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God gave the wicked Tiger stripes
To make him easier to spot.
Tigers are disagreeable types
Who snarl and show their teeth a lot.

That being said, however...

As soon as dusk begins to fall,
Tiger & jungle slowly merge
Until he can't be seen at all.
The joke is on the Demiurge

For being a shade too clever...



The scorpion, when out of sorts
Is not consoled by rational thoughts;
Nor are the otter's careless spraints
The fruits of rational constraints.

The pungent marten in its den,
The gibbon lithe and sinuous:
Each may impart a solid air,
Yet neither is continuous.

A stream of probabilities
Plus random interference
Accounts for their abilities
Along with their appearance.

Likewise the savant and the fool,
The fervid and the fond
Perpetuate the proto-joule
Like ripples on a pond.

The wolfhound and the asteroid,
The teeming protozoa,
May one day wrestle from the void
The molecules of Noah.

And resurrected prophets might
Resume their former stations
In modes analogous to light,
In scattered  populations.

While murky dreams of trilobites
Survive as isotopes
To punctuate the pedant's nights
With silty fears and hopes.

In crumbling shales we may detect
Sharp whiffs of earlier days;
While ministerial gaffes reflect
The same old saurian ways.

The tell-tale scrunch of gravel;
The Vauxhall in the drive...
Hopefully, to travel
Is the same as to arrive.

For it's fragments we are of some obsolete star;
Proud relics of nuclear fusion.
Yet more than a few tend to favour the view
That nothing persists but illusion




The lady down at number eight
Has grown accustomed to her fate;
The fifty grand she owes to Lloyds,
The shingles and the haemorrhoids.

No sense in reaching for the sky -
Her lot is not to reason why.
Meanwhile, the man at number four
Decided he could take no more.

He felt he'd failed to make the grade;
A martyr to the motor trade.
He'd sort you out an Astra, cheap,
Were Beachy Head not quite so steep.

As for the bunch at number ten -
They're really something else again.
And things are, doubtless, much the same
In any street you care to name.


Ah, what a feckless piece of work is Man
For, even as he bends his head in prayer,
This evolutionary also-ran
Suspects there may be no-one really there

To listen to his fumbled hopes and plans
And put a kindly word in with the Fates.
Some people only want to know their spans,
The major details and auspicious dates.

He wonders why his life is so appalling;
To which the only answer is "because".
He dimly recollects somebody falling
But can't remember whose idea it was.

Much of what would pass for sin
Arises when we can't begin
To rationalise the world within.

Intimations of contempt,
Strangled avowals of spite and hate
But represent a doomed attempt
To try to set the record straight.
Thus the fool expends his talents
Trying to restore the balance.

All mortal forms succumb to wear and tear
And find themselves unequal to the strain;
The random knocks and scrapes, the frank despair
Of ever finding Paradise again.
You are the helpless puppet of your fate
Yet still contrive to make a mess of things
Which, fortunately, serves to demonstrate
That, in the end, it's you that pulls the strings.


“Just in time for a last Bloody Mary!”
Cried the Lobster.”And this one’s on me.
For the oyster is home from the prairie
And the herring is home from the sea.

Oh, they know not the joys of the paddock
Nor the thundery scent of the loam
Who succumb to the song of the haddock
And are lured to its watery home.”





A song of night terrors from IOU's CURE (Huddersfield Contemorary Music Festival 2000)

What would I give not to re-live
The terrors of the counterpane,
That I might never see again
The gruelling candlewick campaign?

When will I learn not to return
With poignard bloodied to the hilt
And, mad with fear, traverse full tilt
The patchwork boneyards of the quilt?

Come slouching forth from sunless lands
The dead, in slow, lugubrious bands,
The frightful echelons of night;
The Dog-Faced Man with cold wet hands -
Impervious to the landing light.

The ruck of nameless forms takes flight
From goosedown catacombs and graves;
While shadows from Aladdin stoves
Send boggarts, hags and murthering coves
Careering down the architraves.

Now from the airing cupboard springs
The homicidal dressing gown;
On murmur of distempered wings
A host of execrable things
Makes hay beneath the eiderdown.

And all the men who would not drown
(Though cast upon the Goodwin Sands)
Go squelching forth to swell the gang
As all the men they could not hang
Come shuffling in with hooks for hands.






It's rude to whisper. It's rude to shout;
She opened the box and the words flew out.

Words for places, words for names,
Names for faces, rules for games.

Words like history, words like sin.
How in the world did they all fit in?

Words with horns and teeth and stings..
The air grew thick with the clatter of wings.

They pinched her nose. They pulled her hair,
Sticks and stones flew everywhere.

Pandora laughed and clapped her hands
And proudly named the Goodwin Sands.

It's rude to whisper. It's rude to shout.
She opened the box and the world flew out.




Not wanting to waste it
No-one having seen us
Both dying to taste it
We shared it between us.

  Written for Impossible Theatre's "Other People's Shoes", an ambitious project involving the nation's shoe shops.

L'Histoire du Malpas

    Not many people know this, but the malefactors of old had frequent recourse to curious shoes with heels at the toes, in order to leave the wrong impression. It is still less widely known that these desperadoes were swiftly apprehended when quick-witted constables donned shoes with heels both fore and aft. The luckless toughs, confronted with the consequent spoor, could only conclude that a great many of their confréres had recently passed in many directions at once. As they stood scratching their heads, the wily gendarmes pounced and shut them up in great, dark, deep dripping holes forever.

    Malpas, the justly celebrated King of Thieves, was the first to dispense with heels altogether. In his undulating hand, he leaves an eloquent account of his subsequent frustrations. Broadly, nobody knew where he  was and, after a time, they ceased to wonder. The police were, by now, back in their ordinary shoes. Malpas, mistaking their tracks for those of his felonious crew, followed them and, in so doing, duly presented himself at the police station."Oh", they said. "Oh. It's you. Born in a barn, were you?"
All © Lou Glandfield 2006