Pandemical Polemical

Pandemical Polemical

Boris Johnson is PM,
not representing Us, just Them,
the Few that would deny a penny
to the poor deserving Many.

Let's hope we can undo this schism
unmasked by an algorithm,
undermined by a disease
that mutates like a passing breeze.

Yet the monstrous mutant, hale and hearty,
to be rid of, is the Tory Party
along with all it's City mates,
financial backers, initiates
in the ways of exploitation,
greed and mutual masturbation,
wankering each other off
with their snouts deep in the trough.

There's a plumby job for a girl or boy
who's dedicated to destroy
any whiff of Socialism.
"Let's build another algorithm
to wipe out any tiny chance
that people become free to dance
the dance of vibrant Liberty
around the trunk of Freedom's tree."

Yes, Boris Johnson as PM
has writ these words and posted them,
a subtext of his vile wit;
surely we're fed up with it.
Surely we can build a fight
to rid us of this cancerous blight.
Let's populate each local street,
encouragingly entreat

a revolution of we proles
to lift our hearts, light up our souls;
to urge us proletariat
to start a fiery samizdat,
a clandestine publication
promoting urgent liberation
from these feckless, bloated twisters.
So what we need are stout resisters

organising every place
where there is a human face,
a mouth to feed, a child to tend,
the lonely one who wants a friend,
the needy sick, the unemployed,
the desperate and the near destroyed.
Let's rise together and follow the call,
see these exploiters head for a fall
from the grace they, in error, think that they merit.
Let's do it! There's only a World to Inherit!
Categorized as Polemicks



And a child said, "What's a millennium for?"
Her tousled hair a shroud of shattered glass
in buildings of brown dust once called home.
We saw her there, shoeless and unsouled
by someone else's appetite for war.
They have no names, their voices shrill champagne,
producing more than we can dispose of,
profiting in the marketplace of time,
from the ruin their ravages obtain,
to reinvest in their needlessness,
their heedless acquisition of the fruits
of our labour, love, unworldliness.

Whoever it was invented time ignored
it's circularity, the endless repetition
we provoke. Unconsciously, the pages
that we turn reject the notion of
diminishment, the book that never ends,
the chapters filled with errors we commit
and recommit, unable to do anything
but repeat, unerringly, the blunders
of the past and, surely, there's no repeal,
no exclusions from this acquiescence
to chains of petty common sense
that pin us down, victims of this war.

Look, see the evidence of collusion,
the slack-jawed acceptance of this fate;
the Pleasure Dome overfilled with cake,
the fanciful millions counting on a win,
who want this or that to so enhance
the days made unacceptable by pap,
a place in the instant fames provided by 
a media mogul always on the make.
The culture of the specious mobile phone,
the phoney conversations that we make,
an anomie of quasi-cultural norms
insisting that we all stump up the cash.

Here is the landscape of those putrid dreams
mad politicians make so much of.
A picture of consensual mistrust
reformulated in a hooligan's fist.
A phobia formed of old bourgeois terror
fearing the loss of property and power.
The hypocrisy of condemnation when
the dispossessed mimic their ruler's lust
for prominence pictured on a tarnished coin.
The notion that the world is always ours.
Here we find this death mask replicated
by the fifty-eight found stifled in a truck.

So let us ask what this millennium
obsession is really, really all about.
Can anyone truly know the answer how
an arbitrary notion by a Roman king
or, maybe, someone sitting on a throne
doing the daily function we require,
came to be adopted in this way,
to justify this image of ourselves
in this ultra-comic cosmic show?
Perhaps the naming of time is a disease
politicians and the rich employ
to bolster up their privilege and power?

Yet this argument is too absurd.
It requires suspension of disbelief
to grasp a fact so obviously at odds
with promoted cultural norms that vaguely cite
Judeo-Christian sages as the source
of wisdoms we've received for countless years,
drummed ceaselessly into our weakened wills.
All religions' touts so mock themselves.
You want to say the clerics should take a chance,
recognise that truth can have no edge,
no end, no absolute, no borders to be crossed,
no arms to reinforce itself, no place.

Where land is, there a people will walk, build,
sow dreams of starlight in their children's cries.
Laughter and grief have ever beset us all.
How much a man needs or a woman needs
is mirrored in their children's eyes, reflections
in the deep pools we drink from, where the sun splits
light, illuminating power, the hate of it.
How much more is there than the sky,
the places where the insects go, oblivious?
Who brought down these dark ominous moons
turned now towards us, teaching us envy
and means to build fences of crazed wire?

Could we have resisted the sea or did it seem
like home, something we love ineffably,
invested with it's ownness, unownable?
Place your hands in pools along the shore
where the tides recede revealing rocks
we slip upon. We have no footing here
nor ground to place our flags among the scuttling
things. Draw your hands toward you, cupped
to capture light, spilling salt as the deep
sound soothes us still, beating like blood
through our wombs, until we fall asleep
like an infant, cradled in it's arms.

In the presence of the dispossessed

In the presence of the dispossessed

In the presence of the dispossessed,
their grubby sleeping bags lining the streets,
some asleep, others with hands outstretched,
their eyes averted or a challenging stare
thrown out, this feels a lot like impotence.

Who do we give to, all or none at all?
A few, then smile and try to ignore the rest?
Comply with requests for only a few pence
to buy a tea or shelter for the night
or walk on by, aloof from their despair?

Whatever we do it makes no difference.
A handout or two is neither here nor there
when what's required is a struggle for the right
to shelter, food and warmth, replacing fear,
a common purpose meaning that we care.

A struggle to upend the status quo
that ensures the needs of capital come first.
To stop the fact these folk fuel the fires
that forge wealth and profit for the few
but leaves this human debris lacking light.

Mill Town

Mill Town

Spun cotton casts a web upon the town.
Dust arising from the yelling looms
infiltrates the workers' living rooms,
the soot filled smoke slowly settling down.

Across the terraced houses, ranged in lines
on cobbled streets, they hear the hooters blare
signalling a change of shift, the hardware
of machines are worshipped in their shrines.

The mills are like cathedrals of the cursed
louring over Rochdale in the rain.
They hear the manufacturers refrain,
From labour, we get profit reimbursed.

Yet during the American Civil War
they refused to work with cotton picked by slaves
and wished plantation owners in their graves,
though they were hungry, out of work and poor.

The towns of Lancashire were built by mills,
the labour of the spinners toiling there;
their ghostly voices permeate the air,
rise from the plains into these Pennine hills.

La Viree de Galerne October 1793

La Viree de Galerne, October 1793

There were at least thirty thousand of us armed,
not to mention the hangers on coming
along for the craic, a gaggle of everything
you could think of, lads only half grown
and beardless, banging on incessantly how
they'd screw the Reds and fuck Robespierre.
Kids too and tarts hitching their skirts
when we wanted it. We'd fought through a dozen
towns and killing makes you want cunt.
And the old men there to make the soup,
ladling it into cupped hands as we marched.
Bread we stole and wrung hens necks outside
peasant farms, plucking on the move.
We crossed a river, the Loire someone said,
through Normandy and, up ahead, Granville.
The Brits should have been there according to
Monsieur Henri but, shit, they weren't.
We'd been suckered and then we were surrounded.
We beat back, forcing the pace, the fucking cold
killing half of us. The rest were hunted down.
The civvies were butchered in thousands, kids, women
and the old ladling men mown down, great pools
of blood, brown as their soup, crusting the earth.
Christ, it wasn't human and the end came
finally at Savenay. We came out
of the woods at last, screaming our surrender.
The frost melted as they shot fifteen thousand.
For two days the guns were never silent.
Mercy is not a revolutionary sentiment.

Gone Viral

Gone Viral

The corona virus, Covid 19,
attacks all the organs including the spleen.
The splenetic response of the government teams
is making it not what it seems.

External threats are always required
to keep us in check, making us tired
and sick, not from virus but hypocrisy
and capital's complicity.

The bastions of privilege slam down their gates
to keep out the proles and other ingrates.
They're scared they'll succumb to a horrid infection;
"Give us vaccine; a crooked election!"

The disease that they fear is not the corona
or other like virus that apes it's persona.
No, it's more a political, alien schism,
Democracy and Socialism.

So whilst we, the people, look out for each other
and treat all our neighbours like sister and brother,
the oligarchs, those who live over the tracks,
are busily watching their backs.

Yes, they'll launder their cash to beat back the threat
of a small revolution designed to upset
hegemony that is stitched into their spleen.
Nowt to do with Covid 19.
Categorized as Polemicks



The drums beat on as we clear our ears and wait
on answers Blair can't give. We question what
he thinks he means. The children of Baghdad
sleep on, air hums with lessons hard
to understand, like a dose of napalm. Vietnam
haunts our past, horrors we can't name
or even bear to think about: a girl
stripped of skin with open hands. The gall
is what enrages most, although we too
legitimise those things we know they do.

Perhaps we have invoked the Lionheart,
a rampage through those countless other lives,
sanctified within the vicious heat
of his belief; profit legalised
by a sword or suicide bomber in a car
intent on virgins and the peace they bring.
A girdling up, existence past all care
of infants in the dust, their stare benign,
bewildered by that blightedness the race
to covet souls and oil seems to embrace.

It's said we've seen this many times before.
Take Potemkin's rage against the far
from certain Turks, Napoleon in Egypt,
the Siege of Stalingrad when Hitler groped
the deadly teats of Mother Russia,
Mai Lai, Verdun, Gallipoli's southern shore;
a carpet laid with young and fragile flesh
consumed before the Gorgon's staring flash.
We take account of what is dearly paid,
this disequivalence of the betrayed.

I was raised with names my dad took from his dead
two comrades, lying still beneath the sand
they fell upon, carrying out the deed
commissioned from a bunkered Thames. They send
these young men in their place to fight the fiend.
They told young Arthur Wesney his place in time
is assured by sacrifice; a theme refined
by martyrs ever heading to their tombs.
Young David Baker's limbs spread by a mine
foreshadowed Laos, Cambodia, Palestine.



Karl Marx was a funny bloke,
always writing, always broke.

He lived at a pace that was pretty hectic
polishing Hegel's dialectic,

and he taught us to see things through the prism
of historical materialism.

Now Friedrich Engels was his mate,
who he loved to love and loved to hate,

but wealthy Engels funded his pal
so Marx could write Das Kapital,

a work so learned and profound
we can analyse from solid ground.

But Karl, too, liked to fight and drink
and brought his family to the brink

of poverty with his spendthrift ways
after spending all his days

researching and writing in the British Museum
to create a secular Te Deum,

leading to a promised land
with socialism close at hand.

Though before that, the dictat
of the proletariat,

an interregnum on the way
to communism, one fine day.

Yet Marx and Engels' biggest hit,
which even opponents have to admit

gave revolution the good to go,
was The Communist Manifesto,

a work so beautifully crafted and writ
that few could disagree with it;

a succour to the working class
that equality would come to pass.

And the best of all seduction,
grabbing the means of production!,

eventually, it must be said,
but not before Karl Marx was dead.

And we're still striving, all ends out,
to bring this prophecy about.

It's one step forward, two steps back,
for what we need and what we lack

are the means to bring it to fruition.
It's not through want of intuition,

intellect, or derring do,
it's lack of will to see it through.

We sometimes make some ground, in part,
and see a revolution start,

but rarely does this task succeed;
for victory, we must indeed

act like those we would replace,
indulge in violence, with a human face,

until our hearts become a void,
a graveyard of the paranoid.

Once we start to lust for power
we get fucked up, our spirits sour,

and efforts to reorganise
the just provision of supplies

leads to fighting between old friends
for necessary means and ends.

"It doesn't have to be this way",
I think I hear old Karl Marx say

whilst on his latest drinking crawl
round public house and music hall;

"Don't put the horses behind the carts,
when Time is called, that's when it starts"!

Keeping it Right

Keeping it Right

We've been on strike a few times now.
We're not concerned about the reason
but for the smell of the picket line.
And when it's over, armbands stowed,
work is brighter for a time,
scabs slinking in
as we look bosses in the eye.
No one can quite hold our stare.

Prince in Blue Genes

Prince in Blue Genes

"Prince Charles Fears Genetic Disaster"
(Daily Mail, 17th May 2000)

We read in the paper Prince Charles is dismayed
by science and scientists wrecking the place.
"A bloomin' international disgrace"
he said, then knelt down and prayed.

It's something to do with the way that genetics
are tinkered with, reproducing some freak
reproduction whose nature and chin are too weak
to understand human aesthetics.

One look at his family's history's enough
to tell that a simple genetic disaster
occurred when Queen Vic was spliced by her master,
Prince Albert, all proud, in the buff.

And thus Charlie's mum and Philip the Greek
are both blood relations of Vicky and Bert,
whose seed is widespread among the inert
royal families of Europe's shit creek.

Poor Charles, self deluded, sounds almost ironic
as he preaches on genes and how they morphose.
He is, in his pomp, like a king with no clothes.
We'd cry if it wasn't so comic.