The Weekly Muse

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The Independent Culture
The cuckoo pint and elder leaves

Are first to come and long to stay

And Spring, the tinker loiters near

But never gives the game away

Then cold sets in to close the day.

Rhubarb, rhubarb, that's the stuff.

Unfashionable? No, think again.

The restaurants can't get enough

And "forced" may be the New Champagne.

The compotes with foie gras terrine

Mean rhubarb's coming home at last.

But Rheum rhaponticum once seen

In gardens of my misspent past

Was massive in its leaves and stem

And only grown so boys like me

Could catapult great holes in them

From high up in a nearby tree.

With sedatives dropped in their food

To temper those in frisky mood

The horses of Her Majesty

Are not as sharp as they should be.

Excessive equine joie d'esprit

May hinder Household Cavalry

Who cannot risk being thrown en masse

Base over apex - or cuirasse.

The drug with which the fodder's laced

Goes by the clubby name of "paste",

And, stoned on it, the steeds stand by

To do their duties dull of eye.

Now some will say this needs to be

For state occasions' dignity,

While others may prefer of course

To stone the Palace, not the horse.

Hang on! It's "Nineteen Eighty-three...

A Merman I Shall Turn To Be".

This isn't some nostalgia drift -

But Hendrix playing in the lift!

The firm that brought you Muzak say

That Jimi's been decreed OK,

So hotel lobbies, lifts and halls

Have Hendrix bouncing round the walls.

A snappy slogan, too, no doubt:

"Turn up, turn in, nod off, check out."

And there beside the freebie soap,

"Your complimentary blim of dope".

The food, the food of Frankenstein

Is cheap, looks good and tastes divine.

We smoke, we drink, we drive a car -

Such temples as our bodies are,

Why panic when our soya beans

Are modified by dubious means?

Besides, our kids, the little loves,

Look sweet in their three-fingered gloves.