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  • David Sunderland

Taming the Bull

Written just before the Brexit vote


White bulls have moved the lovely lady

Taking her for a ride until she’s quite stir crazy

This time John took Europa but it wasn’t quite the same

As John was undecided whether to leave or to remain

“Don’t go”, pleaded Europa, “We’re better off together”

John didn’t really hear her, instead talking about the weather

“Time to take it back”, said John, in gusty manner unbending

“What do you mean?”, said Europa, not really understanding

“You’re part of the family”, she said, “we always have disputes”

But John was thinking scenarios for the price of Brussels sprouts

“You’re too controlling”, yelled John, “I want to be myself”

“Forget any favours”, said Europa, “you’re just a great big oaf”

Yet with one hoof John held her, in sweet but mixed affection

And they dreamt of past and future, in gentle contemplation

Round and round John argued, grimacing in the mirror

Lowing “stay or go, I just don’t know”, both sideburns quite a quiver

And across the sea, Europa pined, to await dear John’s decision

With family members quite perturbed about their next position


At last the hesitation ended and John came off the rack

Out on schedule came his decision with a snicker-snack

And in the glass he beheld that he was no longer white

One side blue - the other red – from his momentous fight

No parity here, the difference true, as clear as A to Z

Because his tail waved proudly out and was the colour red

Callooh! Callay!, the red half cried in triumph and delight

Independence is today, no bullets fired, with our future bright

A single tear, like a star, fell from the eye of the other

And blue beyond the water, Europa’s hopes did wither

The red tail wagged, smeared the blue, and sent the china flying

As Europa and John’s 43-year tryst lay in the Channel dying

Gentle not, the waves did flow, in each and every direction

Heralding the great divorce so all shared the affliction

John lay down, a hotchpotch of wrinkles, red and white and blue

With mooing over, now there was so little time, with ever so much to do

So the moral of this tale is that, when selecting choices and rings

Relationships with oneself and others are jolly complicated things

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