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I leant upon a crack'd plastic window

When sultry summer was spectre-grey

And heard the chirp of house music

I knew t’was here to stay.  [2011] cf. Hardy’s A Darkling Thrush




The Meaning of Life: Reasons to be Scornful


Plato pursued the platitude of good,

Aristotle urged we do what we should.

The Cynics rejected wealth, fame and power,

The Hedonists were a party-going shower.

Epicureans wanted a life pain free,

Stoics were patient and sighed c’est la vie.

The Enlightenment taught natural rights,

Liberal wimps practised politics light.

Bentham’s ‘greatest happiness principle’

Utilitarianism is the title.

Kant can’t abide the unprincipled fool,

Nihilists think God is dead as a rule.

Pragmatists struggle through practical strife,

Existentialists create their own Life.

Absurdists expect a disharmony,

Secular humanists claim we are free.

Logical positivism doesn’t ask,

For Postmodernists scrutiny’s the task.

Pantheists nurture the environment,

Confucius was an ordinary gent.

Buddhists are hippies and seek nirvana,

Mohists give free love in their pyjamas.

Legalists pursue natural knowledge,

Christians on Sunday like to trim their hedge.

Catholics prefer love au natural,

The Mormons collect a harem of gals.

The Jewish God loves a wild killing spree,

The Baha’i faith seeks human harmony.

Zoroastrianism divides right from wrong,

Quakers are silent, never sing a song.

Islamists worship Allahu Akbar,

Hinduists seek karma and sansara.

Janists are veggies, never hurt a fly,

Sikhs wear headscarves but never wear a tie.

Taoists maintain natural truth in tune,

Shintoists watch sumo from April to June.

Don’t let the bastards tell you what to do,

Ask a computer you’ll get forty-two.

Never be hoodwinked, never bend the knee,

And most important — never give money.  [2012]




Ode to Dodo [Holland]


Oh Dodo, Dodo
Weirder than Odo, Odo
Chins wobble-o wobble-o
Worthless promises blow-blow.

You’ve met some people,
You’ve read some books,
Are you a tower of intellect
Not a second-rate crook?

Oh Dodo, Dodo
You’ve lost your halo halo
Where wisdom lies fallow
In a brain of blackcurrant jello.  [2013]




Smashing Atoms


I was working in the lab late one night

Squinting at a proton with all my might,

The brute double-bumped before my eyes -

And now I’m up for the Nobel Prize!  [2016]