I’ve not written enough poems about toes
Mostly because they’re not that interesting I suppose,
But for you, dear visitors to the shindig,
No task is too small or too big
With meta-tarsals and pinkies I’ll compose.
Where to begin this fulsome ten-digit tragedy,
No weather reports, sonnets or pathetic fallacy,
Straight into phalanges, proximal, middle and distal,
The subject of this rude, dumbshow epistle,
And a children’s rhyme to kick off this dubious commentary.
This little piggy went to market. See, it’s a serious question.
Was he bacon bound for some porcine transgression?
Did he go willingly, with his head held high
Or was he dragged forcibly from his compact and bijou sty,
A victim of capitalist meat-processing oppression.
Then again, maybe he was sucked in by consumerism
Went to market to pursue some pot-luck porking hedonism
Came home with shopping bags full of cosmetics,
A new wardrobe and trotters full of prosthetics,
To pursue his vain but futile hopes of animism.
The second piglet eschewed the active lifestyle,
Piled on the pounds, watching reruns of Jeremy Kyle.
He reached a plateau of morbidly obese,
On Four Lights curry chips and dodgy Chinese,
Till his weight rendered him completely immobile.
The third little piggy ate roast beef… from a BSE infected herd,
As her brain melted, her oinks became incomprehensibly slurred.
Drooling into her ample décolletage,
A hammy, lisping Nigella Farage,
She succumbed to mad-pig disease, her vision twisted and blurred.
The fourth porker in this tale, got none… and no sympathy,
No roast beef, no BSE, no Tesco vouchers and no empathy.
A starving Gloucester Old-Spot, her lack alarming,
Another victim of large-scale industrial farming,
Another by-product of humanity’s historical animal antipathy.
At this point, I’ve only got one ham-bearing beast left to describe,
But before we finish, to these words, a meaning I must ascribe.
This verse might be just verbal stuff and nonsense,
But these sordid themes have been long on my conscience,
My erstwhile vegetarianism, the genesis of this diatribe.
Ah crispy rashers and sausages, puddings black and white,
Slow cooked pork belly… mmm. On pigs, we humans are but a parasite.
The scent of muceil rosta is every lapsed veggies downfall,
My own appetite for our squealing cousins does appall,
Such is the poor Saddleback, Iberian and Tamworth’s plight.
But back to piggy number five, the one that makes every child giggle,
With his wee, wee, wee squeals, and his tail all of a squiggle,
To home he ran, waking the neighbours from their slumber
A profusely happy, imaginary representative of his number,
This fifth oinkful ungulate ends this alarming riddle.
So there we have it… a poem that started off about toes,
Addressed animal welfare, and modern agriculture’s woes,
Stopped by vegetarianism and ethical considerations,
With some added philosophical fluctuations,
You might ask what it means? Maybe only the Lord of pigs knows.