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Poetry Magnum Opus

Lumpen Intellektuell


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He sits at th foot of the table,

with paper and pencil and dictionary;

he has a litre of beer and a evil-smelling cigars,

and produces two propositions

within the hour,

one of which is incorrect.


He descends from the Gallery of Great Goodness,

now suffering from another poor year

amid a collection of the rather dim.

Public support is fading,

as the people yearn for quick and cheery results,

and this damn bloody war doesn't help.


Allow me buy you an ice cream

instead of a glass of red,

as you appear to be only ten years old.

Eleven? I sincerely beg your pardon.

The fact is, I need you to talk to me.


In the beginning comes an intimacy of life

which is also its ending, with banknotes scattered

here and there, manifestly non-Anglo-Saxon,

floating confetti, darling,

a style of living in which nothing signifies.


Across from the 19th century arcades,

on the right side as one descends the street,

is an open green area, quite pleasant in summer,

once the southern precincts of the Savoy Hotel,

now with deckchairs scattered in the pale London light.


Yet the bars of the cage grow closer every day,

and the damp grey walls move in.

I am innocent, I am innocent,

I have done nothing!

Well, nearly nothing.


Ah, here comes your ice cream.

My goodness, it looks magnificent!

I need you to tell me about your Daddy,

was he nice to you, did he give you presents,

did he argue many times with your Mum?


When I was talking to Hitler

upon 2-3 occasions at the Kaiserhof hotel

he was amazingly succinct and logical,

although his right leg was jigging

and his left arm clamped down by his right.


This was 1937, a quiet year,

apart from the visit of that idiot Duke of Windsor,

when all the public talks were of peace

and all the private plans were of war.

The Germans really loved him: they had no idea.


In the beer halls of Munich,

I used get drunk with my Nazi pals,

but it really meant nothing!

It was just beer, bratwurst and songs

agreements over righteous wrongs.


I had a good War,

dodging bombs in London.

workimg at a desk for SOE,

(they gave me an MBE!)

Naturally, I turned in all my German pals.


and many were forced to “co-operate”,

at great risk to themselves and their families,

but I cared not a button.

I found this betrayal rather easy,

although I did mourn the executions.


Life catches up with you in the end,

all the indececion and half-failures,

mounting, then just creeping along,

until one day they fall upon you

and ou can’t even creep, just crawl:


Then there are no new friends or old pals,

there is nothing as far as can be seen,

and you stand there with your socks off

talking down a waxed string attached to a can,

listening,slowly turning green.

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

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Good to see your expansive style at work again as it spirals through many salient points of interest. Sardonic metaphor, elegance, guile and wit, all brandished by the poet like a sword of truth at the wolf in sheep's clothing. Much enjoyed. Cheers. G. :smile:

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David W. Parsley

Hi Brendan, as usual Geoff took all my best comments. This is a nifty sardonic (I know he used it, but it's the right word!) piece. The narrator betrays everything to survive then wonders why it is so bleeding lonely, eh? The sword of truth, indeed, and some of the observations (as are contained in all worthwhile pieces) apply for the rest of us, with all our "little" betrayals and choices.


One minor request: a number of misspelled and missing words. When you get it cleaned up, would like to see the final version here.



- Dave

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Thanks.guys, although I would characterize this as two poems masquerafi (what a brilliant word!! -- masquerading) as one. Need to concentrate! I cleaned up here and there and made a few changes -- thanks, Dave, for the heads up.

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

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