Works in the Herald 1935

The system of international barter seems to be on the increase. The latest deal to be effected is that of a quantity of whale oil for a new dock. Exchanges even more incongruous may follow.

Now, since man became a martyr
   To this economic stress,
He has sought relief, in barter,
   From financial wretchedness;
So, dispensing with the banker,
   If you've aught to trade at all,
Any thing for which you hanker,
From a needle to an anchor,
From a slipway to a spanker,
   Is at call.

So, now, what have you to proffer?
Make an offer!  Make an offer!
   Here's a punting gent prepared to make a deal;
He'll exchange a betting system
(All the winners, never missed 'em),
   For a pair of boots -- size seven -- and a meal.
Here's a trusted politician,
Giving up his great position.
   (Voters vacillate so shamefully alas!)
And he'll take a steady billet --
Confident that he can fill it --
   For a pile of Hansards and one nice gold pass.

Here's a motorist who lately,
   Slightly sozzled, bent on fun,
Somewhat prone, unfortunately,
   To the game of hit and run,
Just involved in a disaster,
   Swop one bent car, arted high,
Simplest in the world to master
(Eighty m.p.h., or faster),
For a roll of sticking plaster
   And a good, safe alibi.

Now then, what have you to proffer?
Make an offer -- any offer!
   A poet (licensed) offers here a chance:
Ten Centenary effusions,
Odes, one set of young illusions
   For a top-coat and a pair of unpatched pants.
Here's a City Council willing
To accept some concrete filling,
   Headache powders, and a quantity of bricks,
For some fancy flags (all nations)
Sundry faded decorations
   And a great, big blithering pile of lollysticks.

Herald, 14 January 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003-06