David Bourke

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Original text in yellow, anagram in pink.

A reworking of a poem by a burglar with 42 convictions who was released by a judge due to his "talent" for writing "poetry"...

New Fortune I bought
In my day at court
I've now been set free
In a blaze of publicity
So that everyone can see
My great ability
Lord Woolf brought forth
A new law
To set people free
From the courtroom door
Judge Goldstein took
his hand in mine
And said to write a book
For all to look

- Mark Patterson

I was banged-up too, but I am still here,
Four prison walls, no freedom near.
OK, now I've the odd day, taken out,
But, the party over, zoom 'home', no doubt.

Alone, all alone, lost writing hot books,
Literate, between too many petty crooks.
According to my 'fragrant' wife,
I ought to be inside for life!

- Jeffrey Archer

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THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes - how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

THE DAY BEFORE WAR

'Twas the day before war, when in The White House,
The President cursed: "Why, that damn Arab louse!
I have unfinished business to do for my Pa!"
That hick Texan cowboy then shouted: "Yee-hah!"

Then missiles were primed in the launchers with care,
In the hope that soon Baghdad would no more be there,
With Stealth jets, heavy tanks, and the Gulf full of ships,
He thought of the conflict, and then licked his lips.

"Now, Donald! Now, Dick! Now, Condi! Now, Colin!
What say that we take out that raghead? Get rollin!
Now Wolfie! Now Scooter! Now, Jumper! Now, Tom!
Why, let's deal with Saddam! Away now! Let's bomb!"

When down the chimney came Blair (with the lovely Cherie),
Dressed all flash, in plum. (Oh, a daft sight to see!)
He high-fived, and he smiled like a smug Cheshire cat,
And then, like a poodle, at the halfwit's feet sat.

"Howdy pardner!" said George. Tony gushed: "Oh, hello!"
"Why, how y'all been, chum?" - "Jolly well, thanks... you know."
"Hey, thanks from the Yanks! We sho' preciate that!"
"Thanks, Dubs! Love that wonderful ten-gallon hat!"

When he picked up his guitar, and had started to play,
Bush said with a wince: "Hey buddy, put it away!
Of U.N. peace agreements it's a material breach."
And then Tony went into his pre-prepared speech:

"We stand shoulder-to-shoulder to end the production,
Of Iraq's tools of death, and of mass destruction,
I mean, look, doing nothing's, well... you know... not on,
So we must do what's right 'til his arsenal is gone.

From the fight against evil we must never recoil,
When they're one of the world's largest sources of oil.
And when his inhumane weapons are all accounted for,
We shall get on the phone, to sell him some more."

The United Nations spouted hot air and dithered,
Back to George's side, off the boy Tony slithered.
The phone rang (as they do) - 'twas Hans Blix on the line,
He said: "Saddam's disarming," and Bush replied: "Fine!

Why, I'll still kick his ass, I cannot make things clearer,
Blow him sky-high on Sky News, and on Al-Jazeera,
He has just no idea how numbered his days are,
When down on his moustache, I shall aim a guide-laser.

Man, I'd flatten his palace, he'd have no place to hide,
Then I'd stick a Scud right up his stinking backside,
When his Republican Guard fall, reduced to mere bone.
The French wimps wanna veto? Fine. Then we'll go it alone!

Now, it happens the States has an American Dream:
Like Afghanistan... replace his hellish, violent regime!
The missiles will take off in that harsh desert heat,
Then they'll fly away northward, and finish Tikrit.

He'll be over a barrel, and North Korea can wait,
When I start World War Three off, with Tone, my old mate.
Hand-in-hand with the British, we shall fight this just fight,
With God on our side. Here's to world peace: Goodnight!"

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Updated: May 10, 2016


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