Tag Archives: politics

End of Empire

Magnolia-scented archipelago morning,
camouflaged gun-carriages
slinking along
taut cobblestoned arteries
to the grand Palace de Ville;
half-awake kepi’d corporals
tune battered transistor radios
catching the tresses of
fleeting Francoise Hardy chansons,
their spiritual melange of
love,hope and understanding
struck down by the
bayonet sharp rays of the sun
glinting on pristine marble statues,
quiescent cherubs of moments
dawning and dying,
holding thoughts in thrall
evoking a lassitude that will never
see its own likeness again
in all the mirrors
that blank and fade,
as the first of the artillery
heralds the crucifixion
of Coup d’etat.

Summer ’68

We wrote our own history

in an illegible script

with broken pencils

borrowed from empty classrooms;

We lit our fuses

with spent matches

discarded by all our yesterdays;

We sat and contemplated

the gathering gloom,

dark and heavy as velvet

shrouding the sun

that once shone on our

marching charging afternoons

along boulevards that we filled

with their peculiar fragrance

of tear gas and petrol.



It’s 50 years since ” Street Fighting Man ” was recorded by the Rolling Stones during the portentous summer of 1968.

Picket-Line :-Fryston Colliery 1984

Day breaks over the Pit Wheel,

its gaunt circumference

dormant and proud;

Along the arterial tarmac that wends

its way down into the village,

oil-drum braziers waft showers of

redflecked orange-sparks over

huddled dufflecoat figures;

Engrossed in the “Crack”

weather-etched faces drain

dregs from shared flasks,

warmed hands pass round

the last of the fags,

snapshut their hollow snap-tins;

Vigil-wearied eyes scan the morning grey

middle-distance trying to make

out the shape of flitting lights,

waltzing their way slowly along

the road,two long vehicles

preceded by four shorter ones;

the cavalcade shimmering like

technicoloured morse-code,

blue and red and blue and red;

Around still flickering braziers,

huddled dufflecoats curtail

their banter and begin to

form cohorts to greet the

arrival of another day,

as it breaks over

the Pit Wheel,

its gaunt circumference

dormant and proud.

Electing Jeremy

Hope comes in small packages

delivered either very early in the

morning or very late at night ,

so that it’s only during daytime

that we actually get to see

just what was delivered whilst we were asleep ;

With the sun streaming down

our eyes begin to open ,

we look and we stare

and we wonder where

hope has been delivered ;

then it dawns on us ,

it’s right in front of us ,

in a small unassuming package.

Seven Million

Birthday candles all in a row
all unlit none aglow ;

Birthday cards that were never sent
birthday presents all unspent ;

Missing holiday snaps and first days at school
unbuilt sandcastles and no April fool ;

No sports day success,no end of term joy
vanished forever that girl and that boy .

( Footnote :- Since the introduction in the UK of the Abortion Act 1967 ,some 7,000,000 pre-birth humans have been legally exterminated. )


We’ve been here before .
at the abyss’ edge daring
ourselves to stare right in ;
cajoling one another
with all the fervour
of middle ranking bank executives
leaving work late to-night;
With wifey and kids at home ,
and the endless toil of years
wearying your souls over
mortgages ,cars ,holidays
and that swedish furniture ;
We’ve been here before ,
gesticulating with wagging finger
at the madman ,the lunatic ,the psychopath ,
the sociopath ,the misanthrope ,the zealot ,
the bigot ,the fanatic ,the extremist ,
the revolutionary ,the reactionary ;
those who know what the game is really all about ,
zero sum.
No way out.
We’ve been here before.

Losing My Politics

I think you thought that I wasn’t listening
when I heard you say ,
that getting rich was the only thing
that mattered anyway ;

I think I heard you lying
when you denied it all later on ,
you said you’d feed the starving
but you never did cross that Rubicon ;

You stood there in front of me
a politician by your trade ,
facing more than two ways on every issue
you never could quit your masquerade ;

I knew that you were lying
that you’d continue so to do ,
you thought no-one would ever notice
when all you ever promised never came true .

( “Losing My Politics” is the companion piece to “Fallen idols” )


When the truth is found to be lies ,
the trust you had within you dies ;

What future testimony then convinces ?
having put your trust in the words of princes ?

Their words nailed the body of truth to the tree of lies ,
Pharisees’ loud voices were lauded,those of the meekest despised ;

The Pharisees’ code of silence and fears ,
beat down the truth over the years ;

Until men could bear it no more ,
welcoming the breaking down of their prison’s door ;

Then bright shining as the sun ,
truth at last revealed to everyone ;

are there any righteous in the world ?
no , not one.

( Footnote : from The Guardian of 12 September 2012)

Hillsborough disaster report published – Wednesday 12 September

• Report casts doubt over original inquest ruling, revealing that 41 of the 96 victims ‘had the potential to survive’
• South Yorkshire police and emergency services made ‘strenuous attempts’ to deflect blame for the crush onto victims
• 116 of 164 police statements were ‘amended to remove or alter comments unfavourable to South Yorkshire police’
• Police carried out blood alcohol readings on victims, including children, in order to ‘impugn their reputations’
• PM David Cameron says he is ‘profoundly sorry’ for the ‘double injustice’ of the Hillsborough disaster.
• Kelvin MacKenzie, the Sun editor who wrote the infamous headline ‘The Truth’ on the front page story blaming fans, offers ‘profuse apologies’

Revolution as Installation Art

replete with camouflage fatigues,
bandana and stylishly angled beret,
his smile clenching a half-smoked cigarillo,
cradling the Kalashnikov AK-47 and
gazing toward some indeterminate future
with a much rehearsed irrepressible optimism;
Outside of this photograph’s repetitive parameters,
the true Chimera,
one leg shorter than the other,
the single oft-patched shirt,
the ragged trousers and
the absence of philanthropy,
the languid stare of a coca addict,
whose lachrymose reminiscences
are recanted to order
for a few Centavos,
a touristic gesture
the Guardian readers.

African Landscape

a barely muted buzzing of flies
thousands upon thousands,
a counterpoint click-clicking
of crickets in chorus,
a crackling of flames
in the noon-day heat
scattering sheaves
of semi-charred papers
in a gentle breeze
that plays upon
flapping posters,
proclaiming in
four languages and dialects
UNESCO’s “peace&prosperity for all”;
heaped up in altar-like fashion,
redundant,sacrificial juvenile faces
with eyes no longer bright
shining as the sun,
away on the miraged horizon
shapes shift and change,
a battered land-rover seems
to bullock its way toward
this stony ground whereon
seed has been spilled,
their meagre dust
caught up and weighed
and found wanting
for no reason.