UXB

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I was prospecting on the beach

Just hanging out and doing my thing

You look a nerd with a metal detector

So I've a magnet on a string

The sun was high and the waves were breaking

Sighing as they relaxed on the sand

And I felt real good, and lucky

With my lode-stone swinging in my hand

I'd found a couple of cans

And a handful of discoloured money

But then I felt the pull much stronger

I was drawn like a bee towards honey.

Could it be jewellery, a tiara?

Or a chest of Spanish doubloons

Perhaps an unexploded bomb

Hidden deep beneath the dunes

I tiptoed very carefully to the nearest row of deckchairs

And pinched a plastic spade

While they ate sandwiches, unawares.

I pinched a bucket too

And filled it from the sea

Well you can't be too careful

With a potential UXB

And then with a delicate sweeping motion

I brushed away the sand

But I screamed with fright

And ran with all my might

When I uncovered a human hand.

A thousand dark thoughts flashed through my mind

As behind an ice-cream van I cowered

Images of gangland killings

And corruption amongst the high-powered

Crimes of passion, jealous murder

Or a desperate suicide

And a body, battered and buried

To be exposed by the tide.

Nervously I returned

And my heart nearly popped out of my mouth

When I saw that the hand was moving

And frantically clawing to get out.

I hit it with the spade

But that had an adverse effect

Cos I heard a deep-throated growling

A subterranean voice sounding vexed.

The sand beneath my feet began to chum

A hole opened up in the ground

And slowly a figure emerged

In padlocks and chains it was bound

In fury it thrashed and roared

As it shook the grains from its hair

A cloud of dust spewed forth

From its dark and abysmal lair

I thought I'd awakened a monster

By generations of old banished below

And sank to my knees in dread

Awaiting the fatal blow.

In its anger the beast roared "Who are you?

And why have you disturbed me?"

I don't know what words I prayed

Or if God really heard me

But when I looked up to see my fate

I immediately felt much bolder

He was a skinny little runt

And only came up to my shoulder.

He could hardly stand up with the weight of his bonds

My fears were completely allayed

So I pushed him back into his hole

And hit him again with the spade.

He said "I didn't mean to scare you

Please accept my apologies

The name's Iron –man Mitchell

I'm a trainee escapologist."

He looked so pathetic I helped him back out

And he struggled to get himself free

He was desperately trying to pick his nose

Cos that's where he'd hidden the key

"So why are you called Iron man ?”

I said with a certain disdain

He said "Hit me, right there, and you'll see why"

So I did and he collapsed in pain

It turns out he'd been practising

For his first professional escape

Being chained up in quick-setting concrete

Wearing only y-fronts and cape.

I said "I'm not impressed by your posing

Your galvanised links and chubb locks

If you don't show some rapid improvement

You’ll end up a  concrete block."

He took the hump, walked off and left me

No thanks, no reward, but I didn't mind

Because in his rush to get away

He left his watch behind.

◄ Monosodium Glutamate

Hanging Loose ►

Comments

Janet

Fri 3rd Oct 2008 10:56

Hi Mark,
( yes, i read your profile)

I like this poem. It's rhythmic and tells a good story. Very funny in parts, with a shocking twist in the middle.
Love Janet.x

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