Raymond’s Birthday Poem

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Raymond’s Birthday Poem

If a fellow knits stuff and does it quite quick
and never once tangles the wool on his stick
would you say of the clatter and say of the click,
Well, he’s not knitting knots at a fair old lick?

And if he trained head-lice to help with the job,
gave them little needles, paid them a few bob,
explained how to cast on and then later cast off,
would you believe in the nits now not knitting knots or would you just scoff?

But the smaller the fingers the finer the weave,
and employing such workers is great, I believe,
for creating new woollens with panache and far
greater strength than is found in the cheaper Kevlar.

Some folk find this mixture of factors spot on,
more crafty than denim, warmer than cotton,
a wide choice of sizes for men and for women,
but not really clothing one should try to swim in,

’cause wool absorbs water and clogs and weighs down
and encourages wearers to submerge and drown
which isn’t the greatest of hobbies to take up:
it ruffles your hair and smudges your make-up,

and no one really wants to be looking their worst
when they’re dragged from the river and offered bratwurst
(which is how in Bavaria they check you’re alive
(or so I was told by a fellow called Clive)).

But this super-tough knitted material’s handy
away from the rivers, where it’s dry and dandy,
for protecting the wearer from bruises and bumps
and contusions and grazes and fractures and lumps,

say out on a bicycle, whizzing downhill,
with the wind in your hair, no trace of the chill
thanks to the weave that covers you up
as you weave around litter and pooh of the pup

that’s been left in the gutter along with road-kill
and yesterday’s paper and one espadrille
and cartons and bollards and packets of krill
split open and slimy and a rickety grill

that covers the sewer, well almost, not quite,
and in England the cars are all on your right,
hooting and braking and fucking about,
opening doors and letting kids out,

so thank God you’re in wool that’s been knitted by nits
and is doubly-woven on your private bits
’cause a million things are waiting to do
harm to a person as lovely as you,

watch out for the stick that gets stuck in your spokes,
watch out for those tumbling stray artichokes,
watch out for the kid who runs after his ball,
watch out for the dog who runs after his ball too,

watch out for the dangers that you least expect,
the unlikely ones that will make you eject,
the uncanny, perverse, bizarre things that disturb
for instance, who’d think?, a guest starring kerb.

Thank goodness for wool, thank goodness for knitting,
thank goodness for not having grazes with grit in,
thank goodness for bikes that keep us all healthy,
and poets with patrons who are quietly wealthy.

A.F.Harrold

(PS publication of this poem does not in anyway coincide with Raymonds actual birthday,   which is,   one of natures mysteries)

Raymond’s Birthday Poem
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