Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Poetry, Politics

The Johnson and the Michael Gove

with apologies to Lewis Carroll

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright–
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done–
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!”
The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead–
There were no birds to fly.
The Johnson and the Michael Gove
Were walking, boy and boy;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of joy:
“If the EU were just cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”
“If seven plebs with seven kids
Heard us for half a year.
Do you suppose,” the Johnson said,
“That they could vote us clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Michael Gove,
And shed a bitter tear.
“O Voters, come and walk with us!”
The Johnson did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the slippry pole:
We cannot do with less than four,
To give to us a soul.”
The wisest Voter looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The wisest Voter winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head–
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the EU bed.
But four fool Voters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their heads were clean and kind–
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn’t any mind.
Four other Voters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more–
All hopping to the fascist waves,
And cheering to the core.
The Johnson and the Michael Gove
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the foolish Voters stood
And waited in a row.
“The time has come,” the Johnson said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why trade deals are easy stuff–
And whether pigs have wings.”
“But wait a bit,” the Voters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of cash,
And all of us are fat!”
“No hurry!” said the Michael Gove.
They thanked him much for that.
“Our own country,” the Johnson said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Sovreignty and pounds besides
Are very good indeed–
Now if you’re ready, Voters dear,
We can begin to feed.”
“But not on us!” the Voters cried,
Turning a little blue.
“After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,” the Johnson said.
“Do you admire the view?
“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Michael Gove said nothing but
“Give me a peerage:
I wish you were not quite so deaf–
I’ve begged you for an age!”
“It seems a shame,” the Johnson said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Michael Gove said nothing but
“Migration’s spread too thick!”
“I weep for you,” the Johnson said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
“O Voters,” said the Johnson,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d cheated every one.


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  1. Steve Gregory

    25th June 2016 at 12:38

    Priceless – so true. I feel the most sorry for our young people. The old codgers of the U.K. Have let them down badly (and won't be around to face the consequences). A bad day for the UK.


    1st July 2016 at 12:33

    Truly priceless and so so accurate. Though I suspect you require another verse with Gove's blade in Johnson's back (how they deserve each other.

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