Valedictorian

How we suffer now from adventures
Both fantastic and more frivolous
Of our Nokken-locked forebearers;
Their revelling days of fortune and fray
Without thoughts for future seafarers;
Their consanguineous prayers all spared
For the vainglory of giant squid battles.
The Pompeiian partisan audience bayed
For gory blood-letting stages, and rattles
Through cattle wagons reverberating;
Woodstock, hemlock, sixty-eight,
All as if just yesterday;
Cavaliers hounding Roundhead saddles
Built bridges to last on sweetcorn
And apples. I looked in the cupboards
For a jar of Spanish marmalade
But every cupboard is stripped
And how they stare back, a ghastly stare
Like a stray dog’s dead eye socket
Devoid of its optic organ.
The entertainment of war endured
And the wars of lasting distractions;
Blessed were you to feel the blue sea,
But you left no more for her or for me.
Rest well within your heavenly shelter,
In bed your daughter, the Future, swelters;
This is your valedictory speech now failing
It trails from Paris to the pier at Grayling,
I wish her brave sailors would scatter and seek
The land where no more mothers are wailing.

To Avannaata

We towed the Mediterranean
Down to Dorset’s tail;
All it took was a fuselage,
A quadrillion barrels of oil.

Before it dawned too late
To Avannaata warm escapes;
Fibre optics newly routed
To what was once an icy place.

My dreams tell me I’m living,
Reality tells me I’m not;
I did not want an Alpine chalet,
I did not want a harbour yacht.

But our kings wear nefarious crowns,
Assassins sit at the table;
They promulgate poison as juice for a fête,
Then dress the deaths as fables.

They kidnap their own daughters,
(In a helicopter had them drugged);
Sent others worse off to mass slaughter,
Stonings at a polo club.

Our ambassadors are exposed,
It’s Monday, March, I am tired;
But I’ll take my time to somehow find
A different road.

A thousand years of subjugation
To overcome, your weapon’s poetic insight;
But it will start, if you have the heart,
When you gather your pens and write.