Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Magpie 21 - Guy Fawkes/Cracker Night

I’m in London for 10 days. The 4th of July prompt caused me to remember my childhood Guy Fawkes Night experiences – Cracker Night as they were called in Australia. To link with other writers who participate in Magpie Tales click here or on the image.

Cracker Night

Twopenny bungers exploding behind my back
Catherine wheels spewing fire as they spin
Tom thumbs like strings of sausages
sputtering and machine gunning in the dark
Rockets piercing the sky
ribbons of light in their wake
Backyard bonfires
throwing golden cinders into the black night.

No mention of the Houses of Parliament
Or Guy Fawkes or a revolution
An Australian tradition celebrated in isolation
So out of context
A ban on the event for public safety reasons
Was accepted without resistance
Except by the kids who threatened to refuse their porridge
And the local shopkeepers who stood to lose a fortune
All because some child lost his finger to a home-made bomb
And some neighbours' letter box went up with a bang
And imported toads ended up as a displays of exploding guts.

We’ve made the shift
from a nation of petty crims and larrikins
To become a Nanny state
which bans roosters in backyards,
Tells us our kids aren’t safe on swings
Puts fences inside fences in public parks
And spends our public money on fireworks displays
To help us all have fun.

Guy Fawkes and his crew would be aggrieved
Tempted to take legal action to reclaim
their intellectual property rights
over celebrations involving fire and fun.

(c)Steve Capelin.

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holla boys, Holla boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
And what should we do with him? Burn him!

Traditional rhyme

2 comments:

Tumblewords: said...

Some fine phrasing in this history based poem. Catherine wheels spewing fire as they spin - I'm not familiar with them, but the image is clear!

willow said...

Guy Fawkes would be aggrieved. Where are the good old days?