The Publican and the Pharisee

 

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The Publican and the Pharisee went for a walk after church

One wore pride and majesty, the other the marks of the birch

“I say, my man,” said the Pharisee, “will you tell if I come to your inn?”

“My lips are sealed,” said the Publican “let us sup of the wine of your sin”

The Publican and the Pharisee quaffed back a couple of jars

And then another two, then three, for such is the way in bars

And as they drank their wine, an odd phenomenon occurred

The crown of hubris lost its shine, the marks of the birch became blurred

“I say, my man,” said the Pharisee, “I’m feeling a little queer”

The Publican chuckled, mischievously, “Time for some shorts, and some beer”

The Pharisee, unused to drink, began to loose a screw

Became dishevelled, sweaty, pink, made a desperate run for the loo

Got locked in for a while, and had to crawl under the door

Got stuck, well hey, you have to smile, for half an hour or more

Was rescued by some rugby blokes, who loaned him some spare kit

And made up lots of witty jokes, about Pharisees covered in it

The Publican, sat at the bar, surveyed his sorry state

He wondered if he’d gone too far, in setting up his mate

“Just sit,” he said, “and listen well, for this I have to say

If I am surely bound for hell I’ll meet you on the way

You are no better, Sir, than I, no better, and no worse

Your spiritual wealth is an arrogant lie, and your pride is a cardinal curse

I’m no angel, I confess, but hypocrisy, mate, I abhor

I reckon I should grovel less, and you just a little bit more”

The Pharisee gave a little nod, and hiccupped in assent

Muttered softly “Sorry God”, and got his coat and went

The Publican then rang the bell, poured out a short, and sat

“Oh come on, God, you know the bloke, he really asked for that”

*

© Gail Foster 2016

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Racist Bloke

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I had a racist boyfriend once, we’ll call him ‘Racist Bloke’

I dealt with the whole ‘racist thing’ by making it a joke

I used to call him out on it, and then I just gave in

Discarding my morality like fag ends in the bin

“Never argue with a bigot” I would laugh, and make the tea

“I’m not a racist” he would say “it’s witty parody”

It just got worse and worse, until we couldn’t watch the news

“Dirty Muslims this,” he’d say, “those filthy effing Jews”

I’d leave the telly off in case the sight of one black face

Would flush his chain and cause him to start ranting about race

And start blaming all the women who had ever given birth

In the dry and deadly desert, for the failings of the earth

He’d read up on the history of Jews throughout the ages

(it took him quite a while as there were quite a lot of pages)

Liked to rant about the Rothschilds, thought he’d got me with their riches

Expecting me to then agree that Jewish girls were bitches

“Women” he would say, “just shouldn’t have to wear the veil”

As if veil equalled jihad equalled every Muslim male

He was bad enough when sober, but when drunk it was profound

He’d be pissing venom down the pub like urine on the ground

He’d reduce a room to silence, and could empty out a bar

With his verbal racist violence, going further than too far

And then he’d order curry, oh he liked a bit of that

“Hey, did you know Mohammed was from some dark clot begat”

He would say as he was waiting for his naam bread and his bhaji

Like some hungry little Hitler rocking ‘rat arsed and Faragey’

It was painful, and embarrassing, it filled me with dismay

It was always, it was everywhere, and every flippin’ day

And yet really, to be honest, was I not as bad as he

All smug in my self-righteousness “I’m not a racist, me”

Sticking proudly to my principles in public mass debate

Whilst I broke bread with the shit and chose to zone out all his hate

In all that sick scenario ‘twas me that was the joke

I was the girl who sold her soul because she loved a racist bloke

*

© Gail Foster 2016

 

The Trickiest Mistress

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Desire is the trickiest mistress

A strange unpredictable beast

Tickled by fancy and circumstance

Afflicted by famine and feast

A delicate matter to master

An unruly monster to tame

Lightening flash turning wood in to ash

Fickle wind flirting with flame

The shock of a shot in the darkness

Rending the fabric of reason

Twist of the moon in the bloodstream to

The flow of the earth and the season

A flicker of feathers, a furnace

A shaft through a crack in the gloom

A kingfisher flash, and a cymbal clash

Stunning a moth to its doom

The lustre of dew on the morning

The rushing of rain from the heights

Soft light of the haze of a lazy day

The scream of a curse in the night

Dark tryst, with the forces of fury

Sharp wound to the breast of the brave

Tears streaming forth from the altar

In penitence down to the grave

A hypnotist, haunting the astral

A soul sold for pennies to Death

Dark lies from the lips of a lover

Spake on a sorcerer’s breath

A trickster who picks the wrong moment

A joker who laughs at his joke

The strike of a flint over kindle and lint

Drawing flame from a nuance of smoke

A trigger, a shiver, a whip crack

As swift as a swallow in flight

A shimmering dust of desire and lust

On a mirror upturned to the light

How it craves for its own consummation

And seeks its own purpose to feed

A bottomless well that can never be full

A cup all half empty of mead

‘Tis a mare that the Gods cannot master

As the wildness of wind in a tree

A force as elusive to harness

As the unbridled waves of the sea

Desire is the triskiest mistress

The riskiest creature to catch

For there in her eyes and the cleft of her thighs

May morality meet with its match

*

© Gail Foster 2016

 

Satire and The Soul

Kevan Manwaring, in his book The Bardic Handbook, suggests that we

satirise ourselves in order to see how it feels…

 

With satire comes responsibility

Thus spake the bard, regarding cosmic law

‘Tis true that thought and act and speech are free

But heed the truth learned by the bards of yore

What goes around and round will soon return

To that dark human place where it began

And pain shall be the lesson he shall learn

Who points his pen in anger at a man

Lest he forget, we none of us shine bright

That are not sullied by some silent shade

And he who seeks another man to slight

May curse the pen that bore the words he made

For what we see in others, we have known

Some simple human neediness or greed

The weakness we perceive is like our own

Who knows a tree that has not seen a seed

So satirise yourself, so spake the bard

Before you dare another man to mock

And turn upon yourself a light as hard

As that with which you wish a man to shock

Unshadow your shortcomings, write them true

Or fall upon your failings like a sword

For this is what you would to others do

And thine own self hast thine own pen ignored

Now weigh the pain you draw like blood from light

With cut of blade, of swift and vicious pen

Look down upon yourself from lofty height

As you would fain look down on other men

What do you see, but merely flesh and fear

A naked frightened soul that cries for love

All sorrow bound and clothed in darkness drear

With eyes up turned in hope to light above

Have pity, spake the bard, for every word

You wield will have the power to wound or heal

Remember what you here have seen and heard

Think twice before you cause a man to feel

The lacerations of your jagged wit

The schadenfreude of your savage ire

Lest you be made to join him in the pit

Lest you be so consumed in that same fire

He snuffed the candle flame, picked up his book

And left the poet, wise from sorrow shown

An unveiled mirror’s face in which to look

At imperfection that was his alone

 

With satire comes responsibility

For what goes forth returns, of that be sure

And you are that which you in others see

The naked frightened soul the poet saw

 

by Gail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drawing a Line; for Hayley Nutland

I wrote this poem for Hayley, a homeless girl who apprehended a villain who viciously mugged an old lady in my home town.  There is a link to the newspaper article beneath the poem

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The word on the street is that Hayley done good

A considerable feat for the girl from the wood

She caught him, she taught him, that crime doesn’t pay

She sought him, she fought him, he got put away

There are good folk and bad folk, it’s not always clear

Some folk have a toke, and drink buckets of beer

But at mugging and stabbing, this girl draws a line

She witnessed the grabbing, gave chase, and done fine

So think twice when you say that someone is a zero

Today, doff your hat, because Hayley’s a hero

*

by Gail

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http://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/news/13848969.Elderly_told_still_safe_to_walk_alone_after_mugging_in_Devizes/