The Ballad of Gertrude Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Doggerel #9)

This began as a Scribblers Flash Poesy challenge, on the theme of ‘gardens’. Given an infinite amount of free time, I’d sort out the rhythms but I don’t have an infinite amount of time and, whatever the merits of this piece, there are a couple of rhymes which, I think, deserve a wider audience.

-The lags repent at Her Majesty’s Pleasure,
For their lives of violent crime,

Till the governor alights on a countermeasure,

Watching Gardener’s Question Time
-If a man can’t be fixed by the regime inside, 

Redemption might come through unconventional routes,

He’ll find the Gertrude Jekyll in Mr Hyde

By getting him cultivating sprouts and shoots,
-He’ll turn the base, the vile, the felonious,

Away from their historic ills,

And have tend to ornamental begonias,

And cheery, yellow daffodils.
-It might seem an obvious mistake

To take a lout, and set him loose,

With a hover mower or a garden rake,

But if he’s occupied, watch his anger reduce
-They’ll sublimate homicidal urges

And turn their backs on Thanatos,

And turning instead to trimming verges,

And eradicating weeds and moss.
-The cons protest but it’s only a phase,

Till they learn the charms of liversedge,

And they find they’re embracing horticultural ways,

For the promise of infinite organic veg
-But alas, alack, the cruel prison warders,

Can’t quite suppress their urge to tease

They criticise the herbaceous borders,

And mock the inmates’ topiaries,
-The screws lampoon the yardbird’s sage,

And unwisely irk men doing thyme,

Till the cons’ chagrin give way to rage,

And they strike the guards down in their prime
-As missiles, variously floral or faecal,

Are thrown, the sneering, thuggish fools,

Learn how little it takes for Gertrude Jekyll,

To find a hydden use for garden tools
-The ensuing riot kills the governor’s scheme,

And he always knew it could finish in tears,

But didn’t expect to see the end of his dream,

Impaled on a set of garden shears
-And the crims use wisteria to scale the wall,

Leaving as monuments to our hero’s brave failure,

Enough cut roses to fill the Royal Albert Hall

And a man-sized lump somewhere beneath the azelea


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