Friday 31 December 1999
Perfect as the name may seem
For something flakey, cold and mixed
This poem is not about ice-cream
But now the wine is duly poured
Before the vintage changes name
Come charge your glass in equal portions
Fear and wonder, dashed with shame.
In January, cold and damp
Beside a nibbled Norfolk coast
A henge of gnarled trees appeared
A four-millennia ancient ghost
In spite of pleas to leave it be
And let the sea reclaim its own
The diggers and the hard-hats came
To take it to some safety zone.
And thus began a muddled year
Of trying to fix what wasn't broke
While obdurately leaving be
Those things which bother normal folk.
Like transport. Buses, cars and trains
The nuts and bolts of A to B
Which stall more spanners in their way
Than trying to shift an ancient tree
And Prescott, like a boy who'd got
A train-set and Scalextric kit
All jumbled up in one big box
Could never make the pieces fit.
Before we knew it, Spring charged in
A roll of drums, a tally-ho!
The Lion was woken by the row
And blundered into Kosovo
Confused and groggy from his kip
And only half-prepared to fight
He watched the human lava slip
Down mountain passes day and night
And when the cost was reckoned up
And fragile peace secured the day
The words of Brecht still rang as true:
"Like love, War always finds a way."
Awards: A "Duke" for royal tact
Hmm... wonder who that's going to?
The "Widdecombe" for showbiz nous
And how to work a passport queue
The prizes for the next three boys
Detention, housepoint loss, disgrace
To Aitken, Archer, Hamilton
For first-rate fiction in each case.
The "William Hague" to William Hague
For such bad luck it wasn't fair
The "What's This Global Warming John?"
To Mrs Prescott and her hair
The "Murdstone" Education Prize
For propagating pre-school gloom
To Mr Woodhead and the team
For Learning Targets In The Womb
Nostradamus blew it big style
With his Armageddon tips
Overshadowed late in summer
Literally, by the eclipse.
In the end, the year surrendered
To the Net and mobile phone
Ninety Nine. Mwah! Gonna miss U.
Melted. Like the ice-cream cone.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
MOBO Awards 2014: Jess Glynne hits back at 'ridiculous' criticism of nominated white artists
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - review: Silly, sensational and sensitive
The Apprentice 2014: Nurun Ahmed and Lindsay Booth fired in double elimination
MOBO Awards 2014: Sam Smith sweeps the board with four gongs
The Apprentice, episode 3 - review: Lord Sugar hacks away at the deadwood with double elimination
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters