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the shakes

Written by: Rg Gregory | Biography
 now pay attention
(said the teacher)
and look up here

the children looked up

this is william shakespeare

four centuries up
on a pedestal
was shakespeare's head

he was what we call
a great man

the children got sore necks
looking up
and some began to look down

no no
you mustn't look down
(said the teacher)
apart from winston churchill
shakespeare was the greatest
englishman who ever lived

the children's eyes
drained to their feet
and their minds
played around with
their private parts

shakespeare was once
a schoolteacher who
had a second best bed
and he happened to write
thirty six plays

and sonnets and things
he has a noble brow
as you can see

the children stared

from a dusty old head
and a mothridden beard
two sour eyes
glared down

from being a bit bored
then very bored
the children began to have
explosions going off
in many parts of their
bodies

 mutters came
out of their mouths
and then anger
followed by flames

shakespeare is a chauvinist
pig
 (they screamed)

why don't you piss off
(they shrieked at the teacher)
and take him with you 

now now children
(said the teacher)
shakespeare's language
was always as noble
as his brow
he will be shocked
to hear such words

some of the class jumped
on the teacher
(as the young are inclined
to nowadays)
  and
the rest began to rock
shakespeare's pedestal

no
please no children
(cried the teacher) 

you know not what you do
do you want to destroy
all that is good
in the world

the rocking went on
like an earthquake
and slowly
 up four
centuries of stone
shakespeare's head
began to wobble
and all of a sudden
it seemed to 
jump from its pedestal
and drop
 shaking itself
free of dust and
a beardful of moths

vandals desecrators
(raged the teacher)
wetting himself
no doubt

watch out
(laughed the children)
catch

 and the head
fell safely into
their outstretched hands

the teacher shrank away
(wet wet)
terrified to be so close
to the greatest but one
of the greats

the children flocked round
curious to find
what greatness was

shakespeare blew his nose
cleared his throat
(the last of the dust)
and said

 hello kids
i'm famished
what's to eat
tell me about yourselves
(and things like that)

he had a real face
and he spoke english
with a kind of
birmingham accent
and he didn't seem to know
much more than they did

he was always pissing around
(he told them)
when he was their age

the teacher gradually
came back
 very surprised
and (when he dared to look
at himself) obviously
very relieved

he went away and began
reading the plays
and (discovering
where he'd gone wrong)

got out of teaching



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