The Weekly Muse

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The Independent Culture
In Southbank, that's the one on Tees

They catch a cold, should London sneeze

And townsmen here, being hard as hell

Say, "Now then."

(If they know you well.)

Nearby, a place is up for sale;

Wilton Castle with its grounds

A pseudo-Tudor-Gothic pile

They only want six million pounds

And ICI with local debts

Must sell this asset if they can

Which overlooks a North Sea coast

The loveliest/ ugliest known to man.

Directly east, a stark land lies

Of Viking cliffs and seagull screams

And beaches where the tide rips in

To stripe the sand with sea-coal seams

But to the west, was industry

The castle overlooks the sight

Of smouldering flares and furnaces

Like Martian cities in the night.

Since market forces took the cash

Stripped out the shop and shut the door

The property can promise buyers

The Southbank Show they never saw.

Reckon you've got what it takes?

Like discipline and training? Good.

The Government intends to hire

You servicemen to Hollywood.

The money that the deal will fetch

At sixty pounds per man, per day

Might help to balance certain costs

Like... Oh, a recent conflict, say.

What? Ground troops into Tinseltown?

A great idea, but not quite yet.

It's extras that they're asking for

So can we have you ready, pet?

A set-top box and all for free.

The vulgar salesman calls again

With all the crap the ether holds

To help you rot your battered brain.

The sport, the pop, the rolling news

The so-called Gold from years ago.

Walk. Read a book. Do anything.

But tell the Aussie bandit: "No."

He surfaced once again this week

And speculation's turned to fact

Preserved by wind and altitude

It meant that he was quite intact.

A relic from another age

Fetched up on frozen slopes so cruel

But there he was and still in tweed.

Who? Mallory? No, Brian Sewell.

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