Wednesday, 22 December 2010


Simeon, my pal, a saint, bless him!,
Pillar of society, a stylite,
Down for a few days,
Dropped in to see me with eyes only for you,
And could not wrest them from your plumping cheeks,
Salivating, feeling sorry for himself,
Off the style and on the agony,
His words came swimming
Along the grand canal of his oesophagous,
Skating across his tongue,
Leaping over his teeth.
I had to duck to dodge them:
It’s tough, friend, at the top,
High-life, low self-esteem.
Not much that one can say for Dair Sem’an:
Although perhaps a tad more fun than Slough
Or Merseyside.
These days my basket comes up empty as
A kosher pork-butcher’s on Saturdays,
And if not empty comes up locusts,
One kind or the hopping other.
For twenty years no crumpet and no crackling,
And not so much as smell a bacon-rind
Or dock-pudding.
And babbling thus, enough to try a saint,
He bores right through me till the third day dawned
When guests like fish, they say, begin to stink,
And I hand him a broom to sweep the cave,
A kitchen knife to peel his breakfast carob.
Christ Jesus, Tony! surely there must be
Some small advantages to being Christian
And I spy one starts with the letter π
π for pigling?, brother Simeon, π for pet?
π for pork, brother Antony, π for pork,
And, teeth flashing as the deft words skipped over,
But brother, why not pork for pie?

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