The Weekly Muse

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The Independent Culture
On soil too claggy for the plough

The sunlight falls across the fields.

A scant ten days to Imbolc* now;

The early morning darkness yields.

Now watch out for the "mink-with-wings"

Which may invade in weeks or so:

They're not de luxe, absorbent things

But are a type of Asian crow.

It's nastier than the native sort,

Descends in gangs, attacking pets -

A Hitchcock film come true, in short,

Which feeds on anything it gets.

The bunting out and two quiet cheers

Salute the age of "People's Peers".

Joe Normal and Joanne, his spouse,

Gain entry to Their Lordships' House.

But here's the thorn that spoils the rose:

The "club rights". There'll be none of those.

The restaurants and tea-rooms too,

And all the other stuff they do

Will vanish, which seems sad to me.

The least you'd want is grub and tea

For sterling work done down the years

To join the ranks of Tory peers.

But how would you attend a place

Which couldn't give you parking space?

And what about that stupid gown?

No, best advice is turn it down.

The British are obsessed, it's said,

With getting fit. I scratch my head

While people tear from gym to bar

And back again by motor car.

They're permanently clad for sport

In track suits of the louder sort

Which hint their "target weight" at you

From every High Street burger queue.

The poor old ailing English pub

Is under siege and shares are down

As Supervenues, "Girlie Haunts"

And other bars take over town.

Perhaps the breweries whingeing now

Should lower rents and have a think

About those countless villages

Where people cannot get a drink.

It's due in part to tinkering

And due in part to simple greed.

You can't make pubs by formula,

The character's the thing they need.

But cheaper beer upon the shelves

And cheery hosts - they'd run themselves.

Best ask The Weasel what he reckons;

I'm out of here - my local beckons.

*Old pagan spring festival