Top: Rudolf takes some girls for a spin (Il prend quelques filles pour une virée), Gouache and watercolour

Circle: Grandpa gets on board

Come all ye children, gather near
of christmas pudding have no fear,
we have a new recipe to make it now
with natural flours, - of sheep and cow

Grease the inside of one large bowl
if you’ve got one that’s not too foul
find a large spoon, and some good will
as with goodies this bowl we will fill

Put in a handful of mixed up nuts
with four feet of flour, from the choicest cuts,
but as beef suet* we will leave out
add character, both ‘randy and stout

Whip your nestegg into a froth
and we will make a financial broth
of current dates and last years figs
(shouldn’t lick fingers, don’t be pigs )

I almost forgot the sultanas
chopped apple, pear and bananas
jellied fruit, jellied eels and spice
little girls and other things nice.

Ground nutmeg if you want some seasoning
and what’s left of the raisin (or was that reasoning?)
A zest of lemon and the peel
hold the table when you reel
Burnt sugar, or was it caramel?
I saw one or both before I fell

Throw in sixpence for the chance
or frank, if you live in FFrance

Stir like mad, taste it not
put it in another pot
cover it with an i-net - fine
tied tightly with telephone line.
Boil it gently in a bain-marie
or sauna if you find one free

Leave in a cupboard for a month or more
top up with brandy through a hole in the door
and when you finally want to eat
run, - if you’ve still got feet.

Shaun Smyth peintre

- But of course -
I nearly forgot the sauce
whip the eggs and beat the cream
(not as brutal as it would seem)
brandy and sugar, in they go
and little white berries of mistletoe
(could have fallen in by mistake
when a sly kiss you tried to take,
no one will ever know
- either friend or foe)

* BSE, Beef Suet Extract - or mad cow to be exact

everything’s virtual around our house...
Painted walls and painted bodies
we’re halfway to being considered oddies.

We sneak out at night looking shiffiti
to make our mark with a bit of graffiti.
Then because we’re afraid of being seen
do it all again on a silver screen.

In the dark, and for a lark,
draw a figure, make it bigger,
add a head, and some red,
some tum, a bit ‘o bum
double-click, that’s the trick.

Now our figure is complete
clothed in fur he’s hard to beat.
(not real furs, as polar-bears grow,
but taken from the back of an eskimo)
Add a reindeer and then clone eight
(one is red-nosed who stays out late,)

On a sleigh for them to pull,
put a sack of toys that’s full
of baba-dolls, “his” and “hers”,
tomb-raiders, killer-cars
alien feasts and star-wars.
(Shoot the neighbours with less noise,
for girls will be girls and sometimes boys, -boys,
or don’t you know about Lara Croft,
- the virtual popsie, virtually soft?)

When he’s all finished, red and smart
(an example of house-bound art)
to reach the world is an easy bet,
we’ll just put him on the internet.

And as all the little girls and boys
virtuously play with their virtual toys,
us verminous parents can groan and strut
as we visibly wait for a power cut

Shaun Smyth peintre

Do you really have to go –
back to the sleazy-sheep-show,
where floweri maorii
grimace with glee
and lady Pakeha’s cavort
(as well they ought)
throwing bowls on greens.
While behind the scenes
– they throw greens in bowls,
with mutton-birds, kiwis and other fouls.

Sporting ladies all in white
give their menfolk such a fright,
that those poor deers, all make tracks
to go and watch the all blacks.

At the end of the summer fun
when winter really has begun,
you’ll use sheep’s fur for woolly mittens
and instead of rugs, use kittens.

Soon, sitting round your new hearth
somewhere at the end of the earth,
you’ll think of us – or maybe not
for the World Hearth Orgy is best forgot!

Poem for someone leaving WHO

why don’t you speak to me at all
about that face on whom my eyes do feast
and tell me I’m a wonderous beast?

That ovoid figurehead, slightly creased
beneath grey hair, slightly greased
looks back at me as if to say
I’m you, or is it the other way?

There are two halves to every brain
which is schizophrenic asymetry again.
So I’ve a mirror image there
hidden underneath my hair

Oh mirror, mirror, just between us four
Which is me, or are there more?
If I describe what I’ve got
Pehaps I can find me in this lot.

Two eyes to peer through blearily
blink some times and close wearily
Look left and right, and I suppose
to look down haughtily when I blow my nose.

That pyramidal lump, modestly bent
lets in air and heavens scent.
Pointing forward from it’s place
it gives direction to my face

Two lips that open and close
through which hot air blows
around one gastromaniac grin
where all the food goes in

A bearded chin is nature’s way
of making us rub and scrape each day
With me it is merely out of kilter
as it acts as a fast food filter
and If I stick my tongue out with some force
I can relish crumbs and cold meat sauce.
But now I stand in shock and awe
as I can no longer see my jaw

Eyebrows are lifted in surprise
as lids are lashed by hidden eyes.
A pale complexion, gleaming limply
on chubbiless cheeks, no longer dimply

With tongue in cheek and wrinkled brow
I think that is enough for now.
So mirror, mirror tell me true
I am me, but am I you?

in the bottom of my tea,
the dregs and leaves left below
would tell me which way to go.

I swirled the brew three times about
and the liquid tea I threw out,
then peered into the brown-stained cup
that recently had been filled up

What vision appeared before my eyes
from a fortune teller that never lies?
Just a little bag, but what does it say
– “here is the finest Earl grey”

Great joy did fill my heart
at last the reward for all my art!
I’ll be annobled like an ancient lord,
Give me my helmet, wench and sword

Put the wench on the left arm, sword on right
(or if the sword is left, hold the wench real tight).
Grandly lording over commoner and peasant
is good for the ego and rather pleasant

But what do I see, - a piece of string?
(Of this will come no good thing)
A winding road, brown and soggy
leads into the future, long and foggy

Climbing up the white cliffs of china
of my mug, as I have nothing finer,
it reaches the lip, edge of the unknown,
leaps over the crack and starts down

But for all descents there is an end,
Can this paper square be my friend?
Or will ”Sir thomas Lipton’s net weight”
be the one to seal my fate?

Not this time, as with heroic haste
I throw it into a bin for waste
then put the mug back in it’s place,
– so the future can leave no trace

(The next cup of tea – I’ll drink
rather than throw it in the sink)

Shaun Smyth peintre

as you while away the miles
My, how fortunate you are
to have such a super car

You may think that life is full of bliss
but something else the truth is!
You need a fortune for such a car
otherwise you don’t go far.

I drove our car to Grenoble
- purpose worthy, and steed noble.
For we have covered many a mile,
autoroute and by-lane. with a smile

I stopped, as one must do
to pay the Peage - pay my due.
But there the car did sin
I couldn’t put the gear back in!

crunch and grate
blocked at the gate,
at least it went into third
so I moved off, like a bird

like a drunken duck, or one-legged hen
I searched the town for an audi garage.
“But you must wait” said the servicemen
How long said I? “15 days”, - an age

So back I came with no stop.
With engine off, I could force it in
to first, third gear and then top,
to go, no problem - but how to begin?

That way I spent my holiday
waiting for a rendezvous.
three weeks to the day
but now the car is almost new

with new gaskets, transmission and clutch
all that was left was to pay the bill.
In a cold sweat I learn’t how much,
I lost my breath and I’m gasping still

Fourteen thousand, french not Euro
for both of us to be road-worthie,
to drive again both to and fro
just don’t tell me - that roads are free!

True story! I actually did 500 kilometres non-stop without food or water, as I had to stop the engine each time to be able to change into first gear.

Salomé is a lovely thing
dressed in nothing but a string.
She danced to please her papa dear,
full of filliale love, I fear.
She twirled and slewed
for the guests’ eyes lewd.
Not as a daughter oughta
but as mama had taughta

Came the moment of grace
when she slowed the pace.
‘Your dance was the best’
said Herod, impressed.
‘You can have what you wish
in your begging dish,
and if it pleases your mother
you can have another’.

‘Oh mama dear, what can I do
I want a man but I don’t want two?’
‘Ask for a bit for a start
then later you get the other part,’
said Herodius - queen mum.
Sal thought, ‘Heads or the bum?

I’ll flip a coin and see
which is the best bit for me’.

Shaun Smyth peintre