Doggerel: ‘The Attack On Newland Avenue’.
From Strange Free World. This verse is obviously taking the piss out of the far-right and their Islamophobic nonsense. I can’t believe anybody would be sufficiently lacking in sense to overlook the hyperbole; but I’ve been disappointed here before…
‘Twas quiet and the evening frost
Had settled where bare paths did cross.
The night was drawing in – ‘twas late;
Often thus I ruminate:
I walk the streets, I late retire –
Rejoicing in our blessed Shire.
Oft nights, you see, while all are ‘sleep;
A lonely vigil I do keep;
As others troubled dreams do scotch,
I maintain a mindful watch.
While peace and somnolence abound
Thus each night I do my rounds.
Suddenly I heard such sounds,
Plentiful and all around;
Not delicate, not black-bird’s song –
But the wailing of a throng.
I must admit my heart fair leaped;
My interest though was utmost piqued.
‘Perhaps it is a novice choir?
Perchance someone is mending tyres?
What might it be?’ I did not know.
‘Twas accomp’nied by a darkly glow.
I honed on whence the noise accost:
I approached the local Mosque.
The clamour thence there had its source;
It weaved its creeping wending course.
The turf was thick and rank and gross;
Yet unperturbed I crept across.
So slunk I, drawing nigh the wall;
I spied the font of caterwaul
Through cracks a careless hand did hew;
My error left; my terror grew.
A small fire therein flared flaming fierce;
I peered – the gloom I sought to pierce.
I heard the howls, I heard the baying:
I could almost hear what they were saying.
I made out huge faces; monstrous arms.
Atrocious potions; beastly balms.
There they stood and circled round:
A Union Jack lay on the ground.
My heart was stirred, my anger ample;
My nation’s flag was promptly trampled.
‘Death – O Death – to Albion foul!’
Savage mouths at once did howl.
At such a distance – I was surprised –
Their baleful breath could smart my eyes.
It had the smell of broken locks;
Of women’s clothes and poppycocks.
‘All of these they must have eaten;
And what else if they’re not beaten?’
‘Perhaps’ thought I ‘their plan is murder?’;
And so I listened to them further.
Their leader I could not quite see;
His voice rang out through the melee.
‘Look at this! What I have here!’
It swift was plain, and all too clear:
It was the plaque from our church taken;
He held it high, and thus forsaken.
‘It was I, yes I who stole the treasure.
For such fine thieving yields much pleasure’.
This and thus ‘gan he to gloat;
One then sacrificed a goat.
All this I saw – more heard refrain:
‘Others charged and falsely blamed;
Such joy I take in giving pain
For there is such a bliss in strife:
Spite’s my bride; turmoil’s my wife’.
He whispered quiet, yet heard I clear:
‘Now prick thine ears, attend and hear:
New men, new laws, new ways of life
Trouble and no end of strife
In Yorkshire shall but swift appear’.
‘Never!’ cried I, ‘My county dear!’
Love of my life, my birthplace too!
My mother country shan’t yield to you!’
Once more their leader found his voice:
‘Upraise thine arms and let’s rejoice!
We’ll rage the fight,
Rend Hull apart!
Stagger every single white,
Strike fatal blows at Albion’s heart!
Before the end of this short night
We will have rocked the apple-cart!’.
This, said he, was but the start;
Of such things they’d make an art .
‘The subtle serpent, the creeping thief –
Is one of us beneath each leaf?
Will death come swiftly, or be slow?’
This they’ll ask and never know;
Who will stop us, who will dare?
Where is found such courage rare?
Then he paused, and drew his breath:
‘There is but one protector left;
There is but one whom we must fear –
The guardian of his people dear –’
‘Gan gabble he with clucking tongue:
‘Let us hunt down Cobbleston’
Hero, hope of Albion.
For you see, if he’s not here,
The path to power will be clear.
Soon we’ll rule – we will dictate
The contents of each British plate’.
So began the cackling cries:
‘No more crackling and pork pies!
No more bacon placed on waffles!
‘Twill be replaced by cold falafel!’
All of this I heard and more;
I swooned and dropped down to the floor.
I dashed my cranium as I fell,
And yet still I heard him yell:
‘The Banner of the King of Hell
Goes forth with we as all shall tell!’
This cried he, in bold Islamic;
I held my nerve – I dared not panic.
‘The Mosque shines forth in mystic glow’.
What this meant I could not know.
‘My fellow Muslims – forward go!’.
At last I understood it so:
‘Twas insurrection, overthrow –
This the plot unfurling, slow.
Thus herein, to my surprise,
A vista spread before my eyes –
A vision of what may yet be:
Oh such horrors I did see!
With Sheikly yells they ventured forth;
The procession’s head – a spiteful dwarf.
It was he who led the sally;
His howl enough to sift a valley.
From his fell mouth decrees he cried:
‘Hie to Cobblestone! Let’s rend his hide!
Dent his British National Pride!
Fix him with a blade right wide!
Life’s torrent gushing from his noble side!
Allah looks on, and sees it good!
He winks at us and says we should!
To wash us in that precious flood:
The splendid Son of Albion’s blood!’
To consecrate the speech he gave
He smashed a jar of marmalade.
I shivered, shuddered, rent my breast –
Their wicked moves I second-guessed.
Slowly, surely I arose;
I followed quietly, and quite close.
Thus as one they trekked unto
Unwary Newland Avenue.
Here the wicked pageant paused;
Took time to strategise their cause.
I myself did hesitate;
I watched one fetch a soap-box crate.
The dwarf climbed up and slapped his thigh;
I saw malevolence in his eye.
On a trumpet sharp he blew:
A blast of devilry ensued.
His Muslim brethren he addressed
Proclaiming they were Allah-blessed:
‘Let us harry, garrotte and throttle
Each valiant British Milk bottle!
Take that plant pot – take it far;
Place it on that British car!
And snatch that brick there – have it placed
In an honest tradesman’s shop’s front-face!’.
It was thus that they began;
Through the streets naked they ran.
The dwarf it was who gave command:
All this inspired by their Koran.
It demands that they harass
Every single British lass.
One such maiden passéd by –
Her simple beauty caught his eye.
You see, the dwarf could not resist
Her pure and wholesome Britishness.
There was an alley, dim, nearby;
‘Twas there he hid and did espy.
There he waited, lurked in dark;
And as she passed began to bark:
‘Girl’ he said, ‘you’d look much better
In a more revealing sweater!’
This, said he, in Arabic.
That’s what he said, he really did.
She bolted, she was petrified;
Frightened, scared and terrified.
Alarmed and startled, thanks to he;
Upset, she was; who would not be?
He laughed and laughed, and cried with glee:
‘When we rule we will be free;
We’ll jab at ankles, poke at knees –
We will take such base liberties!
We’ll put pins on cushions, spice in drink –
That will really make them think!
The heat will weep and well their eye’ –
By such means we’ll terrify!
Yes, indeed, do this we shall –
Each child’s school-lunch shall be Halal!’.
And it was it so began;
Up and down the street they ran.
Beating, hurling – with wail and shriek –
They trashed the blameless city street.
Such carnage, mayhem – lewd, obscene:
Such horrors I had never seen.
Round and round, exposed they ran;
With flourish thus the dwarf began:
‘Allah’, said he,
‘Hath revelled in our savagery.
Wickedness, Islamery –
Hath triumphed herein by we’.
My heart, my soul, the sight did maim:
‘Death to Albion!’ was their refrain.
But turn away? I could not dare.
I saw them dancing, naked, bare;
Pintles swinging as they hopped:
Their cries and baying never stopped.
All this, and more, they did as one;
My last vestige of hope was gone.
But then it came, although from far:
The sound of a British police car.
At this the dwarf himself took heed –
He noted rate of haste and speed;
He considered space, expanse and distance,
He accounted for the wind resistance.
‘Hie thee hence! Be gone and scarum!’
He yelled at the belated siren.
But he saw it was no use;
Honest Brits would hold aloof.
Led by doughty Cobblestone,
They’d defend their rightful home.
For such foul stuff they would not stand;
Not within their own homeland.
The Muslim horde – they all took flight;
They disappeared into the night.
The dwarf retired, gave one last bay:
‘Death to Albion!’ – so scattered they.
As swift as they had come ‘were gone;
Railing and cursing Albion’.
The street fell calm, but ‘twas too late:
I knew now I stared at Hell’s own gate.
I knew for sure they would return;
Once more to pillage and to burn –
To wreak such havoc once again.
My warnings are perhaps in vain.
I stood alone, I stand here still;
If we don’t win, perhaps they will.