Weekly Muse

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The Independent Culture
As St Catherine, foul or fair

So 'twill be next Febryair

The 25th now come and gone

Advice is: Keep the wellies on.

"Politician Told a Lie."

A startling revelation, that.

Well, who'da thunk it? Bloody hell.

Excuse me while I eat my hat.

How many other shocks to come?

"A Car Mechanic Found With Wrench."

"A Cabinet Maker Used a Saw."

"Odd-job Man Kept a Vice On Bench."

But Jeffrey Archer? Surely not?

His champagne and his shepherd's pie

Long down the throats of erstwhile crew

Who rush to join the hue and cry

Such charming captains on the bridge

Who want our money and our votes

And how they scrabble, kick and gouge

When ships go down, for seats in boats.

It isn't what he's done as such

No worse than many of us thought

A snapshot of the iceberg's tip

His cardinal sin was getting caught.

How times can change within one life

And how they had, the papers said.

Contempt long-turned to reverence

His Majesty the Queen was dead.

I had a letter some weeks back.

A mate from my old Putney school.

A correspondence started up;

Robert O and Martin Newell.

And as the pile of missives grew

A haemorrhage of memories came.

"Remember Irish?" Lovely bloke.

I never knew his proper name

A quiet kid and "well turned out"

As our friend Hedley used to say.

We're talking 30 years ago

And yet another ghost to lay.

Irish? Well, we all had nicknames.

I was Shirley (I'd long hair).

Irish? Think his name was Peter.

Pummelled memory. Nothing there.

We left early, undistinguished.

Made a living for ourselves

I became an office runner.

Rob and Irish? They stacked shelves.

Then in Monday's Independent

And that evening on TV

Irish? Robert had to help me.

Brosnan. Pierce. For it was he.

Another eco-battle looms.

This time in Essex, Hockley Woods.

Developer v Wildlife-lovers.

Guess which party got the goods?

A court decided. Luxury homes.

Protesters plan to go to earth.

A badger walked into my local:

"Guess 'ow much my sett is worth?

We only moved 'ere 'ninety-four

I'll be the last one to complain.

They've offered me a 'undred thou'

In cash. Sweet as. No ongoing chain."