On Sovereignty

The country of our birth
Swaddled us at first
With amulets unearthed,
On the Bridge of Rings
Protected by verse and
Nursing circulated words
Designed to strengthen
A calculated succour.

But something went wrong
In the words of the song;
The rings began to throttle,
A rotting curdle clotting,
Until anthems unplugged
In a counterclockwise
Epiglottal vortex drop.
On a yoke of lies we choked

And collapsed, suffocated
By the very state which
For earlier generations
Maintained principles,
These words synonymous
Now with stock and broth
For better leaders abroad

To mock. Ours are dressed
In party-patterned frocks
With feathers plucked from
Lame pink pigeon legs
Where eagles nested once.
The continental populous
And associated press join
Lengthy queues for fuel

Of ridicule, and rightly so,
For our leaders heard
Laughter and cheering,
They fuddled and fudged,
Misjudging the thinking,
For the sounds were of jeers,
And a slow, prolonged sinking
Of all we held dear.


Ode To Compassion

If governments spent
As much taxpayer funding
On Compassion
As governments do spend
On posturing
And prevention,
Assassins and
Navel gazing
Ministries of War,
Prostitution of Race,
And laundry bills,
Then would we restore
Purity of purpose,
Currently a famine,
A hundred year long drought,
From the current pretenders
Through the Tudors
And Dark Ages,
All the way down until
Timon of Athens.

If only the ancient
Had invested in
Forums for Compassion,
Perhaps our sufferance
Would subsequently lessen,
Instead of obedience to
These Departments for Death
And Injustice.

A Nissen Fundoplication

If the same funds poured
Like liquid oxygen
Into the mutual airways,
Into the heaving lungs
And diffused calyxes
Of a nation’s hospitals
As flows into the coffers
Of saints and the pockets
Of sinners, and then also

The unpressured ports
Of safe celebrities,
Humanity probably could
Have procured a cure
For death by now,
But then procurement
For your leaders’ concern
Is always a matter
Of percentages.

Haiku #428 – #431


False economies,
Three million antibodies
Bought but not working.


And children playing
In squares devoid of contact,
This unflinching sleep


PPE unboxed,
Unless it’s at your border,
Who checks the orders?


Elderly afloat,
Yet still the raft-makers gloat
Over the woolsack.

The Diplomat

What exodus, the great
Denialist said to himself,
As he tore up carrots
From the soil with his mouth.

A barren wasteland,
Émigré brides,
They sit in their bars
And revere this weird pride.

Even flowers of plastic
He brought home for his wife,
And left in the bathroom
Had suddenly died.

Lost conversations,
And misplaced files,
Diplomatic communiques,
Men gathered in crowds

To inspect, solemn and wise,
Forlorn fields of crops in shale,
And miles of stray dogs,
Chasing their tails.

The Bear And The Clown

A bear broke out of the forest’s cage
And ambled down to the village;
He snuffled for truffles behind the café,
And sneaked between orchards unnoticed.
He ate the flowers on the graves
And rolled on his back in the meadows,
Then lolloped into the small village school
And rumaged around in the cupboards.
With his great brown snout he singled out
A costume in blues and bright yellows,
Draped on his frame he adjourned
As a circus-founding fellow.
‘Look at the clown!’ the villagers clapped,
Gathered around the bold creature;
How he danced and bellowed and crashed,
Tricked, tapped, turned over for tickles.
‘This must be what life is like in the capital’
Someone cheered, ‘Where reside talents and
Craftsmen, there are parties and all
The riverside paths are pleasant, for walks
On a Monday afternoon with your lover’.
But unbeknown to each other
The clown was a bear under cover
Of grotesque red shoes and a nose
Which squeaked if you squeezed it,
And one child squeezed it, ah the mirth
Ended instantly as the bear’s maw drooling
Snatched the poor child and absconded
At pace back into the forest, before the
Villagers could believe what there own eyes
Had seen, there on the village green,
For you see, a bear is always a bear,
With only thoughts of fish for the famished,
No matter if dressed as a clown or a man
And into a forest banished.