'Alf Term
All Saints?
Ambiguous Intransitive
Fishy Hereafter
Here and There
Lament of the Old Choristers
Lemon Baptism
Ode to Wetwang
The Ostrich


Looking through the dictionary
One dullish, autumn day,
I came across some lovely words:
(Oh no! I hear you say?)

A substance esoteric
Was thus revealed to me
Which in my wildest dreams I thought
Would never come to be.

"Tantalate of Yttrium"
Is what they call the stuff.
(I'll bet that if you needed some
There'd never be enough!)

I Thought of going to Sainsbury's
And asking if they kept
This "Tantalate of Yttrium"
As part of their precept.

"It's coming in next Monday."
Or, "There isn't much demand".
Is what I would expect to hear,
"Not new, nor second-hand!".

And then would come the question
Shopkeepers always ask:
(They've never heard of what you want
To do that simple task)

"What do you want it for?" they say,
To make you feel an ass,
Implying that they must know the best,
And you are second-class.

So I'm off today to Harrods
That super-super store
Who say that they keep everything,
And then a little more.

To ask of Mr. Fayid's folk
Who sell in Brompton Road,
"Some Tantalate of Yttrium!
And make it quite a load!"

But as for what I'll do with it,
Of that I'm not quite clear,
But with Harrods' reputation
They may have some idea!

November 1996

The Estate of William John Green, 2004