This is a poem which also languishes in the innards of my computer, although it is on my web-site. It’s never been published. One reason might be that the title is too whimsical for its own good. The idea of RC having a holiday from his chores (which are elaborately and tediously itemised in the novel) struck me as nicely surreal, especially as, if you believe the TV, all you should ever do on a BH is to buy a sofa. I can’t help spotting that this poem has two words which appear with alarming frequency in my poems: spooks and mulch. No idea why. However, I think that, without realising it, most writers have a private lexicon which invades them when they are creating. There is some deliberate internal rhyming here: that tends to be the glue by which I hold poems together. The obvious paradox (maybe too obvious) is that RC is dependent on nature, and is anti-materialist. Perhaps what I could have done was to make more of the nonsensical connection between RC and the Land of Leather. I am also a sucker for puns, but I still like the last line!
Robinson Crusoe’s Bank Holiday Monday
After tethering the goats,
and drawing up a new
rotation plan for the sabbath,
I will go over
to buy a brand-new sofa in
fresh white leatherette,
which is a bargain, and will match
my patchwork of sand.
Thank the Lord for Sales!
They liven up an otherwise
dismal existence, plying my
needle beneath threadbare trees,
mulching prayers, and sifting
the sea for free samples of fish.
I have a grand collection
of kippers. But a queue,
let’s face it, is all cockles,
a place in which to count spooks
while testing the mattresses
for strength, and waiting
balefully for a customer adviser,
someone to hustle. To go
behind the palms, and emerge
with a promise to pay
in fifteen years, and 0% credit.
This is what holidays were
bred for. A titter of kitchens,
triple-bunking, unusual ferns,
and, best of all, the sofas.
Three-piece, four-piece, pieces
which turn the corner and promise
the last art of conversation.
Terra firma. Tradition. How
else to survive the hurly, the months
on my knees? The Lord obliges.
Everything must go on.
You can listen to the poem here: