Roget McGough

The Man in the Moon

On the edge of the jumping-off place I stood
Below me, the lake
Beyond that, the dark wood
And above, a night-sky that roared.

I picked a space between two stars
Held out my arms, and soared.

* * *

The journey lasted not half a minute
There is a moon reflected in the lake
You will find me in it.

Bruce Cockburn

All the Diamonds

All the diamonds in this world
That mean anything to me
Are conjured up by wind and sunlight
Sparkling on the sea

I ran aground in a harbour town
Lost the taste for being free
Thank God He sent some gull-chased ship
To carry me to sea

Two thousand years and half a world away
Dying trees still grow greener when you pray

Silver scales flash bright and fade
In reeds along the shore
Like a pearl in sea of liquid jade
His ship comes shining
Like a crystal swan in a sky of suns
His ship comes shining.

Winston Churchill

If you cannot read all your books, at any rate handle, or as it were, fondle them-peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set then back on the shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that if you do not know what is in them, you at least know where they are. Let them be your friends let them at any rate be your acquaintances. If they cannot enter the circle of your life, do not deny them at least a nod of recognition.

Milton Berle

I’d rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are;
because a could-be is a maybe who is reaching for a star.
I’d rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far;
for a might have-been has never been, but a has was once an are.

T S Eliot

The Hippopotamus

The broad-backed hippopotamus
Rests on his belly in the mud;
Although he seems so firm to us
He is merely flesh and blood.

Flesh and blood is weak and frail,
Susceptible to nervous shock;
While the true church can never fail
For it is based upon a rock.

The hippo’s feeble steps may err
In compassing material ends,
While the True Church need never stir
To gather in its dividends.

The ‘potamus can never reach
The mango on the mango-tree;
But fruits of pomegranate and peach
Refresh the Church from over sea.

At mating time the hippo’s voice
Betrays inflexions hoarse and odd,
But every week we hear rejoice
The Church, at being one with God.

The hippopotamus’s day
Is passed in sleep; at night he hunts;
God works in a mysterious way –
The church can sleep and feed at once

I saw the ‘potamus take wing
Ascending from the damp savannas,
And quiring angels round him sing
The praise of God, in loud hosannas.

Blood of the Lamb shall wash him clean
And him shall heavenly arms enfold,
Among the saints he shall be seen
Performing on a harp of gold.

He shall be washed as white as snow,
By all martyr’d virgins kist,
While the True Church remains below
Wrapt in old miasmal mist.