Benjamin O. Zephaniah,

past drug-test, beyond breathalyser,

imagined a world

free from bigotry’s squelch,

in which all Negroes spoke Welsh.


Jawaharlal Pandit Nehru

had rather a sensible hairdo.

First leader of India,

best friend of Gandhi.

That must’ve come in quite handy.


Leon Davidovitch Trotsky,

though Russian, I’m certain, could not ski

or use any snow-tool.

Just think of the seismic

trouble he had with an ice-pick.


Oscar O’Flahertie Wills Wilde

at the end of his life was reviled

in spite of his genius

by philistine scum,

for sometimes enjoying a bum.


Sir Edmund Percival Hillary

faced tittering and public pillory

when he said, “Honestly!

After much counting,

I think there’s a peak up that mountain.”


George Gordon, sixth Baron Byron

invited the wail of a siren

when he slept with his sister,

then fought against Turks

while wearing big frilly shirts.





From “Disoccidented” by Alfie Shoyger:



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