Thank you Andy Croft, editor of the 21st Century Poetry slot at the Morning Star, for taking my Lewis Carroll pastiche Jab-or-Washy? If Boris has time to read it when he returns to work tomorrow, he may see himself in a new light.
The poem came about in time-honoured fashion, through a small group of friends setting themselves a writing challenge. My brother laid down the gauntlet with a poem about Covid-19 composed in the style of Robert Burns. Duncan Fraser responded with a deliciously irreverent take on Shakespeare’s Cymbeline entitled Fear No More th’infected Bun. Then I shamelessly plundered Lewis Carroll’s great absurdist work for a chance to criticise how this pandemic has been handled. It was a record 7 days from writing the poem to publication. Normally it takes me months, years or, more frequently, never!
I couldn’t have known that casting Boris Johnson as the tardy battler against the Jabberwocky, would have me dicing with death – literally.
When I submitted my poem, he was doing well at home, with very mild symptoms. By the time Jab-or-Washy? went up on-line at the Morning Star, he had been admitted to hospital. During the following three days, it looked increasingly as if my poem was about to cross the boundaries of extremely bad taste.
Luckily for Boris, he pulled through and is thankfully on the mend. Let’s hope his close shave with mortality will give him the necessary jolt to properly resource the NHS. Praise and appreciation of course is great. But money is pretty handy too!
You can read Jab-or-washy? by clicking on the following link: Jab-or-washy? by Claire Booker
The Morning Star’s Culture pages carry several poems a week, together with book and arts reviews and literary discussion pieces. You can read seven free articles per month, before being required to subscribe. To submit a poem, email it to Andy Croft at email@example.com