Those who know me well know that I am heavily involved with many and varied charitable organisations, political quangos, quasi-political associations and committees and executive and non-executive board positions in major corporations and as such have insufficient spare time, as you may envisage. So when The Council of Allied Foundations (not to be confused with their arch nemesis the Alliance of Federated Councils) of which I am co-treasurer, asked me to submit an entry into their bicentennial poetry competition you may very well be able to imagine my district lack of enthusiasm for the venture. Unfortunately, for me anyway, this year’s poetry competition is rather important to the council with it being their 200th anniversary year, and as a result, I will not find it so easy to duck out as I may have done any other year.
Now there are a few things you should know about The Council of Allied Foundations; it is run in a very autocratic manner by their self-appointed “dear leader” Abdulfattah Feigl and his cronies. I only made it onto the board as a means used by the moderate factions within the organisation to somehow nullify the despotic Feigl. So far not so good on that score as Mr Feigl holds me rather in disdain and it is very seldom I even get to speak with him let alone try and affect change from within.
Feigl himself has been compared, less than favourably, to Joseph Stalin and I have to say there is more than a passing resemblance in looks and in deeds. He extinguishes dissent with ruthless efficiency and as an American colleague recently remarked, is “dug in like an Alabama tick” such is his iron grip on power. I have never made it so far as his inner sanctum where rumour has it he sits upon a gilded peacock throne (this may very well be fanciful talk). However, we recently shared an elevator ride and did manage to have a rather brief yet entirely harmless conversation about Plymouth Argyle Association Football Club, yet that really is as far as I have got.
The subject of the year’s poetry competition is “animals” (yes I know how resolutely dull, but there you have it). Now being the roguish fellow that I am I couldn’t resist using the medium of poetry to make a subtle point about the way things are run within the council.
Here is my entry, “Lenin Mouse”:
Lenin mouse, you cute, adorable guy
I should like to bake you in my communist pie
But first I shall remove your hat
For I wouldn’t like the taste of that
Now I do not suppose for one moment that I will win the wretched competition (and the very generous $75,000 first prize) and I will also probably be in trouble for the brevity of the poem. However, no one will be able to say I didn’t try and if, at the same time, I am able to make my subtle point about communist dictators then all the better for it.