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Flight of Fancy

by James Graham 

Posted: 12 June 2009
Word Count: 111
Summary: A bit of light satire. I'm grateful to The Guardian for the idea.

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Flight of Fancy

Oh look! How wonderful!
Have you ever seen so many?

Old Spots, Saddlebacks, Sandy-and-Blacks,
Large Whites, and Middle Whites, and Large Black-Whites,
Berkshires, Tamworths, Moody-Woodies,

soaring high above Big Ben,
so graceful! Wheeling, turning, swooping low,
skimming the river and rising again
towards the sun! Have you ever seen

so many? Black Canarians, Blue Butts, Red Wattles,
Jejus, Fengjings and Surabayas - and is that
a pair of Mangalitsas? Oh, the beauty

of these creatures! How they climb the air!
And such variety! This is a day
I will remember always.

Such awe-inspiring promises,
the most splendiferous in living memory,
must have been made today

beneath Big Ben!

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Comments by other Members

freynolds at 09:50 on 13 June 2009  Report this post
Hi James,

This is so witty. I can almost hear the irony in the tone. To me this has under-currents of Oscar Wilde and I personally think he was a master of satire and wit.

The choice of words is brilliant and my favourite lines are;
Such awe-inspiring promises,
the most splendiferous in living memory,
must have been made today

'splendiferous' is splendid.

This is really interesting; from common and rare breeds to flying, to England. Is there a reference in this perhaps to the recent media craze on the pandemic flu that has nothing to do with animals and is riminiscent of the avian flu of a few years ago?


Nella at 17:22 on 13 June 2009  Report this post
Wonderful, James. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for posting.


FelixBenson at 11:19 on 14 June 2009  Report this post
Ha ha! I love this - flying pigs over Westminster...

Such awe-inspiring promises
indeed !

There is certainly much mileage for political satire just now, from across the spectrum:
Blue Butts, Red Wattles

Nice. Made me laugh. (Although, right now it would be easy to cry!)

joanie at 17:11 on 14 June 2009  Report this post
Very clever, James. Thoroughly enoyable, especially as there are so many! The balletic images are wonderful. I love the way in which you go just far enough over the top.

Great stuff


Felicity F at 22:52 on 14 June 2009  Report this post
Hi James,

I found this poem filled with wonder and mockery,but have to confess I did not know all the names you referred to.I am thinking along similar lines to Fabienne with regards to swine flu,or perhaps the recent MP's expenses scandal,as being unbelievable in its audacity.Where in the Gaurdian did the inspiration come from? would be interested to know..


James Graham at 20:21 on 15 June 2009  Report this post
Hi Felicity - The Guardian awarded Flying Pig ratings instead of stars to Gordon Brown's promises made in Parliament last Wednesday. I think the promise to make the House of Lords an elected chamber, and the promise to abolish the royal prerogative, both got four flying pigs.

I hoped that everyone would quickly guess that the names are all varieties of pig. Tamworths are probably the best known. The rarer ones like Fengjings and Mangalitsas (and some of the commoner ones too) I got from a pig breeds website. I didn't know most of the names either!

Fabienne, I wasn't actually thinking of the 'swine flu' - it's nothing more than the old 'pigs will fly' joke.

Thanks to everyone else for posting comments.

Finally, I'd like to share this with you. Not far from where I live there's a rather nice place called 'The Gordon Brown Memorial Garden'.


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