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The Grand Finale
By David Walsh

The Grand Finale
Highly Irregular Ode to Old Customs House, West of East Ham

The most coveted of flags is certainly four-square
And it's half-white, half-black too
Whether it's waved in triumph or despair
It is two-tone that will see you through

You see: there are two sides to every race
A little glory, a little failure, though lots more to muse
For there's a blur of grey flying high over such poles
That with great speed all should see contains more truth

Yet there's a right way to win and a sure way to lose
So stay upright, show due respect, that's the least you should do
And while you may still not finish where you wanted to be
If you tried, you did well - here's to you!

And if the controlling body's ever-weightier rulebook appears upside-down,
Backward, perhaps, alienating and, needless to say, somewhat,
With good sense we ought just edit the blessed thing
Meantime reject the all-white banner, for here that means surrender
While the black, including damning signifier, equals transgression,
Exclusion, and the point-less wages of sin

So with heads rapt in B/W set aside all colours beneath high, bright lights
There are double-points to be had in that play
PC (you know what I mean) would approve
The noble Pa...Pa...er, panda, would too
While zebra-skin leather has well-earned its stripes, you're surely aware

And when the scores are finally tallied we'll be the sum of all our parts
It's what teamwork's about, didn't you know?
We're all bound together in a common endeavour
And while progress is thought linear, our world is cyclical...so it goes...

So it goes...

So it goes...

And it goes so...

So...should the spoilsports make you feel
You're heading towards an exclusive dead-end
Then you must really get yourself back on track
Because no matter how impossible the ride may seem
Our course will not be a pure-straight drag
Much less some goddam awful cul-de-sac

(No brakes, you see)


This article was first published on 25th March 2015

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