Tuesday Poem: A Life Blighted By Pythons, by Janis Freegard


waiting at the bus-stop
all I can think about
is how my hovercraft is full of eels

but it’s not, of course it’s not
my hovercraft is practically empty
my eels are few

in fact they’re not eels at all
but a netload of whitebait
and it isn’t even a hovercraft

I’ve never owned a hovercraft in my life
I wouldn’t know what to do with one
it’s not even a dinghy

it’s a reusable eco-friendly shopping bag
and they’re definitely not eels
and not even whitebait

the truth is, I’ve never been whitebaiting
they’re just vegetables
and I only have one thing to say:

your eels
my hovercraft
now, baby, now

Credit note: “A Life Blighted By Pythons” is republished by permission of the author and of Auckland University Press from Janis Freegard’s first solo collection, Kingdom Animalia: The Escapades of Linnaeus.

Tim says: I am reading Janis’s marvellously entertaining collection at the moment, and I love this poem so much not only because of its intrinsic qualities, but also because of the shared cultural heritage it so vividly evokes. You can catch more of Janis’s wit and wisdom in my interview with her, which I’ll be posting later this week.

You can read all the Tuesday Poems on the Tuesday Poem blog – the featured poem is on the centre of the page, and the week’s other poems are linked from the right-hand column.