Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Listeners


We are asked to take a famous first line and run with it.
I chose the first line of
'The Listeners' by Walter de la Mare


'Is there anybody there?' asked the Traveller, knocking at the moonlit door.
'I can hear  somebody moving, deep in the house, for sure.
I'll rattle my tin a bit louder; I'll also raise my voice.
Then you'll have to give me an answer, because you'll have no choice.
The neighbours will surely hear me, they'll see what's going on.
All of them gave donations. I said 'thank you' and then was gone.
In all of Ridgeway Avenue, you haven't donated a cent!
And I know you're in there, hiding! I'm determined you'll repent.
The evening's come, with the moonlight, but I still stand my ground.
You are people of substance.....lots of money, I'll be bound.
I'm collecting for a threatened species......a very worthy cause.
I bet when it's December you say 'Humbug' to Santa Claus!
Hear me! Rattle, rattle! And my watch says half past three!
I'm very fond of lizards! You wont get away from me.
Ah! There you are.......a dollar! Paltry! I might have known!
It's a very tiring business, getting blood out of a stone!

Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard

(Written in response to the present Australian political shambles.)

I'm worried about Democracy.
It equates with popularity.
No-one wants a cruel dictator,
But the lowest common denominator
Is reached when people, just like me,
Vote on the surface things they see.
So Kevin was great on a morning show;
That's about all the people know.
So Julia lacks some feminine charms;
That's put other women up in arms.
But Kevin's a house-devil, so they say,
While Julia's looks are by the way.
Phrases such as 'stab in the back'
And 'faceless men' keep us on track.
The catch-cry and 'what's in it for me?'
Are all part of Democracy.
What proportion of populations
Discuss important situations?
In a world of conflict, hunger, fear
'Popularity' is what we hear.
So what about 'policy', what about 'grit',
What about that old 'statesman' bit?
Our Labor Party will not survive,
And then 'that Tony' will arrive.
Then 'that Malcolm' will raise his head,
Popular because he's so well-bred.
We have the vote, we have our rights
But all these these silly playground fights
Are making me a 'polly' hater.
Oh for a great benign dictator!
I have heard that there's a strong move against democracy in Portugal!


Mary said...

This made me smile and brought back some old mememories. When I was a child, we always used to hide when solicitors of one kind or another came to our door.

On another note, could you consider getting rid of word verification. Very hard to read; and I am having to fight with those words to post this; and you already have 'comment moderation' so you have control of what appears.

Mary B. Mansfield said...

Wow, 2 very strong poems here. The first one is quite witty and a bit sad all at the same time. It's nice to think that all people can be as charitable as we are, and it can be quite a slap in the face when we discover they are not.

Loved the political poem. It's amazing how similar the political discourse is in different countries, even though we tend to think of "our" problems as strictly our own. I think what I like best about this poem is that you get your point across without some of the vitriol and strident partisanship that seems to dominate much of the political poetry written today.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I like your take on de la Mare's Listener, certainly puts a different spin on it.

Herotomost said...

What a great idea for that first aggravating it is to try pry money from anyone these days be it charity or otherwise. It reminded me for some reason when I was a kid of the Kirby salesman that would come by and do an elaborate sales pitch for like an mom would let them clean the entire couch and half the floor before turning them Loved it.

Scarlet said...

An interesting first line opening ..and then the tale...the blood out of the stone got my attention ~

Enjoyed this ~

Margaret Gosden said...

I would like to hear that there is a strong move against hypocrisy here! Many seem to forget that Democracy is not what we are talking about now. As Hoot'n Annie is so fond of pointing out, we are a Republic, and our vote is sovereign.