William Mark

Rookie - 110 Points (8th May 1961 / England)

Slough Revisited - Poem by William Mark

'Come friendly bombs, and fall on Slough! '
Well said indeed, Sir John - but why stop there?
Didcot is equally as ripe to disavow
And lowly Swindon somewhat less than fair.

From Hook to Hartlepool, Workington to Rye,
A thousand blights drive the beholder to despair
(Not least myself) : and for that very reason, I
Now offer to Heaven the following heartfelt prayer:

Come friendly bombs, and fall on Jersey;
Each town and city along the Mersey;
Destroy Southampton, the West Midlands, too;
And, for a starting-point, that ought to do.

Next, most-welcome bombs, come fall on Hull
(Indeed, on most of Yorkshire, come to that) .
Then set course for Cleveland, oh so dull;
Rain down, rain down oh bombs, and leave it flat.

Leicester and Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent;
All points 'twixt Land's End and The Wall
Lay waste; but make thy primary intent
The razing of Manchester chief of all.

Come friendly bombs, and fall on Crewe,
Widnes, Port Sunlight and Macclesfield, too;
Preston, Burnley and Poulton-le-Fylde;
‘Til all the heathens living there are kylde.

Most lie about their heritage - yet some
Still swear by truth, or else would be struck dumb;
All such agree that bombs should fall on Brum
And kindly blow the place to Kingdom Come.

Go west, o mighty bombs, and smite Llantrisant,
Lampeter and Conway, Mold and Rhyl;
And Llanfairpwllgwyngyll
-gogerychwyrndrobllllant< br>-ysiliogogogoch, if you will ;)

So much for our fair land - but, why stop there?
Abroad lie countless sinkholes of despair.
So fall, o bombs, and let a firestorm consume
Nouakchott, Casablanca, Ouagadougou and Khartoum.

Bombs, fall on Alaska and head south, until
A trail of devestation leads from Fairbanks to Brazil.
Onward then to Asia; immolate Iraq, Iran
And Uzbek/Kazakh/Turkmen/Afghan/Kyrgyz/Pak/istan.

Prithee, spare not Ashgabad, Karachi or Jaipur,
Dalandzadgad, Bishkek and (for rhyme's sake) U. Bator;
New Guinea, Flores, Bali, Lombok, Bandung, Timor, Java;
Copenhagen, Berlin, Salzburg, Budapest and Bratislava.
Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Minsk, Warsaw, Kiev, Lvov
And, way out in east Siberia, the 'Kamchatka Pol'ustrov'...

Come friendly bombs and fall on Spain
And Lake Mooselookmeguntic, Maine.
Lacerate Laos, prostrate Peru;
Kill all the residents of Kathmandu.

Kind bombs, pray smite all points between
The Nullarbor Plain and the Forest of Dean.
And last of all, oh bombs, come fall on me;
For writing such abysmal poetry :)

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Obviously, this is a riff on a noted work by Sir J Betjeman. The author would ask that no-one takes offence if their home-town happens to be listed here; place-names were chosen in the interests of rhyme and metre. Also, it is worth noting that readers might have a little fun in substituting place-names of their own choice here and there... :)

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Poem Edited: Thursday, August 30, 2012

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