and I have been writing a poem a day.
For the last two days, the poems have been in commemoration of the iron lady, the Baronness Lady Thatcher, who ruled Britain during the time I lived there (and, of course, before that too). Others have given her kudos, and she has to be admired for her ability to transform her party and to transform her country and to do it all as a middle-class woman in the conservative party. These things made her great. But I remember apartheid, and I remember how she almost destroyed the British university system, and how she made Britain unwelcoming for British expatriates and overseas students alike, and I remember poll taxes and VAT and greedy millionaires and a general bleakness about the places I went in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a general unwelcomingness for people who were different, like people of different races or even, Maggie Thatcher and the Queen notwithstanding, like people who were not male. And I remember the fact that when I lived in Britain surveys of the British people revealed that the majority of them were planning to live somewhere else. And I remember the Falklands, as I remember Grenada, and I remember thinking how far the mighty empires had fallen, when greatness was sought by invading/fighting over small islands.
So these are my limericks in commemoration of the Iron Lady.
No, I was not a fan. But one couldn’t help noticing how formidable she was.
I call them Thatchericks.
Dear Maggie detested all whiners,
Hated unions, protestors, and signers.
As they marched in the street
She said “Shoot at their feet–
And aim higher if any are miners!”
An iron-boned woman named Thatcher
Resisted attempts to dispatch her;
She glared as they tried
And ignored those who cried;
The truth was, nobody could match her.
“Like Maggie,” said ex-Prez De Klerk,
“We’re sure global sanctions won’t work.”
—But wait, Nelson’s free,
SA’s gone ANC;
Thatcher’s stand’s a historical quirk.
“Here’s the thing,” opined Nelson Mandela,
“We all know I’m likable fella.
Maggie Thatcher’s just wrong:
We can’t all get along.
And by jove, I’m the fella to tell her.”
RIP Margaret Thatcher.