Press Night

The show must go on
As if pain were so much motley
Your costume for the close of Act One
Calls for something jolly

The lighting grid that follows closely
Every tiny truth
Is signalling for sequence two
So hit your marker, move!

No tears may fall upon your cheek
For make-up will no secrets keep
And running down your chin to seep
Through dry-clean-only, borrowed, cheap

Steal hope for critic’s mild misgivings
Drowning in depressing clippings
Uglified by wig and ribbons
Pantomime with all the trimmings

Make dumb show and mime for laughs
How things are fine – they’ve rung the half
Don’t let us down, we’ve paid to see
Up close, what’s not reality

The Balancing Act

We cram them in
All sorts and types
And show them ‘sin’
Dressed up in tights

A high wire tale
Of bird and bee
The truth is veiled
For all to see

She tiptoes out
Along the line
With parasol
Come rain or shine

And does her pretty
Pantomime
To show the world
She’s doing fine

The rose she throws
To rows of seats
A thorny trick
For kids whose sweets

Still stain the hands
The cheek, the lip
That pales to see
This vision slip

As feathers flutter
To the floor
The wire dips
The girl no more

Is perched upon
Her roosting place
But safe below
And in disgrace

On artistic licence

Trying to learn sweet music by numbers
Is driving me nearly insane
For what beauty reaches the listener’s ear
If the whole does but total refrain?
What passion may lie in the breath of a sigh
Where the singer but counts up to four?
It may have been writ so, but ’tis not a bit slow?
Music equals more than the score.
I’m doing my utmost to do the notes justice
And hope the composer’d be proud
To hear such life given to what he had striven
To write down when sung out aloud.
Yet I crave your indulgence – I mean you no harm
And I hope my performance will cause no alarm
As you’re paying to hear me sing these lines tonight,
I’ll be doing them my way – so please do sit tight
And reign in your tongue, hark ere you criticize
Or the beauty may strike you right between the eyes.