Atomic Ironic

They asked us to build
An island to build a base to
Build a gun on
Then
They asked us to build
An island to build a town on
To get blown up
They got us to build these
Far from home
On the other side of the planet
An impossible task
Taking miles of man hours
And costing an aeon of money

We spent our time
Ingeniously
Breaking the codes of the atom
Building the biggest
The wildest, the newest
Securing our seat
At the side of the mighty
Wasting our atmosphere
Nuking the air
To check
That no further threats
Grew anywhere…

Why we poppy

A red flower on your breast
Feeding thoughts of war
A century of life lost young
Defending freedom

In European mud the first seeds
Bloom among youths’ blood
Ensuring rights and laws upheld
Defending freedom

Yet wars and wars again
Beset our Earth, doom our kin
Piling dead poppies on the pain
Defending freedom

As a century of poppies passes
Blurring right’s, a little out of focus
Battles reign for Aurelian
Defending freedom

The great Suffolk train ride

A residual stink
That acrid jarring of smells
Grating receptors and flashing memories
Of narrow escapes
Close shaves
The clawing tendrils of inertia
Rancid in manner
I squeeze my eyes tight, grin
Embracing this funk of what
Might have been.

We pull through Manningtree
Wondering the ghosts haunting
It’s industrial might
Desolate journeying through
Time’s very decay
In this error of modernisation
Thirty years dilapidation
The dead in the Dedham Vale

How well your dark flocks of sheep
Crowd your secret
As far removed from clouds
As your dark wet brickwork alleyways
And menacing piping
Anyone claiming this outpost of progress
Will need time and
Wealth to mobilise your dunes
Of crumbling rubble
Scrape habitable
Your vast concrete footprints
Me and my passenger friends
Flee North, hammering the short stretch
Of track left ‘train-friendly’
This far East

I love speed
Trees wave furiously
Frozen in streaks
Passing this great machine
We tear past bikers and dog walkers
The fluorescent smear of joggers,
Of heath-jumpers, bowl by the window
As a bright feeble January sun
Sweeps through the innards of our carriage
Painting faces and seats
In chilling reds and oranges
Until the next clutch of housing or industrial estates
Breaks those marvellous red beams

Inevitably someone impresses the brake
A forest of pylons
So gantry’s encase this slow snake.

1706

Slow delight,
accompanies the blissful trite –
expressionless bile –
that is here present.

Along the way
the slag of a light known as day
(though it’s furthest away
from his mind)
is spent
lazily, calling for soulless repent
from a murkier past:
Not uncommon.

There, our municipal pit
All thoughts and feelings enter
is full, brimming
with nameless creations!
No claimers and nobody looks for,
or asks for, their namers –
remaining silent
till they’re called from the nights.

The Last Word

These fucking fuckers
Fucking up our lives
For their personal stake
In our political state
Sucking our lives dry
Leading fates awry
Leaving fears to dry

And this comment’ry
That comedy
Which tries to make it seem alright
Is now as bad
And ignorant
As the fuckers so merrily fucking us
So shame on me
for plugging in
For staying tuned and trying
How sorely fucked the feeling is
As wit washes over this fucking
It’s us,
it’s you,
it’s me
That’s really surely fucking up
I hardly ever knew the game
Yet know that I’m now
Royally f**ked

 

2017: January Pre-Mourning

The night before the work starts
Our streets echo with lone travellers
This night of cold clear dread
As the new year shakes free
Of it’s champagne and fireworks
A mighty muted still
Fills up the dark

And in the raging dreams
Of all these people in their beds
Uncertain and alone in today’s cold sleep
Questions of fragility
Feed our hunger for dread
Spoiling this last bedtime
With what tomorrow brings

Outside in some dark corner
Of a Southern London home
I ponder how few deaths make many mourn
The slaps of conflict beat
Fresh tears from more bored eyes
Yet each hour too much life
Is bled and crushed in horror

For one more year has come on us
And forseers contort with doom
Such angry rhetoric, such mounting gloom
Yet this new year is not foretold
And harbours chances new
There’s not time to conjure lies
Just time to start the world.

The end of the world news, Ankakay via Flickr

The end of the world news, Ankakay via Flickr

The Uprisen

Stańczyk by Jan Matejko (1862)

Stańczyk by Jan Matejko (1862)

I’m revolting in our kitchen
I will not wash another cup
Nary the bins are emptied
And I care not who’s turning up

In the toilet I’m revolting
You can guess the seat stays raised
A growing ring of gloomy grey
Entombs the tub in waves

The floor of our thru-diner
Is an irksome furry muck
For I’ve revolted against the oppressive regime
That bids I vacuum up

Window’s streak with weeks of grime
The laundry mountain hums
Shadows stretch from coves
– such as spiders hide –
Yet I’m sticking to my guns

Once in a while love stands the test
Resists worldly weights and… sails
Yet sometimes – oft noticed far too late –
Once in a while love fails

So leave me to my misery
Let this dirt I foster bloom
You Watch your ‘Bake Off’ finally
I’ll sulk, revolting,
in some dark room