©2017 Barry Cox/Flying Man Productions. All Rights Reserved.

 

BAD MONGOLIA


I


    My house for a horse

    Ten million men

    I sucked straight fish -

    Three Carp were mine

    One tried my horse

    I know it’s true

    A leather satchel broke my fall


    My mother cried on bended knee

    “Good William’s gone, throw down that towel.

    We need your arms - O leafy tree”

    That night, oh lusty night

    With an orange blade, so full with puss.

               

    My father cried - “What son of mine!”

    Falter by: I stopped to look

    But not for me - that wasp was dead.


    Pretty colours, all green and black

    From slimy toad skin skipped the moon

    One drop of wax fell on my head.


    The tall grass bends

    Ten thousand flies

    Five men are dead on Hampstead Heath

    I watched one man fall from a pond

    I cried the moon’s sweet face has gone

    Three candles tried to climb the stairs.





   


    On leafy beach - a twisted sky

    Why did I shout: “They mated hard”

    I left my wig and glasses on

    To hide my smile

    Oh lusty May

    Sweet fragrance fall

    From a swollen bag

    Hung off a nail

    On a leaning log.


    Three soldiers came,

                but they ate my peas

    And I stared at the arm

                Off that corpse in the barn


    Hatchet down ten trees for my wife

    We’ll drink the red juice from a cow’s molten brush

    And if a fox called Wanda smacks my thigh - I’ll not come

    Too much with the stick - it’s all yellow and sore

    Break open that bag!

    Let my peas shout my name

    Two soldiers by night

    And a girl in a dress

    Crossed my field in the rain

    There’ll be music tonight,

    And then muskets at dawn.


    Oh I’m sick of this liquid, give me grass beaten dry

    I’ll wear my red tunic with buttons bright by

    Twelve golden sashes all laid out in a line

    If I hadn’t the sauce for my sausage - That’s fine.


    I didn’t believe my mother when she said I looked thin

    Ten years it’s been now and I’m still watching that horse.







II


    Give me sauce and then grass,

                    and then ten loaded nappies

    My mother screamed “stop!”

    When I looked at that child

    Her heart beats like thunder, with a crimson aurora

    But only on Sunday at three.


    Oh yes, and twice on a Thursday -

    When old Mrs. Dice calls round with her cakes


    Where did the parrot go?

    Red, purple and green

    I’ll tell you a secret,

    The mystery lingers

    The cage is still there,

    Over the table with the cakes.

    Three hats on three pegs -

    Red, purple and green.



    A warm summer’s day

    Take the Dashchund for a walk

    Too lazy this nation

    All fat round the hip

    Lose a leg or an arm

    And we’ll call for the cakes

                On Tuesday instead.


   






    A child’s glowing face -

    All rancid like cheese

    Seen in a pool from a bridge

                Where sulphur fumes linger

   

    Bring me my satchel,

            And I’ll fill it with lard.



    Fresh out with my Daschund,

                    I skipped down the path

    Lieutenants were calling - ten in a line,

                        “Sweet Cicely, Sweet Cicely”

        I looked at my cheese.


    Later on, at the factory -

                    In a rubber leotard

    Stare hard down the corridor - Be brave,

                Watch that frog!


   

    All tidy and neat and

                pegged out in a line

        I sang for sweet Jesus

            And jumped down a chute.

    On my arse was a tar stain;

                “Is the world turning black?”

    “Correction, young man!”

                 said my nurse with her spoon.

    How long has it been since

                    I saw my young face?

   






    All purple and black -

    Draw back those thick curtains

    Your dress is too heavy

    It reminds me of night



    Take the spoon and the tree

    And we’ll play it like winter.

    All yellow and brown,

    Strung out in a line

    Like dried out corpses

    Where’s my soup?

    And my slippers?

   

     Ten years it’s been now

    And I’m still watching that horse.

   

            _______

   

   

    What can  you do with a child that’s so pale

    When you steal all the apples

    And put clay in your shoes

    Oh sing me a pretty song

    All tied up with sashes

    Smear slime on the walls

    And then jump down that chute.


    Let the Daschund walk by -

    I’ll not smile today

    Take my ashes for caches

    And my Gonk on a stick

    Don’t stand there all stupid -

                Get on with the job!








III


    With a wry smile the fox left

    Down the path over-night

    And I giggled to think

    In my orangey glow -

    My spider-web cocoon.

   

    Three squirrels sat beside me

    One smiling, one not

    And the other it played

    With a gigantic tube,

    That contained, amongst other things

    Some small, glowing stones

    That orbited around

    A vast, deep blue ocean

    Where we can see - if we look

    A beautiful green turtle

    Swimming ever onwards

    Though long strands of seaweed

    And shafts of golden light


    Later on that same evening

    The fox met his mother

    And they sat very silently

    Exposing their teeth.

    If I had my way

    I’d put his paw in a brace

    That rancid young nun,

    Exposing her legs

    Fresh down by the well

    Where the fox met his match

    She hitched up her cloisters

    And let fly from her rear-end

   


    A bouquet of pansies

    That blossomed immediately

    And sang in Swahili

    To some Hudson Bay Oysters

    Floating by on balloons

   

    It happens that way,

    Said the fox with a smile

    Still bearing his teeth.

    I giggled and laughed, for his bushy brown tail

    So neat and so poignant,

    Exposed his delinquency.

   

    Small matter the turtle,

    His shell was too soft

    I sucked on his ribbons

    And we fell from the clouds.


    Now later that night

    I cried for that fox

    And finding two booties,

    Sown hard with tough hands.


    We danced in the straw

    And the squirrels played music,

    That they found in the barn

    And the hare showed us Stockport

    By making shapes with his paws.


    It was hard that last chestnut -

    Think I’ll call for my mum.








IV


    So I’ll spray you with soap

    But I won’t count the bruises

    Let’s call it a mackerel

    But don’t count my pheasants

    Not sure why I came round,

    Well maybe it’s Friday

    Is it really that bad,

    Like a fetid green bottle,

    Flown down from the pansies

    All wooden with irony.


    Smack flowers in my face

    And build a tower for my sorrow

    Why did I come round?

    Well I’m leaving tomorrow

   

    Your fishes need dishes

    Glad that nobody saw us

    On our boat all at sea

    Better scream for the Captain

    But he probably won’t help us

   

            _______   

   

   

    I watched the horses from Tipton at three

    Whilst you made a pancake

    And stood on our handshake.









V


    And my mind it began to rumble like thunder

    And a child’s golden face

    Shone down from the heavens

    On to my sour bread mix

    And an egg appeared later


    I’ll sing for my supper

    Let bygones be allgones

    With the noise and the clatter

    Of a million minds working

    And their mouths as they chatter

    In their silent apartments

    Painted bright pastel colours

    But only on the outside.


    Oh bring me a pheasant

    And I’ll pluck it of feathers

    Let it strut round its apartment

    Exposing its parts


    All naked and swollen

    Like a bag full of liquid

    It’s a cause for concern

    But it’s not your fault really.


    A million small windows hide a million dry icers,

    Small faces, begonias and faded olive green plaster

    With benign smiling faces,

    Looking down on the masses

   






    Save me from the tedium

    Of too many distractions

    Of knowledge that’s certain

    I’ll kiss your begonias -

    And spray them with soap



    It’s high time we flat-lined our peasants for currants

    Give me twelve swollen parts

    And then pack them in ice

    I’m off to Begonia, or possibly Bamboo

    There’s a General with a moustache

    That’s holding my Gerbil

    That’s the moustache, not the General -

    He’s a nice fellow really;

    His nose screams bright red

    From a fate worse than Opera


    My relationship these days has taken a nose-dive

    My mother’s convinced it’s because of my child-bride

    Ask too many questions -

    As pretty as thunder

    Inappropriate answers make me jitter like jelly


    This city’s all swollen

    And rotted with badness

    Let’s pack it in ice

    And sing a song for our sorrow

    Turn your faces away

    As the coffin goes by.





VI



    My thoughts are like dust

    That formed a tall castle

    Impenetrable walls

    That then blew away in the wind


    The fold in the lino holds monumental implications

    Trying desperately to cope with my parallel universe

    Then a child barely breathing

    Had my name on its shoe

    I’ll flush down the drainpipe

    If you pack me up small

    Don’t waste your time waiting -

    He’s already Åulson.               

                                       






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Bad Mongolia

illustration by Barry Cox