Two Poems.

Some Satire for Thursday. Shot:

A Happy Vicar I Might Have Been

A happy vicar I might have been
Two hundred years ago
To preach upon eternal doom
And watch my walnuts grow;

But born, alas, in an evil time,
I missed that pleasant haven,
For the hair has grown on my upper lip
And the clergy are all clean-shaven.

And later still the times were good,
We were so easy to please,
We rocked our troubled thoughts to sleep
On the bosoms of the trees.

All ignorant we dared to own
The joys we now dissemble;
The greenfinch on the apple bough
Could make my enemies tremble.

But girl’s bellies and apricots,
Roach in a shaded stream,
Horses, ducks in flight at dawn,
All these are a dream.

It is forbidden to dream again;
We maim our joys or hide them:
Horses are made of chromium steel
And little fat men shall ride them.

I am the worm who never turned,
The eunuch without a harem;
Between the priest and the commissar
I walk like Eugene Aram;

And the commissar is telling my fortune
While the radio plays,
But the priest has promised an Austin Seven,
For Duggie always pays.

I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls,
And woke to find it true;
I wasn’t born for an age like this;
Was Smith? Was Jones? Were you

George Orwell. Submitted to Adelphi magazine, later appeared in ‘Why I Write’. 1935

Chaser. We now have to be cruder, for progressivism makes men stupid, and they cannot see truth, or comprehend subtlety. I am not linking to this: it comes from social media, but it is cited correctly.


We are the very model of a modern university,
Demoting education and devoted to diversity
Indigenous ethnicity and gender multiplicity
And when we get offended how we generate publicity!

We’re cuddly Marxist-Leninists and Islamist apologists
And Helen Clarxist feminists and animist ecologists;
We have the NZUSA to help the LGBTQ
And when you’re brown and being put down we’ll stop the white man beating you!

And of your right to speak your mind we’re infinitely tolerant
Unless you’re white or on the right or male or Jew or Protestant
Our studies fortify the fifth (that’s almost every) columnist
And how we love the Catholics now the Pontiff is a communist!

By our denomination we’re the true identitarians
And number in our congregation many Treatifarians;
We peer review our mates’ research and doctor methodology
As members of the Leftist Church of Climate Scientology!

We’re all about identity: not what you know, but who you are;
If you’ve the right parentity it’s going to take you very far;
As our preferred minority you’ve got an opportunity
As from the need that you succeed you’re guaranteed immunity!

Reforming to be sure that we’re performing in Humanities
We’ve gender studies, ethnic studies, studies in profanities;
We’ve got the most discriminating funders that we have to please
Or soon we may not be in full possession of our faculties!

We educate the teachers of your children how to lie to them:
“The Treaty is a partnership!” whenever they reply to them;
We have to keep pretending cos the tribes are quite fanatical
And I’m expecting tenure and I’m due for my sabbatical!

(A tribal-sovereign partnership is manifestly risible;
That treaty had no principles unless in ink invisible
And neither did the doctor who concocted the untenable:
He was the very model of a bad Attorney-General!)

Defending all the rights of those who demonstrate obedience,
Abusing the respected and excusing every deviance
We vilify conservatives and glorify perversity:
We are the very model of a modern university!

John Ansell (with nod to W S Gilbert).Published in the Martinborough Star, March 2019.