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Pandemonium

by Tony Cottrell 

Posted: 26 August 2009
Word Count: 279


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NIGHTMARE ON FORE STREET
OR
PANDEMONIUM
(definition- a place of uproar, from Miltonís Paradise Lost-the first city of hell)

I love the smell of burning clutch
And bonnets far too hot to touch,
As cars and tempers overheat
At the bottom of Fore Street.
Misguided in their four by fours,
They mangle mirrors, damage doors,
Find thereís no ferry and whatís worse
Discover that they canít reverse.

And Mrs. Thingís sure sheíll be fine
So parks on the No Parking sign
Which blocks the exit for the dray
And means it canít get out the way.
Then vans pull up outside the shop
Of course, they need somewhere to stop;
As they disgorge their goods in turn,
The seething touristsí clutches burn.

And then the bus arrives on time
To save us all that dreadful climb
And buses stop -itís what they do-
And thus it adds to the to-do.
It has to wait, the schedules say-
And so of course it must obey;
Then, as departure time draws near,
The dust cart and its crew appear.

The men perform their weekly rite,
Transporting rubbish to the site;
They pick up what they have to take
And leave a snarl-up in their wake.
A visitor decides he ought
To offload all the stuff heís brought
Down from upcountry and so he
Attempts to drive up from the quay.

Then, over this aspect of Hell,
An ambulanceís sirens yell.
It tries to work its way down hill
To one old soul whoís taken ill
But drivers who donít give a damn
Have caused this selfish traffic jam
And by the time theyíve cleared the tide
The patient has already died.






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