Works in the Herald 1933
I forsee a dread day, fast approaching,
   When I sha'n't have a shirt to my back.
For hue after hue is becoming taboo;
   And already the red, brown and black
Are denied me; for Bolshie and Nazi
   And Fascist claim those for their own:
And I simply refuse to be saddled with views
   Advertised by my underwear's tone.

Now, my urge is political freedom
   With no party or "ism" I flirt.
And I won't bear the brand of some organised band
   That can put on its creed with its shirt.
Such chameleon methods appal me,
   So my wardrobe is narrowing down
To the neutral in hue, and I've now but a few
   Since discarding the red, black and brown.

But I tremble with fear for the future:
   For the day may be clearly foreseen
When a blue-shirted band will arise in some land
   To oppose a mob mercered in green.
And so on, right down thro' the spectrum
   Till no color may shield me from hurt.
Take my lands; take my gold, all the treasure I hold!
   But, oh, leave me my soul, and a shirt!

Herald, 12 April 1933, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2006