the weekly

Here Is The Canoes

I went out on the coal-grey sea
And vanished underneath a wave;
That was the last you heard of me.
I took my secrets to a grave.

In afterlife, in thinning air,
I grew an unbecoming beard.
And no-one thought to stop or stare,
Because, you see, I'd disappeared.

Perhaps you've been to Hartlepool,
An absent place, a missing town
Where days are lost, and, as a rule,
It's misty, or else pissing down.

What would you do in such a place,
But wander round it, looking fazed?
I didn't dare to show my face –
Because it had been quite erased.

My wife and I turned up last week,
With different tales to tell. Alack.
If only I had words to speak –
But I am an amnesiac.

And worse than this, on every lip,
On every tongue, in every jaw,
They've turned my sorry boating trip
Into a national metaphor.

Gordon Brown has lost his plot,
And half a decade's slipped his mind;
David Cameron's gone to pot,
Has left his policies behind.

The English manager's canoe
Has sunk, its paddles floating free.
Banks and brokers have no clue.
The whole damn world is merely me.

The press: deceptive oracles
As full of huff and puff as news;
The church: all upturned coracles,
With empty pulpits, empty pews.

When new disasters start to strike,
And shove mankind beneath the ribs,
They'll all say this – 'The world is like
That fool canoeist and his fibs.'

Click here for BBC news story.

Here Is The Canoes
Almost the only topic of conversation and headline was John Darwin, who staged a disappearance by pretending to have drowned while canoeing near Hartlepool five years ago on a calm sea, but who turned up with 'amnesia', and whose wife turned up in Panama, having cashed in a life insurance policy.
12 December 2007


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