There’s a delicious pastry sold in German bakeries which delights in the name of ‘Ein Schweineohr’ (Literally, ‘A Pig’s Ear’). ‘Mastschwein’, ‘Ferkel’ and ‘Keiler’ are all pigs of one sort or another; and ‘sauschwer’ simply means ‘Pig awful’. The real dilemma is how to ask for the pastry if your grasp of German is less than perfect. Can you really trust yourself to say, “Haben Sie Schweineohren?” (Do you have pig’s ears?).
- Ein ‘Schweineohr’.
- A pastry maze,
- a toothsome trotter-print,
- thick hog’s-back horseshoe,
- blunt tips dipped in chocolate.
- Not in stock at every shop,
- but maybe this one.
- Worth a shot,
- to lug a bagful home!
- Sweet, flaky porcine auricles.
- Delectable pig-out!
- Herd up your daundering porkers;
- Mastschwein, Ferkel, Keiler,
- (Sauschwer this German syntax!)
- reach down a formal, interrogative;
- an ashplant shaft to thrust with.
- Grasp the haft,
- heft it, hone the edges,
- stud your fidgetty pig-sticker,
- ‘Ein schönen guten Tag.’
- The woman is a valkyr!
- She doubles chins, and grunts.
- Not one to bandy words with!
- She will divine your meaning.
- All or nothing!
- Quiz the swinish oracle.
- Say ‘Guten Tag.’
- (Don’t overdo it.)
- Just ask! Ask now!
- Thrust home! Risk it!
- ‘Haben Sie Schweineohren?’
A Porcine Panegyric
With apologies to Placentius who, inury, wrote a poem of 253 hexameter verses entitled ‘Pugna Porcorum‘ (The Battle of the Pigs) every word of which begins with the letter ‘P’.
- Peregrine Percival Pocklington Pig
- descends from a long line of blue-blooded porkers,
- and though it is true that he’s not very pig
- he can be the most entertaining of talkers.
- Just ask him to tell you of Shaolin Kung-fu,
- and how he himself has pursued one or two
- years of pertinent study and Zen meditation
- to enable him now to punch boxes right through,
- be they never so sturdy or solidly jointed,
- and I’ll guarantee that you’re not disappointed;
- for there’s no other black-belted pig in the nation.
- His High-flying Drop-kick is very well-known,
- and his Pig Trotter Punch is a terrible snorter.
- He once took a farm on, entirely alone,
- chased after the mistress, and damn nearly caught her.
- They had to put wire screens over his cage
- to prevent him from going out on the rampage
- and rousing the pigs in the neighbouring sties.
- He has lain at the feet of a wallowing sage
- called ‘Peach-blossom Prince of Illumined Perception’,
- who ended the rites of his student’s inception
- by revealing the secret of ham and pork pies.
- And shortly thereafter in Pocklington’s mind
- a scheme began forming, in slow evolution,
- which, had it succeeded, I’m strongly inclined
- to believe would have led to a Pigs’ Revolution.
- But recently he’s reassessed his position,
- and following up on his own intuition
- has tended instead to become a defector
- from tactics of violence, and brought to fruition
- a milder philosophy, founded on Reason;
- proclaiming that, as from this turning-point, he’s an
- unwavering, staunch Conscientious Objector.
- So though he may tell you of head-butts and blows,
- and swine’s snout and knuckle swipes rapid and furious,
- remember he’s a pacifist now; but who knows?
- Perhaps he’ll still demonstrate, if you are curious.
About the Poet
Paul F. Cowlan is a British entertainer that critics praise as a musician, comedian, poet, songwriter, story-teller and philosopher, and also a bluesman, clown, satirist and romantic. And he plays a mean harmonica as well.
Paul is a professional ‘acoustic-rock’ performer/songwriter with nine albums of self-penned songs, and two of poetry. He has won first prize in poetry competitions run by Tabla, Poetry Life and Envoi, and has also won prizes and/or appeared in Stand, Orbis, ‘The Ring of Words’ (Telegraph/Arvon Competition), Scintilla, still, ‘Chalk Face Muse’, Peterloo Poets, Psychopoetica, and others.
Find out more about Paul, his poetry, music and greeting cards at: http://www.paulcowlan.co.uk/.