Recently in Satire Category

The Rival Seers by C.J. Dennis

| No TrackBacks
In Sydney this week a man was sent to gaol for six months for having told fortunes by tea cup reading.

The queer discriminations used
   In this law-ridden land
Leave me bewildered and confused.
   What man can understand
Why this soothsayer they acclaim
   And with high honors hail,
While that poor prophet, sunk in shame,
   Ignobly goes to jail?

Because he peers upon a palm
   And speaks of things apart --
Of "dark men" looming strong and calm,
   To thrill some spinster heart
And wake fond dreams; or else, because
   He looks into a cup
And lies.  They say he breaks the laws,
   And coppers mop him up.

Yet, if it be against the law
   Men's fortunes to foretell,
What of that other man I saw
   (Indeed, I know him well)
Who on a platform lately stood
   And promised paradise,
Prosperity and endless good,
   If folk took his advice?

He had no cup to be his guide,
   No cards, no crystal ball;
Yet, heavens!  How he prophesied!
   You'd think he knew it all.
Dread doom awaited us, he warned,
   Death and destruction grim,
Lest we the other Party acorned
   And cast our votes for him.

Was he arrested on the spot
   And bundled into quod
For fortune-telling?  He was not,
   (I thought it rather odd)
Tho' his proud promise of content
   Was guess-work, clearly rash,
They put him into Parliament
   And gave him wads of cash.

The queer discriminations used
   In cases such as these
Leave me bewildered and bemused
   'Mid inconsistencies.
For while one seer with bays they deck,
   Tho' perjured to the eyes,
The other gets it in the neck,
   For far less whopping lies.

First published in The Herald, 16 November 1934

Joi the Glug by C. J. Dennis

| No TrackBacks
The Glugs abide in a far, far land
That is partly pebbles and stones and sand,
   But mainly earth of a chocolate hue,
   When it isn't purple or slightly blue.
And the Glugs live there with their aunts and their wives,
In draughty tenements built like hives.
   And they climb the trees when the weather is wet,
   To see how high they can really get.
   Pray, don't forget,
   This is chiefly done when the weather is wet.

And every shadow that flits and hides,
And every stream that glistens and glides
   And laughs its way from a highland height,
   All know the Glugs quite well by sight.
And they say, "Our test is the best by far;
For a Glug is a Glug; so there you are!
   And they climb the trees when it drizzles or hails
   To get electricity into their nails;
   And the Glug that fails
   Is a luckless Glug, if it drizzles or hails."

Now, the Glugs abide in the Land of Gosh;
And they work all day for the sake of Splosh.
   For Splosh the First is the Nation's pride,
   And King of the Glugs, on his uncle's side.
And they sleep at night, for the sake of rest;
For their doctors say this suits them best.
   And they climb the trees, as a general rule,
   For exercise, when the weather is cool.
   They're taught at school
   To climb the trees when the weather is cool.

And the whispering grass on the gay, green hills
And every cricket that skirls and shrills,
   And every moonbeam, gleaming white,
   All know the Glugs quite well by sight.
And they say, "It is safe, the text we bring;
For a Glug is an awfully Glug-like thng.
   And they climb the trees when there's sign of fog,
   To scan the land for a feasible dog.
   They love to jog
   Through dells in quest of the feasible dog."

Now the Glugs eat meals three times a day
Because their fathers ate that way.
   And their grandpas said the scheme was good
   To help the Glugs digest their food.
And it's wholesome food the Glugs have got,
For it says so plain on the tin and pot.
   And they climb the trees when the weather is dry
   To get a glimpse of the pale green sky.
   We don't know why,
   But they love to gaze on the pale green sky.

And every cloud that sails aloft,
And every breeze that blows so soft,
   And every star that shines at night,
   All know the Glugs quite well by sight.
For they say, "Our text is safe and true;
What one Glug does, the other Glugs do;
   And they climb the trees when the weather is hot,
   For a birds'-eye view of the garden plot.
   Of course, it's rot,
   But they love that view of the garden plot."

At half-past two on a Wednesday morn
A most peculiar Glug was born;
   And later on, when he grew a man,
   He scoffed and sneered at the Chosen Plan.
"It's wrong!" said this Glug, whose name was Joi.
"Bah!" said the Glugs.  "He's a crazy boy!"
   And they climbed the trees, as the West wind stirred,
   To hark to the note of the guffer bird.
   It seems absurd,
   But they're awfully fond of the guffer bird.

And every reed that rustles and sways
By the gurgling river that plashes and plays,
   And the beasts of the dread, neurotic night,
   All know the Glugs quite well by sight.
And, "Why," say they; "it is easily done;
For a dexter Glug's like a sinister one!
   And they climb the trees when the thunder rolls,
   To soddenly salve their small, pale souls,
   For they fear the coals
   That threaten to frizzle their pale, pink souls."

Said the Glug called Joi: "This climbing trees
Is a foolish art, and things like these
   Cause much distress in the land of Gosh.
   Let's stay on the ground and kill King Splosh!"
But Splosh, the King, he smiled a smile,
And beckoned once to his hangman, Guile,
   Who climbed a tree when the weather was calm;
   And they hanged poor Joi on a snufflebust palm:
   Then sang a psalm.
Did those pious Glugs 'neath the sufflebust palm.

And every bee that kisses a flower,
And every blossom, born for an hour,
   And ever bird on its gladsome flight,
   All know the Glugs quite well by sight.
For they say: "'Tis a simple text we've got:
If you know one Glug, why you know the lot!
   So they climbed a tree in the burgeoning Spring,
   And they hanged poor Joi with some second-hand string.
   It's a horrible thing
   To be hanged by Glugs with second-hand string.

Then Splosh, the king, rose up and said:
"It's not polite; but he safer dead.
   And there's not much room in th eland of Gosh
   For a Glug named Joi and a king named Splosh!"
And ever Glug flung high his hat,
And cried, "We're Glugs!  And you can't change that!"
   So they climbed the trees, since the weather was cold,
   As their great-grandmothers climbed of old.
   We are not told
   Why Grandma climbed when the weather was cold.

And every cloud that sails the blue,
And every dancing sunbeam too,
   And every spakling dewdrop bright,
   All know the Glugs quite well by sight.
"We tell," say they, "by a simple test;
For any old Glug is like the rest.
   And they climb the trees when there's weather about,
   In a general way, as a cure for gout.
   Though some folk doubt
   If the climbing of trees is good for gout."

First published in The Bulletin, 3 June 1915;
and later in
The Glugs of Gosh by C. J. Dennis, 1917; and
The Selected Works of C. J. Dennis by C. J. Dennis, 1988.

Author reference sites: C.J. Dennis, Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Satire category.

Sailing and Sailors is the previous category.

Science and Scientists is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en