D: READFUL


The ship has gone down with its captain
The storm washes over the wreck
The power-mad purser, the burly old bursar,
The boy who stood burning on deck
Are rocking the lifeboat in scum-covered sea
Disputing the right to collect the debris

The flagship lies under the ocean
Salt water is mulching its log
The smooth operator, the mutinous mate
And the ship's cat that snaffled the grog
Are claiming the salvage and upping its ante
While ghosts in the galley are singing this shanty:

Things can only get bitter...


[May 1997]

From the book Labour Pangs

The Tories found themselves adrift after losing the general election