Give and Take

Mr. Taxman, you’re a peach,
Fill your pockets we beseech.
Having money is a curse,
Please take freely from our purse.
We may catch up some time later,
Certainly your need is greater.
Money earned is ours to give,
We don’t need it just to live.

Mr. Taxman, how you’ve grown,
From a small foundation stone.
Take from us we beg you please,
You’ll get more the more you squeeze.
Take, make sure you have enough,
Save us from the need for stuff.
Go ahead, take your percent,
We don’t need it for the rent.

Mr. Taxman, job well done,
Take from each and every one.
We give yearly without fail,
Such a happy fairytale.
Work for us is pure delight,
We can do it day and night.
Sleep is really overrated,
Time-consuming and outdated.

Save us, save us from our needs,
We’ll survive on bread and seeds.
Take from us and take some more,
Money makes us so impure.
Fill your coffers to the brim,
Take our blood, sweat, tears; a limb.
Wanting money is so crude,
We don’t need it just for food.

Struggle is our greatest pleasure,
Take our pittance for your treasure.
Take and take and take some more,
Ours the duty to endure.
We were made to work and slave,
Till we tire and hit the grave.
Take our money, go ahead,
We won’t need it when we’re dead.

Mr. Taxman, we’re perplexed,
Mystified and rather vexed.
Youth today seem so confused,
Frankly, we are not amused.
Many of them lose their way,
Not content with meagre pay.
Choosing crime and prostitution,
Over docile contribution.

Tell us what on earth to do,
So they’ll want to give to you.
Good examples we have set,
Giving much more than we get.
Certainly they’re well and able,
Working jobs under the table,
But their taxes they neglect,
Showing utmost disrespect.

Crime is getting worse and worse,
How this must affect your purse.
Judges and the lawyers too,
Suffering along with you.
People everywhere complaining,
That their taxes are too draining.
Wages way behind inflation,
Grow-ops seen as their salvation.

Mr. Taxman, this won’t do,
Everyone is mad at you.
But we know you do your best,
May we quietly suggest…
Increase taxes even more.
Test how much we can endure.
Paying taxes gives us grace,
Puts a smile upon our face.

Makes us humble, teaches too,
How we may bow down to you.
Keep us poor and on our knees,
Do not let us prosper please.
Character is built on need,
Corruption the result of greed.
Ruthlessness should be your goal,
Mr. Taxman… take our soul.



Norma Pain was born in Liverpool, England and now lives in Parksville, British Columbia, Canada. Thirty of Norma’s poems were published by Dana Literary Society, between 2004 and 2007 and she was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize by that same on-line poetry site. She self-published a book of rhyme in 2000 called Bulging Assets.

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19 Responses

  1. Roy E. Peterson

    Norma, you captured the grim realities we are facing from the “taxman.” The profligate spending of our governments is out of control and yet they continue to “Test how much we can endure!” Corruption certainly enters the picture as you pointed out. This should be placed on the desk of every representtive of the people. After all, revolutions have been fought over taxation. You did a wonderful job of elucidating how so many of us feel these days.

  2. Russel Winick

    Spot on, Norma! Great sarcasm and totally applicable to the USA too, especially with the Democrats currently in power. Thanks for contributing this fine piece.

  3. Jeff Eardley

    Great stuff Norma, you tell ’em! I detect a hint of your Liverpudlian DNA recalling the song “Taxman” by you know who. This is another gem by the mistress of wordsmithery. Well said.

    • Norma Pain

      Thank you Jeff. I also recall the Robin Williams film “Popeye”, that gave a very spot-on depiction of the tax man. I don’t think the film did too well at the box office but I found it quite funny.

  4. Yael

    This poem is fun to read and it captures the state of our world really well. Great job!

  5. Joseph S. Salemi

    A wonderful poem, Norma… but my enjoyment of it is dampened by the fact that this goddamned illegitimate government of leftist scum is going to hire 87,000 armed IRS thugs to prosecute and impoverish all of its political enemies.

    • Margaret Coats

      It is indeed a wonderful, sardonic piece, Norma. And far too realistic because you have to give up the satiric bite in the end and surrender. As Joseph says, a new field army of taxmen has just been authorized. By “field army” I mean a military force of 90,000 at full strength, including four or more divisions. 70,000 of the new tax soldiers will be armed: the job description explicitly includes carrying a firearm and being willing to use deadly force.

      For context, the United States Army currently has about 380,000 active-duty soldiers assigned within the United States (and about 100,000 abroad). Except for the small number of military police, practically none of the stateside soldiers carry weapons.

  6. David Watt

    A well written piece Norma on one of the two certainties we face. I also saw that the IRS are massively expanding their staff. An attempt to greatly increase taxes speaks of a desperate administration.

  7. Jack “Michael” Dashiell

    Norma, I favor your poem for its wit and irony. The pace of it all quick and fun to read. Though taxes are necessary to sustain a government, they still can make us feel under their control. I hope to read any future poems you submit.

    • Norma Pain

      Thank you for your comments Jack. I am happy that you enjoyed my poem. Taxes are definitely necessary but I wonder if there is an upper limit to their climb. It doesn’t appear to be so.


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