In the company of Light
But not quite equal
In the company of Light
But not quite equal
Little Kingdom of England
Too big for its boots
Shoots from the hip
As it limps in pursuit
Of the means to equip
For its own ill-repute
More slightly goes Blighty
Reduced to pipsqueak
By the hubris it conjures
With dumb overreach
Into each unforced blunder
And liturgy preached.
The rump of the islands
Small-minded in blue
Getting fancy-dressed up
In its great-aunt’s red shoes
But they’re too big to dance in
And stained with mildew.
Little England in stature
Gone large with its yapper
Gone charging in public parks
Mad like the clappers
Tail-chasing in neighbours’ yards
With larger snappers.
For I am the first and the last.
I am the honoured one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am the mother and the daughter.
I am the members of my mother.
I am the barren one and many are her sons.
I am she whose wedding is great
and I have not taken a husband.
I am the midwife and she who does not bear.
I am the solace of my labor pains.
I am the bride and the bridegroom
and it is my husband who begot me.
I am the mother of my father
and the sister of my husband
and he is my offspring.
I am the silence that is incomprehensible
and the idea whose remembrance is frequent.
I am the voice whose sound is manifold
and the word whose appearance is multiple.
I am the utterance of my name.
For I am knowledge and ignorance.
I am shame and boldness.
I am shameless; I am ashamed.
I am strength and I am fear.
I am war and peace.
Give heed to me. ⚡️
Equality does not patronise
This is my body
This is my mind
This is my soul
Populists are dangerous creatures
Hunting for bugs to sell on as features
Thumping away at their primitive chests
For the tyrannous point
Where the Right meets the Left
Into vacuity pours every salivating nihilist
To vault bridges and dance the day invisible.
The disarmed pray
As hedonists look away
And the powerful wring their hands.
All prey, standing side-on;
Humanity, becalmed and haunted, waits
For spark and wind to wake the auditors.
[June, 2014 – Tragic pertinence needs must rework and repeat]
What would you have us value, then?
What passes for these British traits?
Is it the wilful diminution of democracy
That separates the people from the State?
Or maybe our incessantly insistent view
That what we do is “help” the world for its own sake?
I think I’ve got it: it’s that fair play code we think we own!
How righteously polite we are!
Perhaps we should commission us a global honour mission
Thus we won’t feel so perceptibly alone.
So, is it in our famous law and order you’ve translated into Money talks?
Our globe-anointed tolerance that shadow-stalks the local masses?
Could it be the age-old choreography between the economic classes?
Is it in our Blighty-quaint ability to wait in lines? The neoliberal culture of
I’ll only pay for mine?
Stiff upper lip, is it?
The non-complaining strategy that manifestly rhymes
Neurotic and sclerotic with our passive-born aggression?
Or perhaps it’s that amazing, self-congratulating way
We tend to trip out on our history’s big lessons?
No, wait! Don’t tell me! Let me guess:
You mean like how you cherish our belovèd NHS?
Or could it even be our undeniable capacity
To finger-point with swinging lead and buried heads?
Or might it be our deep, rich, grass-root, time-was Cool Britannia,
Now, by Cowell’s ilk and cynical palaver, made an operatic lather?
Is it in the way we gush and gift a paltry nobody to unreserved celebrity
And rush to make pariahs of the stars beyond our knowing?
Is it how we gloat and glower over uncontested power?
Yes! It surely has to be the Press, with all its freedom to impress?
Or is it how we toe the line
When Lord America decides
We might be useful hand-tools, after all?
Is it our poodle disposition or our sniffy exhibition
That defines our island character?
Do Britain’s expositions make her values truly worthy
Or just pompously perfidious and small?
What the hell and where the heck
Are all these dandy ‘British values’?
Suffer me my ignorance but,
Is it in the way you favour those already able?
Is it how you keep your brother
Or the fear that looks for other
In the refugee and immigrant?
The prisoner? Disabled?
Is it how you treat the NEETs?
The homeless, sleeping on the streets?
The single parent? Needy elders?
Every worker like a serf?
Is it how you are transfixed by everybody’s patriotic worth?
Perhaps you’d like our babies stamped at birth, like eggs,
With redly roaring lions? Then, once they’re schooled and duly cloned,
Be branded with a standard – maybe tractors backed by Union Flags
To make their British value known –
For, what is value worth that can’t be shown?
Don’t mess; don’t second-guess the People: they have spoken
Don’t test their faith that says your liberal place has had its time
Do not forget your status now, is an arbitrary token
So be a good wee patriot and, quietly, get into line.
Don’t judge them by their words but by their actions
Don’t judge them by their deeds but their intent
Don’t judge them by their hungry, blind and constant angry factions
Do not mistake the rhetoric for what they really meant
Don’t caution, fret or organise to hinder their turn-back designs
Don’t let collective ignorance inhibit your respect
Do not get lost in challenging the means they justify as fine
Don’t be a party pooper; get that Kool-Aid down your neck.
Please, do not do this. Resist, resist. Resist.