Many years ago, when I was at school, I did a paper-round. Early each morning, I’d collect the papers from the newsagents in a large satchel, and cycle off around the Wiltshire town to make sure that customers had their newspaper at the breakfast table. We had to carefully put each newspaper (folded so that it didn’t rip), through letterboxes of differing sizes. Seeing the American version at the cinema many years later, where the paperboy seemed to randomly fling the papers onto the front lawn, I can remember being insanely jealous. Yesterday I bought a Saturday broadsheet. It was the first time for ages that I’d bothered buying a paper, preferring to choose what I read online. I was only too pleased that I was only carrying just one, any number to deliver and my old bike would have collapsed under the weight…
There’s 1,307gms in the Saturday paper,
That’s an awful lot of words,
As a paperboy, there’d be no joy,
In fact it’s quite absurd!
There are sections covering everything:
Supplements all abound,
So many sections, to suit all directions,
Literary abundance found!
How much longer can this weight continue?
The feeding of trees to the Press,
Recycled too, then flushed down the loo,
A worthy end I confess!
The old institutions backs to the wall,
Blinded, bleeding, unsure,
What they can’t see, that news is now free,
Fleet Street has been shown the door!
But what is this that is here now?
Sunday’s papers I see!
Even more weight, to help dislocate,
A paperboy’s joie de vie!
Dedicated to writers everywhere facing a new age with trepidation.
But especially to my two favourite journalists: Tony Lennox and his adorable and much-missed wife Marsya. May I one day come close to writing with their consummate skill. BB.
© Baldock Bard 2013
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