Every morning I turn on the tele at first light
to learn out what happened overnight.
A few days ago the announcer read from her script
about events in Yemen, Tunisia and Egypt.
She then interrupted her flow of information
to say breaking news was arriving from another nation.
Brazil was the country, to be exact
but she could not yet give us any other fact.
With such anxiety did she speak
I knew the news coming in must be bleak.
Were there more disastrous landslides
that wipe away whole mountainsides?
Had the country been struck by drought?
Had Lula and Dilma fallen out?
Was the Amazon rainforest ‘s destruction worse
as logging operations on it put a curse?
Could it be something no-one wanted to face,
that this year’s carnival will not take place?
Finally we were given the news they described as dire –
a footballer announced he would retire.
I have written, and write, verses on different subjects,including politics. Some are satiric and some, I hope, amusing. Feel free to comment.
February 14, 2011
What the BBC vaunts as part of English national humour
has infected their programmes like a malignant tumour.
It’s a pity the comics on Top Gear can only make comments that are bitter
as they go into hysterics while they simper and titter.
As about other nations they exhibit bigotry and ignorance
are they hoping their own country’s values to advance?
Do they want them to admire what they boast is their reserve
as ambulances pick up drunken teenagers from this and that city curb?
Instead of criticizing other countries’ culinary arts,
why not try to improve their own lumpy custard tarts?
Foreigners willing to taste their toad-in-the-hole
should ask the Lord to have mercy on their soul.
The English consider leathery meat
to be a most delectable treat.
They only serve fish if it is shaped into a finger
with an aftertaste that on the tongue forever will linger.
When finishing dinner they think it’s bon ton
to end by eating a nice sticky bun.
The meal is washed down with very warm ale
but it can only be served if it is pale.
Chef Gordon Ramsay’s four-letter words do not amuse
as we wonder whether he is imbibing too much kitchen booze,
The expletives he is continuously heard to utter
would be best spoken by a denizen of the gutter.
Why does he always have to look so disgusted?
Does he think none of his assistants can be trusted?
So while he continues to display his many insanities
someone step up to the plate and make a bonfire of his profanities.
But the worst crime for which the BBC must be berated
is how there the English language is now articulated.
It is often hard to make out just what they mean
when they won’t put a subtitle on the screen.
Is it too much to hope they show television viewers abroad,
who used by BBC English to be impressively awed,
that they can still produce at least one quality show
about which the producers could with self-satisfaction crow?
including a mention or two of some witty quote.
There are so many names from which they could choose
and below are mentioned a few they might want to peruse.
There is Synge and O’Flaherty, Behan and Yeats
to name just a very few of the greats.
Another fine author who should not be left out
is Francis Mahoney, aka Father Prout.
If it’s comedy they want they might suggest to their boss
that he allow them to quote the ladies Somerville and Ross.
There are so many others by whose works we are beguiled
such as O´Casey, Jonathan Swift and, of course, Oscar Wilde.
If they decided they would like to air a humorous voice
Oliver Goldsmith would be a most suitable choice.
If they wanted an erudite audience to draw
they could hardly do better than quote Bernard Shaw.
If ballads were needed there would be nothing more sure
than to delve into the romantic works of famed Thomas Moore.
James Joyce of course must not be left out of the mix
as his writings would surely the viewers’ transfix.
Ending on a more contemporary note
there is someone else from whom they could quote.
Phil Linehan’s satiric verses would probably make most listeners smile
although, to be honest, in some others they might produce bile.
The list goes on and on but I now discover I’ve put myself on a spot --
to say that every author mentioned is Irish I simply forgot!
February 2, 2011
It really wants to make me grieve
When I ponder the collapse of what in Britain is known as Auntie or the Beeb.
The British Broadcasting Corporation that is to say,
that has very clearly lost its way.
There was a time when someone with what I said did not agree,
I would silence my critic by affirming “But I heard it on the BBC”.
Now no longer can I make that claim
and no-one on me can put the blame.
What used to be known as quality television
has become an object of derision.
It seems that little can be done it to save
while Alvar Lidell spins in his grave.
One show has their most famous chef
starts every second word with the letter “F”.
As it does not mean food one wonders whether he’s on dope
but couldn’t the producers make him wash his mouth with soap?
He insulted everything he saw in India and in Australia caused so much strife
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described him as a new form of low life.
The BBC says when using obscene language he’s just being a lad
and, after all, that’s not so bad.
When invited to a U.S. show he was forced to swear
but only to promise to clean up his act or he wouldn’t appear there.
Meanwhile, everyone who in the U.K. has a television set
must fork out $200 for the rubbish they get.
When their crawl described the 33 children trapped in a Chilean mine
had the writer been spending too much time bent over his stein?
Or by misspelling “miners” as “minors” was he trying to make a joke
and again at foreigners attempting fun to poke?
But of one thing there can be no doubt:
Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson is the Beeb’s most notorious lout.
When he sent in his application for the job
did they ask him to prove that he’s a yob?
About motor cars he is supposed to be talking
but instead he just keeps on squawking
and by giving his opinion on matters of which he is unaware
his empty-headedness he clearly lays bare.
When he lauds the virtues of Jacquar cars he says are British
is our Jeremy perhaps just trying to be skittish?
Or could it be his idiotic intent
to pretend they are not owned by Tata Motors from the subcontinent?
I could suggest he should try to change his gears
but to do so he’d need to have something between his ears.
And it would be asking far too much
to insist that he control his clutch.
He is supported by the pathetic Richard Hammond and James May
to help him his boorish game to play.
When he diatribes as he struts around his broad arena
their laughter reminds us of a hysterical hyena.
Besides countries and cultures he insults people he doesn’t like
and if that happens to be a woman he will call her a dyke.
Every cyclist he yells should be banned from the road
or be run over like any ill-fated toad.
When caught speeding at almost 300 kilometres on a public road
witnesses thought with rage he would explode
as he blew his top about the stupid rule
that prohibited him from playing the fool.
From his posh school he was thrown out for being drunk and generally misbehaving
showing he started early with his ranting and raving.
So maybe it is time for him to stop being one of the boys
and return to his former job of hawking Paddington Bear toys.
Gone are the days when to those who wanted to learn English I would helpfully advise
that to listen to the BBC they would be wise.
I now have to tell them, and I confess I do so with a pang,
they must listen to the German Deutsch Welle or the South Korean Arirang.