Take Off

<em>"The Owl And The Pussycat" was voted best poem for children</em>

Colin Powell and the Presidents rode the breeze

In a posse of pea-green jets;

Their tongues were honey, and plenty of money

Had fuelled their tete-a-tetes.

As Powell looked down at the world below

He plugged in his Fender bass:

"Hey presto, Presidents, off we go,

"We're heads of the human race."

"Dear Prez, are you willing to make a quick killing?"

"For the folks," says Prez, "let 'em fall" -

So they opened the doors and united their cause

(Though the Turkmeni wouldn't play ball).

They dined on the Taliban quicker than Caliban,

Beneath a disposable moon,

Though the shape of the band they formed in the sand

Was as crude as an ancient cartoon.

This article first appeared in the 15 October 2001 issue of the New Statesman, A nation in panic