Friday, 20 April 2012

to lose

Last Summer i wanted
To walk the Via Tolosana
From Montpellier to Toulouse;
I was deposited in the
Herault by a parsimonious
Eire line one hot
Morning having wasted
Two euros on a lottery
Ticket then picked up
The pilgrim route picked
Out by red and white sigils
And stylised Coquilles St
Jacques on the walls of
Barns and wayside bornes;
Eventually i saw sense and
Let the SNCF take the strain
And was whisked across
The flamingo-rich littoral
Of Mare Nostrum past
Beziers and Narbonne
And inland to graze the
Tarn before slipping in
To the Haute Garonne
And arriving in the Rose
City at lunchtime;
Ensconced in my
Eighth floor eyrie
On the banks of the
Canal du Midi i looked
Upon the scene as the
Frankish Captain Clovis
Must have done a thousand
Years ago; no Merovingian i;
Impelled by tales of sausage-
Based gastronomy and student culture
I sallied forth across the canal
And let the Rue de la Concorde
Guide me to the shadow of St
Saturnin where i broke my fast
On the eponymous saucisson;
It was no big deal; a porky tube
Crusted with salt; i was distinctly
Underwhelmed; perhaps the crazy
Student scene would win the day;
Eheu les etudiants n'etaient pas la
They had all shoved off en vacances
Leaving me to guess what antics i was
Missing during my untimely visit;
I gravitated to the main square
Reached by the Rue de Taur
Where i tasted my first
Aligote which is a Cevenol
Dish comprising a sort
Of chewing gum made of
Potato and cheese;
I soon became aware
Of the large population
Of Arabs who had their
Own quarter full of
Cafes and bakeries
Selling colourful
No doubt these
Would have been
Frequented by the
Young Maghrebien
Who took up so much
Of the news this week;
His training in the arid
Camps of Waziristan
Prepared him to shoot
Little girls from a distance
Of one centimetre;
He found it harder to
Hit policemen surrounding
His squalid bled;
Surely these Madrassars
Are crying out for quality
Control; Ofsted you could
Make a huge difference to
The learning experience of
Young people in the tribal
Areas straddling Pakistan
And Afghanistan;
Quite honestly the
Alumni of these schools
For jihadis do not inspire
Terror in me but rather
Disgust and embarrassment
Why was Mr Friend of Palestine
Armed with an Uzi submachine gun ?
Did no one explain to him that Uzis are
Ermm a Jewish firearm ? Bonjour
Reveille-toi et renifle le cafe

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