I’m not one for writing poetry. I read a lot of it and I’m rubbish. However, I found this when I was tidying up today. I wrote it back in 1994. It’s a pastiche of one of my favourite poems – about the ruination of the Lady of Shalott. It’s old-man-Victorian-melodrama about women looking at a man’s helmet and his feathers and then ‘blooming’ before dying. It’s a bit rubbish, so I re-wrote it. I don’t believe ruination comes to a dame just because she looks at a man’s helmet.
Anyway, here it is:
The Lady of Shalott – a pastiche
On either side the by-pass lie
Old tenements of time gone by
That stink to hell and hurt the eye
And leave the residents asking why
This place is festering, left to rot.
And up and down the people go
Gazing where the cold winds blow
Round a derelict there below
The derelict of Shalott.
And moving on a flatscreen clear
That blazes before her all the year
Shadows of the world appear
There she sees the by-pass near
The lady of Shalott
And on the pavement there unfurls
A handsome boy with golden curls
He catches the eye of all the girls,
Smooth Dean Lancelot.
But in the screen she still delights
To immortalise its magic sights
With ink upon her paper, white,
She tells of all the violent nights
To the people who forgot.
That night she sees a crackhead, dead,
And two drunk lovers off their heads
“I’m half sorry for the shadows” said
The lady of Shalott
And on the screen a flash goes by
All around boys look and sigh
They stand about and wonder why
They’re not driving that GTI
Of smooth Dean Lancelot.
A dealer he, he roams the streets
Followed by guys who’d kiss his feet,
“Another year, they’re just dead meat.”
Writes the Lady of Shalott
Often through the purple night
He’ll prowl around til morning light
Getting young kids high as kites
Who have no sense of wrong or right
Snorting coke and smoking pot.
Although he holds a mobile phone,
It’s rarely used, he’s all alone
He rings and gets the engaged tone
Of the Lady of Shalott
For she knows better, she is wise
She understands his reddened eyes
And she sees thru’ his shallow lies
The mobile phone and the GTI
Of wicked Dean Lancelot
She leaves the screen and fits the latch
She knows Lancelot is no catch
“In me, he’s finally met his match”
Said the Lady of Shalott.
It’s funny because I guess I wrote it about someone but I can’t remember who, and I don’t know if it was someone specific. I like that I called him Dean. Deans are often rogues. Sorry to all my friends called Dean (well, one of them) who is not a rogue and is lovely. I like how she fits the latch too and just goes back to observing the world, and he’s left all alone. I was a cool 20-something!
I also found some quite profound haiku. I might put those up too, another time.
Good night, dear readers. Enjoy the best of the new year. Enjoy the coming days and the shorter nights. Enjoy each other and keep warm with ones who love you.