Friday 25 February 2011

Isabel Makes Love on National Monuments (Jake Thackray)

 The late Jake Thackray, yorkshire poet, droll wit, gentleman, troubadour.  1938-2002

Isabel makes love upon national monuments
With style and enthusiasm and anyone at all.
Isabel's done Stonehenge and the houses of Parliament
But so far pretty Isabel's never played the Albert Hall.
Many a monolith has seen Isabel
Her bright hair in turmoil, her breasts' surging swell
But unhappy Albert is so far denied
The bright sight of Isabel getting into her stride.

The Fourth Bridge, the cenotaph, Balmoral and Wembley,
The British Museum and the House of Lords.
So many ticks in her National Trust catalogue
But so far the Royal Albert Hall has not scored.
Countless cathedrals can now proudly show
Where Isabel's pretty shoulder blades once briefly reposed.
But miserable Albert is still waiting for
The imprint of Isabel on his parquet floor.

At Westminster Abbey she lay on a cold tombstone
The meat in a sandwich of monumental love.
Old pole-faced Wordsworth unblinking beneath them,
A bright-eyed young Archdeacon breathless above.
Many a stoney-faced statue has flickered its eyes
And swayed to the rhythm of her little panting cries
But wretched old Albert never yet has known
Isabel's pretty whinnying to echo 'round his dome.

On the last night of the promenade she waved to the conductor,
And there and then on the podium with scarcely a pause,
With a smile and a wave and a loud "Rule Britannia!"
She completed her collection to enormous applause.
Rapturous Albert now knows full well
He's captured forever the elusive Isabel.
Prettily disheveled but firmly installed,
And faithful forevermore to the Royal Albert Hall.

No more frantic scramblings up the dome of St Paul,
No more dank ramblings on Hadrian's wall.
With form and enthusiasm and anyone at all
Isabel makes love at the Royal Albert Hall.

The Last Will and Testament of Jake Thackray

I, the under-mentioned, by this document
Do declare my true intentions, my last will, my testament.
When I turn up my toes, when I rattle my clack, when I agonise,
I want no great wet weepings, no tearing of hair, no wringing of hands,
No sighs, no lack-a-days, no woe-is-me's and none of your sad adieus.
Go, go, go and get the priest and then go get the booze, boys.

Death, where is thy victory? Grave, where is thy sting?
When I snuff it bury me quickly, then let carousels begin -
But not a do with a few ham sandwiches, a sausage roll or two and "A small port wine, please".
Roll the carpet right back, get cracking with your old Gay Gordons
And your knees up, shake it up, live it up, sup it up, hell of a kind of a time.
And if the coppers come around, well, tell them the party's mine, boys.

Let best beef be eaten, fill every empty glass,
Let no breast be beaten, let no tooth be gnashed.
Don't bother with a fancy tombstone or a big-deal angel or a little copper flower pot:
Grow a dog-rose in my eyes or a pussy-willow
But no forget-me-nots, no epitaphs, no keepsakes; you can let my memory slip.
You can say a prayer or two for me soul then, but - make it quick, boys.

Lady, if your bosom is heaving don't waste your bosom on me.
Let it heave for a man who's breathing, a man who can feel, a man who can see.
And to my cronies: you can read my books, you can drive around in my motor car.
And you can fish your trout with my fly and tackle, you can play on my guitar,
And sing my songs, wear my shirts. You can even settle my debts.
You can kiss my little missus if she's willing then, but - no regrets, boys.

Your rosebuds are numbered;
Gather them now for rosebuds' sake.
And if your hands aren't too encumbered
Gather a bud or two for Jake.