A Step-father’s Advice

They will spit forth
foam-flecked hints of hate*
to rattle old angry folk
by distractions – to vote –
it is as if Enoch Powell
were no longer dead –
as high-born cussing –
upper-class meddlers –
play the lack-Latin fools
to the baying stalls
and set off marchers
to resurrect working-class
empirical values
of tipped flat caps
to the lovely guv’nor
whilst we Remain-bowed
middle-classes – struggling
to foot our rising guilt –
doubly weighted by costs
of over-consumption –
turn our attention off
Do not enter politics
without a deep wallet


*I’m no longer Nasty, but please stop lying
about Nice by Boris Johnson’,
Daily Telegraph, 17 October 2002.
Thanks to Fintan O’Toole


A Courtesan in Croydon

Her mind was turned on
by cocaine and hard cocks
neither of which
she could get enough
In her parted silk gown
she would play her part
going down on men
to quicken their hearts
but not before
a fixed payment was made
and for two hundred more
he could enter unsheathed
A subtle glance at her watch
as he buried his tongue
because time is money
and another punter at one

The Decision Makers

I’m lost – Danny Boy –
in this town of my birth –
I’m being pulled apart
by others’ decisions –
by the inflexible rulings
of fixed-people-in-jobs –
I could clip their pinned ears –
but it is not allowed –

due to time – human rights
loom at my now left half-life
in these – so – disunited
flagging kingdoms –
of offset Scotland –
of partitioned Ireland –
of phlegmatic Wales –
of moribund England

Now – they say –
connect by the internet
which eludes my grip –
not my old way of working
because that has been
swiped by the change –
under time’s circled stress
on my devolving thoughts

Gift Wrapping

There – done – ripped apart
then left on a slunked chair
or hung on the fat bannister –

then the glee-torn wrappings
are bagged – either ‘re’ –
or ‘not-re’ – ‘cyclable

I sit in my Christmas jumper
and hear the thankless mumbles
from others for their useless gifts –

We never know how to lie
on Christmas Day

And tomorrow there will be bags
of this year’s unwanted stuff
heading to the cancer shop

or to fill the unlocked industrial bins –
to become lumpen beds
for the badly-wrapped tenants

Social-ism

“It’s .. trying to construct a society around production
for need .. not .. for profit .. meeting people’s needs”
I half-quote Tony Benn

Once I was in his audience whilst back home
my father rebuffed Wedgie-bloody-Benn with
his gruff-spoken shun about the Leftie-in-a-suit
Benn spoke without limits at the Co-operative Hall

way back in the slush-grey twentieth century
of do-not-touch candles and knitted gloves
in an endless civil war of fists and banners
across slag battlefields far removed from us

Face-to-face politic was the free-to-use fuel
against factory shut-downs and mounting job losses
“(Thatcher) did make war on a lot of people in Britain,
and I don’t think it helped our society”

Now we trade insults over sofa-space distances –
such hate we would not dare to excrete out there in public –
no loud enough complaints about neighbours’
ached-stomachs with day-end hunger –

not of zero-hour contracts worth near to nothing –
or the basic provisions of dignity and stability
Instead – we lament the kiss of a celebrity –
caught on camera – going viral like herpes

This land is cut open under smartphone blades –
those knives blunt voices which once were our aides

 

Wedding Rites

The small streets of Windsor are sparkling today
it helps that the homeless were moved on their way

Union flags limp overhead – bought online for thirty quid –
as the old – the young – the poor
the ill – wait patiently – right until

The rich – the landed – the toffs –
the Dukes – pass them by – up high –
so aloof

Then roads are re-opened to one and all –
the returning beggars lay out their stalls

Once more in England there’s a tale to tell –
How a town was reduced to a right royal hell

 

Hyde Road, Manchester

Malpas Street was assailed
in a sustained assault –
once the Neo-Liberals
took this city and the port

The remaining red terraces
of parallel-lived lives
then flattened by politics –
sold short by Tory lies

The bus rolls so slowly
over holes in Hyde Road –
then past the brick islands
of bust industrial gods

Near the church of football
I pass grim social housing –
No one wipes their doorstep –
we only swipe our devices


E150119

 

 

May’s Britain

In this hushed-up country
of scandalous lies
where powerful classes
ensure their future is fine

we fall asleep in ignorance
and wake to right wing views

we lie to our scared children
that school will solve it all

we saunter down the aisle
in the Church of Endless Shops

we repeat our marriage vows
to those retail uber gods

we book our family holiday
to escape this treadmill life

we load the long-leased burden
and pray there’ll be wifi

In this hushed-up country
we are down on our knees
Here powerful classes
steal whatever they please