Poetry Corner

As part of our policy to raise the general tone, Number Watch is pleased to announce the appointment of a Poet in Residence. He is Walter de la Plage, Librarian at the Metropolitan University of Nether Wallop. His day to day duties involve maintaining computer hardware and software, but he is also widely regarded as one of the significant poetic voices of his day, mysteriously overlooked on the appointment of Poet Laureate. Here is the first of his occasional poems on great themes of the day.

 Ode to  the Right Hon Gordon Brown MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer

Hail to thee bleak spirit!
Stirred thou never wert.
I sing to praise thy merit,
Thy gravitas overt.

Some talk of Alexander
And some of Hercules
But I sing of Gordon Brown
A greater man than these.

Look at that William Shakespeare,
The bard of all the lays,
Just strung book titles together
And dared to call them plays.

But Gordon of the honeyed tongue
Can prove that black is white,
That penury is prosperity,
That he is always right.

For he will ever say you sooth,
This great sage of our days,
Pluck triumph from disaster
With a simple turn of phrase.

So smooth, so sweet, so silvery, is thy voice
As could they hear the damned would make no noise
But listening to thee speaking in the house
No creature would stir, not even a mouse.

The beetle brow that jutties o’er
Dispatch box and the bench before,
The glittering eye that didst brood
Upon the Commons, dark and rude,
Command attention, control the mood.

Like the stout Cortez,
When with eagle eyes,
He stared at the Pacific,
Gordon claims the prize.
And he may say, with a delicate air,
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.

How pleasant to know Mr Brown
Who has written such volumes of stuff.
Some say he is but a clown
And that enough is enough.

Some say he told such dreadful lies
It made one gasp and stretch one’s eyes,
But who are they to criticise
One so gentle, calm and wise.

For young Gordon Brown is come out of the north.
For Scottish New Labour he sallied forth,
Bearing from the snow and ice
A banner with a strange device
Bureaucracy!

Gordon, Gordon burning bright
Will not cease from mental fight
Nor shall his sword sleep in his hand
Till he has built bureaucracy
In England’s green and pleasant land.

For in his eyrie will he stay
And there he weaves by night and day
A magic web of colour grey
And as he weaves, so we must pay.

Who is Prudence, what is she,
That Gordon did commend her?
Did she lose her virginity
Or go out on a bender?
That denièd she might be.

When lovely woman stoops to folly
And learns too late that men betray
What calm can smooth her melancholy
What art can wash her guilt away?

For Gordon works in mysterious ways
His wonders to perform.
He is the firm foundation,
The calm at the eye of the storm.
He has an answer for everything
Formed in the form of a form.

Write to me only with thy forms
And I will fill in mine.
Leave but a gap within a box
And I will pay a fine.

The short and simple annals of the poor
Are now writ long on forms obscure.
They also serve who only stand and wait
(Inspectors, bailiffs, officers of state)
To pounce on those who submit late
Or fail to fill box eighty eight.

Higher still and higher
Shall our tax be set.
Talk not of the trade gap,
Don’t mention National Debt;
While our savings, sad to say,
Are over the hills and far away.

Gordon Brown, in whom we trust,
Though our pension funds are bust,
All our preparations just
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,
Hear our prayer
And give us we pray
Our means tested benefits
Sufficient unto the day.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan his works in vain.
Gordon, his own interpreter,
Is sure to make it plain.

And as he passes by,
Magisterial, frowning,
We raise our right arms high,
Not waving, but drowning.

Edited by John Brignell

January 2003

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