Rhyming Prophecy for a New Year by Leonard Cooper

Pete Bettess Personal

Rhyming Prophecy for a New Year

Leonard Cooper
The Faber Book of Comic Verse, edited by Michael Roberts
who writes
'written for 1956 but still all-too serviceable'

Fog and snow for New Year's greeting, ban on all domestic heating,
Russia leave a UNO meeting, threat of war in Middle East,
Feb. Australian Test team chosen, everything but wages frozen,
Eggs at two pounds ten a dozen, all war criminals released.

March - a scream for science teachers, eighteen horses fall at Beechers,
Oxford sink in Chiswick Reach as Cambridge win in record time.
April Budget, banks stop lending, Chancellor remains unbending,
'Money is not made for spending', hire purchase made a crime.

Summer - one long string of crises, catastrophic rise in prices,
Thousands die from poisoned ices, crops destroyed by storm and pests.
Bread and meat go back on ration, fearful smash at Croydon station,
Living up to expectation, England lose the first four Tests.

Autumn Budget doubles taxes, U.S.A. and Soviet Axis,
Export wanes and Import waxes, Oval triumph - Rain. No Play.
Cabinet re-shuffle places, strictly on an Old Boy basis,
Same old names and same old faces; M.P.s strike for higher pay.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. Apart from one or two changes, LSD instead of pounds and pence, Soviet instead of Russian and mention of rations, pretty accurate. I wonder if there has always been a threat of war in the Middle East? Pete




Page last modified April 16, 2014