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Poetry Magnum Opus

Waiting for Barnacle Bill


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Here on the crest of this pleasant hill

where larks and bluebirds sing their fill,

I sit on this bench all tense and still,

and wait for a chap called Barnacle Bill.


I doubt that was his name at birth,

not a mother’s choice when he sprang to earth,

but a name flat-chosen, of little worth,

applied amid grins and drunken mirth.




O hear the words I sing:

war is a very horrible thing,

tingalingaling. Mother.

(Baldrick, “Blackadder”)


I was just going to walk across

this barrier. A mere step or two,

but then came a shot close-by, ,

a warning, no-one trying to hit you.


I remember how I sold my old boss

a shaky MG Harrier. This much is true,

and after we shared a shot of rye, we

waved and said good bye, good bye. I would not shit you


much, and such is the clear (if edited) story

with nothing near, nor even close to glory,

yet I shudder on the bench in the evening chill,

waiting for a thug called Barnacle Bill.

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Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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I really like putting this across stanzas:


.....I would not shit you





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The profane nature of the old song works well as metaphor for human nature. I recall fondly the old Fleischer Popeye cartoon that introduced the villain Bluto..."Who's that knocking on my door?" sang Olive Oyl... "It's Barnacle Bill the sailor," he growled, lustily. :biggrin: Also your subtle "goodbye, goodbye" tickled up other memories of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore singing the old WW1 song. B.

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