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: