By Eric Mark, Shropshire
When my next door neighbours relax from their labours
The cultural tastes they command
Are on display for most of the day
When they form an impromptu band.
My neighbour to the right is Windy Bedstead
He’s a prat of limited means
Who wastes most of his time in his garden shed
Gorging on tins of baked beans.
The nerd to my left is Ned de Vere
And he spends each hour he’s awake
Downing gallons of homemade supercharged beer
In his garden behind a wind break.
Now tinned beans and beer is a combination to fear
It’s the H-bomb dieticians deplore
If your neighbour breezes in after a pint and a tin
You’d be wise to keep open the door.
The music they make, from the windbreak and shed
Would make Chopin in his grave turn
He’d be glad he was dead, and shake a sad head
To hear the pair render his Nocturne.
On a summer’s night, by the first star’s light
Twixt the roses and dew sprinkled lawn
From the shed to my right, like an owl in the night
Comes the sound of wood being sawn.
Is it an Irish jig or the grunt of a pig?
Floating gently from Mr B’s shed
And can that be the strain of a Strauss refrain
From the windbreak of windbreaking Ned?
I take my place, on a stool or a chair
A baton, poised in my hand
As I prepare to conduct this musical pair
This cacophonous wind-powered band.
The birds have all fled far from the sulphurous shed
The evening star will shortly appear
As my baton I raise, to conduct the first phase
Of a symphony of beans and flat beer.
“Are you aware, that poisonous air
Is a hazard to health?” kind friends ask
To which I reply, with the wink of an eye,
“Yes, but I wear a gas mask.”