FLYTING - Number 2- Election Fever.
I must go down to the polls again, to the Evangelical Hall
And all the usual rigmarole in the rickety wooden stall.
To the row of beady-eyed women with the separate jobs to do,
The ticking-off and the tearing-off and handing the blank to you.
I must go down to the polls again, to the pencil on a string
And the careful kiss in the special box that doesn’t change a thing
And the sucking of teeth and the half-belief that just this once it might
And the hollow laugh as I fold it in half, hoping I got it right.
I must go down to the polls again, to make my usual mark
Though my heart sinks and my head thinks “Oh, bugger this for a lark”.
But down I’ll go and the flag I’ll show as a citizen of the realm
And all I ask is a tight ship and an honest man at the helm.
This is why Socrates imbibed hemlock:
So I can wait in line around the block
To check a bubble with a number 2
Pencil—this democratic thing we do—
Bow my head in a hallowed cardboard stall
With gun nuts, plumbers, Wall Street sharks and all
Who think more deeply on the parking meter,
As they decide, meanwhile, ‘the Free World’s leader.’
If God’s a comic, this must be His theater.
It used to be conspiracies were fringe.
It used to be that thinking got respect.
But thinking would upset the nation’s binge,
Where news is ‘Elite Lies’ if it’s fact-checked.
You used to find each village had one village idiot;
But every village is today an idiot village.
From gentleman farmer
To Commonwealth harmer,
Villagers joined one kind
It is playing with muck.
No wonder we are stuck.
Ann, that is very good, but it is not flyting.
Why, hello John. How nice to see you here.
Your faint praise and complaint do not, I fear,
piss on my poutine. John, I broke no rule.
I am an angel, Sir, and you're a fool.
But if you want to reconstruct the form
at least adhere to the accepted norm.
What are you hoping for? To get me banned?
At least my contribution rhymed and scanned.
“The condition of ‘election fever’,
or electio febris, as experts”
(he blushes) “pace Gove, rather prefer,
can be most painful and occurs in spurts.
Opinion is, however, still much torn
on whether the affliction is acute -
(the virus spreading once May's sham poll's born) -
or chronic when June's outcome’s past dispute
and settles, like miasma of foul airs,
to choke folk’s now surrendered polity
and smother fairness in public affairs
with fair-wind only for the quality.
The remedy,” he beams, “is simply this -
‘No X for May!' Sweet as a Glasgow kiss.”
Vote cheerio my deario
I am a jobbing poet, one
not known for being practical
but I can see how much depends
on good folk voting “tactical”.
It might demand a sacrifice
but surely there’s no doubt
that cheerio my deario
would get the lady out.
Don’t wring your hands and mutter
that a single voice won’t matter.
Come out and play your Xbox,
put the former in the latter.
Of course we’ll get Theresa
if our opposition’s lacking;
it’s cheerio my deario
that sends the lady packing.
The end is drawing nearer
and we have it in our sights
for cheerio my deario
could set the world to rights.
There’ll be dancing in the breaking dawn
that cannot come to soon
when it’s cheerio my deario
upon the ninth of June
(exclamation point - and thanks to don marquis)
Viva Ms Tacticality!
First Past The Post suits dinosaurs,
The two big outfits' droning bores.
So, yes, Ann, please do play your part
Upsetting T.M's apple-cart
As with your neatly-pencilled cross
You show the forked-tongued one who's boss.
We need an anti-Tory front
To sabotage her Brexit stunt.
Oh, from the Isle of Wight to Arran,
Vote for the LDs of Tim Farron
And leave the Crosby lies refuted
With May the shoe-collector . . . booted.
Alas, Jerome, the time is out of joint,
whereon, I fear, you may have missed my point.
I mentioned "opposition", as you know,
but look! I spelled it with a little "o".
My cry is not to shun the two "king rats"
but to be smart and check your local stats,
using your vote to give the loudest shout
to those best placed to kick the Tories out.
(But thanks - your contribution made me see
that I must tweak my Flyte accordingly.)
Dear Ann, that times are truly fraught
Witness the Tory juggernaut
Crewed by a set of toxic blisters
Far worse than naïve Corbynistas.
Agreed, support the non-Con voice
In seats where it's the better choice,
So were I in some Midland place
With Labour second in the race
I might well even vote the rose
(A clothes-peg firmly on my nose.)
What do I see in the old crystal ball?
Those fool Corbynistas are left with f*ck all.
Likewise the Lib’rals, the Welsh and the Scots.
The regrettable Tories will triumph by lots.
I’m sorry I won’t be around on that day.
I’ll be out there in Trumpland, the US of A
When grov’lling remoaners are finally toast.
No worries, my luvvies. I voted by post.
These verses are dogg’rel. Their rhythms are sh*te.
But their general prognosis is probably right.
Ann - of all the wise savants, a distressed lady might consult,
The regenerated cockroach seems a masterly result;
With antennae all aquiver, to tell flatulence from air,
So the bat-shit for May’s ‘Brexit’ is a surfeit to compare
With all deadly plagues before it
And the doggerel penned for it
Is an order of ordure past repair.
If you seek a dodgy ducker, May’s flight from the CPS
Makes most bankers look flat-footed, as they plan their own egress
From a London turned provincial, flogged to oligarchs whose purse
Funded last election’s buses, now more like the party’s hearse.
So… despite her cruel passion,
As a high-end heel for fashion,
Having collars felt by coppers could be worse.
She a leader for whom leadership means leaving out debate,
A parliamentary would-be Queen, in drag as Henry eight,
For she finds the Commons common, but would lord it in the Lords,
With tautologies quite sneering, and non-answers like records.
When Scotland’s MPs make her squirm
She fears their voters will confirm -
It’s her snap-poll snaps the Union afterwards.
While her kingdom's still united, let’s concoct a deadly plot
And combine the sense of millions to show millionaires what’s what,
For the ‘Brexiteers’, quite brainless, are spread over every seat,
So keep our voting tactical and we’ll hand them their defeat.
‘Euromania’s’ still the saner;
Let June show that May is vainer
And her Tory ‘Faragistas’ are effete.
'Tis April, but there's talk of booting May;
Though she's convinced that she'll survive the day
That's scheduled to occur in early June.
Will she prevail, or will her party swoon?
I have no clue, but I can still remember
How Yankeeland was Trumped in cold November
And though we now are warming up to summer
The Leftists here persist in whining "bummer".
Be you a cynic or a true believer,
Elections can create a torrid fever
Which contradicts all logic, rhyme, and reason;
But human folly's never out of season.
Shoot me your talking points, and I'll concede 'em.
Where's poor old Colley Cibber when you need him?
Oh dear, it looks as if I've jumped right in.
Good thing I've got my tonic, and my gin.
(I didn't think I'd do it, but I've done it.
I wonder, can I stretch this to a sonnet?)
Poor Colley Cibber, once a man of passion,
Is now both out of life and out of fashion.
Yet it is meet that we should be forgiving,
Since he beseeched us, "pardon me for living".
Pardon me, Ann, and thank you for your grace.
That was an inside joke for Nigel Mace,
With whom I spoke of Pope, and poor old Colley.
But now the jest is outside, and how jolly!
(At least that's what I think Whitworth might write,
Should he come join us in our flyte tonight.)
Oh, for pity's sake....
Your list of what you hate about the Tories
is full of public schools and posh and toffs.
Your sneering tone of envy seldom varies,
riffing on fat cats, handouts, snouts and troughs.
Remember all those gasps of admiration
when old Mujica had his hour of fame?
Remember how you wished this failing nation
could find one man whose outlook was the same?
Someone who didn’t fiddle his expenses,
someone who rode a bike and went by train,
someone who’d even out the people’s chances
and make this country wonderful again.
An honest man and not a Tory bastard,
somebody who would listen and was kind…
But look! Your face is wrinkling like a custard
as you guess who it is I have in mind.
Your upper lip is creeping up your nostril
and you’ve reverted to your classic sneer –
“I didn’t mean that sad old hippie wastrel”
Your double standard couldn’t be more clear.
“I can’t be doing with that scruffy bleeder;
he’s not the man we need and that is flat.”
You say he’s not equipped to be a leader,
but I would follow somebody like that.
Is it of 'General's alone the Muse dare speak?
What of the 'Council' band we chose last week?
I think that when democracy's in view,
The nearer is the clearer - and more true.
The paths we pace and roads we drive each day
Reflect neglect or duty; bills we pay.
More readily we bring accounts to roost
Of local folk whom to their posts we boost
Than of elected government far off,
However high and mighty (ahem, cough).
Let not Theresa or arbeiter Ruth
Defraud you of this basic civic truth:
Electing of a councillor is best
Done for their deeds, not party-boss behest.
So Bah! to Brexit - even Indy, too -
In lieu of bins; and pests who leave dog-poo;
And swimming-baths; and shops that empty lie,
While homes need building now - not by-and-by,
Our raters, planners, zoners make the call:
Quotidian the impacts of Town Hall.
And only those who show their worth near home
I'll rate as worthy to more widely roam,
To exercise dominion of state;
Let poo-bahs profitable prove, not prate.
Let's let someone else have a go...
post was edited
Post was edited
Young Tom's no "poet" by my own criteria
and neither is his peer, tempestuous Kate
and yet their work's in many ways superior
to the old, overcrafted and sedate.
Their scansion creaks, some of their rhymes are dire
but through performance they communicate
their heads' ideas and their bellies' fire.
Such confidence "hath all too short a date";
their loud élan is something we should cherish -
this is what FLYTING is - long may it flourish!
Ann: "I must go down to the polls again"
This poem of yours captured every thought I've ever had of the experience.
What kind of change is this we're going through???
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