The War of the Sunshades

Herewith, a poem commissioned by Master Maelgwyn and company as a weapon in the first war of the sunshades, at Rowany Festival AS XXVII. Maelgwyn said he liked it, and rewarded me with a hand-made and hand-fired cup-thing, which I still have. One of these days I may figure out what I can do with the thing.

[April, 1993]

The very neatly sewn enchanted campsite
Has lately seen the darker price of fame
For with their reputation as a source of admiration
They’ve attracted imitation and it’s looking pretty lame.

The mistresses and masters of enchantment
Are challenged by a sunshade made in hell
Bearing half a dozen peasants, full of scrappy adolescents,
Lacking any incandescence, and developing a smell.

And despite His Highness’ very clear directions
The sunshade houses men of ill repute
Who are lounging on the desk in a manner Romanesque
Looking typic’ly grotesque, without redeeming attributes.

They’ve a number, we admit, of leaves and laurels,
And a dangly bit or hat at times is seen,
But there’s never many hints of the class of Laurel Bints
Who parade, gavotte and mince in the tent upon the green!

And they lack the merest whispers of decorum
When their chief is but a raucous auctioneer.
And without a real valet, they perspire through the day
Full of dust and disarray, and quite unlike the comfort here.

You can see the fact whenever peers are meeting
And the pelicans and laurels run and chat.
For the whole enchanted ground is bereft of any sound
While the others mill around looking peasant-like and flat.

And the decorations hitherto presented
Look a little on the trite and tacky side
With their banners limp and wan and their cupids painted on
In their paper parthenon, they’re not a challenge to deride.

So while you hear our lovely chorus singing sweetly,
Just consider this with Queen Shaheena’s eyes.
Though she’s sitting with that bunch, she’ll be joining us for lunch
Which I’d tell you in the crunch is quite astonishingly wise!