Ooh, get him and his art-farty poetry!
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National Poetry Day Tribute

Lay down your tools and pick up your pens
For Poetry Day is here again
Time for the amateurs, artists and fools
To once again try to flout the rules
And prove that poetry is art for the masses
And not just for ponces with berets and glasses
Or Morrissey look-alikes with their broken dreams
The sad-hearted clowns, the love-deprived teens
But just like painting and music and such
This art should be left to those with the touch
People like me who can spin up a rhyme
In the blink of an eye, or similar time
Or those wth a sense of language and pace
And sentences with words all in the right place
And anyone out there who could take me in a fight
(And there can't be that many who can and can write)
But Poetry Day is really just an excuse
To let some of that pent-up poetry lose
To inflict upon others your execrable verse
And yet pent up in others there is still worse
Let it's coming be unbidden
Or better still, cast it in the midden
And instead, let us all share a friendly beer
And pray there'll be no Poetry Day next year

My Dead Canadian Girlfriend (short version)

My dead Canadian girlfriend
Passed on peacefully
She was fast asleep
In the passenger seat
When I crashed into that tree.

One Summer on Sunday

Septuagenarians stare out to sea
Salmon paste sandwiches, flasks of warm tea
Cars on the seafront, parked in a line
The Disabled spaces are all filled by nine
They're watching the tide and the ships on the Humber
They're watching the world pass by while I slumber
And down past the pubs, where the arcades are open
The one-armed bandits are paying out tokens
And the kids all want money and doughnuts and sweets
And their parents want rest and quiet and peace
Last night's excesses still taking their toll
As they're clearing their heads with a mid-morning stroll

I'm up for breakfast at the old greasy spoon
Full English, a cuppa and I'll feel human soon
Down to the seafront to take in the air
Sand in my face and salt in my hair
And down on the sand the first early risers
Are starting to wonder just where the tide is
The sea has retreated out for a mile
The kids will be safe on the sands for a while
Now I'm off to the market with it's stalls of cheap clothes
Factory seconds and brands no one knows
And military surplus and cheap meats and china
Bootleg tapes, videos, and car wax (None finer!)

The pubs start to bustle, I'm hearing the call
A pint and some dinner and maybe a brawl
A few games of pool, that sort of thing
And lunchtime karaoke for those who can't sing
Afternoon in the pub, chatting and boozing
While down on the prom the posers are cruising
It's back home for tea and a shower and a shave
Then back tothe pub to meet Trevor and Dave
A couple of swift ones, then we move into town
Hitting the pubs as the sun's going down
The families are leaving, away to their beds
Fish and chip suppers and bottles of reds

And while we're out drinking and passing the night
The meatheads are crawling, looking to fight
And the tourists are easy - they stand out a mile
And you're picking their pocket as you give them a smile
We're out of the pub, to JD's or The Pier
Or anywhere else we can still get a beer
More drinking and joking and trying to score
Till finally the bouncers show us the door
Shared taxi homewards, "Who's got the fare?"
"See you tomorrow", and "Aye" and "Take care"
Off to bed late at the end of a fun day
And that was Cleethorpes one summer on Sunday

John Hegley pastiche is still available here.
Copyright Jim Lawrence 2003.