The Way Things Are
The Way Things Are - cover The Way Things Are
Roger McGough

Viking (Penguin) 1999
ISBN 0-670-88655-6

No, old people do not walk slowly
because they have plenty of time.
Gardening books when buried will not flower.
Though lightly worn, a crown may leave a scar,
I am your father and this is the way things are.' 

The Way Things Are is a book of many voices, of quick boys and sharp gals. Verse that will have you feeling your own collar. A sharp intake at neighbourhood machinations and political correctitude. A gasp of guilt at a ransacked affair. Dissension in the ranks. Childhood Horrors. It isn't funny, so why are we laughing? Because we are in safe hands. The poet is a trickster we can trust. 

'For centuries the bullet remained quietly confident
that the gun would be invented.
A drowning surrealist will not appreciate
the concrete lifebelt
No guarantee my last goodbye is au revoir,
I am your father and this is the way things are. 

Roger's books are available on-line from Penguin:


The Way Things Are - Table of Contents

The Way Things Are
What Happened to Henry
What Happened to Dorothy
The Wrong Beds
My Shadow is but a Shadow of Its Former Self
Light Sleeper
Coach and Horses
Nothing Ventured
In Good Spirits
The Perfect Place
Clutching at Cheese Straws
In Vain
The Health Forecast
New Brooms
Dressed for the Occasion
One Poet May Hide Another
For the Sake of Argument
The Written Word
Trust Me, I'm a Poet
A Literary Riddle
An Ordinary Poetry Reading
Dialectically Opposed
A Serious Poem 
Ee Bah Gum
The Wreck of the Hesperus
The Revenge of My Last Duchess
Stop All the Cars
Fatal Consequences
Global Warming
The Sad Astronomer
Balloon Fight
The Map
Fits and Starts
In Case of Fire
Vague Assumptions
Old-fashioned Values
End of Story
Pen Pals
St Francis and the Lion
St Francis and the Lion (II)
The Father, the Son
Bad Day at the Ark
Bad Day at the Ark (II)
Bad Day at the Ark (Ill)
Bad Day at the Ark (IV)
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