By Dominic O’Sullivan
The Crime of the Absent Mariner
This is the year of not.
The Puritan year.
This is the year the pub went quiet,
The theatre dark.
Outside the actress weeps.
This is the year they shot the Albatross,
Only no one owned up.
It’s uncool to do so.
So full steam ahead!
In the year of the nots;
Batten down the hatches!
No one knows where we’re going.
Dearly beloved brothers and sisters,
Imbibers of the nation.
We shall soon be re-acquainting ourselves
With a much loved deli product.
I refer, of course, to the renaissance of the Scotch Egg,
(The Oeuf Ecossais)
It fits the description of a substantial meal,
Confirmed by the Minister to the Cabinet Office.
(Un vrai écossais aussi, and also tiny)
Pasties are outraged.
Cornish and otherwise.
They’ve been waiting quietly in the wings,
Feeling better equipped to answer the call
And accompany a lonely pint.
Concern, however, has been raised,
Over the consumption of eggs and excess protein.
According to the late Birdman of Oxford Street
And Founder of the Protein Wisdom Group,
A surfeit of protein will produce a surge of sexual awakening,
A loosening of libido.
The Oeuf Ecossais may leave a legacy,
Outdo even the baby boom near Boston Stump.
But, whatever the outcome,
Rest assured. It is substantial.
Dominic: I’m a writer of short stories, plays and poems. Some of my plays and monologues have been performed in Cambridge, Ely, London and Norwich.
My brother read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge to me when I was a kid. I liked it. The poem I wrote is playing around with Coleridge’s title. The theme is the same, the violation of nature but, unlike Coleridge’s poem the topic of guilt is not yet addressed. I gardened on the allotment for much of lockdown, admired the buzzards and kites that flew by, enjoyed the increased volume of birdsong.