In Competition No. 2388 you were invited to offer a poem expressing aversion to an object or person popularly regarded as picturesque.
Is it ironical, a fool enigma,This sunset show?...Is it a mammoth joke?...
These unconventional lines were written when Victoria was on the throne by T.E. Brown, best known as the author of that soppy piece ‘A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot!’ Your abominations ranged far and wide — teddy bears, fluffy yellow chicks, Paris in the springtime, Princess Diana.... Mary Holtby saw the robin as ‘a Machiavellian vermicide’ and for D.H. Prince a rose was ‘only a bloody rose’. The prizewinners are printed below. Gerda Mayer gets £30 for her baby-bashing piece, the others have £25 each.
I look at them, if look I must:I view them with benign disgust.I see them with disguised dismay;And do I covet them? No way!My own would have improved the nation.Yours makes for over-population.Parental Pride, do not supposeI like them much beyond their toes.I very cheerfully dispense With whiffs of their incontinence.Have they a sex? The only cluesAre pukey pinks and bilious blues.Here’s Baby, whey-and-pudding-faced,Uncalled-for proof that you’ve embraced.For every Jack, for every Janet,Commiserations, luckless Planet!
That time of year when buds appearWe’re bound to hear all people shrillTheir glad refrain, in sickly strain:‘It’s here again — the daffodil!’So what? You sprout; you wave aboutYour ugly snout from side to side:Your coy advance, your winsome glance And floppy dance I can’t abide.Why be so keen to deck the sceneWith spikes of green and bilious face?And yuck! How strong your noxious pongThat lingers long in every place.Look, Wordsworth’s dead; he’s never read,So bend your head and face the kill.O worthless trash, with one swift bashI’ve come to smash you, daffodil!
A garden is a lovesome thingTo look at, but, alas, come spring,With broken rustic garden tools,Mosquitoes breeding in the pools,Armies of aphids, thrips and bugs,Ants, locusts, killer bees and slugs,The foully reeking funeral pyres,The mower jammed on tangled wires,Discarded, rotting tennis balls,And dangerous, leaning, crumbling walls,Exotic plants, foredoomed to dieWhen chip-consuming passers-byHurl greasy papers through the fence,The weeds advancing, lush and dense,A small, dejected, headless gnome,No vision this for Ideal Home!
I hate the stuff: it’s only strawFor rooks to rob and rats to gnaw,It rots in rain, traps airborne seeds,Turns green with mildew, moss and weeds;It creaks, it leaks, it sags, it flops,And, hours after storms, drips drops;It harbours lice and mice and mouldAnd festers as it fades from goldTo something neither rich nor rareBut nondescript, like mousy hair;It reeks of musty, fusty hayAnd costs a bomb to trim and lay,Yet still its image reigns supremeAs every couple’s rural dream.Not mine! I’d gladly put a matchTo any cottage crowned with thatch!
Oh woolly lambkinBrisk and gay,I do so wish You’d go away!Your silly bleatingDrives me wild —It calls to mind A sickly child.I see you skippingOn the grass,And always longTo kick your arse.But hellish though IFind your face, You’re heaven-sentWhen I say grace!
John C.H. Mounsey
From Zanzibar to the AleutiansMountains are a confounded nuisance.Who wants them there? At best they checkYour path, at worst they break your neck.By forcing you to zig and zagThey make a tortoise of your Jag.Wordsworth, who revelled in a climb And at the top exclaimed, ‘Sublime!’Started that Learn-from-Nature guffOf which by now we’ve had enough.There still are fools who never restTill they have ‘conquered’ Everest,But wise men draw much nearer heavenSafe in a Boeing 747.Mount Fuji on a chocolate boxCan stay there — just give me the chocs.
No. 2391: Telly horrors
‘He Says She Says: Celebrities including Jenny