Walk This Way
Think of all the ungainly gaits you've ever seen:
by Tony Jolley
Mr Hobson in his polio callipers
Clomping his exo-skeletal, leg ironwork
Down the wooden school stairs
Drumming our approaching doom
Like tumbril to Madame Guillotine
Before he arrived on the scene.
John Cleese's, Monty Python
'Ministry of Silly Walks' walk:
100% gold-plated, bowler-hatted, pin-striped,
Umbrella'd, be-briefcased, British non-sense of humour
Parading its lanky angularity and ultimate ambulatory insanity
Down the pavements of 70s Whitehall
And into comedy history.
The former East-German Army's ceremonial Stechschritt:
That straight-legged, one-party-state showcase
On its short march to ideological extinction and failure's museum.
Their Greek guard comrades-in-choreography
Sporting their flouncing translucent skirts
And pumps with absurd pom-poms
Waving like the bobble on my granddad's winter-night bobble-hat,
Their legs extending and down-setting
Like a Crane fishing and desperately trying
Not to disturb anything.
The first research-lab robots
Labouring jerkily under terrabytes of programme code
To do what an adventurous sperm and awaiting egg
Plus a bit of nature and nurture
Can do without computation or calculation
No matter what the terrain or conditions.
Astronauts with their super-heavyweight boots
And movement-constricting survival suits
Dealing man-in-the-Moon-fully with 1/6th Earth gravity,
Trying not to make a fool of themselves on a billion TVs.
Drunks reeling and careering,
Unhinged and unbalanced in mind and body,
Their brains soused in Scotch
Or pickled in pints
Until thought and deed
Become estranged or deranged
For the duration of their alcoholisation.
Take all of the above.
Then, like God,
Or Dr Frankenstein, combine
Catalyse and electrolyse....
.....And there you have it, improbably:
Me in my ski-boots last Saturday.