Dunhill Poems

Dunhill Poems

Beasts at a feast, ducks pressed, undressed
A table of grouse and meat
Gooseberry tarts near the nether parts
From the eggs to the tripe and the seat
Is my idea of an Advent roast
With mewling inebriate mirth
With two strong pints and a scowling toast
Wearing pants of a comfortable girth.


You are blessed with many flowers, Gilgamesh
Not the least of which may be this ebon plant
From which the amber blooms of immortality
Have cloven smoke and eddies in the air.
Yet consider this, my hasty king: in time
Your sons will pale and like the moon’s face
Turn quite black and die. Your daughters, cold
Not unfamiliar with the tomb, will fall
To drink the midnight lurking in the earth.
Where will you put your skull, O Gilgamesh’
The future past one century is alien
A town where names of riddles are unknown
And all you lay with are your long dead gods.

Gilgamesh Translated by T.E. Lawrence

For when the sun sets in the east
That’s the time that I like least.

Harry Lauder

I shall love thee till the moon
Shits on our skulls like snow
Till I meet my trolls at noon.
John Anderson, my Jo!

Goblins, gnomes, an elf from Perth
Few of whom you know.
Are how I got this size and girth
John Anderson, my Jo!

Robert Burns

Stone walls do not a prison make
Nor iron bars a cage
Yet if such stuff is only fake
All the world’s a stage.

Richard Crashaw

‘I must not cough and sneeze again,’
The leprous violist cried.
‘Whilst I join the string trio with bristling brio
Over the cellist who’s died.’

John Masefield

The mole in olden days was an animal more a mix of a hawk and a tiger than anything else. He could also swim in the deep like a dolphin; the mole was intelligent enough as well to build telescopes to scan the farthest of the stars and the colorless dimensions beyond those tiny clots of light.
One day the mole began to experience an enormous pain in his capacious brain. He perceived the anguish of life all over the universe. He intuited the hunger of the eagle and the wolf. He was privy to the miseries of fish and the terror of the armies of tiny plankton. He listened to the hushed wailing music of the grasses. He was moved by the hissing funeral songs of trees. He attended the discreet lamentation rites of clams. He saw the gigantic tears of the angels at the woe of humanity.
He decided to build a burrow. He did, and adapted his senses if not his intelligence to his home. To this day, whenever I argue with the mole about the pleasures of his former state, he says it was an etude in evil. I cannot change his mind. I wonder whether he is mulish in his character or whether he is right and I am wrong.

The Jungle Book Kipling

High messages from gods we get
Vague runes from any Sybil
Tint our robes both dark and wet
Most noysome as we dribble.

I reck not what Athene thought
Nor truths Tiresias had meant;
What has been, yet now is naught
Has left our priests incontinent.

Aleister Crowley

I feel the foaling fell of fall this Spring
If fools much filled with fowl may reck it snow.
I’ll put a skull upon my skeleton and sing.
I know the foe whoe low is slow to go.


A Georgian Plaint

A turbid melancholy in my groin
My dentist tells me I am mad
I know not what posh club to join
Where one can dine on sack and shad.

I find most tedious among the crimes
One reads about in noysome rags
A mirror of the London Times:
Large wars one take up under flags.

I think of privilege and kings
With little zeal if hardly pique
Over scones a vast charge brings
An order that may stand one week.

The crown has chased our fags to France.
Our Soho whores are quite obese.
Much fatigued by pox, romance
I’m mostly summering in Greece.

Sir John Squire

When I was three and twenty
Whenever a comrade died
From a life of crime and plenty
I cried and cried and cried.

When I was three and thirty
I outdid them by half.
I did what’s down and dirty
With a weird and twisted laugh.

A.E. Houseman

I feel the foaling fell of fall this Spring
If fools much filled with fowl may reck it snow.
I’ll put a skull upon my skeleton and sing.
I know the foe whose low is slow to go.


I know not whether I am real
Or whether you are too
I’ve long suspected there are few
Who know a lot; it’s no big deal.

Has progress made me like a earl
Or something nameless it’s so novel’
Would I be better in a hovel
Coupling with a Malay girl’

I walk amongst the pinks and heather
Thinking things most deep and more
Call me jackanapes or bore
I can’t make out the time or weather.

When I order turbot, poached eggs and quail
Washed down with a sloe gin fizz
Then think of our Lord and the Holy Grail
I know how sad life is.


Three polar bears
Sat snugly in a womb
Combing ivory hairs
In their warm pink room.

Then, dead or merely banished
Falling down a transom
One bear vanished
The eldest, the most handsome.

Yet was there one eye winking
At something they should know’
These polar bears were thinking:
Who’d mourn them when they’d go’

Deep within their mother
The smaller bears felt teary;
They missed their older brother.
They slept; they both were weary.

When the youngest woke
The other bear had flown.
Was this a cosmic joke’
He cried. He was alone.

If all our peers had perished;
We’d all feel quite annoyed.
He bawled; his close and cherished
Kindred seemed destroyed.

He heard a grumbling rumbling
Beyond his little night.
He fell, then, fumbling, stumbling
Blinked at icy light.

A.A. Milne
Robert Service Poems


The midnight orb was weak and strange
The moon had a hideous glow
Our dogs were sick from fleas and mange
In the endless blinding snow.

We have lived as most hero have chosen
Some voyage on tundra and ice.
Some burn, yet some others are frozen.
As the deities parse out their dice.

We had come to the Yukon for treasure
More dear than a guerdon of gold
More addictive than pain or pleasure
In the mystical Arctic cold.

I sniffed the wild fragrance of moose
As I looked at the Arctic sky
My mind felt insanely loose
Like a trashheap though God knows why.


Like one in the depths of a cavern
Surveying the fish and the bats
I took in at the men in the tavern
Wearing their elk-skin hats.

The sawdust was fresh with a fragrance
Like a sugared ambrosial spoor
If the faces of gunslinging vagrants
Seemed murderous, dark and dour.

The lushes were feral and frisky
Who guzzled the bilious brew.
Pouring the rotgut whisky
Was Dangerous Dan McGrew.

He recited a ballad both rhymeless
And sheathed with the sleet and the cold
Of lusts that were ancient and timeless
Hungers both primal and old.

It was time for a few decisions
While the roast beef was choice and rare
While the eggs were of Arctic pigeons
And the steak was medallion of bear.


You have heard of the ghouls of Nebraska
Who make love like an Indian squaw.
The deities foaled by Alaska
Who dance like an Cherokee masker
Will kiss as they shimmer and gnaw.
They will proffer whatever you ask her
If the harvest will sit in your craw.

Her throne is a golden rand kruger
Like cave fish and moles she is blind.
Huge and diseased as an ogre
Her dogs serve her egg nogs like sugar.
She slogs through the fogs of her mind.
She wolfs down elk flesh like a cougar
Like the Ogs and Magogs when she’s dined.

One offers her icons of snow
Images carved with flint knives
White with a nacrous glow
Enigmas a mortal may know
Heros and elders and wives
She devours their hunger and woe
As she swallows their hope and their lives.


I like igloos in Russia
The tundra is lusher
If wits at the Pole are superior.
All delight has its price;
I am partial to ice
I love the Fall in Siberia.

The Plutonian cold
Hides huge mammoths and gold
The Eskimos sit by their fires.
They stare at a storm
Where snowflakes perform
Like daredevils diving from wires.

My vacation solutions
Are not the Aleutians
The south wind can get to one’s gizzard.
The storms of Assyria
May make tourists wearier.
It’s better to tramp through a blizzard.


Some can look at a storm
Merely want to get warm;
The Eskimo knows what he spies
Crowning the sod
Is an icon that God
Has put there like Arctic black flies.

If one day we’ll be free
To slalom, to ski
Drinking martinis on Mars
Here Eskimos grow
Staring at snow
A galaxy whirling like stars.


When I think of the isles that some live in
Where coconuts drop from the trees
I thank God that one sinner was given
A life free of such indolent ease.
If I’ve known little else but travail
Now that I’m feeble and old
I am grateful for lands that are pale
As a lover whose toenails are cold.

I have fled from while wolves, shot at bears
I have tracked down the elk and the moose.
As I perish I offer my prayers
To gods neither dumb nor obtuse.
I praise them for giving me trouble
Grateful for all divine woe.
As I leave this cold world like white rubble
To go to a hell I don’t know.

I’ve met many a drunk who bellowed out bunk
Juicers who pulled down a few
They keel over and puke from a dunce to a duke
None were like Don McGoo.

Some in Winnipeg said that a yeoman called Red
Who drank slugs from a silver shoe
Crammed booze down a craw more than whales down their maw.
He was hardly a Don McGoo.

Don loved a fine filly whom many called Millie
She was bonkers for bilious goo.
After kissing in bars, they saluted the stars.
Milly was silly for woo.

If some barflies prefer to barf on a cur
Cling and then hang on the loo
While a lush flushes mush, fiercely, flashingly flushed
Not Milly, not Don McGoo.

Few women are fetching while drunken and retching
Milly was one of that crew.
Fewer are kind when stoned out of their mind
But one was: her Don McGoo.

Don would take in a whole case of gin
Swim in the shimmering brew
Stick Milly’s white feet in the clear aqua vit
Do doo-doo in buffalo stew.

They would go to the snow where the mu-mu herbs grow
Though Milly looked chilly, then blue.
They danced on the ice with the walrus and mice
Till both of them perished from flu.

At the funeral sermon the bibulous vermin
Observing the two from the pew
Saw their spirits arise, whirling like flies
Toward a carafe of aqueous hue.

Among the grubbers in the group
The diggers for goal who did poorly
The drabs and drunks sipping reindeer soup
None did so poor as McSorely.

A.A. Milne

The hissing of the sleds against the snow
Is like the intimate music of Plutonian fiends
Wandering over the stellar ice at the ivory edge
Of a frozen night. I heard yelping of wolfhounds
Like a fierce Arctic serenade. The sharp redolence
Of reindeer dung tickles my nostrils to a sneeze.
I am one with the snow and the colorless emptiness.
From a hill on the zenith of endless meadows of ivory
I hear the plaintive melodies of the white fox.
Quaffing a bit of rotgut apple brandy, I feel alone
In the whine of the blizzards, fur-lined but free.

Wilbur Wright

We know that Aphrodite’s dead.
Pan has fallen in the fen.
What and whom is in our ken
Are hardly those we’d love or dread.

Yet when I hear a sparrow cheep
I think of nightingales and such;
I dream of Adriadne’s touch
With miles to go before I sleep.