Classic Ellis: The Bin Laden Poem

Beweep the fate of the great Osama,
Who, nine years late, has copped his kharma,
On his way out for a piss
At three a.m, and what is this?

Nine years it took this creeping Jesus,
Nine feet tall, with tropic diseases,
Recognizeable as Christ, or Che,
To encounter, at last, the CIA.

He dwelt eight years in a shabby mansion,
Barbed wire on the roof, undergoing expansion,
Putting the Monday garbage out,
Wondering, like Alfie, what it’s all about,

Unremarked by a million neighbours
Who watched the cricket, cleaned their sabres,
Averting their gaze, as though from a farter,
And thus they ignored the holy martyr.

He ranted each year on al-Jazeera
In the lofty style of Norma Shearer,
And fifteen million put on his head
Tempted no Judas, or so they said.

But Langley finally tracked him down,
Living well at the big end of town.
They sought him, they popped him, they dropped in the sea
Some tall corpse or other, it might have been he.

And his ghost may be heard in a billion voices
Of young Muslims who, bereft of choices,
Come strapped with bombs into shopping malls,
Believing he, or Allah, calls.

And could we, Primates, attract such esteem,
As Bottom did once in Midsummer Night’s Dream,
That fame, that glory, those cheques in the mail …
We’d probably have a VB instead. Wassail.

First read out at the Primates on Tuesday, May 3, 2011.

  1. Osama bin Laden was a miserable old duck,
    He’d skin his grandma for a buck.
    The Yanks searched in Saddam’s Iraq,
    They searched here, there and back,
    But now he’s dead, who gives a fuck?

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