Heart and Soul

Patriotic Frenchman in a ripped, red sweatshirt,

Squaring up to fight as though he's six feet tall.

Irritating cockney in a light blue roll neck;

No appreciation for his food at all.

Wonderful aroma from a stovetop cook pot;

Begged and stolen scraps require a chef's sure touch.

Cockney can't resist a jibe at "soup like pig swill";

Frenchman can't believe it could be viewed as such.


Patriotic Frenchman glares at top bunk culprit;

Cockney would be dead if only looks could kill.

Stream of vivid curses, spat in thick French accent;

Ignorant barbarian, no taste, no skill.

Irritating cockney simply lifts one eyebrow,

Comments on inedible cuisine from France.

Calmly waxes lyrical on East End pub food;

Keen to stir a storm up when he gets the chance.


Patriotic Frenchman, with a face like thunder,

Heads towards the bunk bed with malign intent.

Irritating cockney savours Frenchman's anger.

Time insulting recipes is time well spent.

Cockney rolls and drops to land by short companion,

Pushes past the Frenchman to the stovetop pot,

Dodges wielded spoon to reach the soup in question,

Stares at it a moment, plans a swift, sharp shot.


Patriotic Frenchman moves to guard his kingdom;

Cooking is his passion, his enduring joy.

Wonders who decided he deserved this comrade;

Put on Earth to aggravate, insult, annoy.

Irritating cockney grabs the spoon still wielded,

Dips it in the cook pot, though his mate's still mad.

Lifts it up for tasting, takes a wary mouthful;

Proclamation uttered; "Hey! It ain't half bad!"


Patriotic Frenchman clings to rage no longer,

Escalating fire becomes a deep warm glow;

Grabs the wooden spoon and raps his friend's deft fingers,

Seasons his creation till it tastes just so.

Tension in the barracks plummets quite abruptly,

Soup is ladled out to fill each makeshift bowl.

Irritating cockney takes his portion gladly;

Friendships form the oddest patterns, heart and soul.