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A recent ‘Spectator’ competition invited readers to submit a poem about a politician and an item of clothing. I entered but didn’t win so my  parvum opus went unpublished in the illustrious pages of The Spectator, so I publish it here. In case non-British readers were not aware, the media made a stir in the autumn of 2016 with a picture of PM Theresa May wearing leather trousers.

putin-w-rifle  mays-trousers  trumps-jacket


Being Russian, he’s out-and-out iconophile:

fur hat, fur trim, leather jacket’s his style.

Vlad the Terrible, when it comes to shootin’;

His apparel proclaims we are dealing with ‘Putin’.


What’s more, there’s a rough side to Vlad the Scary –

he loves his bare chest, all hairy and bear-y.

Clothes are needless: he wallows in snow,

embracing a tiger to show how he’s macho.


Bomber jacket commands, ‘Bomb’em to hell!’

Children . . . Women . . .  All who rebel.

His boyars must know they’ve lost the plot when

Vladimir trumpets, “Make Russia great again!”


Now, Trump’s jacket was made out of leather,

May’s trousers ditto. It prompts questions whether

they got the idea from the Vlad’s bear hide.

But it is faux. He is foe too, not on our side.


(c) Tim Cawkwell / Feb. 2017