The British Do Not Clean

A hilarious poem performed by Madhuri on stage during a Festival at Osho Leela. Dorset, UK (video).

In order to view this poem as the author intended it to appear with all its indents, we suggest reading it on a computer screen or in the landscape orientation on your phone.

The British do not clean as oft as some
They seem to revel in the mud, the fur, the
They laugh and beam and cry, “We are not fussed!”
while random piles of stuff keep drawing dust
and plates are stacking high with egg
and crust.
Those dishes get a swipe with rag and sluice
Mayhap some Fairy Liquid, if some’s lying
– But then right to the rack, or else a foetid cloth
is rubbed, to soak what little of the broth
can be absorbed by fabric stiff with grease

and clammy in each stove-handle-gripping
Suggestions of a good hot rinse will bring
high-pealing laughter like a church-bell’s ring
Or else a stare of suspicion pokes you through

– Neat-freak hygiene-obsessed nutter Yankee, you!
Bedsheets are left to moulder on the bed

accepting smells from pit and groin and head
Boots and coats and mufflers in a pile

celebrate this rare housekeeping style
While spin-dryers are eschewed, so all the clothes

stay damp and smelly all the while.
Teeth are sometimes brushed, and sometimes not

for every living thing must one day rot
and hands which have just waggled off

a willy’s wee
will not be washed before consuming tea;
And, worse, the hand that wipes the poo
will next be shaking friendly hands with you
without the slightest soap and water bath
Ain’t it just a jolly good old laugh?

If a gentleman is going on a date
he wears his stained old shirt, his filthy jeans.
I’d hate
to ride inside his car, for it of course

needs a firehose sprayed through it with great
to shift the tramped-on crackling nudging items
while Brits feel such relax, and thus delight ’em.
Their nails are black from honest labour done
to nail some bleak bare board in a house as frigid
as a nun
Their hands are busy wiping noses as they run
then handing you a book, or with a happy
licking fingers as they share with you a bun –
They leave their dog shit piled in plastic sacks
a-waiting then for pointy heels which clack
They barf their Saturday night excess

where if you tread ’twill splatter on your dress.
They think that germs are other people’s weird

for all god’s beasts should mix without unhealthy
And mud and mire and poo and snot and drool
are just the way things are – and it’s all cool!
All fussiness is just for silly wimpy fools….
for life is bleak and hard and cruel;
And only Yanks and Germans, Dutch and Japs
and Swiss
are uptight enough to want to argue this;
And everyone can see they are not cheerful
excepting Yanks, but they are really childish
and fearful.

To live a-right, one just must joke and beam
and give no quarter to the idiots who squeam.

August ’16, Devon