Two Poems

D.J. Enright

Vandalism

Since the object in question is a modern poem,
A police spokesman stated yesterday,
It is hard to tell whether it has been damaged
Or not or how badly.

Summoned to the scene, officers were uncertain
As to whether the work had been turned upside down
Or kcab to front
Or whether parts of it were [missing].

A doctor of letters has been called in
Together with experts on scansion and crosswords.
It appears to have been a short poem to begin with
So we hope to conclude our inquiries before long.

You have been warned

Many of you will not have purchased shares before. You would
never have dreamt of it. Shares were not for the likes of you.
Now you can buy shares as you like, and we hope you will. But
bear in mind that SHARES CAN GO DOWN IN VALUE AS WELL AS UP.
Possibly you didn’t know that. (How the devil did you come by
the money in the first place?) PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY
A GUIDE TO THE FUTURE, and it is our duty to warn you that shares
can cause heart disease.

Many of you will be having sex for the first time. You would
never have dreamt of having it before. Sex was not for the likes
of you. Now you can have sex as much as you like, and we hope you
will like it. But bear in mind: SEX CAN GO DOWN IN VALUE AS WELL
AS UP, and PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY A GUIDE TO THE
FUTURE. We must warn you that sex can damage the health.

Many of you will never have drunk champagne before. Please note
that the liquid in the bottle is under severe pressure. CHAMPAGNE
CAN GO UP AS WELL AS DOWN. In no circumstances should the cork
be removed with a corkscrew. You are advised to take it between
thumb and forefinger and ease it out gently, preferably in an empty room.

Many of you will not have lived before. You would never have
dreamt of it. Now you are living, and we hope you will enjoy it.
But it is our responsibility to warn you that LIFE CAN GO DOWN IN
VALUE AS WELL AS UP, and the past is not a sure guide to the future.
Living can be bad for the health and even lead to death.

Many of you will have been warned before. You will be warned again.
Warnings will be issued at regular intervals. You are warned not
to ignore them. WARNINGS NEVER GO DOWN IN VALUE. Ignoring them can
damage the health.