Woad Power - The Glorious Pun - Poem by Margaret Kollmer
Pub-Pub was but a little lad when he realised he was different. He didn't mind very much as his parents, Madam and Eve, were delighted with their little miracle and taught him how to cook and knit skull caps wit Neanderthal flair.
One day after a long snooze, Pub-Pub painted himself with woad and decided to re-visit the history of the world in his own unusual way. It wasn't as though he was a particularly bright child and, since he had never paid much attention to his history lessons at school, he really didn't know very much about the subject at all. About who arrived first, middle or last or even anything about the Who who was in any edition of Who's Who. Detail of any sort didn't bother him in the least, so one day, he picked up his bat and glove and went out to score a few Centuries. How excited he was, though somewhat Confucius, when he saw some people in Shantung suits writing with pen and Incas. But not for long, for there was someone of whom he grew Fonda as every moment passed. What a thrill it was for him to see the Barbarella of CNN frolicking with an army of Hun-buns who were heavily engorged in feasting on a Mongolian barbeque together with a few Danish tarts.
Ah! Pub-Pub loved parties. He helped himself to a large dollop of Boulogne, put a Cuba sugar in his Ceylon then sat back and sang Nero My God to Thee.After a game of Marking out a Polo field with Maya the Bee he picked her a Mayflower and Pasteurised it for good measure.
Uninvited, came the Vikings who were uncharacteristically noble in bringing along Charlotte Russe and 'Chicken' Kiev in their new BeeEm longship. It wasn't long before they were followed by a Danish prince called Gorm the Old. Pub-Pub gasped in amazement when learning of the feats of much derring-do which had been led by the likes of Dirk the Drunk, Oswald the Obstreperous and more latterly by Gorm's young son, Gorm the Less. It was said that this young lad had 'done the rounds, ' so to speak, the result being a world highly populated with gormless people, as they were ultimately to become known.
Suddenly, Toikey, a bloke with a funny fez arrived, who promptly fell asleep on the Ottoman.
'I'm cold, ' he exclained, on awakening.
Nine nubile maidens promptly rushed around and nabbed an Aryan, caught moonlighting in a chariot of fire, and wrapped him around Toikey.
'Nublesse oblige, said Toikey warmly, 'and who may you be? '
'Oh, I'm Poly, ' said one, 'and these are my Nesian friends.'
'Sure, ' said Poly, 'this lot are the Melanesians, the Miss Noma's of U.V. disease and these are the Micro's of the Oven-covens.'
Pub-Pub smiled happily as someone handed him a glass of Charlemagne. Nothing to touch French bubbly, he thought.
Suddenly, Pub-Pub's happy world erupted when he realised the party was about to end. Horrors! The Angles were being a-Saxonated whilst the Prussians were perfecting their goose-Steppes and there was even a Chinese King playing Fu-Tze with yet another Royal - the well known Zulu poet, King Shakaspeare.
Pub-Pub gasped and peeped through his fingers. As though all that was not enough, the Chinese peasants were revolting in their Boxer shorts, the Greeks were throwing Platos and the Romans were fiddling whilst a Trojan lass was horsing around with an Inquisitive Spaniard.
The Samurais were celebrating their whiter than white diapers and the Pilgrim Fathers were feeding the Crusaders from the Holy Grail.
Pub-Pub winced as the Europeans carried smallpox to the Aztecs and the Hittites hotted up their curry for their Afghan hounds who were baying for a blue bayou. Meanwhile, in the Far North-West, the indigents were trying to Sioux the Canucks for land-grabbing, whilst others were studying the Lizard of Oz and writing Maori-Maori verses about strange little lambs who went to school.
During an exposé of the French Revelation, Marie was caught hiding behind an Iron Curtain whilst trying to hand a French letter to Leonardo-the-Wincey to prevent him from catching the plague.But Pub-Pub had had enough and as always when he was fed up, he allowed himself to fall asleep to allow time to move on as painlessly as possible.
'Gadzooks! ' he cried when he awoke. How the world had changed. All those new fangled things like Columbus polishers, Vasco pyjamas and Magellan Strait jackets. What progress! What vision! What amazing
contributions to world peace!
Alas, Pub-Pub was soon disillusioned for it was not to a world of peace that he had awoken, for all those who had migrated to where they had at first wanted to be, now wanted to be somewhere else. So everyone armed themselves and went to war.
Bangers-and-Mash took on McDonalds-and-Coke where the greatest benefactor was that Old Man River and his secret bubble-gum plantations. Not to be outdone, Schnitzel-und-Sauerkraut invaded Up-the-Pole so B & M, McD & C and Frogs Legs, amongst others, were called in to bring 'em down. Not once, but twice! Both times, S-und-S got hammered.
Suddenly, Pub-Pub took ill. Some problem with his Lee-King apparatus which apparently went awry from centuries of lying prostate for long periods at a time. The whole world prayed for Pub-Pub for he had become quite famous. Day by day he grew thin and pale.
His parents, Madam and Eve, were greatly distressed and travelled the world in search of a cure. Much dispirited, they returned home and just waited for him to die.
But Pub-Pub's time had not yet come, for suddenly the Parsnip of the local Vegetarian Church in Wales arrived with a large bowl of leek soup and not a moment too soon! In a matter of hours, Pub-Pub was his old self and as a token of his eternal gratitude, he had a leek tatooed on a certain place of his anatomy.
His health much improved, Pub-Pub continued observing the world and its funny ways. The years passed and for a long time the I.R.A. and Bangers-and-Mash had their I.R.E. raised. When finally they stooped to concur, they realised that both sides had been waiting for the same thing all along - new briefs!
Poor Pub-Pub; beginning to show signs of ageing now, became thoroughly tired and impatient with the constant conflict of man against man. Surely they could find something better to do with their time?
Disconsolately, he walked and walked until he came to the River Styx. Surrounded, as he was, with the odour of sanctity, he sought to rid himself of the woad with which he had covered his body so many centuries ago, little realising that it was nothing but woad which had kept him alive for so long. So he soaped himself down from head to toe and was aghast to see his once firm arms and legs wither before his eyes and lose their once youthful fleshiness.
He wanted to cry as his skin became wrinkled and dry and his bones weak and incapable of holding his body erect. With a sigh and a gasp, Pub-Pub slithered to the floor, lay down and whimpered his last whimp.
The Angel Gabriel, surfing the Net, whispered sadly: 'Tis a long woad wot hath no Pub in it.'
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