven were not even detectable three months ago, even by the sharp-eyed and very careful Mehdi, I have to consider the future implications.
I stayed with my friend Jeff for the last months of his life, because he did not want to go into a hospice, nor burden his mother with the supervision of his death. He had a cancer which metastasised and became terminal. I don’t want to go through what he went through, nor inflict it on anyone else, particularly anyone I love.
So I must use the C word.
I need a plan.
I’m rambling. It’s the Jameson’s. And the Guinness. I’ll have a Dubliner in coffee to follow. Finishing off Alcoholic Leftovers from St Patrick’s Day.
Because my arm hurts. Because it’s there, and increases the effect of the meds. And I don’t have to be anywhere tomorrow.
I have to have a plan. For when the outlook is dire.
Yeah. I’ll probably delete this post when I sober up. It is hard to keep the vow I made to tell it like it is.
A park representative has just come round door to door to check that everyone has toilet paper. Apparently young thieves have been going round stealing it. The shortage is becoming less amusing and more a matter of wonderment. The codes on the park facility doors have been changed, and they are offering to supply anyone who has been caught short.
Kind. But I have a stock I have not needed to use since I moved here. Don’t tell anyone.
Where have all the toilet rolls gone? Long time passing Where have all the toilet rolls gone? Long time ago Where have all the toilet rolls gone? Hoarders bought them every one When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?
“I’ve had a colostomy!” said the angry man at the checkout.
“Then you don’t need to wipe your bum!” said the old woman clutching the last pack of toilet tissue.
“There’s￼ still plenty of baby wipes.” said I.
There was a stunned silence. Then everyone abandoned the checkout queue and rushed down the aisle.