Martin Rowson

Martin Rowson

Martin Rowson is a multi-award-winning cartoonist, writer and broadcaster. Photo: Fred Rowson.

Balloons
Tuesday, 09 June 2020 13:26

Balloons

Published in Poetry
Balloons
 
by Martin Rowson
 
Each night they tied a fresh balloon to
    A fence post in the field.
You could see them from the by-passed old coast road,
    A bouncing pinprick beyond the nettles
Each balloon the same dull colour as
    The last one, pukish ochre,
        But each day with new words scrawled on its paunch.
 
The words came clumped in phrases of three words
    In large and childish letters,
Illegible to the rare, far off and speeding traffic
    From across the scrub and cowpats,
Whereas the kine and sheep and creatures of the soil
    Clearly cannot read.
        Daily, a fresh balloon's there nonetheless.
 
The harvest mice and corncrakes speculated
    This is an angel's lung,
Opaque inside from layers of caked mucus, a
    Mysterious gift of hope from God.
Some bank voles scoffed. A porcupine's insides,
    They swore. The earthworms laughed.
        Although yellow the balloons smell faintly malty.
 
On windy days the balloons thrash in seizure;
    Flop limply when the sun shines;
Drum meaningless staccato freeform riffs
    During summer cloudbursts,
Deflating slowly through the long, dull afternoon
    Into shrivelled condoms
        Pierced with petty uselessness and protection against nothing

            After dusk.

Guard your stash
Thursday, 04 June 2020 09:54

Guard your stash

Published in Poetry

Guard your Stash

by Martin Rowson

Guard your stash
Guard your stash
Though your mouth's a toothless gash
Like the slits in all those throats which you have secretly had slashed
Guard your stash

Guard your stash
Guard your stash
Though your ponytail's panache
Was, despite a certain brashness, thrown away with last year's trash
Guard your stash

Guard your stash
Guard your stash
Though each time you take a lash
The pain and time it takes to do it leaves you unabashed
Guard your stash

Guard your stash
Guard your stash
Though you've lice in your eyelashes
And the rust will keep on eating its way through your weapons cache
Guard your stash

So guard your stash
Guard your stash
Because you still hold the lash
In a system which has spread just like a suppurating rash
Guard your stash

Guard your stash
Guard your stash
Because you gave the morons sashes
Which you can use as nooses and then watch the fools' limbs thrashing
Guard your stash

Guard your stash
Guard your stash
Because you create the clash
That your gunsels still will shill in streams of shriller balderdash
Guard your stash

Guard your stash
Guard your stash
And then trim your moustache
And then run again for office while you're laundering your cash
Guard your stash

Then guard your stash
Guard your stash
As your cops throw thunderflashes
Because any minute now this all will crash and turn to ashes
Guard your stash
Guard your stash
Guard your stash

Plague Songs - It Cures What Ails Ya!
Wednesday, 03 June 2020 15:01

Plague Songs - It Cures What Ails Ya!

Published in Poetry

Plague Songs - It Cures What Ails Ya!

by Martin Rowson

One should not mock the chronic sick,
And nor should we mock Dominic
Whose road-based therapies recall,
Damascus-bound, those of St Paul
Who was, you lot should be reminded,
On a road trip when unblinded.
Dom need make no apology!
It’s not just opthalmology
That sees Road Treatment’s benefits!
It’s a cure-all for the many! It’s
A tested and well tried procedure
From whooping cough to paraplegia!
For instance, the old dean of Keble’s
Gout’s returned: drive him to Peebles!
Abjure the lure of penicillin!
Simply drive to Enniskillin!
Infantile paralysis?
Why not try a drive to Diss?
Your child it born with a cleft palate;
Drive the brat to Shepton Mallet!
A cerebral catastrophe?
Fixed by a drive to Leigh-on-Sea.
You find your mum’s airways restricted?
Motor her to the Peak District;
A femur pops out of its socket?
Drive all the way to Drumnadrochit.
Obviously if you have a stroke,
It’s in the car to Basingstoke;
And likewise cardiac arrest
Demands a drive to Bristol West!
So if your stomach ulcer bleeds
Jump in the car and drive to Leeds;
Caries rot your yellow teeth,
They gleam before you’ve got to Neath;
Struck down with Huntington’s Chorea?
Simply drive to Hazelmere.
A touch of cancer? With a whoosh
Drive off to Ashby-de-la-Zouch!
And when they say you’ve caught malaria -
Hull Regeneration Area!
Just even feeling sort of sick
You’ll cure on drives to Walberswick
And when they say you’ve got Corona
A nice long drive to Barcelona
Should see you right! Whate’er you have
Just punch a route in your sat nav
And soon, on the A23,
You’ll find the perfect remedy!
All you have to do is DRIVE! It
Cures what ails ya! Or go private.

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