Cro Cumaisc Etir Casbairdni Ocus Lethrannaigecht

This is an Irish verse form. The name means "Sorry, the translator can't take your call at the moment". No, I'm kidding. I have no idea what it means, and not much idea how to pronounce it, though I expect there will be a few "v" sounds in there somewhere. I chose to tackle it because it had the longest name of any in Skelton's book.

The form calls for 4-line stanzas rhyming abab, with syllable counts of 7, 5, 7, 5. Being Irish, the lengths of the rhyming words are also specified, in this case as 3, 1, 3, 1. Note though that the 3's don't necessarily indicate triple rhymes; the requirement is simply that the rhyming words are three syllables long. The stress could be on any of the three syllables.

This example was provoked (I hesitate to say inspired) by the "MP's expenses" scandal/hysteria of 2009. It amounts to propaganda for the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, a long-established and respected force in British politics. At the time of the 1983 general election, when party splits were fashionable, there was a rival group called the Green Chicken Alliance.

Whoever gets elected
Is in for five years,
But at once theyíre infected.
The bug brings cloth ears

And the power mania.
Insanity rules!
Each new lot is zanier,
And treats us like fools.

My MP, less savoury,
Brave and chaste than most,
Has gained by his knavery
A cabinet post.

Thereís nothing so sinister
And deadly as he,
So I pray the minister
Stays away from me.

His level of expenses
Would leave me no hope,
For my feeble defences
For sure couldnít cope

With that well-heeled enemy
Besieging my gate,
With his bite thatís venomy
And tongue full of hate.

With nuclear ballistics
Heís licenced to kill.
His employment statistics
Bring a deathly chill.

All his foreign relations
Have moved to my town.
Our hospitalís foundations
Are all tumbling down.

A torrent of mischances
Has broken our banks.
The national finances
Are ruined. Gee, thanks!

All is wanton destruction
For destructionís sake.
Thereís only one deduction
Anyone can make.

Now, after some initial
Misgivings, I know
Raving Loony, Official
ís the best way to go.

Though the monsterís appearance
Is troubling at first,
Unquestioning adherence
Will soon ease the worst

Of the qualms. A manatee
Is cute, thatís a fact.
And letís face it, sanity
Ainít all that itís cracked

Up to be. Show defiance,
Since weíre in the soup.
The Green Chicken Alliance
Is much the best group

To join, and my loyalty
Is firm; Iíve no doubts.
We stick up for royalty
And shun Brussels sprouts.

Letís keep Britain beautiful!
Itís still not too late.
A party thatís dutiful
Can two-finger fate.

Now Iím feeling prophetic
This much I can scry:
Our governmentís pathetic.
Weíll wave them bye bye.

Letís consign the deserving
To custardy holes.
Thereís no point in preserving
Their vile yellow souls.

Some are not worth forgiving,
So donít make a fuss
When you find weíre outliving
Those who oppressed us.

Thereís nothing thatís sinister
Or odd about me,
But I tell the minister:
Youíve had it. Tee hee!

As a child, I was always fascinated by the phrase "remanded in custody", which I kept hearing on the news. Immersion in warm sticky yellow liquid seemed an odd sort of punishment for grown-ups, but most of those who got it sounded as though they deserved it.

See also

I submitted this poem to the light verse webzine Lightenup Online, who rejected it. Better go there to see some better poems, then.

For another Irish verse form, see the deibhidhe.

Back to Verse Forms home page. 

© Bob Newman 2009. All rights reserved.

This page last updated 08/04/2009