Prose for the millennium

Poem of the Year
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The Independent Culture

Century turned century out, Defying the damp and murky night With fusillades of champagne corks Amidst a blitz of floral light.

Century turned century out, Defying the damp and murky night With fusillades of champagne corks Amidst a blitz of floral light.

The price of this millennial cheer? A hangover to last a year.

A year in which investors learn They cannot live by Net alone, Where those with money still to burn Slink back to Bricks and Mortar zone. Speaking of which, a sharp upturn In price of homes got under way As Gordon Brown applied the brakes Dear Prudence, on repeated play And to this theme, the year might ring If things ran smoothly as they may But as we know, the best-laid schemes Of chancellors gang aft a-gley.

Our farmers abject with despair Lambast the hapless Mr Brown Who exits, with cream cake in hair As country goes to war with town And town responds with housing plans To rival inter-war year ones Which cause such huge controversy The planners later spike their guns But underneath a row will bubble Everyone demanding action Themes of prudence now in trouble Counterpointed by retraction.

In the merry month of May Some anarchists, the papers said Sewed chaos, among many things, Then turf, on Mr Churchill's head. A green mohican à la punk Which made its impact felt, no doubt But failed, too, since many asked: "What the hell was that about?" A people's protest, they were told Though not a type that people like. For that you need a common cause For instance, say, a petrol hike. If people cannot drive their cars They cannot work or (horror!) shop And this does more than anarchy To bring proceedings to a stop.

And somewhere in between these spats Ken Livingstone becomes a mayor The spotlight flits from Dome, Genome To Widdecombe and Leo Blair. From mobile phones and bovine clones To Danniella Westbrook's nose Then settles on Big Brother House Till summer stalls and Mowlam goes.

The rest you know. I need not dwell Upon the recent heavy rains, The Portsmouth paedophilia hell, Of anything concerning trains, But some of us are far worse off So don't be too downhearted here Like Jeffrey Archer, William Hague He of the 14 pints of beer Thin gruel, I know, to charge your cup But happy new year! And lighten up.

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