top of page

Easing Up


Twenty years on and we’ve eased up a tad:

Of occasional leisure I’m heartily glad.

But there are, as you guess, continuous calls

For Penny* to stride out and brave the world’s squalls.


For instance:

In an effort to settle a forty-year war

She canoes down the Salwein to old Maniplawr

And charms General Bo Mya, that amiable fart,

And he gives her a pillow, “Till Death Do Us Part”.

Next she cans PetroCan, which was drilling in Burma,

Saying oil shouldn’t be found in such terra firma,

So chairman Bill Hopper just calls it a day

And whistles his rigs home from – yes – Mandalay!


A fair two week’s work, as I think you agree,

But she’s hardly been home for a nice cup of tea,

When the Commonwealth calls, “We are rather at sea;

“We are worried this polling won’t be fair and free.”

No problem at all! She takes plane to Nairobi

(“Hey, what about Christmas? cry Daniel and Toby),

But she’s got more than turkey piled on her platter:

There are Mwai and Odinga – and Moi, for that matter.

She checks out the lions and the cockerels, too.

Feeds my cookies to poll clerks, and learns what is true;

And tells the Observers to stiffen their stays

And write a report that Fleet Street will praise.


Yes, we all need dear Penny, to keep up to scratch.

How fortunate I, to have made such a match!

And, as I have shown, we have eased up a tad.

Of occasional leisure I’m uncommonly glad,

Especially this braw nicht, when with Scotch we recline

And I ask, “will ye no’ be my fair Valentine?”


By: Clyde Sanger (14 Feb. 1993), international journalist and author. Penny Sanger dedicated her life to peace – as an activist and educator – and was awarded the Anne Goodman Award for Peace Education by Voice of Women (VOW). She passed away in 2017.

bottom of page