The Weekly Muse

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The Independent Culture
Balham, Streatham, Thornton Heath...

With muck-strewn sleepers underneath

A dirty-blue South London train

Worms home in black November rain,

As lights come on in shabby flats

And children call for missing cats,

The stillborn daylight fades away

And draws the curtains on the day.

The vision, though, remains unseen

When carriage windows are not clean

And filth fugs up the window panes -

A feature on the Connex trains.

And their excuse? A racing cert.

On count of three: "Wrong type of dirt."

Beware the dread Millennium Bug:

The best-laid plans go down the plug,

Marooned and singing "Auld Lang Syne"

With Windows 1899.

As trains and planes go up the spout,

Machines won't cough your money out,

The hospitals will lose your files

And traffic tailbacks stretch for miles.

It sounds horrific anyway

And quite unlike our lives today.

Not illegal or immoral:

Thumbs grown out of bits of coral,

Lab-grown tissues, valves for hearts,

All your missing body parts.

Want an ear grown on a mouse?

Come to Doc Vacanti's house.

Lost a nipple? He sells new sets

COD from Massachusetts.

Glam (Mark II) pulls out the stops

And clomps into the High Street shops.

The fashion-conscious fop appears

In flares that Guy Fawkes wore for years.

As what goes round comes round again,

Have pity on the young and vain,

Since many of them risk being hurt:

"Put out the fire! I want that shirt!"

The CBI says greed is good,

But lying's endemic, so they would,

And fat cats help create our wealth

As cigarettes improve our health.

We all believed Bill Clinton too

And look at him. He sailed through.

How much is Jane Austen costin'?

Better ask the BBC.

Stick with Dickens. Better pickin's.

Golden rule it seems to me.

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