RAT IN A RAINCOAT
It was in a hotel garden
On a rainy afternoon
When a literary man took his poems in his hand
To address the gathering gloom.
He had kissed the best man’s father,
The bridesmaid and the groom.
Said the blushing bride: ‘Get the get outside,
I think he’s peaked too soon.’
Like a rat in a raincoat,
Like a vulture weather-vane,
The peripatetic poet
Is reading in the rain.
And we don’t know why he does it,
And we don’t know why he came,
But the peripatetic poet
Is doing it again.
The wedding gift he’d brought them
Was a colour photograph
Of Brecht and him out in East Berlin,
It was framed and autographed.
He was jingling like a Geordie,
He was nageling like a nyaff.
As they flung him out,
I heard someone shout:
‘Is he English, drunk or daft?’
He’s big out in Slovenia,
Where he’s called ‘the new Rimbaud’
And they treat his lines like a fine red wine -
Sort of Baudelaire Nouveau.
We’re all jealous of his genius,
That’s why he’s forced to go
And recite his pomes
To the garden gnomes
From a hotel patio.
He’s still ranting like a gobshite
Neath the dripping foliage.
As the moon climbs high in the girning sky,
He declaims his verbiage.
And that full moon is his spotlight,
And that garden is his stage,
And he hears encores in the rain’s applause
As he turns each sodden page.