August 15th, 2008

Treasure Hunt

Here's a poem that relates to the last post. The reference to New Labour dates it post 1997, but the absence of dark political angst means it has to be earlier than 2001.

                                    TREASURE HUNT


                                    It's absolutely my favourite game:

                                    A girlfriend's dad had hidden sweets

                                    Along the hedge, among the roots

                                    Of the beeches at the end of the garden.

                                    What were they called? They were boiled sweets

                                    With claggy centres, each one wrapped

                                    In a paper with its particular fruit

                                    Pictured on it in living colour.

                                    Far too good to throw away-

                                    I kept the papers as souvenirs.


                                    Now I'm older it's coins I'm after.

                                    Bus stops are a good place to look-
                                    Anywhere that kids hang out.

                                    Kids take a millionaire's pleasure in chucking

                                    Their change from the sweet shop at one another.

                                    It's pocket money to me.  It adds to

                                    My brave, New Labour, carer's income.

                                    Look, I could mark you an X on the map

                                    For every pound coin and fifty pence piece

                                    I've found.  My best was a twenty pound note-

                                    Probably part of a drug gang's booty-

                                    Just at the corner of Primrose Bank.

                                    It's absolutely my favourite game.

                                    My name is Alan Quartermain;

                                    I and my friends are having to look

                                    For a treasure city ruled by a Queen

                                    In the burning heart of Africa.