Saturday, 25 August 2012

The Fish-Canner’s Prayer

Lord in heaven, thou who art
Strong of mind and soft of heart
Please heed my words and hear my prayer
Or, if, indeed, you are not there
Then Brahman, Zeus, or Thor would do
Horus, Dawkins or Vishnu.
I’m desperate, I would accept
Bono or Geldoff if they leapt
To act, improve my situation
Trapped within the wrong vocation

I ensure that tins are filled
With squid and salmon, sole and sild
Grab the creatures from the kettle
Furnish them with crypts of metal
The odour makes me feel unwell
Please save me from this soggy hell
The octopus keeps climbing out
Last night he freed a vat of trout
I stand with hands over the tin
Just to attempt to keep him in.

I longed to be a ballet dancer
By day, find a cure for cancer
But I fell short of super-surgeon
Now I’m here and packing sturgeon
Seems unlikely I’ll have my dream
Lest ‘cure’ means ‘pack’ and ‘cancer’ ‘bream’
So Lord, or Geldoff, Horus, Thor
Please see to it that I no more
Touch cod or plaice or hake or eel
Long as I live I never feel

The scales of any wretched wrasse
or see another bloody bass.


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