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

#CPC17

#cpc17.png

Tossers, tossers,
tossers in suits,
groomed to an inch
of their Tory blue roots.

A lanyard, a sneer,
to let them in,
so the conference starts
and cock-sucking begins:

Motions are raised
in the near-empty hall,
as the screens are filled
by the faces of fools.

They bay for Boris,
pray to lose May,
pull knives out for Gove,
but no big beasts today.

They’ll ship in the blue rinses
on a new battle bus
this one will read:
‘You plebs are now fucked’.


[Poem 865]

Oppugn

Spent,
an enured year off
for your partner’s slow death,
interrogated by a kid
about the remnants of life.

Our futures are schemed
by privateers,
those insurers will do well
in our twilight years.

They’ll suck on the dividends,
draw succus from flesh,
as our neighbours, our friends,
save hard for their death.

Trust Nobody

All politicians are liars,
the priests are hypocrites,
those estate agents sell boxes
to meet their sales targets.

Some doctors can’t be trusted,
as your dentist drills for gold,
the copper’s lot is valuable,
cells ready to be sold.

Kick the state-aid scroungers,
the devious thieves of pounds,
rip those leeches from the books
and claim the moral ground.

Austerity and denial
are the liars’ superior sneer,
as our kids fare worse than us
with their future full of fear.

Take on the Tory values
of reduction and rebuke,
give those holders of our fate
a grip they’ll not reduce:

And in a year we will hear
the sound of ten years gone,
the birthing screams of Austerity
will be the loudest ones.

As our kids reboot this island,
set adrift by Brexiteers,
they may ask of us, the voters,
how did it come to this?

New Broom

She’ll not be swept back
to Downing Street,
her election broom snapped
under the weight;

the Tories will seek
‘a strong and stable’ hand,
to pick up the broom
and lead these lands.

For now she will clean
without the right tools,
whilst Boris and Rudd
agree which of them rules.

The UK untidy,
until the new cleaner sweeps,
austerity to continue
because brooms aren’t cheap.

Two-shot Tories

A table of old Tories
in the Kemptown cafe
plotting the downfall
of your future today:

Grumbling ’bout democracy,
and ‘leftie threats’,
whilst wanking their pensions
on skinny lattes:

The last generation
to enjoy a grand old age,
they’ll spoon all the sugar
and ensure nothing remains.

NHS on Election Day

In Outpatients,
Brighton,
and efficiently
weighed by Julie,
‘blood pressure good’,
then to ECG,
to confirm I am well,

as this country
threatens an ill result,
which will mean
in five years’ time
I will need to pay
a private company,
and shareholders,
for finding me unwell.

#GE2017

There will be a ballot
with outcomes unknown,
but the resulting state
could be one that’ll harm,
it may finally remove
the vestiges of pride
which were the first choice
of the winning side,
that construction of faith,
more real than dead Gods,
off socialist embers
fired after the war.

When you make your mark
it will determine the fate
of the care of your family,
the future price paid.
Each ballot with a cross,
is a kiss for the carers,
a token of love,
for the state which will keep us.
Or leave it, don’t bother,
make a mark for the rich,
and let them get fat
on the illness of kids;
let them turn profits
on dementia, new business,
let them trade shares
in your family’s sickness.

Who the F*ck is Nick Timothy?

Who is Nick Timothy?
Do you give a toss?
He’s the quiet one –
St Theresa’s soft voice.

Almost Deputy PM,
with no vote or mandate,
he’ll re-draw Conservatism,
tracing over the Left;

aided by Fiona,
the Queen of Press Passes,
but Nick wears the boots,
‘cos he likes to kick arses.

[Published here on The Dangerous Globe]

Miracle on Downing Street

Saint Theresa knows what is good for us now –
she sings ‘Hallelujahs’ and takes a low bow

as she cleans the feet of the blessed rich
whilst loosening her grip on their privatised bits

She’s touched The Trump – held the hand of God
and now she is saying Come and buy the lot!

And on Election Day – perhaps in 2022
when they’ve won again – against the too few

you might turn round and look back on this time
and regret the miracles you left behind –

the medicine – the doctors – the freedom to move –
the care for the elderly – state schools improved –

the future for kids – ours without privilege –
the rights we had – to stand up ‘n still rage

When the state that blessed us is sold for our good,
you’ll have no one to trust, except Theresa’s rich gods


E281118

Kathy

For Kathy.

Kathy spoke for a minute,
it may have been less:
“I’m being serious,
I want you to do

something for us.”

[The most powerful woman, in this reduced state,
rep(lied) through her teeth – not one of them straight.]

I vote for Kathy,
I vote for the traduced.
We’ll remove the ‘Fat Cats’ –
make sure your vote is used.


Original NEWS story here

Amended to ‘Kathy’ 17.05.17 – updated NEWS story here

London (2017)

Apologies to William Blake

I wander down each one-way street,
Near where the two way Thames flows.
A’glow on every face I meet
OS of weakness, screens of woe.

In every tweet of every Man,
In every Infants swipe of fear,
In every post: in every blog,
the Facebook lies I hear

How the Big Issue boys cry
Every converted Church appalls,
And the hapless homeless sigh
Lie in doorways in bankers’ walls

But most through midnight streets I hear
How the Tinder-swiped do curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear
And blights with plagues the NHS hearse


[Original ‘London’, William Blake]

Neoliberalism – The Box Set


Democracy is now a box set,
an entrance and exit farce,
a short comedy of situation –
laughter at Ed Balls’ odd dance.

We – the strapped-in audience
– with our contract, paying-to-view,
watch these series evolve,
produced by the political few:

They’ll direct the rape of services,
and write-out aged stars,
they’ll script the tawdry screenplay,
and expect us to play the parts.

Our rights have been lost to our stories,
no repeat fees paid for mistakes,
the masked bureaucrats run the studio,
they sweep aside the costly out-takes.

“True Democracy – A Filthy History”:
We sit before our sixty-inch screens,
we are dealt the marked House of Cards:
On sofas no one hears your screams.


Please #Retweet For #Shelter

Each #TweetForShelter
@BritishGas will donate
£1 to Shelter,
with the aim to raise
twenty five thousand
of their profited quid:
Please tag your friends,
raise a million instead:
Today, quick-twitter,
do this one fleet tap,
retweet this quick poem,
to lift a kid from her trap,
and help a family,
without a secure life:
This one xmas tweet
could ensure they survive.

Look It Up


Today some librarians
were summarily shot,
others had their licked-fingers
lopped:

No fresh cash to buy,
no more books to improve –
libraries to re-define
‘desuetude’:

Once places to search
word-oddities,
where we pulled from the shelves
fat dictionaries,

but without re-filling
the reference sections,
truth will be left
to Google’s introjections.


NEWS STORY HERE

Would We Stand at Orgreave?

Would we dig deep shifts
in the coughed guts of this land
then take home the spat news
our livelihoods have gone?

Would we vote – stand –
to the voiced-charges they made –
that our coal industry – our life –
is not there – will not pay?

Would we shout and argue
now the future isn’t ours
and gather at police lines –
faith in this – our last cause?

Would we dare to hold
our sunburnt ground
before the police horses
and rage of police hounds?

On Clement’s second call –
when horses charge again –
would we remain – standing –
as honest pit men?

Would we have the strength
to battle any more –
or did Thatcher crush it all
in her short civil war?

Guardian Video

Grudge Match


No new-built Britannia,
no tax-pirate ship:
A small piece of Britain!
It’ll cost zillions of quids!

A gift for us all!
Worth every penny!
But pounds buy less,
unsure how many:

A floating gin palace?
Build no more yachts,
we’re pre-Brexit sunk,
we have spent the pot;

now England’s stuck
at Scottish loggerheads,
build deathly Successors,
load the warheads,

aim them at Holyrood,
and prepare for launch,
Eton mess made good
by Boris’ first war.


 

Pooh Bear Did Sh*t in the Woods

…here.

My last poem
about David Cameron:
Sadly, ‘Pooh’ will never
come back again:

Off to ponder,
‘tiddle-tut-tut’,
To wander the forests,
with his wife – Piglet;

Along the sandy paths
of the Algarve,
To plan their future –
not too hard,

Because, thinking a lot
taxes Pooh,
Unlike the Revenue,
who will still tax you;

So wave ‘bye-‘bye
to the short-shirted bear,
he left us in sh*t
piled up to.. [Go to first line]

Posh-born

#cpc17-01.png
You can judge a man
by the width of his smirk,
revealing, briefly,
his mind at work:

Front bench foolery
can be explained,
whilst the country’s soul
is slowly drained:

Hang out with Gove,
and his ‘Game of Thrones’,
there’s much to watch
on mobile phones:

Posh-born, benching,
for many years more,
smiling, sucking,
on us, the new poor.

Smog

Have you breathed in today the low smog of lies,
hung above, blinding, The Sun-darkened isles?

We won’t whine ’bout foul weather fogging us in,
we maintain small insights with screen-swiping.

Tablet-tat is uploaded, and each hour we surf,
bad news is aborted for a fresh royal birth:

Young doctors, low-paid, the left, the long-ill,
re-treated by the barons with lethal press pills.

The Trade Union Bill has been finally read,
our forebear’s blood-ceded, will no more be bled.

We’ll give up clear skies, embrace fogged land-fall,
So now lifting our eyes we will seeing nothing at all.

Minor Injuries

Home, to a greeting child, wrist-wrapped, dog-bit:
Then travel (fast) to an M.I. unit.
The waiting room, a car-crash, filled stiff chairs,
In charge: the triage nurse’s contused stares.

I fill out, biro, an NHS form:
Photocopied boxes ticked, facts informed.
Overhead, thirty inches of TV :
Patients dosed-down with free reality:

‘Loose Women’ (giggling about men in sheds),
Here the nursing staff avoid blocking beds.
My child is soon repaired, by a gowned saint,
The punctures cleaned, with dabbed iodine paint.

Heading back home, child slung and bandaged-tight,
Proud of our small country doing us right:
Him: ‘In America that’ve cost lots!’,
Me: ‘In the UK it’ll soon be lost’.

Do You Know Her Name?

She stands, cold,
at Waitrose’s door:
An immigrant washed-up,
on our shore!

is an instantly-fired
typed-up-rant,
quick-raged, sick,
a tuneless, descant:

She stands, wet,
at Waitrose’s door:
‘The Big Issue’,
her limp offered store,

undersold, in
our freedom trade,
dignity, her
last held barricade:

She stands, ages,
at Waitrose’s door,
her light smile,
your corner-eyed reward:

A few fear
this awaiting grace,
her quiet held issues,
the rest embrace.

Our Library


Libraries’ hours will reduce,
their lending overdue:
Google will then charge us all
for e-book content view.

Our library is all knowledge,
day-long care and quiet reads,
our vast bookmark will be lost
if all we do is cede:

Loved tomes will not open,
nor the library’s oft locked-doors,
no free church for free readers,
we have to fight for more.

Less bookworm-work for staff,
all that knowledge has been sacked,
they may find jobs in Tesco’s,
where books aren’t freely stacked.

 

Harry’s Last Standard

The sepia tone of November has gone
wrote Harry Smith – aged ninety-one –

seeing worn-out – blood-red – poppies as lies –
pinned politic medals on cut-back lives

Dignity – for the aged – the infirm and unwell
should not be hacked so this state can sell

the last shards of a now-curtailed reward –
gained fair in blood – in post-war accord

Death-won promises of a better world –
Instead they insist such respect is culled

On Harry Smith’s lapel no poppy was worn –
For him the Old Wars were still to be won


E 281118

The Best Doctor

I am a General Practitioner,
working through my impatient lists,
queued for me, praying for miracles,
the waiting room (where hope still exists).

I prescribe for common complaints,
but how can I comprehend,
what their listed illnesses feel like:
To their sick-state should I now descend?

The memory-miniature woman,
sitting silently opposite me:
widower (without recent recall),
I am gone from her immediately.

Every new minute is quite foreign,
whilst her past is a vast unlocked house:
dementia devalues this moment:
a flaming disease we never douse.

A small cough-racked child is then offered,
held in vein-traced maternal embrace:
I’ve no idea which is the patient,
I shall drown in my shallow disgrace.

Me, infected, queue-sickened, instead?
I wouldn’t want to suffer their plight:
to live without cures (our common curse),
but to die, tormented, isn’t right.

Papered Cracks

The truth is unwritten,
Fleet-leaked no more,
paper-faced liars
print facts we adore:

Celebrity shame,
to ministered-spin,
the people in charge
are the ones who’ll win.

So we roll over again,
to claim a jackpot,
no fair-share of prizes
will be our lot.

The rich earn the most,
with state benefits,
theirs the return
of less-taxing remits.

The fire stations burn,
no libraries renew,
the NHS bled dry,
sold to a few.

Today’s papers feed
our subjugation,
this land will become
yesterday’s nation.

Fish-wrapped, on Friday,
in previous news,
this is Fleet Street
editing our views.

Well

It was first called ‘Welfare’
by a proud state,
no more ideal,
we are now told to berate:

Ever less likely to be
paid to me,
freelance, with Parkinson’s,
at fifty-three.

Welfare, not there, services sold,
uprooting the ill, the poor, the old:
Any vacuum is filled, so it is said,
but they’ll suffocate welfare until it’s dead:

One nation built high
on the backs of the old,
we should pay more in tax
so our welfare’s not sold.