"Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Bears all its sons away; They fly forgotten, As a dream dies At the opening day..." Rub-a-dub-dub, It's time for a scrub! So through clouds of steam To a cracked and faded cream Bath-tub wanders free Aphrodite, so pale, pink and white She is naked as sin, Wearing nothing but a grin And a pin in her hair. Will she be drowned? Found with her hair tied behind, Shoulders back, And head inclined to the sound of music Playing above, Bathing her in love. But darkness and fear Disappear like the soap When she opens her eyes. She throws back her dormer windows; Morning light shows Ophelia raised On her watery grave In a brave new world.
Going Downhill Fast
One butterfly spies a glint in his eye; The birds sing as he cycles by. Oh, why should he feel sad? This world ain't so bad, And besides - Woe betide he who would frown When natural beauty abounds. And now, with wheels spinning free, He's picking up speed... Two butterflies tie knots in his stomach They love it when he goes too fast! The wind whistles past In vast oceans of air that will mess up his hair, Though he no longer cares anymore. Over-indulgence in vanity's Vacuous vice Just once or twice, thrice Four times in five we forget we're alive And neglect to remind ourselves Wait, then, for me Oh great Mercury! As late as you may be, Will you wait for me? Three butterflies realise when it's time to depart They have tickled his ribs, they have fluttered his heart, But the starting is easy compared to the stop, And the bottom is hard when compared to the top.
The Booklovers
"This book deals with epiphenomenalism, which has to do with consciousness as a mere accessory of physiological processes whose presence or absence....makes no difference...whatever are you doing?" Aphra Benn, Cervantes, Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Lawrence Day, Mary Wolstencraft, Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, Leo Tolstoy, Honore de Balzac, Edgar Allen Poe, Charlotte Bronté, Emily Bronté, Anne Bronté, Nikolai Gogol, Gustav Flaubert, William Makepeace Thackeray, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Mark Twain, George Eliot, Emile Zola, Henry James, Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, Catherine Mansfield, Edith Wharton, D.H. Lawrence, E.M. Forster Happy the man And happy he alone Who in all honesty Can call today his own He who has life And strength enough to say 'Yesterday's dead and gone I want to live today' James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, F.Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Herman Hesse, Evelyn Waugh, William Faulkner, Anais Nin, Ford Madox Ford, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, Graham Greene, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs Happy the man And happy he alone Who in all honesty Can call today his own He who has life And strength enough to say 'Yesterday's dead and gone I want to live today' Kingsley Amis, Doris Lessing, Vladimir Nabokov, William Golding, J.G.Ballard, Richard Broughtigan, Milan Kundera, Ivy Compton Burnett, Paul Theroux, Gunter Grass, Gore Vidal, John Updike, Kazuro Ishiguro, Malcolm Bradbury, Iain Banks, A.S.Byatt, Martin Amis, Brett Easton Ellis, Umberto Eco, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Roddy Doyle, Salman Rushdie The names will live forever...
A Seafood Song
"Who'll have a fishy On a little dishy? Who will have a fishy When the boat comes..." And then he says, "With our glasses both raised in a toast Let's sing for those in peril on the sea Who cater ceaselessly To thy every wish With every fish, As fresh as fish can be! Y'see, I do like my oysters, My king prawns and caviar No matter how far away they are, I'll be there!" And then she says, "Now with our glasses both raised in this toast, Let's sing for those in peril on the sea Who labour tirelessly In their tiny boats Off John O' Groats, Their socks soaked for me! Y'see, I do like my lobster, My squid and rainbow trout And if there's a fishy smell about, I'll be there! " And then we'll sing for those in peril on the sea Don't be frightened, don't be scared Chop off their heads and little legs, Then peel away the shell And open up your senses to the smell, The sound and colour, Touch and taste Of crabs, cod, clams and kippers Scampy, squid, shark and scallop Winkles, willocks, whale and whiting Seaweed, swordfish, sardines and sea urchin Haddock, halibut, herrings and eel Cockles, mussels, mackerel, geel Pilchard, plankton, St Peter's fish and plaice Octopussy jellyfishy And dolphin's an aquired taste... "Who'll have a fishy On a little dishy? I will have a fishy When the boat comes in"
While they have been eating The rain has started falling, Gradually gathering in strength. What began a drizzle Has now become torrential, And doesn't look like coming to an end. The two bedraggled figures That huddle in the doorway With nothing vaguely waterproof to wear Are now secretly wishing They'd listened to their mothers When being told to always be prepared. Screaming 'Geronimo!', They run for it, down the road. With an arm around her waist, He leads her to a place He knows. Soaked through, but happy, They scratch up to the landing; The room before them Makes a welcome sight. The coal fire is throwing Strange shapes upon the hearth rug, And crying out to be knelt down beside. She pulls off her jumper And flings it in the corner; He picks it up and hangs it on a chair. She puts on a record And sings into her coffee. He puts a blanket round her, sits her down And dries her beautiful hair.
Don't Look Down
Birds and planes go through the rainbow Every day, though you simply refuse. Old-fashioned ferris wheels Are no big deal They're just big wheels with chairs, So don't be scared. Just set yourself free! She tells me it's alright To open up my eyes; She holds onto my hand And the clouds float by. The couple in the car below, They wave to us and say 'Hello!'. I think they understand The way we're feeling... I don't need to say I love you When we're floating so far up above Everyone else's lives Are intertwined with yours and mine; I hope they find the joy that we have found. She tells me it's alright To open up my eyes; She holds onto my hand And the clouds race by. The couple in the car above, Well, I suppose they think that we're in love I think they might be right... And without warning, When we're almost at the top, The wheel that turns us all comes to a sudden stop. The wind that's blown us dies a quick and painless death, The air gets clammy and we hold eachother's breath. We get the feeling that we're not alone in this... And then a god, who really ought not to exist Sticks out a great big hand And grabs me by the wrist And asks me why, and I say: "Well, God, it's like this: It may be arrogance Or just appalling tast, But I'd rather use my pain than let it all go to waste On some old god who tells me what I want to hear; As if I cannot tell obedience from fear! I want to take my pleasures where and how I will, Be they disgraceful, or distasteful or distilled; And to be frank, I find that life has more appeal Without a driver who's asleep behind the wheel!" Then God decides that he has taken quite enough Of all this atheistic tosh I'm spouting off, And so he calls upon his favourite angel choir To sing of times when men were filled with christian fire. But over-zealous angels flap their wings too fast And cause the wind to blow and turn the wheel at last, And soon my feet are safely back on solid ground, And then I hear a voice say: 'Don't look down'.
When The Lights Go Out All Over Europe
Twilight turns from amethyst To deep and deeper blue; We've got an hour or two Before it's time to go... Let's go see a movie show... Jean can't choose between the two 'Cos Jules is hip And Jim is cool, And so they live together With the trees and birds and little girls Who play upon poor Jean-Claude's nerves 'til Finally he strikes Claire's knee; And when she asks of his ambition, Jean-Pierre replies "My mission is to become eternal and to die" Heaven knows the reason why! When the lights go out all over Europe I forget about old Hollywood, 'Cos Doris Day couldn't make me cheer up Quite the way those French girls always could. When the lights go out all over Europe I forget about old MGM, 'Cos Paramount was never Universal And Warners went out way back when Those lights go out all over Europe I forget about old Hollywood, 'Cos Doris Day could never make me cheer up Quite the way those French girls always could.
The Summerhouse
Do you remember the way it used to be? June to September, In a cottage by the sea. Distant cousins, local kids We climbed every tree together, And it never ever rained 'Til we climbed back on the train That would take us so far away From the village and the rain, And the summerhouse Where we found new games to play. Do you remember Sunday lunch on the lawn? Daring escapes at midnight, And costumeless bathes at dawn. You were only nine years old, And I was barely ten It's kind of weird to be back here again... Do you remember The summerhouse?
Neptune's Daughter
When the last course has been consumed They withdraw to the drawing room, Where the Schubert she plays with style Keeps her friends happy all the while; But the memories are a burden, So she draws back both the curtains, Stepping out into the night... As the glow from the house recedes And their voices blend with the breeze, She is free to be who she will Free to skip barefoot down the hill. Maybe she is Neptune's daughter, For she's drawn towards the water, Stepping out into the night... The water cold against her skin Conceals a multitude of sins; And laughing like a little girl She enters an enchanted world Where seaweed girls with silver tails Play games upon the backs of whales; They want her to come home with them They grab her legs and drag her down again, Down again... Into the sea he strides and takes her in his arms, And he carries her back to shore...
A Drinking Song
Back at the house A bottle is found And opened in honour of those who have drowned, While we who have not are stricken with guilt And dutifully see that not one drop is spilt; We're drinking to life, We're drinking to death We're drinking 'til none of our livers are left! We're wending our way down to the spirit store, We'll drink 'til we just can't drink anymore! Raise your glasses high, Drink the cellar dry! Well, bloody my nose And blacken my eye! If it ain't some young Turk in search of a fight And Chanticleer's chest is sagging with pride, For honour has yet to be satisfied. Well, heaven be thanked We live in an age When no man need bother (Except on the stage) With 'Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori' And definitely not tonight! I can still remember When I was just a kid I was free to do what I wanted to, But I never, ever did... So now with years of discretion reached, May we not forget Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité For there's life in the old world yet! There'll always be an England (oh yes there will), An Ireland and a France (indubitably), A Liechtenstein and Finland (absolutely right, completely undeniable), And we have only one chance... Earnest young man with an unhealthy tan Puts a drink in my hand and says: "I understand You're in search of the place To continue the chase Of the heavenly taste? I suggest in that case You all come with me To my place by the sea Where the glasses shall be overflowing with free Alcoholic delights And free love if you like For what point has this life If you can't realise you're dreams?!" Oh, raise your glasses high, And drink the town dry! We'll drink beyond the boundaries of sense! We'll drink 'til we start to see lovely pink elephants Inside our heads, inside our beds Inside the threads of our pyjama legs So don't shoot til you see the reds of our eyes And an army of elephants marching behind! From the day I was born 'til the night I will die All my lovers will be pink and elephantine!
Ten Seconds To Midnight
Ten: Apes turn into men, And grapes turn into wine; How we made it to nine I'll never know... Eight: Man looks for a mate, But fate plays cruel tricks And seven turns to six. Still he's alone... Along comes number five: Eureka, I'm alive! I think therefour I am a lucky man... Three: From this balcony The two of us can see The house where we first met One wet Sunday...
Tonight We Fly
Tonight we fly! Over the houses, the streets and the trees Over the dogs down below; They'll bark at our shadows As we float by on the breeze. Tonight we fly! Over the chimney tops, skylights and slates Looking into all your lives And wondering why Happiness is so hard to find. Over the doctor, over the soldier, Over the farmer, over the poacher, Over the preacher, over the gambler, Over the teacher, over the rambler, Over the lawyer, over the dancer, Over the voyeur, Over the builder and the destroyer, Over the hills and far away... Tonight we fly! Over the mountains, the beach and the sea Over the friends that we've known, And those that we now know And those who we've yet to meet. And when we die Oh, will we be that disappointed or sad? If heaven doesn't exist, What will we have missed? This life is the best we've ever had!