with great responsibility came humility

I always believed that with great responsibility came humility. I am so naive. I thought that to serve in public office was both noble and an honour; that to be in the Government, bestowed with making laws and policies that determine the quality of life of the millions of one’s country’s people, was such an enormous privilege that one would be devoted to justifying it. I thought it required integrity and reasonable measures of wisdom and competence. Even more naively, I actually assumed that, simply by mere virtue of achieving and holding such a privileged position, on a personal level – the generous income, the security of an ample pension, the opportunity of network – it meant that they would have a persistent, collective sense of “there but for the grace of…” and act on it.

Stencilling

Generations of Revolution:
Stencilled shadows;
The traced punctuation of fealty to forgetting
And wistful recovery.
Ranting for melodrama;
Tinkering at the edge of increment
And, always, the bitten hand that feeds.

asymmetric power licks its lusty lips

Brexit is all smitten
With the label ‘Global Britain’
Reminiscent of the time the Sun
Was always in position;

Gonna give EU a kicking
If it doesn’t get its way.

[Every self-entitled bulldog has its day]

Gonna threaten, preach and overreach,
Cajole and whine and then beseech,
As self-inflicted victims,
Sudden keen on Foreign Aid.

Gonna get an awful shocking
At the mocking they engage,
When the only offers knocking
Are from profiteers and souvenir
Collectors making hay.

Having doubled down on doublespeak,
Perfidious Blighty’s gonna reap
Some karma as alarming sway
of asymmetric power licks its lusty lips
And squeezes dry
A desperate pipsqueak’s isolated
Pips.

Do you remember?

Do you remember when you were young:
When they sold us a future in which everyone
Would have more time for leisure and
Life’s simple pleasures?

I do.

I remember how ‘progress’ was sold as the shift
Toward treasured Modernity’s time-saving gifts.
I remember when ‘free time’ were not dirty words,
But the envy of those who knew it was absurd
To work hard for The Man, at the cost of your Soul;
To neglect your own senses to fit in a mould;
To conform to consensus and stick to the path
Laid out in perpetuity – however daft…

And yet,

Where does the time go and how is it spent,
But by serving The Man just to pay him more rent?
And while faster goes quicker and more becomes less
Of a joy than a measure of burden and stress,
We regress to Draconia’s cold, hostile age
As a new class of servants with masters who wage
On us their aspirations for their perfect nation.

Obnoxious concoctions and new imitations
Of outdated thinking, consigned long ago
To the scrapyard of ignorant, privileged foes.
Resurrected prescribers and makers of woe
Who would keep us distracted and chained by the nose
To a grindstone which cripples and overly loads
On our bodies and minds and the whole of our time
Is spent rushing and pushing and fleeing and fighting
To be the first one to the end of the line.

 

[First posted: March 2013]