What a Piece of Work is Man

(The Bunting’s Aria)

Some years ago I read, I think in Time,
a minister of India, its prime,
had mentioned he liked drinking, mornings, neat,
his urine fresh from, as it were, the teat.

‘Flibbertigibbet,’ I said. ‘It’s time Time’s sued
for passing water tales that wee bit rude.’
The minister left chambers; others fill
his shoes, inserting dry hands in the till.

When Time passed on to buying CNN,
the torch passed to the Sunday Times, wherein
a hack wrote that Mitterrand, the week he died,
enjoyed a meal where he and friends had tried

a table sports event, a biathlon
not needing skis nor skeet but a snuffed ortolan.
They plunged each bird headfirst in Armagnac
then roasted song and body until black.

Eyes watered by his self-imposed scotoma,
each diner cloaked his head to boost aroma
then bit his (the bunting’s) head off, closed his (own) mouth,
throat tight to stop the song from going south.

Each epicure, alone in his own organdie,
filled his mouth (and the ortolan’s) with burgundy
for twenty minutes till the bones were felt
as being up for downing, for heads are slow to melt.

2 thoughts on “What a Piece of Work is Man

  1. “You’re in my way” said the PM to the waiter, but the waiter misheard it as a request.

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