Little Red Hen Produces Little Red Book
Little Red Hen
will in due course publish in
Top Pocket Editions, & on Audio cassette, & Minidisc:
Sydney Bernard Smith,
poet, satirist, playwright, performer of farinaceous farragoes unpleasing to the politically correct.
Speedreading any of This Man’s Work
Impair the Integrity.
In November 1998, Blair, after bombing Iraq again, pronounced from the doorway of No. 10, Downing Street.
“The world’s a safer place tonight!” - with babies in their graves,
& some of them in more than one... Resourceful paleface braves
fire off their missiles, & recoil at twice the speed of light
to wash their hands. They’ve made the world a safer place tonight.
4th June 1999 was the 10th anniversary of the TiananmenSquare Massacre. See the title piece (written some years before) of the publication brought out by Little Red Hen on that date.
early on, mist stood around
snuffling under trees in the parkland.
towards midday when I was out for a walk
the sun shone with clumsy October warmth.
my fingers smoothing the nape rolled
an infant spider into a crumb of agony,
dropped him away.
what if before cars & transistors
it was here the winter-sailing Vikings
fell from the horizon, breathless
with misdeeds to do, waded ashore
with bearded cries, clangour of fierce
metal - what strange thwacks did they
deal in the name of our weekdays?
a sputter of white low tide where
minuscule bathing figures, sunloud, are shouting
against the blue. their voices float
from ancient danish dublin. it is Thorsday.
Letter below appeared in The Irish Times, 21/11/98
Lord God or Lady God: some such utterance
bruised beyond blasphemy, back beyond feudalism,
or round the corner ahead past
relics of reverse sexism,
O origin of meaning, word:
I do not fathom
Tall grasses outside my window
wild wheat barley oats
flower and wave across a June sky
the steppe it might be thru
a tent-flap, that far back.
Their words rise from the dough of a language
that came with us, long long way.
Their tops will be climbed by relatives,
tiny spiders, who let off streams of
gossamer and float away on the air -
my cousin climbs Wittgenstein, my brother
took off from an extreme stalk of algebra.
My babies are forcefed lies about me -
at least they are not starving like millions
whom satirists can do little to help while money
governs humanity and publishers. Ah well.
Before ripping apart and gobbling
industrial quantities of grubs and insects
little birds screech and roar.
We hear it as music.
It is all music.
Hereby hangeth Tale. By one of those curious anomalies which conflue to aggravate a fellow’s native paranoia, (that tendency to seek for Political Correctitude not merely under the bed but skulking behind the chamber pot there,) the foregoing epistle did appear in The Irish Times; but lo & behold & janey mack, it is not to be found in the archive maintained for said date by selfsame journal. It’s as if one of the barely literate guardians - would it be too much to say Sistern? - who are charged with saving the PC face of the Old Lady of D’Olier Street, were to have come across what clearly slipped by the Higher Censor & to have said to herself “O begod we can’t have this sort of stuff at all! Sure isn’t that fella barred! Big Sister won’t be pleased about this!” And consigned the wretched screed to oblivion. Now as it happened the present S.B.Smith heard about this evident suppression of info - part of a pattern: see the Jack Hughes column elsewhere in this site - on his return from wintering in the Basque Country, went into D’Olier Street, asked for a back number for the date in question, & was told none was available. But there in the papers file in the front office was the letter, bold as brass. “I’ll tell you what,” said the very nice girl behind the counter, “them’ns are due to be ditched next week, & that’s the last copy, & if you like I’ll post it to you.” And so she did.
|[Litle Red Hen] [About SBS] [TP List] [Some Verses] [Some Prose] [Extracts from the Plays] [This Weeks's Performances] [Jack Hughes]|