The Himalayan Balsam’s scent
clogs – a laundry swill of smells –
lingering – invasive – out-of-place –
underlining the call to action –
Since its foolish introduction
it’s no longer welcome here
Almost sticky – swollen with pollen –
it waits with near-primed seeds
until it fires ripe-wide explosions
finding further incursions
Balsam Bashing – its removal –
is now a nationwide fixation –
The bent stem-cutters – the pullers –
are impatient traditionalists
who tug – with gardening gloves –
working hard at their final solution
Aquinas floats in his grave
and Socrates will not swallow –
their thoughts have been inverted –
their words are sounding hollow
A strategia della tensione
is courted by the State –
those clowns in the Senate
will let their votes bring hate
Salvini is banning love –
he cracks his sharpened tongue –
as his men buff their batons
to swipe the foreign sons
He’s shutting corner shops early –
the dens of drugs and plots –
he refuses ships safe harbour –
those boats which bear the lost
The different are set to suffer
as Salvini cracks his whip
on the skin of migrant settlers
who had found their hope in risk
The borders close on promises
as the ports are mopped of tears –
the Far Right drops the barriers
to block their far-right fears
Anemochory takes this seamless child
of these immigrants – landed from Europe –
and urges her to fly
We named her Samara because of her wings
and the hope that she will carry
our future further
Her family has been resident here – four centuries –
but historically are the dark foreigners
among landscape and cities
She is Anglicised among childhood memories –
kids awe at her presumption to fly –
We call her spinning Jenny
The singing whale
sang canary song
in the river of kings
Almost a portent –
a white flag of truce –
dipping and guiding
her head by the moon
There will be a dinghy
to greet the creature –
to check her origins
and to refuse a visa
We know too well
that her journey will fail –
in that dead end course
taken by other whales
On the rushed film set
we were re-hushed
for the recording
of a wide shot on B
and we – the extras –
dressed as coppers –
waited in the
bale-tipped barn –
Turning was bellowed
by the unsmiling AD
forcing a quietened
conference of uniforms –
there holding a debate
on colour and race
in hardly whispers
which were kept low –
a murmured conspiracy –
We acted without scripts
and mimed our interactions –
Nothing good was said.
It has become a confusion
of charity store drop offs –
butted to trim nail bars
and empty estate agents –
and now this English town
has a gaudy tanning shop
The bench-rested watch
the parading mothers –
taking note of the too-bared
shoulders and legs –
the unnatural colour
of those buggy shovers –
these age-anchored repeat
their Daily Mail complaints
about floods of immigrants –
as the pale-faced punters book
to turn brown in the new salon
of not-very-English tans.
Just now in my pub
there was racist talk,
loud howl of ‘Nigger’
in context of what?
Not for the first time,
and not for the last,
this country is shite,
it enjoys hatred.
Reduce the Brits, take away their tea,
Jaguar, Landrover, and Wedgwood pottery,
all now sold, the last of British treasures,
what is left ‘Great’ to make Britain special?
The Great British dinner – battered fish and chips?
Actually a recipe from Jewish immigrants:
The gold we hold in the Bank of England?
No, its ‘ta’ to Huguenots for banking millions.
Ah, nothing more Albion than our ancient royals?
Nein, migrant blue blood, now long-despoiled.
But Punch and Judy, that traditional beach farce?
Alas Italian, their commedia dell’arte.
OK, Saint George, a true Sainted Brit?
No, a Syrian son, with a dragon, illlegit.
Right, polo, how English, on lawns of Windsor?
Sadly, for you, from the dusty kingdom of Persia.
That mothers’ ruin poured from gin distilleries?
Been shipped in barrels, from overseas.
Pigeon racing, ’tis Northern, an ‘Up-North’ fancy?
Nay lad, flown in by Belgian bird-loving royalty.
The Womens’ Institute, cake and Englishness?
Sorry, Canada made it, and Wales repossessed.
That well-mannered bear, who as kids we well knew?
Ah, even Paddington Bear is a foreigner too.
This country of confusions, imports and invention,
is at its British best when embracing immigration.
They swayed on the deck
under throat-music chants,
heel-spun, with babies,
holding hope in their hands:
Welcome to Europe,
across uneasy borders,
where choices are streamed,
and the future’s disordered.