So my second BODFAS approached and I was determined not to make such a mess of it this time. However, the fates are cruel and things cropped up. The phone rang as I was leaving, the car needed fuel, there were massive roadworks and eventually I arrived 10 minutes late and had to sneak in and sit at the back. Naturally as I reached for my glasses I realised I had left them by the phone. AGH! A fuzzy shadow play of pretty things followed.
Never make friends with an elephant-man;
For an elephant-man has a pet to keep,
Eating and drinking, awake or asleep,
And if you are friendly one day you’ll see,
When the elephant-keeper comes to tea,
That, not in the least by chance or whim,
The elephant will accompany him.
Then as soon as the animal’s through the door
You’ll notice cracks in the parlour floor,
And however much you may frown or stare
He’ll sit across-legged on an easy chair,
And swill your tea with his cumbrous trunk
Till you think ‘My Word, what a lot he’s drunk’
And if you should offer a mild reproof
He’ll be up from your table and off with your roof.
In your sorrows you’ll only sink deeper and deeper
If you ever make friends with an elephant-keeper.
Translated by JCE Bowen
Published in Poems from the Persian (Scorpion Press o/p)