Sang the chorus master to his choir
‘I don’t quite know where I’ve been to
I’ve written this song that might aspire
To a masterpiece born in the lean-to’.
The choir responded with something tonal
That their chorus master was a just a fraud
For the composer was surely Señor Gronal
Coming not from a lean-to but from abroad.
‘Get out of our sight!’, trilled all the sopranos
In harmonic support thundered baritones too
The tenors as one threw over-ripe tomatoes
The Master fled for his life as he hid in the loo.
Melancholic the tale of this Master of Chorus
Whose untruthful claim I’ve set out before us.
Prince George, indeed our lovely George
Feels his steely armour strappings
Snap in place
And mounted now, the Prince surveys
His mighty host laid out before him
And moist his eye accepting loyalty
From this warrior multitude.
We shall not fail him, we have sworn
Only triumph, majesty and justice
Shall adorn our newest Prince
And he, gleaming, shall lead us forth
Trotting on silver horse on silver hooves
Remembering the virtue of our Elizabeth
To keep her memory fresh.
But all this lies ahead for our infant Prince
As he, snuffling in his Mother’s arms
Is blissful, unaware of future power and glory
And we, his beaming subjects, pledge
Our dedication, love, support and strength
To help his boyish laugh reveal the story
We toy soldiers shall replay past victories!
Regiments of toy soldiers in the Royal Collection and
elsewhere await the Prince’s pleasure in coming years.
Glancing rightward from the hefty bench through thickets of dog rose
Towards the yellowed, mellowed castle
Feathered speedsters hurtle past, not silent but on fast, burring wings
While beady-eyed multitudes, hidden in bushy, flowery places give voice
In tongues we know not of, living life in this glorious walled garden
Singing cantatas and requiems, chit-chattering and perhaps,
Knowing they are instruments of Nature, embroidering everything.
And we, attuned to our walled dominion with its fruits and hidden places
Marvel at lumbering, hurrying Dumpies rushing a path towards us unaware
Until, confronted by the camera lens, ruffle and squawk their escape
Displaying a riot of dusty, spotted feathers, indignant and all fluffed up
Demanding, like Garbo, to be left alone, contemplating the laying of eggs
Alongside violets, under cooling ferns or in places only found by hens
Following their fancy, chuckling their secret joy at such clever hiding.
The day drones and drifts, pleased by the flickering of butterflies and moths
Deftly parallel with stripy, urgent flying machines that hover and dart buzzingly
Finding scents and nectar they crave before disappearing to drink before
Sluggishly applying vertical take-off, seeking other wells to worship in.
Still on that bench, a human acknowledges the slowing pulse that watching brings
And gathers in the swarm of movement, sounds and busy lives beating so
Leading us to live and let live, through journeys seen here in others’ lives.
There once was a sweet ballerina
Who was loved by all who had seen her
When she leapt up on her toes
There came a rent in her hose
As she snagged on the band’s concertina.