history

John Travoltaire

“If John Travoltaire did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.”

Well, you can tell by the way I break the rules,
I’m a reason man: no time for fools.
Progress checked, our freedom scorned,
We’ve been kicked around since we were born.
But it will be alright, it’s not too late
For separation of Church and State.
We can try to understand
With science to lend a helping hand.

Dictionaries and dancing, poems, plays and prancing,
I’m spreadin’ the light, spreadin’ the light.
Despots are a-quakin’ and institutions shakin’,
And I’m spreadin’ the light, spreadin’ the light.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, spreadin’ the light, spreadin’ the light.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, spreadin’ the light.

Their lies ain’t goin’ nowhere. Somebody help me.
Somebody help me, yeah.
Their lies ain’t goin’ nowhere. Somebody help me, yeah.
In spreadin’ the light.

Written to commemorate the birth of Voltaire, 21st November 1694.

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My Cat: A History

My cat, this ooze of fur and claws
across my lap, is currently experiencing
the eighth of her nine lives.

In 1919, while preparations
for a League of Nations
were composed, she dozed.

In 1789, Louis XVI appraised
the mob and realised his days
were numbered. My cat slumbered.

Whilst Thomas More, in 1534,
refused the Oath and paid the price,
she dreamt of catching mice.

Two hundred years before,
when across the land
the Black Death swept, she slept.

Further back, as Ptolemy
did some geometry and the world
got mapped, she napped.

When the citizens of Rome
showed their ire, Nero fiddled.
She curled up, enjoyed the fire.

Way back, in Ancient Egypt, my cat
was revered, at the top of the heap.
Didn’t really notice. She was mainly asleep.

Richard the Lionheart

He had the heart of a lion.
He was as strong as an ox.
But he had the liver of a goat
and the stomach of a fox.

The doctors were sent for
to allay the king’s fears,
but they were confounded
by his cauliflower ears
and the crow’s feet beneath his eyes
which shed crocodile tears.

Was he animal, vegetable or mineral?
They had no idea, but growing bolder
the doctors operated on the king
and removed the chip from his shoulder.

Not Reigning But Drowning

Go on, get back.
I’m a king of fine repute.
Because I rule the waves
And my name is Canute.

Hey, did you listen to me?
You can’t lap against my boot.
Because I rule the waves
And my name is Canute.

Look, don’t get any deeper.
I’m warning you, old fruit.
Because I rule the waves
And my name is Canute.

Right, now you’ve gone too far.
If only there was a plug.
Because now the waves rule me
And my name is gurgle … gurgle … glug

The English Very Civil War

CAVALIER: May I skewer you with this pike?

ROUNDHEAD: Why, of course, dear sir, if you’d like.

CAVALIER: What am I thinking? Please, after you.

ROUNDHEAD: How very kind. Don’t mind if I do.

CAVALIER: Sorry about all my blood and guts.

ROUNDHEAD: That’s OK, it’s nothing much.

CAVALIER: You’ve just fired a musket in your head!

ROUNDHEAD: I thought I’d join you in being dead.