The Weekly Muse

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Sharp enough the April sun

To coax the bluebells from the brake

But sharper still the north-east wind

To make the sinus click and ache.

A skirmish on the bird table,

The Tory sparrows slap and fight.

A fiercer starling steals the scrap

And flies it back towards the right.

At this a great commotion comes,

A twittering and beat of wings

And all the while an older bird

Sits on her perch and watches things.

A muffled squawk the Maggie makes,

With bandage tied around her beak,

To see the flock abandoning

Her tried and trusted kill technique.

And of her old lieutenants, one

Throws caution to the sky,

Making mention in his memoirs

Of a certain "drink-fuelled high"

Where the Leaderene was woozy

After drinking much at dinner.

This is bound to ruffle feathers

When the book is deemed a winner.

But though Mr Walden's memoirs

May delight one sore old sailor

He should book a plastic surgeon

And a trip to Venezuela.

Now half of us are overweight,

With one in five classed as obese.

We follow the United States

Then wonder why our girths increase.

But burger, vid and motorcar

In only fifteen years or so

Have brought a portlier populace

Than post-war Britain used to know.

And yet the sportswear sales go up

And bars are full of girls and chaps

Who wear go-faster stripes with pride

On barstools braced against collapse.

"Bordeaux Prolongs An Active Life":

A headline like the dog food ad.

Perhaps you pour it in a bowl

And feed it to your mum and dad?

Well, no, although in my own case

The gesture may not go amiss.

Apparently the wine provides

In-house haemodialysis

And helps reduce constriction

Caused by platelet aggregation.

With the blessing of my doctor, then,

It's time for a libation.