Players celebrating after the game
A rather ordinary 0-0 draw v. Charlton at Cardiff City Stadium on April 16th and a match we could've won had Craig Bellamy taken the best chance of the game. Yet the quality of football didn't matter!
Charlton were yet another team who played in away blue, though their colour is red. Their fans, like Forest and Barnsley previously, chanted 'Come on you reds!', while ours chanted 'The blues are going up!' at a team playing in red. Totally bizarre!
Yet, for once, even shirts and crest didn't matter!
Vincent Tan, our corrupt Malaysian owner, sat in the Grandstand bedecked in red coat, 'an evil Santa' as my friend dubbed him.
And he didn't matter!
As the Watford score came through near the end (they were losing), it became obvious that, at long last, we were going up.
Recent years of failure in the play-offs - to West Ham last season and , more depressingly, to Blackpool at Wembley- were finally buried and forgotten.
So used to being nervous, I still counted down to the whistle even though Watford's game mattered more and , judging by all the singing, yelling and chanting, that was probably over.
Exactly 53 years before, Cardiff City had achieved promotion to the top tier with victory over Villa.
I was in a state of utter shock. Delight, of course , and repeated chanting, but I still couldn't take it all in.
Even on the pitch afterwards, with masses of fans taking photos and celebrating, it was hard to believe.
I've been through the very worst of times with the City, when we were in the deepest, darkest dungeon ; when police outnumbered fans and arrested them for fun ; when our reactions to some players was to laugh at them.
Now the Premiership was a reality : Rooney, van Persie, Bale (surely a Kairdiff boy won't destroy us?), Suarez (will he make a meal of it?), Aguero and so on.
Amazingly, I'd arranged to go to Burnley the following Saturday and my son booked tickets in their end , as we didn't have Away membership.
I showed uncharacteristic restraint when Craig Conway scored a cracker in the first half. If anyone asked, I was a neutral from Wrexham. I haven't been so quiet in a game since I went on my own to the North Bank in the old Vetch Field for a derby match! In those days, I was either a lunatic or very naive!
When Burnley deservedly equalised late on, I rose to my feet and clapped politely, not wanting to stand out. I could afford to be generous as news came that Hull were losing and we would be crowned as Champions that day.
We stayed behind to celebrate and , luckily, a few Burnley fans did likewise.
Our manager Malky Mackay was given the bumps, a sure sign of the superior strength and fitness or our players, to throw such a big fella so high at the end of a tough game.
Lots more champagne, but would our squad sober up in time for the Bolton match a week after that?
It didn't matter a jot , of course. As my friend said, ' You might as well give the match to them and get on to the really important stuff afterwards.'
As it happened, we looked sharp and in control early on, with Kim, Mutch and Gunnarsson dominant in midfield.
In the first half , they had one attack and scored from it. Substitute Craig Noone's cheeky free-kick was our equaliser, but everyone was waiting for the ceremony.
I have to say I'm not impressed with the anti-Swansea chanting which is racist ( anti- Gypsies), but it demonstrates the intense rivalry ( I can only hope Michu is injured when we play them next season).
When we chanted 'We're Cardiff City, we'll always be blue!' I was very proud of the many fans who echoed my own allegiances to the history and traditions of the club I love.
(I still have moments of disorientation, when I see 'red' and think I'm next to an away fan!).
The presentation was a time for players (and their little children) to take to the pitch, hold the trophy and acknowledge the fanatical support.
Many claim it's no time to look to the Premier and best to savour the moment, but I've do doubt Mackay has already been preparing.
As QPR have shown, money doesn't guarantee success, though Reading show the opposite is also true : there's a need to invest in new players of proven experience and quality.
Our scouting system abroad doesn't match Swansea's. Of the previously foreign-based players, only Kim Bo-Kyung has become a regular and only recently.
Therefore, I expect our manager to sign players from Premiership clubs either for reasonable fees, on loan , or those out of contract.
What better way to begin than by getting Leon Barnett from Norwich, who did a great job for us on loan? He has pace, calm assurance and the all-round ability to make it at that level.
It's exciting that so many big names are linked, yet much is speculation. If we signed Giggs, Beckham and Phil Neville we'd have a team of pensionable age.
The one player my son and I agree on is QPR's Loic Remy, a class striker who combines movement, pace and goal-scoring prowess. He's top of the wish list.
One thing's certain, next season will be memorable and , I hope, not catastrophic. Hopefully, we can follow the example set by Norwich, Southampton and, dare I say it, Swansea City.
NO MORE THE NEARLY MEN
No more the nearly men
those who write poems
yet never read them
shopkeepers who sell goods,
ignoring customers' feelings
inventors whose creations work
but don't improve the human condition
singers whose songs
only remain in a room
teachers with the qualifications,
fail to bring original thinking
chefs who refuse to share
their recipes with anyone
journalists who believe
headlines are the point of reporting
fans who think money alone
is what makes a team
no more the almost-made-its
no more the nearly men.
Theatr y Castell, Aberystwyth
THE BUILDING RECALLS
'Mum, when are you going to stop acting?'
my sister recalls a question, not answer.
The building recalls Wardens, AmDram Aber
and my mother centre stage
as ever, taking the spotlight
in any lounge or kitchen.
She never gave away anything,
her best role reserved for visitors
was Shocking Pink, as if conversation
began and ended with 'Lady Chatterley's Lover'.
It wasn't make up, but layers
of skin which concealed the truth;
hardened for years into sediments
like the chalklands of Cambridgeshire
we escaped to from my father.
She was all over Darlings
even when she let me go at eighteen
with a rail timetable, to find my home.
'Mum! When are you going to stop....?'
In the hospital bed, screaming the heat
of scorching veins, her dead weight
winched up and down, keening before her time.
Graffiti on the Falls, Belfast
This week I downloaded my first ever Judy Garland song : 'The Wizard of Oz' makes sense for the first time! Though I would've preferred to have backed Robert Wyatt's version of Elvis Costello's anti-Falklands War song 'Shipbuilding', to get to number 1 this week.
'Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead' will be played for 5 seconds on Radio 1, despite its chart position. The more you suppress, the more you make people angry. On the internet, dissent is widespread and vociferous.
I texted my friend the Bartzman with the news and he replied - ' Maggots 1 Maggie 0' .
A few polite and deferential writers appeared on Facebook asking for respect.
How could they understand?
Here was the enemy, gone forever.
Over £10 million will be spent on her military/state funeral, money better spent on building up the many communities she devastated, which have never recovered.
A person , more than any other, who carried out malicious and widespread attacks on so many sections of society.
An enemy I had opposed and protested against for every one of her repugnant policies.
Against her deliberate creation of unemployment which destroyed not just the Valleys where I live, but many other working-class areas and had been one of the main causes of riots in the black areas of Britain, together with the SUS laws, used to stop and search black people.
I'd protested against the way she sold off industries owned by the people, without consulting them and sought to decimate the Trade Union movement by taking on the most militant force, the NUM.
I'd protested against the war she began in the Falklands : so many pointless deaths of both British and Argentinians. Land rightfully claimed by Argentina, but colonised by the Empire, as with so many other places in the world, especially Ireland.
I'd protested against the appalling way which she treated those republican political prisoners in Long Kesh (the Maze prison). What respect did she show for one of them, Bobby Sands MP, in his brave struggle for a political status they had once possessed ? She called him a 'common criminal' in the House of Commons, when he died after a hunger strike.
And against those cruise missiles planted on British soil at Greenham Common, making this country a base for US global strategy and a threat to world peace.
She has been proved so wrong on many counts.
In n. Ireland, where Sinn Fein became one of the prime peace-makers.
In the Valleys and other former heavy industrial communities, where coal has often been replaced by opencast mining, just as 'dirty' and opposed by most people for its pollution and environmental ravages.
Oh yes, and whatever happened to that Nelson Mandela, she once dubbed a 'terrorist'?
She's been proved radically wrong about privatisation, the banks and the property boom she instigated.
All these have caused the huge economic problems we now wrestle with, that no political parties can solve, simply because (in their adherence to the free market) they remain influenced by Thatcherism.
Above all, as part of Cymru Goch, I protested against her iniquitous poll tax, which charged the same amount of local tax for everyone, rich and poor, irrespective of income or the value of their property.
It was this anti-poll tax campaign and its use of civil disobedience (non-payment) which, more than anything else, led to her downfall.
It was an example of what can be achieved when enough people
get together and decide to challenge an unjust law, many out of sheer necessity of course.
Yet again, the mainstream political parties failed to take a lead. In fact, Labour Councils acted as puppets of the Tory Government, sending the bailiffs in and imprisoning refuseniks.
I do agree with my friend and comrade Marc Jones when he says - 'I will dance on the grave of Thatcherism'.
Thatcherism is very much alive, as Cameron attacks the poor, low paid and disabled in particular; as public service workers are made redundant and face massive wage and pension cuts ; as education and the NHS (in England, at least) are privatised.
Mandela could forgive his enemies simply because the battle against apartheid had been won.
Despite the death of one enemy, her loathsome legacy lives on.
THE ONE TIME I SAW HER
( with thanks to Jean Perry)
We had this posh Head in the Comp.,
never had a clue about the kids ;
drunk dads throwing school shoes over walls.
Wanted to do something for the Specials
and I, who could always get them drawing,
was sent with them to London.
Furthest some of them ever been
was the Gower or exotic Coney Beach ;
eyes getting wider with every mile.
When we got there, Hyde Park,
whatever was happening had been and gone,
some military band or procession.
There was nothing special laid on
and we queued ages, van after van,
for pop and crisps and toilets flooding.
Some of them were crying - 'I wanna go home!'
I wanna go back to Blaenymaes!'
Home comforts, wall to wall swearing.
It was then I clearly heard them,
foot-thumps like beating of truncheons
on shields, hob-nailed boots of policemen.
A phalanx crossing quickly near us,
in their midst Mrs Thatch, the Iron Lady,
Milk Snatcher, where we lived the Wicked Witch.
Stepping rapidly like escaping a bomb scare,
a military operation till she stumbled
and fell over a coke can; the kids laughing.
Now she has fallen so much further
and not all those staffs and helmets
can offer her any protection.
Barry Island photo by Mike Vaughan
DOWN TO THE PAN-WASH
This was the lowest you could get
down to the Pan-wash,
just the two of us
and nobody wants to talk
to the very smelliest.
Drains and sinks clogged,
meals’ remains like vomit,
Health and Safety sniff
and then move on rapidly :
we are beyond remedy.
Such a long way from Red Coats
with their stage presences,
or Security with their badges ;
even from the lines and kitchens
where there are others to share it.
My workmate’s toiling in his pants
and doing penance for sins
he simply won’t confess,
as I‘m scrubbing and scouring
pot after plate after pan.
Hands lost in the scummy water
and the rank odour of rotting food
sticking in my nostrils and throat ;
a thirst long as Barry Island beach,
taste like sea, my skin’s drip.
Dyma’r drws i’r gorffennol,
y llwybr fach yn fy mhentref fi.
Dyma’r ffordd dw i’n cerdded,
er gwaethaf cyfarth y ci.
Coeden afal sur wedi mynd nawr,
dim ond waliau yr ysgol newydd.
Diflannodd y sticil dros y nant hefyd:
arwydd o berygl ar y ffens fawr.
Ro’n i’n arfer chwilio yn y gwern
am frogau bach, gyda fy mhlant,
ac roedden ni’n bwyta mefus gwyllt
yn y lle o greigiau, o’r hen bwll.
Dyma’r drws i’r dyfodol,
o diwedd y Waun ( y tir ail-eni);
yr ystad tai newydd sbon,
lle oedd mwyar duon wedi tyfu.
Here’s the door to the past
along the thin village path.
This is the direction I take,
despite the dog’s loud bark.
Crab apple trees all gone now,
only high walls of the new school.
Stile by the stream taken down
and replaced by a DANGER sign.
With my children, finding the marshland
and frogs to hop from their tiny hands.
We would eat wild strawberries,
grew among rocks where mines used to be.
Here’s the door to the future
where wildness of the Waun’s no more;
an estate of brand-new housing
where blackberries once grew for picking.
Cardiff City 3 Blackburn 0. Just another result and ,to many, irrelevant.
Even to us Bluebirds, it's not as if we've won anything yet; not as if we've clinched that promotion to the Premiership which has eluded us for so many seasons of almost-wons, especially that Play-off Final v. Blackpool at Wembley.
Yet, for the first time this season ,on Easter Monday, I actually dared believe we could do it, that we wouldn't follow the Spurs in our tradition of end-of-season collapses.
Despite the fact that Blackburn are a club in crisis with a caretaker manager, they have a sufficient number of players of both class and reputation to be respected: top scorer Jordan Rhodes, Leon Best who has played well in the Premier with Newcastle and the experience of Scott Danns and Danny Murphy, both accustomed to the higher league.
On paper ,at least, they are stern opponents. In reality, they achieved one disallowed goal, one shot which hit the bar and little else.
Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay at last altered our formation and accomodated both Kim Bo Kyung and Jordan Mutch, big money buys who have promised much (forgive the pun) but delivered less.
Mackay's 4-1-4-1 system proved a masterstroke. Whittingham, who has faded badly as the season went on, was relegated to the bench for the first time and Gunnarsson filled the holding role he does so well, with his extra running and tackling power. Kim and Mutch were given the freedom to dominate midfield.
Both were superb in the first half till the latter tired, but Kim ran the game throughout with a brilliant display of movement and passing and he never shied away from a challenge. A neglected player, he proved his point and, if we make it, will be crucial in the Premiership, as will the complimentary Mutch with his forceful, direct approach.
Bellamy and Conway always threatened on the wings, while Fraizer Campbell was full of pace and running up front in a solo role which Mason filled even better when he came on as sub.
Every player had an excellent game and, yet again, left-back Taylor was outstanding both defensively and with his timely overlaps and dangerous crosses.
New loan signing Leon Barnett should be snapped up end of season, as he reads the game well and has the kind of pace we generally lack at centre-back. His distribution was invariably effective.
More cause for optimism comes from the fact that our squad is a young one. With the exception of Bellamy, Marshall and captain Hudson, the average age is about 24.
Unlike any other season, we have great strength in depth. The fast and tricky Noone didn't even get on, while Joe Mason (hero of the valiant League Cup Final defeat to Liverpool) came off the bench to score a fine goal and make the penalty.
In recent months, Mackay has become rather obdurate and inflexible in his Dave Jones-style adherence to 4-4-2. The Blackburn game changed all that and - although we may need two holding players if we make it
( Swansea style) - the way we played football was a joy to witness.
Swansea fans still like to think of us as imitators of Stoke's tactics and - though we do score a fair share from set pieces - we made more chances than any other game from open play.
Apart from Gestede and Helguson ( who plays much less often), we don't possess the aerial, physical players which Stoke rely on in abundance and we certainly aren't a team to wreck the opposition with cynical challenges (which Blackburn are!).
With Kim in control, our play is full of movement and subtlety, enabling the likes of Bellamy and Campbell to thrive.
Maybe my excitement's premature and we'll go to Watford next Saturday and the Championship's top player Vydra will bring us crashing down to earth in a fall from great height.
However, I'd like to think my optimism's not misplaced, even though we are experts at blowing it.
GETTING USED TO HEIGHTS
Like a roofer,window-cleaner or scaffolder
I'm getting used to the heights.
They are frightening and I'm always
staring down at the opposition.
I should be in my element,
a bird, after all, and not mythical.
My blue camouflage with sky behind,
yet my wings made of paper.
I'm accustomed to falling
every season like a lemming.
I catch glimpses of the horizon :
tall, bright towers of stadiums.
If it happens, there'll be a causeway
and we'll stride in our thousands.
AT THE POINT OF TURNING
for Herbert Williams
Herb, I know how hard it is just to get out,
but I half-expected by the front
at the end of the promenade,
to see you and Dorothy again.
You always say – ‘I’ll try to make it!’
The Big C you write to laugh off.
This town which gave us so much:
Aber Boyz erioed erioed
(Parrys of the word not note).
Now it’s like different generations
side by side, yet not communicating.
Young and lively grandchildren
with their names yn Cymraeg,
with a sense of just-born pride.
The middle-aged hinterland
of trekking boots and retail parks
and photocopy geography of familiar signs.
Blanked-out windows and scaffolding,
joints swollen by the salt-damp
and just a stick or metal frame.
Herb, I tell myself it’s all for summer,
that paint will dry for another season
when I’ll meet you there, at the point of turning.
None of the main political parties in Cymru (and especially not the ruling Labour Party) offer the correct, lasting solutions to problems in education.
In the past I've blogged and given a whole variety of proposals which may have seemed revolutionary, but many of which work in what is regarded as one of the most successful countries in terms of their system, Finland.
The problem with the Labour Party's very limited efforts in Wales is their smugness in relation to a Tory-dominated England, where the ludicrous Gove is attempting to force their education back to the 19th century. With 12 times tables,learning by rote and the ascendency of Greek and Roman in Primaries, what next, compulsory 'fagging' in Secondaries?
Under Leighton Andrews in particular, Labour have merely gone forward by virtually standing still, with any reforms tentative and lacking any real direction.
I'd like to suggest some reforms which could be carried out more easily than my previous calls for schools to be democracies and for the abolition of exams and inspections.
We need a system intrinsic to Cymru and these would be just a beginning.
I would firstly alter the Foundation Phase(one of Jane Davidson's pet policies), which is rapidly creating a crisis in literacy and numeracy.
Learning through play in early years is laudable, but reading, writing and basic maths (not through formality, but enjoyable means) must be a priority and this focus should continue until all pupils can access the rest of the curriculum.
Assistants should be deployed - as far as possible - in these areas alone, rather than supervision of so-called 'controlled play'. The latter is vital, but must be part of a balanced approach.
Class sizes need to be rapidly reduced, with a norm of 20, by the appointment of more staff. In times of cuts this would seem an impossibility, but I'd advocate the evening out of salaries, so that rewards are given to those who remain in the classroom not those who seek to leave it.
At present, one of the most absurd aspects of the system is that the way to get on is to get out.
I recall one Deputy Head who was filled with horror and dread at the thought of the one lesson a week he had to teach.
What matters in schools is having excellent teachers who are committed to pupils' improvement. This seems self-evident, except the whole structure is geared towards attaining posts in management and all the energy of younger, ambitious staff channeled into learning administrative skills rather than classroom ones.
Not only must they be rewarded for staying in the classroom, but they must be empowered with regard to the curriculum.
Training Days should be largely devoted to producing new resource materials with the assistance of hands-on advisers and the sharing of 'good practice' with other schools.
With the re-introduction of the importance of coursework (all to be done in school time, however) then teachers could once again play vital roles in the development of both local and Welsh national curricula, as they know what is best suited to their pupils, not distant academics and examiners.
One sure way to combat alienation and truancy would be to involve pupils also in the framing of their courses. They need not merely to be consulted, but to have genuine power over both approach and content. This happened under GCSE 100 and 50 % coursework options and it could happen again, in a revised form.
If both teachers and pupils are freed from the ridiculous obsession with testing and league tables ( including Leighton Andrews' anomalous 'banding'), they could achieve so much more.
All it takes is a wider and more long-term view of what education entails and I am very disappointed with so-called progressive parties like Plaid Cymru for the complete lack of imagination in their policies.
Finally, I have spent the last month ( one session per week) at Coed-y-dderwen Primary, on the Gellideg estate in Merthyr.
Merthyr's education system has been decreed as 'failing' by the inspectors of Estyn, who have highlighted the local authority as culpable.
However, I experienced the exact opposite. Working with Years 3 and 4 I was constantly inspired by their enthusiasm and enormous willingness to learn.
Their work will be showcased at the Global Village in Cyfarthfa Park in May, when I am looking forward to seeing them perform the poems they created.
THE INSPECTOR'S ADVICE
Take down the poetry from your walls,
replace it with comprehensions.
Show me your attainment targets,
I want to see red marks strong.
Always keep your distance
and fill in every form.
You talk as if they're friends ;
they'll bring you down.
Your lessons need more focus,
those anecdotes are straying.
Show me your plans :
'You haven't written anything?'
Imagination's all very well
but it doesn't pass exams.
BUS STATION BLUES
i.m. John Martyn
I got them
bus station blues
some of us head for mountains
some for villages and towns
some to shop in the city
some to hospitals and surgeries
hoping we're not going to lose
got them bus station blues
down the tubes pigeons are winging
smokers sit on the iron barriers
dragging deep the days,
others dazed by mid-day booze
got them bus station blues
some of us are carrying too much
some are shrivelled with worry or disease
some can only move with sticks,
some cling close to each other
like a poet and the Muse
got them bus station blues
someone's waiting after the timetable's over
someone's waiting for the late night run
with no lights , no destination
pay with your life, you do not choose
I got them
bus station blues.
When my manuscript for my latest book 'Barkin!' was accepted by Carreg Gwalch I texted my daughter.
'Book just taken by publisher. Barkin!'
'Isn't that a good thing?' she replied.
Titles like this can cause confusion. I have to thank the Bartzman for his favourite word, who in turn blames his wife.
Even he asked me where the 'g' had got to, when he saw the cover.
'Barkin!' is fitting for a book which includes a plethora of either slightly or very crazy characters, including the collection of people in 'Owlin at-a Moon' who join in with a wolf chorus in the smokers' yard of a pub down town (see the photo above, where it's set).
I seemed to encounter a whole succession of people wandering around in various guises, such as the girl who dons a blonde wig on the bus, a posh pirate who invades our Open Mic. session and, above all, the infamous 'Dress-up Dave' who used to inhabit the Merthyr streets in multifarious disguises, one of his most intriguing being Dave Hitchcock, brother of the famous film director!
Dave - a native of Ponty - moved his one-man fancy dress show to Cardiff and then disappeared. I just hope he hasn't been locked away.
With the exception of the story 'Screwy' - written from a schoolboy's perspective - the vast majority of poems and stories take place in the town of Merthyr itself : bus station, Magistrates Court and supermarket for example.
Dialect is the closest way to express the language of these streets. My connection with the town now is through friends and also the time I spend in those very places where these are set. I have generally shifted away from the many school-based poems of my other two dialect books 'Graffiti Narratives' and ' Coulda Bin Summin' ( which one wag thought was in Arabic!).
There are still a few inspired by the classroom and one is 'All Poetree's Gay', where the narrator has won a poetry competition, but is overcome with embarrassment as his school friends dismiss poetry as 'gay'.
Humour is fundamental to the book, just as it is an important way of coming to terms with suffering and struggle. The main character in the story 'Bus-station Clinic' (to be featured in the website Americymru's 'eto' magazine) believes the bus-station's full of people who need curing. He devises various strategies and weird inventions to address this problem.
I know there's despair in the book as well, yet it reflects a time when many people are finding it increasingly hard to cope. One of the best examples is the narrator of 'Em'tied Lives' who is about to lose his house through repossession, after working so diligently to build up his family's life, sacrificing his relationship with his children in the process. It's all too familiar story nowadays.
While some of my poems are entirely fictional, such as this one, others describe a real incident and embellish it.
'In-a Bus Shelter' is about an encounter with a very gruff, deep-voiced Cockney transvestite when I was travelling from Ebbw Vale to Llanhilleth.
Sometimes a poem can begin with realism and then lift off into realms of fantasy, as in 'Ewman Advert', where I'm standing near to KFC in Cyfarthfa Retail Park.
The sheer intensity of the smell transform me into a standing advert (with more than a nod to Kafka), a weird creature with chicken legs and breadcrumb skin!
I am fascinated by taking a persona which is far removed from my own experiences, but also much more comfortable using a voice not far from my own, as observer. This is something I've embraced more readily, even though my own accent is definitely not the local one. Perhaps there's an inner voice ( I have one for Cymraeg at times also), which translates certain aspects of life into the vernacular.
The cover is the most arresting of any of my books ; the painting 'Blwyddyn o eira, blwyddyn o lawndra' by the brilliant Merthyr artist Gus Payne.
A thick-set man, arms outstretched, has his face open to a snowy sky, while his dog is obliviously intent on eating from a bowl.
He's on his knees and catching the fullness of the falling sky.
It's a 'barkin' thing to do, in front of railings which guard a chapel, on the grass with a wind-bent tree in the background. It's 'barkin' yet somehow right : a fitting celebration of feather-fall, of cloud-crystals downing.
It all makes sense in the same way as 'Doc Dyer' from 'Bus-station Clinic' tries to treat the drug-addicts with his own-made remedy . In a different dimension, his madness has an inescapable logic.
Lately I seen im
totelee without Fancy Dress.
It's like spottin
yewer footie idol
in a suit,
or some lush model
with all er clothes on.
Ee wuz carryin
full o shoppin.
Ee wore a grey suit,
white tie an shirt
with-a hankie in-a pocket ;
is silvery air
woz plastered down
in thick, greasy strands
tryin t ide is baldin,
it ung in a wiry web
right above is fore'ead.
Makes a change from D-Day Dave,
Mr. Universe Dave or Crocodile DunDave
with is corky at,
or April Fool's Dave with jester bells.
I wan'ed t peek in is bags
t see if they woz full o costumes
t keep us all cleckin -
'Barkin? Ee's-a definition o barkin!'