Poetry















February, 2022



1

It’s known you never get a bit of peace

When sitting on your own, quiet, in prayer.

A voice is always at you; nonetheless

An expert can sit cross legged on a chair

And get what Buddhist converts have called ‘bliss’.

These days, myself, eyes closed and on my rear,

The silence falls so easily because

I’m sick of me, sick of the human race.


2

The slightest sound inside my head’s enough

To make my soul observe nonchalantly,

Then turn aside. It is almost a proof

That what St John said, namely: ‘Make the way

Straight and repent, repent, the Kingdom of

Heaven is near’ means: Everyone today

Will get a bonus if they see their sin.

The bonus: unfamiliar quiet within.


3

The media says that suicide’s abroad

Walking about the land, making us die.

Men, women, neutrals, cannot bear the load

Of being alive. But that don’t bother me.

I heard once, a black man never died

By his own hand, because black men aren’t free

To cut their life short on their own volition;

They fight on, like a crooked politician.


4

And that’s what I’m like, too proud to give up,

But not black, not queer, the eternal man

Uninterested really in such crap

As my identity. It’s all just sin.

And I’m the worst of all, just such a creep

As has no self-respect of any kind

And often, these days, out of my own mind.


5

‘Make straight the ways’, make straight the land, okay?

‘Be baptised’, Come and be drowned here!, more like.

Things are so weak and comic; the UK

Has turned into a bed for that said plague

Of suicides and lies and misery,

That all things bring a smile, a happy joke!

An upside down place, back to front, and mad

Can make you laugh, and that cannot be bad.


6

The story of the end, if you ask me,

Began when all the flower and manliness

Cream of the crop at university

Elected to go into finances

And services, to study PPE.

Not like the old days, times of romances

When they were soldiers, priests. These days they’re bankers

A generation of hard working wankers.


7

There’s several hundred thousand of the elite

Working in London like an anarchy.

They do the tax evasion and the flight

Of money from the world for oligarchy

And there’s no bigger point to life than that

Out there, somewhere in London, rich and smokey.

The English gentleman became, as a whole tribe

A slippery fish in money round the globe.


8

But oh, enough. If most people get poor

And there’s no guts in MPs (just like Pilate)

Who cares if there’s no England anymore?

That women are no more, no woman’s toilet

In any public place, and no man’s either

Because today’s youth want to spoil and spoil it?

What need have I to write out what it means?

There is no need, and yet this poem runs.


9

Back in the day, a long long time ago,

Someone invited Ukraine to join in

This spreading desert, and to join Nato.

Years later, Vladimir, and President, Putin

Took back Ukraine, like one who didn’t know:

That Western ways have done away with war

Along with justice, nature, truth and law.


10

Now, pardon, father, for love of my God,

I have attained the age of forty-six

And feel responsible to wield a sword

Or, have a rifle slung and in my mits

When any government, or good or bad

Requires men in trenches somewhere abroad.

Despite this being a locked-down, surveilled land

All medicated, gay, out of its mind.


11

O, for a place, where the immortal spirit

And source of life, the kingly human mind,

Is said to be such, and given that merit

By crowds of people of a common kind,

Who say, ‘Around this light that we inherit

There is God’s rich darkness, which we will find.’

We’re born from woman’s origin of the world

And can’t keep from her ‘origin of the world’


12

But though a woman gave birth to us all

A God created us and gave this place.

And, O for a place where this was general

Where everything was done because of this!

Instead, today, as far as I can tell

Over the years, the crowd assumed the voice

The good, and all the power of Christ and God.

This hybris makes me sick and shake my head.


13

What should I say? What say? I can’t be arsed.

I can be arsed, maybe; I’ve written this much.

So this, I’ll say: ‘Come here, and be baptised’

Just like St John, I’d say: ‘Repent, repent’

You sick, degenerate nation, I’m amazed,

At all the things that you have legalised

And all the laws of God that you ignore.

Look inward and be young, like you once were.


14

I used to think, and often sometimes think

That if I prayed hard (when a man is boozing

And sees things differently with yet more drink)

That God’s own home would be revealed in vision

And that the other world beyond the brink

Of this, would be revealed, outside this prison.

But now I see, that heaven and God’s creation

Is this world, here, around me, fate, this person.


15

But that’s enough; this is not a conclusion

I’ll probably say the same another time

In other moments of Britain’s confusion

And put the stuff into a mocking rhyme.

I don’t suppose there’s many like the lesson

But what’s the worst can happen for a hymn

I wrote when feeling merry and yet sad?

What, lock me up and take away my head?



Design Jason Powell, 2022.

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