In the course of the tidying up, which, as courses go, has lasted a year, I discovered a poem I wrote on the back of an envelope, the inside and three sheets of telephone message paper. I remember writing it and have searched the website for where I have put it, without success. Quite a lot of stuff gets put in the wrong place – there’s a lot of Dementia diaries in Uncategorised, such as Sayings, which were reported verbatim from my mother. The second lot of Sayings ended up in The Parrot Has Landed, because they were quite hilarious.
I cannot find this anywhere, except, of course, here.
The haberdashery continuum.
My Great Uncle, Mr. Scroate
Lost a button from his coat.
It dropped off down the nearest drain
He could not fish it out again.
It floated down the sewer and then
Joined more sewers in a giant drain.
One giant drain, then two, then three,
The button floated out to sea.
Being made of bone it did not sink
But floated onwards through the drink.
I bet you bet a million quid
That it was eaten by a squid.
Or bravely saved by clever Flipper
And you’d be wrong; it was a kipper
Unkippered yet, a fishy glutton
It nearly choked upon the button.
He swallowed it, he thought he should
The calcium would do him good.
But though he got it past his jowl
It caused a blockage in his bowel.
His gasses trapped, a dreadful fate,
The poor thing started to inflate.
He rose, and having reached the top,
Exploded with a nasty pop.
Expelled from one fate to another
The button struck a passing plover.
Who caught it, like a circus trick.
She swallowed it; it made her sick.
It made her cough, it made her frown
She struggled hard to keep it down.
Her powers of flight were sorely tested
She held her beak till she’d digested.
Thus knackered, looking for a rest
She made a landing on her nest.
And there she stayed till well past tea
Not even getting out to wee.
She yawned and preened and stretched her leg
And finally she laid an egg.
I know you think the egg contains
A chick with button bone for brains.
But that’s not so because the plover
Was sterile, as she had no lover.
But needing one without delay
She left the nest and flew away.
And thus it was two horrid boys
Could steal the egg to swap for toys
At break in school, and so they did.
The egg then rested with a kid
Elijah Scroate, who has a dozen
Eggs, or more, he is my cousin.
One day he chanced to show them to
The very same great uncle, who
Had lost the button. So rheumatic,
When passed the egg he dropped and cracked it.
And thus the button was recovered
Drained, and sewered, and fished, and plovered.
Devout religious students know
Because the good book tells them so
That bread, if cast upon the waters
Brings loaves to feed your sons and daughters.
You’ll note this self-same text refrains
From telling you with might and main
To chuck your button down a drain.
And why? Because, as is quite plain,
You simply get it back again.
It’s litritchure, what we do here, litritchure.