Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Trying, and failing, not to say 'shit'

He's an unpleasant, self-interested, mean-spirited person who should be nowhere near the reins of power and influence. Being unable to vote him out, I decided to attack him swearily, doggerel-style instead...


I’ve got Irritable Duncan Syndrome,
that nasty little shit
takes pleasure from the harm he does
while getting paid for it.

He’s like Chucky’s dirty uncle,
with tiny nipping teeth,
biting monetary morsels
from those who have the least,

and every time the corporates
pass laws of gain and greed,
he laughs and pumps his evil fist,
sowing devil-sprouting seeds.

His claws, they grasp at benefits,
the Welfare State’s his wallet,
he steals from old and young alike
to line his greasy pockets,

he failed at everything he did,
got everything for free,
now paints the poor as lazy oiks,
spits on their hopes with glee,

so if the touch of I.D.S.
gives you anguish of the bowels,
flush him with the other turds,
and feed him to your flowers.

Friday, 29 May 2015

I care not for your bejewelled headgear

A subject I rarely tackle as I'm no monarchist (inherited privilege and position = grrr), but equally have no love for the idea of a President i.e. another layer of self-serving politicking. However, the hypocrisy and mismatch between 'austerity' and ridiculous wealth couldn't go by without comment...

The Queen’s Speech

A billionaire in a fifty-million quid hat
sits on a gold throne
and tells us about austerity, tells us
“Serfs, kneel down,
kiss my fucking crown,
my velvet-pampered bum,
bow and scrape,
and if you tug your forelocks hard enough,
you might get thrown
some scraps and crumbs,”
forgets to explain
why the sixth-richest country
can’t afford a welfare state
but can buy bombs
even the army doesn’t want,
speaks about how now
if we try to organise,
they’ll demonise us,
stamp down hard
with heels ever more jackbootlich,
pretending it’s to protect ‘essential services’,
some vague idea of Britishness,
try to make us nervous,
too scared to take action,
keep us split into factions,
with distractions - horror-stories
of immigrants, the poor,
the sick and unemployed,
how our island’s full, shore to shore,
with those ‘other ones’
some are shades of brown,
follow different gods, or none,
some are anarchists – shhh,
we all know they’ve got black hats
and fizzing bombs, might protest,
disturb the wealthy’s cosy nest
and you can’t invest to get
fat dividends from informed dissent
while Take Me Out’s light-up Cupid,
helps keep everybody stupid
and tribal, like never-ending sport,
gameshows, fake reality TV and soaps,
political-slot comedy barely on fire,
state-sanctioned satire
pretending to have an edge
but there’s more revolution in a single veg
allotment-grown, free from Monsanto,
or meal given away on the street,
each witness borne
and DIY spark of creativity -
for every nose-in-the-trough
torn down from a lofty perch,
all Commanders-in-Chief,
CEOs and High Church,
takes us one step closer
to something better,
and you know, if this is the end
of entitlement-culture like you say, Liz,
get ready to live without the Civil List.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Kiss, rain, ghosts

OK, post-election rant over... here's a short observational piece.

In a bus shelter

A year-old impression of teenage lips
kissing perspex,
holes in the ‘No Smoking’ sign,
melted by cigarettes,
spider webs,
badly scratched graffiti
with no economy of line.

The water-torture drip
of rain between roof panels,
the green specks of algae and honeydew
dropped from lime trees.

A young mum with an empty pushchair
sits by the Sellotape ghosts
of a thousand unofficial ads.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Post-election and it's time to get spiky

So, Britain's gone Tory and it makes me feel physically sick. Why anyone apart from the uber-wealthy 1% votes for them I'll never really understand, but those who did are responsible for the evil that will follow - destruction of the NHS and loss of the Human Rights Act to name just two of their foul intentions. So, in the spirit of feeling very angry indeed, here's some taking-it-personally-so-making-it-personal doggerel. If you're reading this and voted Tory, you are unlikely to enjoy the experience, but that's nothing compared to the harm such ballot-box short-sightedness will end up causing countless others...


A Tory will not love you,
they think only of themselves,
no time to care for others
when they’re worshipping their wealth.

Their parents are just sources
of inheritance and coin,
and short-term gain even outweighs
the fruit of their own loins.

“Surely they love their own dear kids”
I hear you all exclaim,
but no they don’t, not deep inside –
the reason I’ll explain.

They throw away their human rights
and healthcare on the sly,
their own descendants’ futures sold
for a slice of selfish pie.

They care nothing for the consequence
of the cult-of-self they follow,
a quick tax-break this afternoon
and the world could burn tomorrow.

They’ll kick a cripple on the floor,
destroy the air we breathe,
for every vote placed next to ‘blue’,
lay someone else’s wreath,

So, if you love a Tory,
even if your heart is true,
unless you’re made of money,
they surely won’t love you.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

When there are (almost) no words

The photo below is now famous and rightly so - it shows a four-year old girl in a refugee camp, displaced by the Syrian Civil War, surrendering to a long-lens camera because she thinks it is a gun. There are almost no words for how wong this is, and in how many ways, nor for how angry it makes me (and many, many others). Almost. But it was suggested as a prompt by I am not a silent poet after much discussion about it on their facebook page and so I tried to articulate my anger...

In Atman Camp

I see you, power-hungry man,
stomach full of
belligerence and bile.
I see your guns and tanks,
their barrels,
your ill-concealed excitement
and over-compensation.
I see the lists of dead and wounded,
missing, disappeared,
bodies empty as shell-casings
swept into drifts,
their blue lips
your Viagra kiss.
I see the conquered territory
you piss on,
a few feet here,
a few feet there –
and I feel its never-again
poppy-strewn familiarity.
I see your callow excuses
for why you need a war
and why the suffering,
not yours,
is worth it.

I see all this
in the eyes of Adi Hudea,
one tiny refugee
surrendering to a more benevolent
sort of shot
than the one that took her father,
massacred at Hama.
I see her innocence
taken in infancy,
I see what you have done,
you and all your kind,
and I call you out.

Photo by Osman Sağırlı