Monday, 6 July 2015

A Little Englander Speaks His Mind

You can see him propping up every bar
pontificating with a pint in hand
about the state we're in

as he sups his warm beer
and he's not a racist
but there's too many immigrants over here

too many foreigners taking our jobs
and all of these Muslims with their bombs and their burkas

- don't get him wrong, he's nothing against them -

but, you know, the whole place
is going to the dogs

and all of these Romanians
and all of the Poles
living on benefits, getting the dole

and all of these migrants
who never bother to learn English

and foreign aid - what's that about?
charity begins at home, surely?

and while we're at it,
all of these scroungers on the sink estates
these four-by-four mothers
with their snotty-nosed kids

these dysfunctional families
that terrorise the neighbourhoods
and the bone-idle bastards
who've never done a day's work in their lives
while we've got to go to work
just to pay for them sitting on their fat arses

and all of these politicians -
don't get him started -
they're all the bloody same,
too lily-livered, too faint-hearted

only in it to fiddle their expenses
and further their careers

he interrupts himself, as he finishes off his beer

I'll tell you now, he says,
the lot of them's finished,
there's no votes for them anymore round here

the sooner we're out of Europe the better
we'll pull up the drawbridge and keep the buggers out
and we'll have none of these ridiculous rules and regulations
none of your Strasbourg human rites
and none of your Brussels bureaucrats

no more being swamped by Eastern Europeans
no more being dictated to by the frogs and the krauts

we'll make our own decisions, thankyou
and we'll put the great in Britain again

he looks at his watch -
is that the time, he says, he must be going

he bids us a cheery farewell
and steps out into the English rain

Kelling Heath

Now night falls on the heath,
a shimmering silver gloaming;
pale moths flutter above the ling.
Heathen kings sleep in their barrows.

A rustle in the gorse;
a roebuck barks at the darkness,
a vixen yelps.

Twilight’s churr
oscillates in the fading light.

Friday, 26 June 2015


We were told that if you cupped your hands to your ears, you'd be able to pick out the churring of the nightjar more clearly, and that if you wave a white handkerchief you'll attract its attention.

the backroom boys are in charge now

the backroom boys are in charge now

shirt-sleeved committees
sitting round big tables
drawing up strategies
talking to focus groups

striking poses and hurling
well-rehearsed insults at one-another

seeing themselves as characters
in hard-hitting TV satires

but always knowing
deep in their hearts
that the leadership gene

has passed them by

Monday, 22 June 2015

Mr. Sowoniuk

You were only obeying orders
only trying to please your masters -
you weren’t the sharpest chisel in the box
but you executed your duties
with enthusiasm and diligence.
The law’s the law

and rules are rules
and who were you
to disagree?
If a job’s worth doing,
it’s worth doing well.

Now, on this last night,
exploding fireworks
light up the sky
over the edge of the heath,
and the bars on the window
cast faint shadows on the floor,

and down the corridor
the night-shift officer  is in his office
with a coffee and cigarette
to keep himself awake.

Let the film rewind.

You’re  a man in uniform.
British Rail, London Bridge. Tickets please.
Thankyou, madam. Thankyou sir.
Executing duties. Enthusiasm. Diligence.

And all the while
a nagging memory at the back of your mind
that never goes away...

but that was such a long time ago
and you look so different now - heavier, jowlier –
unrecognisable -
and you’ve come such a long way since then.
Tickets please. Thankyou madam. Thankyou sir.

Let the film rewind further.

A different uniform,
Domaczewo, September ‘42
and a clearing in a wood at the edge of town.
The feast of Yom Kippur.
The law’s the law

And rules are rules,
If a job’s worth doing,
It’s worth doing well.

No birds are singing, and the ditch has been dug,
and they’re standing  there, fifteen of them,  naked and  shivering.
They look you in the eye.
You turn your face away.
They curse you.

Your past lies buried with them in the grave.
You were only obeying orders,
only trying to please your masters,
and now, on this last night,
exploding fireworks light up the sky

and the film is rewound.


flying into raking light
detects the marks that man has made

lush patterns
ghostly traces of habitation
that only a bird's eye can see

a slight undulation in the landscape casts a shadow

thunderbolt and elf-shot
found near here

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Ipswich Road haiku

an angry artist
leaves his mark on the pavement -
spunking cocks, you twats


what is his message?
a sign of male agression,
a threat to women


who is it aimed at,
this spouting jet of semen?
the girls who spurned him?


male against female
and the penis mightier
than the word