Need I remind you
that I am not the land I live on

I am not the owner
Nor am I the hill over the moor

If you keep on associating me with them
In this cramped cage of a name

I might explode
It’s already bad enough
That we share so much
Too much.

We all have our own perfectly good names
and even they push it.

Fascists 33′ or Shivering National

These torn threads around me are tensing to start
A war one day, consider it marked:
They need to kickstart their meaning, after
Investing so heavily in national values
Only for them to crash.

Sullenly staring after its end;
Wars seem crunchy until your friends
Are black paste smeared on the walls of some ruin;
At least I’ll have known it was endlessly stupid.
Inferno sold as a chance.

Don’t hedge against it – keening to judge
Some sullen smartass they’ll action their grudge,
Feeling keenly the blade of blame for pain
And its quiet injunction to punish the vain
Guilty in their foresight.

A joke it may seem, but soon become tumour
Beyond the one-use shapes of humour
To summon the sodden clouds and gloom
Sullying otherwise living rooms
And making grey the light.

Or… maybe they’ll simply go their way
Their manic way, just day to day
Trembling before the future’s violence
Flashing their eyes at anyone strident
Enough to defy them, face to face
– “You think you can leave the race?
“I’ve got a long knife that says you can’t.”

The Leaflet Dropper, 2016

I passed a relic on the street
And the poor boy spoke to me
Of circa 1917

And when I looked into his eyes
I’m afraid to say I was not surprised
To see small golden hammer and sickle signs

When I said ‘Corbyn’ he shook his head
And I knew then; revolution is dead
And when the poor lad went to bed

That evening he spoke the catechism
“Workers of the world you will be risen”
And rested sure in a welcome prison.

And though we may be on a team,
The world will not be won by dreaming
Or rather walking while you’re sleeping.

The Forest

The Tree says “Down! – thee
seeds and sapling usurpers
“I am the root and I the purpose
“Know my bark, it keeps me strong.”
And murders them with shadows long.

The saplings and the seeds chant –
“Up! – up the republic of growth
“Of varied ideas, and new things here below
“Until the wood is filled with variety
“Old bark can stay – but we’ll have our society.”

The forest is filled with kinds of desire
But all must drink – and bathe in the sun
The far spread shadows are death to some
“Until the dark dawn of some great forest fire”

Some hope to spark, to get underway
The falling, the ashes, it tends to gestate
Grand ideas of a sunlit glade
Though dappled light seems the best some can await –

Born as they are with stunted branch
Or lack of structured niche or dance
They tend to fall back on the law of the light –
that when shadow is cast, those in shadow must fight.

Either starving dark amongst the shoots
Or taking as model the climbing vine
Or cutting the old bark down to size
Or grouping and starving the heartless old roots
To scatter light out from the leaves of the few.

The Labour Party’s Popular Front 12/07/2016

The Labour party is the party of the people
Join us and have your part
So long as that part is the part of the people
That, comrade, is the art.
And the part of the people is in our hearts
So you need not worry
Let us guide you on from here
But first we’ll take your money.

And because we know you all so well
In fact we do not need you
Didn’t you read the secret notes
From the party meeting?
We’ve decided, though you chose
and that was very noble,
But we’ve decided, we can’t act
with this, well, this no-one.

What do you think the media think
And our friends at whitehall
When we turn up with this poor scruff?
It will be our downfall…
We can barely understand
what it is he’s saying
with social justice this and that
Lord, he’s got us praying.

We know this worries all the volk
The ones who put us here
That we might take a different path
One we can’t repeal.
But don’t you worry, we’ve done our part:
Betrayed him with all haste.
There’s this craze that’ll get us in
They call it ‘being racist’.

Europeana Reprise

Oil climbs out of the ocean, parting the surface
Like tearing the seal from an amazon package, pearling
The waves like refugee bodies, also floating
Nearby and shadows american submarines,
Firing out helium nucleii and their drones,
Firing out missiles to blurry amoeba below,
Gathered in blameworthy groups, erased as a whole.
Fleeing the bombs (and who wouldn’t?) come
The wildlife, quietly, of of the Tigris basin,
Wanting peace and stability, which words vibrate
The rotten air around the heads of ‘leaders’
Stood in front of old imperial buildings,
And they say ‘immigration’ and their eyes sparkle
With the light of a thousand suns as they smile
And chew mouthfuls of newspaper gifted by acquaintance,
Til their tongues are black with ink, dripping, corroding
And they fall to Pruit Igoe and the choir
Of chattering voices devour their corpses.
And music echoes out from the Tor, but soft…
What repetitions! and endless repetitions,
Of heartbeats and of drumbeats and of songs,
And series of songs and signifiers and drugs,
Every fucking weekend they sound, and il faut
que they sound, for if they didn’t the mosh pit might stop,
And then we could hear the dark of the void thumping
In our ears, thudding each second, drawing our death
Like poison down the tube towards us, or cancer
Creaking, growing in the dark like rhubarb,
Like extremists grow in little testtubes, mixing
The chemicals of religion, boredom And economics
And grasping at self importance And fear of the dark
And fear of the new And neurosis of the old
And revenge And hatred And easy access to weapons
Face it, we’re all extremists, we believe
Through our petty brains (which we are –
Forget all the limbs and the heart and the skin and the kidneys)
That we can decide with terrible paucity of information
We hope because if we didn’t hope, we’d be alone
Or fixating on the Nation State or praying
Over the rotting corpse of God, exhumed
After such a hasty burial, and the weather
Is heating up, why will no one talk
About the fact the weather is heating up
We just can’t deal with such a real apocalypse
And prefer to invent our own, jumping up
And down in the dark to dissolve our pious souls
Increase your intake of drugs, sir, it’s essential
To maintain a calm visage, you might upset
The elderly and the average citizen, who
Hates the gays and hates the moslems, hates
The commies, hates change and hates the politicians
Is there, he looks like a spreadsheet, but he’s real,
And he’s right you know, he must decide our policy
Sit back down in your cubicle, ma’am, head down
Get on with your work, because work will set you free
And consumption will set you free, and buying
These chunks of rotting flesh will set you free
And put your headphones in and look at the screen
There are too many people – DON’T LOOK UP
I said look down, you can’t deal with the truth
You won’t understand the process of growth, friend
Economic growth, if you look too close…
Better to keep calm and carry on
Driving, burning millions of zooplankton
Bodies, millions of years of history, crusty
To inflate these bubbles and increase GDP

The Immigration Question

If you refuse to let me talk about immigrants, I’ll explode
I’ve spent many days in darkened rooms watching the scenes
of these chitinous figures, crawling out of their boats

Freedom of speech is a sacred right, don’t you see?
What’s not right, what’s not sacred are those with insect skin
Buzzing round lights and digesting all they can steal

But my hatred is stronger for those who want to vote ‘in’
They’ll swarm us, you know, some might even move to my town
Like them from Scotland, but worse, cos they are my kin

It’s like Mr. Hunt said, you’ve got to let us make known
What we think of these things, these invaders destroying our culture
When they attack x-factor, their forces then will have grown

It’ll be too late to protect those ancient sculptures
of the queen, or strictly come dancing, or downton or bake-off
They’ll soon be circling these greats, like flea-bitten vultures

That Nadia, you see, and that Khan, they’ve already made God
Think that our country had better be run by the Muslims
If it gets much worse I’m probably just gonna take off

To go to the USA finally joining my cousins
I’ll flee from here quickly to somewhere where they understand
That Trump has it right, he wants to deport by the dozen

They come and take our jobs, we’re standing in quicksand
Then pay no tax cos their wages are far too low
This is why we need Boris or Nigel to grandstand

Besides, this is a christian country, you know
And it’s easier for a camel to pass through an eye of a needle
than for an eastern european to try and follow

His family across the icy british channel
That’s what Jesus said, and never to share
Our country here is locked in a violent struggle

And though, we know, God said from up in the air
Thou shalt not kill, we think we might make an exception
And allow them to drown. We’d really rather they stayed there

America, yes, the land of the free, with traditions
Of stamping the poor down, can help us with our problem,
Of stamping down the immigrants on their expedition

Perhaps we could even launch a joint pogrom
And kill them all, lion and eagle together
They aren’t British, so as far as I care we can sod em

There, don’t you feel better, now you’ve let me blather?
My racist opinions, thrown up all over your ears?
What a tradition, and praise to the heavenly father