• A Tale of the West - by David Beaumont



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  • The Wrong Sheriff

    A Tale of the West - by David Beaumont

    Most fair-minded folk just want to live life

    In a way they agree avoids trouble & strife

    But there are some among us who consume every day

    In holy pursuit of clout, muscle & sway


    Yes - this is a tale of people & power

    About folks with a hunger that tends to devour

    And the folks who do feed it – yes, us my dear friends,

    So shuffle up close and let it commence…



    Back in the spring of ninety-seven,

    Good folks sniffed a scent of heaven…

    The Tory Gang were booted out,

    Clutching stuffed brown envelopes - and the odd case of gout


    Blair was the man who rode into town,

    Silver tongue spinning - he blasted them down

    On a gleaming white stallion saddled in red,

    The people's New Hero put the bad guys to bed


    The townsfolk rejoiced at the great Tony Blair –

    "A man we can trust to make this town fair!"

    “Look at his smile! and shining, bright eyes!

    Sincere as they come! He's one of the guys!”


    The Silver Star was pinned to his chest

    And he cried to the people - “I’ll do what is best!"

    Tony is here! “Hip Hip Hooray!”

    True hope restored! - what a glorious day!


    And it did seem that day that a new dawn had come

    “Things Can Only Get Better” - The song that they sung...



    But was there some detail that passed us all by?

    Did his smile freeze discreetly; in the blink of an eye?

    Was the handshake too eager to be truly sincere?

    And what were those welts on his white stallion's rear?


    It's hard to recall, except simply to say…

    We saw what we wanted: a hero - that day...



    But as folks waited, for wrongs to be righted,

    Came murmured reports that Tony was sighted

    On the edge of town consorting with bad guys

    But he smiled a bright smile and said, "Honestly - it's all lies.


    You know me - I'm Tony Blair,

    And yes I do, I really do care”

    The townsfolk smiled back, for this was their man

    Who’d vanquished the Tories and laid the 'New Plan'


    Yet Tony's face began to change,

    One eye stared longer, looking mildly deranged

    His smile - once so natural, now stretched like elastic

    Across teeth whose enamel bore the cheap glint of plastic


    Those eyes, yes they shone - with a light much too bright!

    And folks now did wonder if they had done right...



    Then, there were rumours of a nature more strange:

    A ranch hand spied Tony riding out on the range

    At midnight astride his white stallion, buck-naked

    Except for great spurs, which drew blood at each kick


    ‘Til he reached the Great Cactus towering eighty feet high

    A great hand hailing Caesar as it split the night sky

    By the full moon's pale glow he took its salute

    Stiff backed and righteous in his Emperor's suit


    With a lash of his whip he wheeled the horse round

    Kicking all the way back as the blood trickled down...



    Soon after this his grip on town tightened

    Taking total control - the people grew frightened

    "What is happening to him?” they each asked - and “Why

    Is he doing these things? - Just who is this guy?


    This ‘hero’ of ours, this ‘Tony Blair’,

    Who we truly believed would make this town fair?”



    So, late one night, they concocted a plan

    To uncover for sure the heart of this man.

    They crept up the main street, broke into the gaol,

    Forced open his desk and searched through his mail.


    And there, on one ominous, vellum page

    Was the sight that would shatter this brave New Age

    In curlicued letters and ink of vivid blue

    His name inscribed yet spelled out anew...


    For now was an 'R' where should be an 'N'...!

    They drew back in horror - “Can he be - one of ‘THEM’?!!”

    Yet, worse was to come - to truly devastate

    In the back of his closet, a gilt-framed portrait


    Of old Ma’ Tory "With love to T. Blair

    My one and my only Son and true heir."!

    The darkest silence and deepest gloom

    Now descended on that desperate room


    They racked their minds for signs they'd missed

    For they’d brought The Wrong Sheriff into their midst!

    They'd danced with the Devil without hearing the tune

    And a price they would pay and knew they'd pay soon


    - Then the saddler recalled, much too late, a small clue:

    “His saddle was red - But his spurs were blue!”



    How should folks take the betrayal of hope?

    Faith & trust shattered, they reached for a rope

    In the cold light of dawn they searched for their man

    But were already pawns in a much grander plan:..


    The Sheriff was ready and placed around town

    A gang of paid guns who now looked down

    From the rooftops, their Winchesters cocked and aimed

    At the folks on the main street whose shouts now proclaimed


    Their mistrust of the man who gave flesh to their fears

    With that light in his eyes and fingers in his ears.

    He stood, legs apart, on the roof of the bank

    And in a voice quite superior, said; "One day you'll thank


    Me for knowing I am right and knowing you are wrong

    For a war we must fight to keep this town strong.

    Forget all our problems and think on this theme

    A town to the East needs a change of regime


    We'll help them my friends then I promise you this

    We’ll fix all our troubles and our lives will be bliss"



    As it turned out, the land to the East

    Was the stamping ground of a sought after beast

    Which roamed in huge numbers - the buffalo…

    The undeclared star of the coming show


    For Blair's closest friend was a powerful man;

    The Greatest Trader of Hide in all of the land

    And as fate would have it; the Greatest Trader of Gun

    So war was the way for Great Trade to be done


    The ‘campaign’ was in fact a one-sided attack;

    Bullet against arrow, cannon against axe

    Whole settlements slaughtered - with military distinction,

    The buffalo hunted entirely to extinction


    Across the Great Plain flesh decayed in the heat

    (The Great Trader took hides but discarded the meat)

    And though the stench drifted all the way to the West,

    The Sheriff insisted it was all for the best


    And money was made in fat wads by the trade

    In gun and in hide and oh how they paid

    But the townsfolk saw none of this dubious revenue

    - It was channeled through a well-shaded avenue;


    A tree-lined street on a beach-lined coast

    Where the Sheriff retired to make speech and to toast

    With his friend the Great Trader of Hide and of Gun

    The part they had played in “How the West Won”



    So our townsfolk eventually learned a bit more

    About who they appoint to mind the store

    One thing they agreed is perfectly plain

    Most so-called ‘leaders’ end up much the same


    Yes it's true that the power simply goes to their head

    But look at their hunger to get there instead

    Is it not true that for men such as these

    The craving for office is like a disease?


    An unhealthy yen to be above other folk

    A consuming addiction to the lash and the yoke

    So the townsfolk concluded - and we’d best believe it

    Never give power to folks who crave it!


    And - when choosing a Sheriff

    Don't fall for a grin

    For now you can see

    What a mess you'll get in!







    © David Beaumont 2007



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