a long time ago in the time of the hippy
a wee small boy who was mostly happy
was sent to school where he was told
aged only five
that he needed “a rocket up his backside”
just a figure of speech you understand
no firework insertion was really planned.
on the face of it the boy was bright
he could read and he could write
before attending any schools
and though he had these useful skills
his teachers (who should get a mention)
demanded much of his attention
and asked him every single day
“you boy! what did I just say?”
a dastardly and cunning ploy
to snare the inattentive boy.
the boy thought this a horrid ruse
this academic subterfuge
for no one said there would be questions
if they had asked him for suggestions
he would have told them to forego
these tests of what a boy should know.
the truth is most of what they taught
was lost in waves of idle thought
his ceaseless inner monologue
made learning stuff a tiresome slog
then at the end of every term
they’d send reports to make him squirm
and sadly the accompanying letter
would say the boy “could do much better”
although in fact this wasn’t so
it wasn’t that the boy was slow
it’s just he had a certain pace
for life is long: it’s not a race
and one way or another friend
we cannot help but reach the end.
the boy has grown to like his brain
(it would be futile to complain)
it entertains him day and night
as neurons randomly ignite
a stream of consciousness whose sparks
are fuelled by overactive quarks.
that’s just a theory by the way
what causes it? well who can say
and if the boy had just one wish?
he’d prob’bly choose a Babel fish
or some other memory aid
though brains are tricky to upgrade
they don’t have an expansion slot
you do the best with what you’ve got.
a theory which may yet be proved
if his memory were improved
the boy might lose his inner voice
which seems to be the Devil’s choice
his brain is set on constant shuffle
an inner monologue kerfuffle
which drives him crazy: keeps him sane
but let’s be frank and make it plain
to him his daydreaming is cool
although not valued much at school
“you boy, what did I just say?”
that’s what they asked him every day.
don’t rush the ruminating boys
protect them from extraneous noise
they’ll get there – just a little later
don’t cram their heads with endless data
that’s what the internet is there for
creativity is therefore
simpler with a broadband router
smart phone, tablet, or computer.
the boy is in his fifties now
been married over thirty years
his wife still sends him to the shops
to buy comestibles and beers.
when buying two items or fewer
from the baker or the brewer
the boy will mostly get the gist
but more than that requires a list.
his true love is a patient soul
she knows his foibles and his quirks
and circumvents them on the whole
a strategy that sometimes works.
and he is grateful; he is glad
his ever loving, caring wife
knows exactly how his mind is
(he hopes it doesn’t cause her strife)
without her he’d have lost his marbles
this disorder’s running rife
without her he’d have drowned for sure
a long time ago in the water of life.