Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Departures, A Burnsian Broadside


Angelic choirs of bulls and bears,
Stockbrokers hymning stocks and shares,
Venture capitalists in pairs,
Sub-priming primates,
Depart their offices and chairs
For warmer climates.

They rise on thermals, spread pale wings,
The air dense with their flutterings,
Seeking new pastures and fresh springs
As sung by Milton;
Some stopping off to drop their things
Down by the Hilton.

And as they rise, like flocks of crows,
They chatter on in peerless prose,
Their heartfelt cawing lifts and blows
Brother to brother,
Here’s what they say as markets close,
One to the other.

Here, grab this bonus. Grab this mint.
The trouble brewing in small print
Can be discerned if you just squint.
Make sure to leave a
Tip behind before you sprint
Off to Geneva.

Here’s a mortgage, here’s a loan,
Here’s some flesh clean off the bone,
Here’s a future fully blown,
Go on, get rowing.
Don’t slobber there, don’t weep, don’t moan.
Pay what we’re owing.

Here’s your boat (we’ll go by jet),
You’ll see, you’ll make your fortune yet.
Great fortunes come to those who bet:
They bear the onus.
You can’t begrudge us when we get
Our modest bonus.

When bankers go the City grieves,
Money starts falling like dead leaves
That gather in gutters, thick as thieves.
While they are sunning
Bodies in Guam or the Maldives,
Get set! Get running!

I wrote this sometime in 2010. It remained unfinished and forgotten. I came across it by accident yesterday, changed a bit, deleted a bit, and added a bit. They were, after all, threatening to leave us. Crude? Yes. But then, like many others, I was feeling a bit miffed.

1 comment:

Gwil W said...

I reckon poets HAVE to write this stuff if only because nobody else will. I had a similar one in Emergency Verse (Poetry in Defence of the Welfare State) Anthology a couple of years ago.

"They will ask: Where were our poets?" (Heinrich Heine?)