Droplets of Verse: ‘I’m a Meadow’

I’m a Meadow
Where baby lambs frolick
And the soil is rich
Nurturing the roots
Trampled on by kinky boots
I’m a meadow
How those weeds flourish
And day trippers leave rubbish
A light breeze says hello
A worm wriggles down below
I’m a meadow
Bare feet running
A sanctuary for sunning
Ladybirds taking flight
Insects enjoy a light bite
I’m a meadow
A home for dandelions
And massive electric pylons
Blackbirds perch on a wire
Storms pour down on a field of fire
I’m a meadow

Droplets of Verse: ‘Sailing’

A millionaire business man raided his employees’ pension pot
Bought himself a hundred million pound yacht
Stashed away dividends in his wife’s name
Asset stripped his own company, again and again
He’s a knight of the realm, for services to industry
With him at the helm, the business became history
Declared bankrupt by a man with no conscience
He stockpiled riches for himself, drowning in opulence
He steered the ship into the biggest of black holes
Eleven thousand jobs perished, floated away, lost souls
He could buy himself a diamond as big as an iceberg
His moral compass set to grab, he’d like to own the Universe

Droplets of Verse: ‘Flutes of the Finest Fizz’

I’m guessing you’re round about fifty three
Your mortgage is paid off and you think you’re free
Taking foreign breaks whenever you can, Tuscany is lovely
The days are gone when you talked of revolution, of anarchy
You’re comfortable enough you’ve paid your dues
Earned yourself a holiday, life has become a cruise
You don’t pay much attention anymore to what’s in the news
Your old life was a riot, for a while you sang the blues
But then you got a proper job, the rat race came a calling
You made a real killing, interest rates rising and falling
The inequality gap widening, something yawning
Your real interest remained in investments soaring
Once upon a time you protested, fought for just causes
But all that got pushed aside by growing market forces
You watched the protest movement fall into paralysis
Small sorrows drowned out by flutes of the finest fizz


Droplets of Verse: ‘This Is England’

This is England
Winner of two world wars and a football world cup
Saturday night a guaranteed booze up
Still undefeated, world champions at chucking up
Sunday morning hangovers healed by a full English fry up

This is England
An island so civilised, steeped in history and culture
Soap operas on TV, flooding the past, present and future
Celebrities on game shows, making a nation’s hearts flutter
Punk rock renegades from the seventies, advertising butter

This England
The kingdom of the carrier bag, home to the high street
Where anyone can buy anything, mainly stuff they don’t need
If it’s not made in China it must be a copy, a cheat
American branded tee shirts top of the must-have tick sheet

This is England
Saving for the trip of a lifetime, a fortnight in Disneyland
The Costa Del Sol a home to expats, worshipping sun, sea and sand
England is the spiritual home of reluctant Europeans
Talking revolution over coffee, waiting for nothing to happen


Droplets of Verse: ‘A Strange Kind of Heat’

You may as well have attached electrodes to my genitalia
It surged through me daily, that overwhelming sense of failure
The dull shock of even a minute in your company
Was enough to fill my flat battery with a full charge of insanity
I swam through those deep waters daily, hoping to discover an island
But, it was an endless ocean of raw emotion, I must have been blind
The fish in the sea swam around freely, without any obvious effort
Until one day they got tangled in a net, and then they were caught
It was a mixture that created a strange kind of heat
The vapour was sour, when it should have been sweet
There was a reaction, it was an experiment that went wrong
It bubbled away dangerously for years. Far too long

Droplets of Verse: ‘Toxic Tony’

Toxic Tony
He’ll put an arm around your shoulder
And tell you you’re a good soldier
He’s a phoney

Toxic Tony
He claims to have amazing powers of deduction
Says he can detect weapons of mass destruction
It’s all baloney

Toxic Tony
Works in public relations for vicious dictators
Loves to get his photo in all the newspapers
He’s a kiss ass crony

Toxic Tony
Has a special relationship with the US of A
Especially when it involves a big fat payday
Loves dirty money

Toxic Tony
Wrote bad erotica in his autobiography
Shared graphic details of his expert foreplay
Paraded his sexuality

Toxic Tony
Tries to slam the wheels of history into reverse
To save his reputation as one of the world’s worst
He’s looking lonely

Toxic Tony
He’s bracing himself for a report to be published
And he’ll say anything to show the findings are rubbish
He’ll deny it all, solemnly

Toxic Tony
His fortune has grown, he’s amassed many riches
But power is the thing for which he constantly itches
Reckons he’s a visionary

Toxic Tony
He craves attention, loves to hear his own voice
Everyone else ignores his tiresome, grating noise
He’s a nobody

Toxic Tony
It’s common knowledge he’s a war criminal
Rejects his responsibility for manoeuvres political
Should be under lock and key

Droplets of Verse: ‘The Sick Man of Europe’

The sick man of Europe
Can’t hold it together
Borders are bulging
Trade winds and bad weather

The single currency
Is a drunken clog dance
Blocked up arteries
The cafe bar of last chance

Accumulated debt
The virus of empty pockets
Goggles are misted up
Steam from hot, stale croissants

Slicing the sausage
Much too thickly
Bureaucrats sharpen knives
Surgery for the terminally sickly

Some make a profit
Have healthy accounts
Others turn shades of green
Their share prices bounce

The blossoming far right
Display a healthy glow
They feed on apartheid
Show a thirst for stemming the flow

AUSTERITY CAFE RECIPES: Brexit – A Breakfast Cereal for Hard Core Isolationists

Recipe of the Day with Yannis, the owner of Austerity Café

Yannis takes five minutes out of his kitchen to give us his views on the ingredients needed for a prosperous and flourishing life:

‘Good morning! What a beautiful day. The sun is shining and the cappuccino’s frothing up good. On a morning like this a healthy breakfast is needed, and if the UK is about to leave Europe, then we need to create something special to mark the occasion:

So here it is: Brexit! A fruity cereal for the hard-core isolationists amongst us. It’s a breakfast bowl without ANY European ingredients, but does contain delicacies from far flung exotic places. It will make your taste buds bounce!

First off all, take a few generous handfuls of Brazil nuts and dried African pineapple and throw them into a bowl. Then chuck in some oats from the USA, and at this point say a small prayer and hope they’re not genetically modified, like their politicians.
Then let a few Turkish hazelnuts tumble over the border of the bowl, but not too many! We need to avoid excessive bitterness at all times. To sweeten things up, we then add some sugar from Zimbabwe. Crops grown under a dictatorship are always well behaved. And, if we want to make a really revolutionary, balanced, non-European meal, we go to Cuba, for some beautiful mango, grown in communist fields. Finally, chop up some juicy figs from Saudi Arabia and drop them in, boom!

And there it is, Brexit, ready in a jiffy and a real delight, and I say that without prejudice.’

‘Austerity Cafe – A Rhyme Opera’ is  a production written and performed by Andy Szpuk, an experimental fusion of verse, politics, satire and music, with Paul Quadros on guitar. Look out for forthcoming shows.

STOP PRESS- The next show is at Nottingham Contemporary on 21st May, at 8:30, on a bill with music acts, don’t miss


Droplets of Verse: ‘Southwell Or Suthall’

Visitors can get into a bit of a muddle
Whether to call a place Southwell or Suthall
It’s about as clear as a dirty, rainy day puddle
There’s no firm conclusion, overall
Opinions are mixed, it’s a terrible kerfuffle
Neighbours fall out frequently, over a thing so critical
No one wants to be thought of as feeble or fickle
Pub regulars find themselves getting quizzical

The dilemma remains with us daily, Southwell or Suthall
Of course on paper, Southwell is correct
But in spoken English, it’s never so simple
It’s all about understanding the local dialect
For years it’s been on the whole population’s lips
Town planners and historians are baffled
The police investigated, but the evidence got ripped up
Maybe, somehow, the secret got accidentally raffled

Southwell or Suthall, now there’s a question
The local baker knows we need an answer
The piano teacher offers an elegant suggestion
It tumbles from her lips like a ballet dancer
‘Oh indeed,’ she says, ‘as if there could be any doubt
Of course the correct pronunciation is Southwell’
But the fishmonger says, ‘she’s a silly old trout’
Around his way they’ve always called it Suthall

On a nearby building site, men fill skips with rubble
Dig trenches, lay bricks, climb up scaffolding
It seems concrete to them, to call the place Suthall
But this foundation they’ve built will soon be crumbling
The architect arrives to give them their instructions
He says, ‘Listen lads, this place is called Southwell,
Not Suthall, we don’t want to cause any ructions’
They look at him blankly, marvelling at his hairy nostrils

To call it Southwell seems to make complete sense
And calling it Suthall causes offence in some quarters
But guess what Sherlock? There’s no hard evidence
And there are advantages, Suthall is snappier and shorter
But it’s informal and perhaps lacks the required gravitas
Whereas Southwell sounds much more stately and dignified
It’s a debate that will go on forever, never run out of gas
Each side says their version is right, but neither will ever be satisfied

Droplets of Verse: ‘The Cook, The Blacksmith and The Apple Crumble’

The cook was about to do battle
With a large bucketful of Bramley apples
It was an awful lot to tackle
The situation was terrible
Because every knife she had was blunt
A thorough search boiled down to a fruitless hunt
The sharpening stone was absent
Apple crumble would be missed at lunch

After her special casserole, children at the school
Would be given yesterday’s gooseberry fool
And somehow she thought that cruel
And anyway, it would break her own rule
To serve the same pudding as the previous day
Would be a crime against fine gastronomy
She cursed her badly sliced complacency
And fried herself in a dish of stale dismay

She didn’t want to be a bad example
Desperate she was, to peel those apples
Everybody knew of her remarkable crumble
Served on a Thursday, her portions always ample
She put on a coat and grabbed all her knives
Ran down the road, past muttering housewives
To the blacksmith’s shop, her hopes still alive
She didn’t stop to knock, just burst inside

The blacksmith stood strong, beating hot metal
She flew over to him, a fluttering petal
He raised his black eyebrows, and then they settled
The lady was flustered, but he noted her fine freckles
She explained her dilemma, her voice like a nightingale
The blacksmith was a man with a heart for sale
He sharpened her knives, faster than the flick of a horse’s tail
But made her promise to meet him later for a flagon of ale

She would have promised anything, and so she agreed
But still had a hundred hungry schoolchildren to feed
So she rushed back to the kitchen, the apples got peeled
Maybe later the blacksmith’s intentions would be revealed
She combined the ingredients, slammed the oven door shut
In the right amount of time, the crumble would be cooked
She sat and drank a glass of sherry, alone with her thoughts
The blacksmith’s words had her stomach in knots

He was a fine fellow, and his furnace burned hot
Absentmindedly, she nibbled on a stray apricot
He might be her knight in shining armour, her Lancelot
She trembled to think he wanted her in his melting pot
Maybe fortune had smiled and their meeting was fated
He could be the man for whom she had waited
Her daydreams developed, her hopes were elevated
Then, a smoking oven woke her. The crumble was incinerated