Children’s Verse
{A Bumbershoot Special Feature}


Paul Stevens

formerly of Leeds and Harrogate, late of The Strand, has taken up permanent residence in the Seventeenth Century where he may be found at the Mermaid Tavern, roistering intemperately and raucously declaiming verse from The Flea broadsheets.

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Bushy Tales

Down Hairtown way, they brush their noses,
    Coif their toes and ears;
In bars they order hair of dog
    Instead of scotch or beers.

They gobble curly noodles, slurp
    Fur ice-cream by the scoop,
But everybody’s favorite is
    The hair-of-waiter soup.

Served on a downy slice of bread:
    A snack that always pleases:
Tomatoes frizzed with fluffy moulds,
    And fuzzy, fragrant cheeses.

Their measurements are by hair’s-breadth,
    Their boots are woolly Uggs,
Their table legs are bristled thick,
    Knee-deep in shag-pile rugs.

Nostril-ringlets, roller-curled,
    Are chic; it’s never trouble
To sort and braid their armpit strands;
    Tongues sport a stylish stubble.

They gel their eyebrows up in spikes,
    Dye sideburns ultra-black;
I’ve seen a rampant Mohawk ridged
    Along one hairy back.

The famous annual Hair Fest
    In the Hairs-“R”-Us Pavilion
Shows every style, from Dreadlocks
    To Xtreme High-Quiff-Vermilion.

Now in decline, the sun sets, permed
    With purple tints and grey,
As sulphur-crested cockatoos
    Take wing and fly away.

Hairtown workers brush and comb
    The Hairtown streets at night,
As streetlamps sprout fine, whiskery
    Filaments of light.