A film is not a film,
But a drill for distilling my blood-plastic
Into the banks of fish-farmers’ elastic.
A school is not a school,
Unless corralling the flags of the day;
My children view films subdued into grey.
A democracy is not a democracy,
Attica’s far from our Vanities massed;
The voters were frog-marched to school with their crosses.
A religion is not a religion,
When dogma’s worth would outweigh faith;
Who elected this flogging apostle?
No poem ever had such grace
To have the exactitudes of severance replaced,
Until the heart is a word and the sentence the brain.
Is this what the Saturnalians saw,
To relieve their boredom on Hadrian’s Wall?
Is this what Prophets found immortality for?
A long time ago, I tasted my favourite form of rain;
The Romans at St Austell know that mizzle.
The patient Lady waits, breathing in water.
I have seen greater compassion in cattle;
More skill will be seen in a blinded dog;
I am not this society’s daughter.