Pigs in Shorts

THE YEAR OF THE PIG

As surely as we pigs can snort
We can travel with our shorts

Since it is the Chinese Year of the Pig
We have escaped our pigpen dig
And the butcher’s knife
To enjoy a long life

With sunglasses, cameras and no suitcases
We will visit the world’s most interesting places
Chinese New Year is our special date
So we have come to Beijing to celebrate

Although we are gullible and slothful
We pigs are honest and thoughtful
The Chinese have always admired the pig’s warmth and sincerity
Qualities they love as it brings in prosperity

A PRAYER IN THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN

Built in the dynasties of Ming and Qing
The temple of Heaven still stands in Beijing
At China’s most holy and sacred place
Our prayers will be answered with grace

On the stairs, and in our shorts of polyester
We call on the spirits of Chinese ancestors
Could their heavenly mandate, quickly correct

This planet’s ongoing nuclear threat
Kim Jong-Un, most insane
Could launch nukes without refrain
Will the heavens interfere
And put an end to this rocketeer

To heighten this spiritual chance
We, pigs, recite a mantra and do a dance

AT ANGKOR VAT

To avoid the butcher’s plot
Angkor Vat, was our next trot

The king of Java’s stone temple fantasia
Lies in the jungle of southeast Asia

The famous 219 heads of stone
Are said to be the Buddha’s or his own

We pigs descended the stairs
Under the monk’s glares

They are quite curious
To see a herd of pink tourists

 

LOVE STORY AT THE TAJ MAHAL

The Taj Mahal
Cherished by all
Was built for the Mughal emperor’s wife
The mausoleum immortalizes the love of his life

We are two grooms
On our honeymoon
Looking at the pond
We feel something very strong

We Swine
Have something inside quite divine
It is a quality unreal
For a lifetime it can stay still

Suddenly it ignites like fire
It is stronger than desire
Love is what we savour
When with the pig of our favour

 

AT THE PYRAMIDS

We had trouble getting a visa
To visit the pyramids of Giza
We stowed on a boat for a while
And arrived at the mouth of the Nile

After a couple of drinks
We visit the Great Sphinx
He dutifully guards the Pharaoh’s tomb
Although he isn’t there
But lies elsewhere
In a museum showroom

The Egyptian tourist guide
Was pop-eyed
When he saw the pigs in shorts arrive
As clustered as bees in a hive
With camera equipment, so hi-tech
He certainly didn’t expect
Today’s clientele
To have four legs and curled tails

 

AT THE ACROPOLIS

We’ve been to Egypt’s Heliopolis
Now we are visiting the famous Acropolis
Nearby stands the temple called the Erectheion
Dedicated to the gods Athena and Poseidon

On its south side
Is the porch of the Caryatids
Six stone draped female figures
Hold up the temple with ancient vigor

We’ve been told
These ladies are 2,500 years old
Under the sun walking is so cruel
So we each decided to rent a mule

We come here by air and by boat
Keeping the Greek economy afloat
Looking at these old stones
Is keeping Greece in the Eurozone

 

HOLIDAYS IN VENICE

This pigpen is a menace
So we are going to Venice

It’s a city built on water
Better than the slaughter

I don’t want to hear a sheep crying baa, baa
I rather ride on a gondola

Now life is no longer banal
We are on the Grand Canal

Me, and my mates
Are listening to serenades

As surely as a fish can float
A pig can sit in a boat

Venice is the only town
Where missing a step you can drown

 

THE GLADIATORS

Still standing through the millenniums
Is ancient Rome’s Coliseum
In 80 ad emperor Vespasian completed
An amphitheater where 80’000 could be seated

The Ancient Romans stirred with delight
To watch gladiators of great might
Engaging with wild beasts in a bloody fight

As the gladiators were gored
The audience clapped and roared

In present days
With political correctness never far away
The gladiators, rather than being eaten alive
Pose for pictures from nine to five

We, touristic pigs, smile and stroke a gladiator
And secretly heat up like a radiator…

 

THE MATTERHORN

We, the pigs in shorts
Are visiting a Swiss resort
We have all sworn
We would visit the Matterhorn

Every summer alpinists seek
To climb this pyramidal peak

The mountain guide
Took us aside
And suggested we make the climb
Up this murderous ravine
With crampons, ropes and chain knots
We shivered at the thought
We haven’t the knees
We’ll leave the ascent to the Japanese

We prefer to graze in the grass
Taking photographs
The shepherd’s dog howled
Barked and growled
Because us, promenading sows
Have scared away his cows

 

AT THE CASTLE

We are having a great time
Traveling to Liechtenstein
We visited a real château
All built in stone, five centuries ago

The castle looks like a fairy tale
But, inside, royalty goes stale
High born Dukes, there are many
But they have lost all their pennies

Big chambers, noble and bold
The trouble is that it’s cold

With us, the prince is not impressed
But without our visit, he’s in a mess
So in the courtyard we meet
Then he can turn up the heat

 

VIEWING THE MONA LISA

Our culture will be greatly enhanced
By our visit to the Louvre in France
We are almost delirious
To see the Mona Lisa so mysterious

She is the most famous painting in the world
We went with smiles and tails curled
But before we could get in
Our prospects suddenly turned grim
The line is a four hour wait
So tiredly we stood, until it was late

None too soon,
And, finally in her room
We struggled for a view
Granted to only a few

A peek was all we could grasp
Of her world-famous smile, behind glass

 

BREXIT

Could we ever dream
We pigs are seeing the Queen
We closely approach
Her stage coach

Her Royal Majesty, is out on a stroll
Showing stability and self-control

It is in the depth of the British soul
Not to show any remorse
Over England’ and Europe’s messy divorce

She waves away us curious hogs
She would far rather be walking her dogs

 

ROYAL ACADEMY OF ART 

We rush to the Academy’s exhibition
Showing an 18th century artist, of worthy recognition 

The Swiss painter Jean-Etienne Liotard
Painted aristocrats in their boudoir 

His portraits were painted in soft pastels
He captured clothing in exquisite detail 

We, pigs, can almost feel the texture
Of his delicate lace, silk and fur 

He painted European women, lounging
In oriental surroundings
Richly draped in embroidered satin
He fueled the Orientalist fashion 

To celebrate this Swiss artist’s retrospective
We pigs have been selective 

From beautiful Schweiz
We bought our tickets on-line, for half price
And wear our shorts of Edelweiss

 

AFRICAN SAFARI

When we pigs are at leisure
Hunting big game is our pleasure

We ride around in a big green jeep
Shooting animals half asleep

The lions looked numb
Seeing us pigs with a gun

Our adrenaline is galvanized
What will we pigs bring home as a prize
A lion’s head or a buffalo’s hide?
After a bath of arsenic sulfide and chloride
Our trophy will be hung with pride

Aside others deers, zebras and a bear
Forever our trophies will stare
With glass eyes after their demise
On a wall in a New-York high rise

 

ARRIVING IN NEW YORK

From the deck of our boat
We stood in front to gloat
At New York ‘s Statue of Liberty
We are now free from the butcher and tyranny

She is the biggest statue we ever saw
With her pedestal
She stands 305 feet tall
Weighing 450,000 pounds in all

While on our way to relocation
It was to us an exhilaration
To see the Statue of Liberty
Inspiring democracy and opportunity

Here we will be rich hogs
No longer treated like dogs
But with Trump’s new era of law and order
We might not get past the border

 

TRAVELING WITH THE HURRICANE

It is hard to ignore
When your house is on the floor
That humanity has given its assistance
To these frequent hurricanes’ growing persistence

They have reached monster size
Everything in their path is neutralized
Gathering more force and motion
From rising sea levels and hot oceans

They prepare for a new landfall
To the dismay of one and all
We pigs use nature’s solution
To avoid our destitution

Though it may seem absurd
We will do as the birds
We will grow wings and fly
Into the middle of the hurricane’s eye
Safe and sound
Until we reach new ground

 

TRAVELING WITHIN

The ancient Hindu yogis believed
Through meditation
And contemplation
Pure awareness can be achieved

A single pointed concentration
Of sustained duration
Will focus the mind, so scattered
And stop it’s senseless chatter

When there is stillness of the mind
The third eye that was blind
Will open and radiate
It is the gate
To the enlightened state

We pigs, want to become “Awake”
Shed our minds so opaque
But sitting here to daybreak
Is making our backs ache

 

HARMONY OF THE SEAS

We embark at Southampton Bay
On the biggest cruise ship ever made to this day

This ship is a floating amusement park
With a live 3D theater, a bionic bar and 12’000 works of art
She has ten thousand rooms and showers
And is longer than the Eiffel tower

This boat
Is a city afloat
With 23 swimming pools and 3 water slides
The birds fly above horrified

We pigs can dance all night
With music blasting and pink strobe lights
The dolphins and the whales are going mute
But the Harmony of the Seas doesn’t give a hoot

 

TATE MODERN

While docked in Southampton Bay
We went to London for the day

We proceed
In our shorts of tweed
To Britain’s most famous modern art museum
Since we can’t swim
We hold on to the ridge
Of the millennium bridge

The bank-side power station
Received a total transformation
And now houses the largest modern art collections
Installations and video projections

The old brick factory on the River Thames
Now claims
Millions of visitors each year
Onwards, we pigs steer
With good cheer
And lots or beer

 

GLASGOW TRANSPORT MUSEUM

When our cruise ship docked aside
The Scottish River Clyde
We pigs see Zaha Hadid’s latest architectural whim
The Glasgow transport museum

It resembles an outer space contraption
Left behind by an alien faction
The inspiration could be from Mars
Inside it houses steam locomotives and many old cars.

She renewed the harbor
With her imagination and surrealistic ardor

We pigs give her all our support
For her fantastic vision of a seaport
Transforming the old shipyard ground
Has brought in lots of Scottish pounds

 

THE BALLROOM

Whether on-line or on land
We middle aged pigs sadly understand
That it’s very hard to meet
The very special person we seek

But we might be luckier on the water
In the ship’s ballroom encounters are hotter

To improve our chances
We have learned several dances
Remembering the steps we have been taught
We danced the waltz, tango and foxtrot
Throughout the night
Believing in love at first sight

We pigs are galvanized by a possible romance
As we cross the English Channel to France

 

LOUIS VUITTON FOUNDATION

Knowing that we are in Paris
We arrive looking our fairest
To the Bois de Boulogne to visit
Frank Gehry’s exquisite
Latest architectural masterpiece
In the park, it is a centerpiece

The building is covered with glass panels
Resembling a sailboat crossing the channel
This visit cannot be underestimated
No one has ever seen a building with sails inflated

We pigs have no desire to go in today
With our wages going astray
We will admire this museum of glass
From our picnic on the grass

 

SAGRADA FAMILIA BASILICA

From Bilbao, we took the train
To Barcelona, Spain
To visit Antoni Gaudi’s greatest feat
A basilica that is still incomplete

Nowhere in history can you find
A church building of this kind
It will be the tallest, on the planet
With its spires of grapes and pomegranate

The nativity facade’s towers reach great heights
Gaudí designed them as stalagmites
Millions everyday flock inside this church
Where stunning stain glass windows are perched

We pigs are trying to feel the lord’s grace
Diffused
Yet confused
By the enormity of this sacred place

 

BILBAO GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM

We are anchoring right now
In the ancient port of Bilbao

The museum, cladded in a titanium robe
Attracts visitors from across the globe
Millions admire it’s swirling forms and silver metallic tiles
Especially Frank Gehry’s architectural style
With its flying undulating panels and corners curled
It is the most spectacular building in the world

We pigs, wait our place
Wearing our shorts of Spanish lace
To enter the gallery’s irregular space
But inside
Comprehension is denied
We are at a lost to react
As the art forms are so abstract

 

WATER SLIDES

While crossing the Atlantic Ocean
We have climbed to the upper deck to get a notion
Of the gargantuan size of this ocean liner
We question the sanity of the ship’s designer

The Caribbean Cruises has upgraded its fleet
With a surprising new engineering feat
The Ultimate Abyss water slides
Designed to give guests the ultimate thrill ride
They curl around the ship’s stern and sides

Towering 150 feet above the sea level
It looks to us to be the work of the devil
We pigs quickly run away and hide
Rather than take a ride
Down this infernal water slide

 

NEW YORK GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM

Our cruise ship docked in New York after dark
The next day we walked across Central Park
To visit a museum which is a national landmark

Famous for his unique architectural spiral design
Frank Lloyd Wright broke away from rectangular lines
And rigid convention
His white cylindrical invention
Resembles an upside-down bell
Or a nautilus seashell
Inside
It is like an amusement ride

A spiral ramp winds wider and wider around
Up to the ceiling skylight from the ground
The view from the top is breathtaking
As we see the spirals below gyrating
But it made us lose our sense of orientation
So we rushed outside in desperation

 

NITEROI MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

Niemeyer, Brazil’s foremost modern architect
Finished the modern art museum project
With an inviting design
For an extraterrestrial shrine

A wide curved red ramp welcomes us pigs
To a cylinder cupola, fifty meters big
Inside, the hall of expositions
Has frequently changing art exhibitions

The most impressive is the viewing gallery
We walk around losing calories

Looking through glass plates, set at forty degrees
We see Rio de Janeiro across the sea

This new museum of art and culture
Has enriched Brazil’s political vultures
To their cronies they sold
For priceless pots of gold
The surrounding land
Which is mostly sand

PATAGONIA

An astonishing formation of nature
Is Patagonia’s lake Grey glacier
We approached up close to giant blue walls
And watched massive icebergs fall

We pigs want to mention
Because of compression
The glacier has these hues
Of deep sapphire icy blues
Nothing can escape from within
Not even oxygen

Pleased by our very short stay
We could only pray
It wasn’t us in the water today
We wouldn’t long be breathing
As the temperature is below freezing

 

MACHU PICCHU

Machu Picchu is the most renown
Ancient Inca citadel made of stone
It was built down a hill side
Where two great mountains preside
The site is 2,500 m above sea level
In a rain forest where butterflies revel

We pigs learn that Inca building assignments
All played on astronomical alignments
The citadel was so covered by mist
That it was undiscovered by any archaeologist

Now with our selfies in hand
We can photograph ourselves in a band
In front of the spectacular view
Of Peru’s Machu Picchu

To reach this view so panoramic
Some visitors are very dynamic
And hike up, a mountainous lane
Despite altitude sickness and migraines

We pigs, think the trekkers are insane
We long before booked the train

 

CROSSING THE PACIFIC

Our next destination is Japan
But we feel we are in a garbage can
While looking down at the water of the Pacific
We are seeing something horrific

We are cruising through an endless plastic broth
Stretched out infinitely like a cloth
The Pacific Ocean currents rotational spin
Is drawing in the world’s biggest rubbish bin

Five billion tons of plastic debris
Litter the ocean and the sea
On the upper water column it sits
Before it disintegrates into molecular bits

The jelly fish, albatross and seahorse
Mistake these micro plastics as a food source
Feeding their chicks on polyurethane
Plastic enters the food chain

We pigs find it very dark
That the open mouth basking shark
And whales are swallowing micro plastic emanations
Mistaking it for their krill and crustaceans

 

NAOSHIMA

Naoshima, an island in the Sea of Japan
Has the most contemporary architecture known to man
We, pigs, know it’s too good to be true
To see the museum of Tadoa Ando
He invites us to see life, from a different perspective
Here we become contemplative and reflective

His buildings blend into the earth and open up to the sky
We looked up, and saw trees fly
A giant pumpkin sits by the sea
Inviting our senses to disagree

With all our perceptions reorganized
And new senses revitalized
Geishas offered us seaweed and sushi
But we pigs think a massage would be more juicy

 

ON THE CHINESE GLASS BRIDGE

In central China, we congregate
Unknowingly, to levitate
On the world’s highest glass bridge
Suspended over the Zhangjiajie’s Canyon’s ridge

With a drop of a thousand feet below
Our walk proceeds slow
We can’t get a grip
As our hoofs slide and slip

Looking down through the glass
We pigs are totally aghast
Nothing stops our fall and demise
But glass, of the thinnest size
We pigs, never had such a scare
As we dangle in thin air

Every Chinese tourist guide
Suggests this thrill ride
But it feels more like suicide

 

KIDNAPPED

Trumps trade war on Chinese imports
Has greatly affected our fellow porks
Because of tariffs on aluminum and steel
Pigs have lost their marketing appeal

The Chinese are now starved of pork and ham
So while visiting China’s three gorges dam
The pigs in shorts fell in a big jam

They were chained and taken
Stripped and kidnapped as bacon
Mistaken momentarily for sausages
The pigs in shorts are now hostages

The ransom money will be sent via wechat
To any Chinese consulate
Szechuan social media recently posted
The pigs in shorts have not been roasted
They are alive and obese
Eagerly waiting for their release