Arthur and Politics

One quiet weekend afternoon, a week or two to go
Before the scheduled government election;
Was Arthur in his garden there, with spade and rake and hoe,
And his horticultural collection.

But then into that reverie, in leafy Nunawading
A stranger came by, walking past his house,
And interrupted Arthur from his mulching and his sodding,
By urging him which party to espouse.

Now canvassing the neighbourhood, he'd let the people know
Which party to support, and how to vote.
With every opportunity he'd clearly try to show
His party was the nation's antidote.

But Arthur caught on straightaway, for this was opportune:
Advantage could be made of this occasion.
This stranger inadvertently now had the misfortune
Of Arthur holding opposite persuasion.

So Arthur, ever gracious, stopped then for a cup of tea
To share with him, and have a friendly chat.
And Arthur asked him questions there, but yet he didn't see
What Arthur now was really getting at.

The conversation was quite deep and used up hours of time:
The afternoon was coming to an end.
And so they parted company; it surely was no crime
To treat a stranger like a long-lost friend.

And Arthur told me later, how he'd done his party's work
That afternoon while sitting in a chair.
With wasted conversation, while he tried to hide a smirk,
There was no time to visit then, elsewhere.

©Tom Chapman 2006





Notes on the Poems