‘I am looking at God,’ said the squirrel, ‘and at the Profligate Panda.’
The jackdaw and I enquired did the rodent feel well.
‘As well,’ he replied, ‘as the golden-egg goose of Uganda.
‘As well,’ he went on, ‘as the soil-cleansing thistles that dwell
on slights they infer from the tales that parishioners tell.’
‘This is serious,’ I said. The jackdaw agreed and surmised
that the squirrel had been maddened from being too often surprised
by random events till his brain had been seized by the odd
erroneous idea that the phenomena of nature disguised
personal messages to him from the Panda, or maybe from God.
When a story starts up like this one did this morning I have to puzzle it out to see how it ends… and to give it a ‘working’ title.
‘One can pull a rabbit from a hat,’ the jackdaw said.
‘I wish,’ the fox replied.
The encapsulated bunny shivered.
I took its cage inside.
‘I set my cap at Mr. Hare,’
the hungry vixen growled.
The jackdaw said, ‘The man’s at fault.
He took the cage inside.’
The bunny quivered, ‘I’m not here.’
‘Nor hare,’ he quickly added.
The jackdaw said, ‘This caps it all.’
She eyed a cat who prowled
around the end of the last line
and lay down in the weeds.
The mortarboard that adorned its crown
had cutouts for its ears.
‘I think,’ the bird said sharply, ‘that
it’s catnip this cat needs.’
The fox responded, ‘Let me fix that!’
The weedy cat recedes.
We’ve had peak oil and deforestation
and now we’ve pandemonium.
The bunny dons an all-over cap
and transmutes into plutonium.
We don’t want facts and thought. We want a story
we believe in and can use to justify our killing
the planet while imagining we are safe.
Here’s one candidate story: soon the elite will live on Mars
and we will be among that proud elite.
(Fantasies compounded must come true.)
Here’s one candidate story: we are successfully inventing
ways to vaporise the poor and breathe the air
this releases to live forever and to fly.
Gargantua ate all of the first course
except for the feathers and beaks.
When the brasserie brought out a mouse mousse
he got it all down but the squeaks.
The thrushes were rushed so he skipped them,
Gargantua wolfing instead
a spitted Dalmatian he’d spotted
on the buffet. He asked for its head.
‘If I can’t,’ said Gargantua belching,
‘look at what I eat square in the eye,
I’ll give up my Ogre A rating
and subsist on alfalfa curd pie.’