Archive for the ‘poem’ Category

45 minutes

July 9, 2016

45 minutes to sex up the dossier,
45 minutes to polish the lie.
45 minutes of cowardice and calumny,
45 minutes, pressed suit and red tie.

2 million marched through Trafalgar Square,
2 million sought refuge from ruined Iraq.
2 million ignored, corruption laid bare,
2 million hopes crushed, prepare for attack.

Zero the weapons of mass destruction,
Zero nuclear warheads, anthrax or napalm.
Zero reasons, zero justification,
Zero warnings of depleted uranium.

Thousands of campaign dollars from Exxon, persuasive
Thousands to white-wash the blackness of death.
Thousands of sound-bites, slick and evasive
Thousands of half-truths that lie on your breath.

One special relationship had to be kept,
One bond with George Bush that held you in thrall.
One soldier Tom Keys, whose family wept,
One aim for the war, to secure yet more oil.

Orangutan’s Song

May 24, 2016

We still remember the joyous canopy
a verdant green blanket
smothering – sunlight struggled
down to the dank forest floor.

We still remember the tamarind’s hoot,
the faintest placement of the tiger’s paw,
the chattering of cicadas.
tree frogs flashed vivid; danger.

We had no such warning,
no scent or sound, until
it was too late.
few of us escaped.

A new sound came –
the rasping death rattle
of alien machinery;
great trees felled in moments.

We grew hungry, stressed, scared.
resorted to eating bark:
the rainforest clamour gone
amidst acrid stench of smoke.

We remember a time when
this fragile dream was shattered
into chaos and suffering.
hundreds of lifetimes gone.

For what? Palm oil: cheap bulking agent
from distant tropics, where labour costs are minimal
where the old people of the forest
do nothing for profit margins.

Goods line supermarket shelves:
capitalism captures, constricts, commodifies;
brainwashes humans. soothing adverts
mask the suffering.

If we could only communicate in your alien tongue:
“Find your inner ape.
play together, co-operate
discover life’s true value”.

 

Orangutans cannot speak.

They cannot voice their displeasure at supermarket chains raking in £billions, while destroying fragile ecosystems in distant rainforests, which may have held the cure to cancer, or are home to millions of undiscovered species, or are the last sacred home of an indigenous culture, who have had little contact with the outside world.

They cannot use keyboards to send indignant emails, explaining the injustice and suffering associated with palm oil.

They cannot point out that it is perfectly possible for supermarkets to use palm oil substitutes, or sustainably grown palm oil, neither of  which harm precious and irreplaceable habitats.

They cannot organise to overthrow this system of capitalism which sacrifices all in the name of profit.

But you can!

The worst offenders can be found here:
http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/shoppingethically/palmoilfreelist.aspx#supermarkets

For a political alternative, and a better livelihood for people in poor countries, so that they do not have to do backbreaking work, which is destructive to our environment:
http://www.socialistworld.net You can also buy my poetry pamphlet ‘Little Green Poetry’ – http://www.lulu.com/gb/en/shop/andrew-walton/little-green-poetry/ebook/product-21745906.html – all profits go to help build a movement to change this rotten system.

 

The Poetry Ombudsman

March 16, 2016

If your composition’s causing you much complaint,
If it’s supposed to be a villanelle, but a villanelle it aint,
Don’t get vexed or frustrated, just show some restraint
Call the Poetry Ombudsman – our fees won’t make you faint.

If your poems have got rather neglected
If they are continually being rejected
If your lines need to be injected
With originality, charm and wit.
Then it is time to get them inspected
The Ombudsman will look into it.

For advice on inflexion
Just book an inspection
For a thorough dissection
Of metre and verse.
Poetry polished to perfection
Never flabby, limp or terse.

If your stanzas are sagging
And your rhythm is lagging
Your scansion keeps snagging
And you can’t think of a rhyme
Don’t let time go on dragging
The Ombudsman – for words which chime!

We will study every foot, not a syllable will be spared
No more literary worries, to make you go grey-haired.
Your stresses will be even, lines beautifully prepared
The Ombudsman won’t rest until every word is repaired.

From slam, to sestina, from haiku to sonnet
Give us a try, we’ll get straight on it.
So visit your local poetry showroom!
Ideas will sprout in your head like mushrooms
Similes will fly from your pen like butterflies
Your poems will soar and flutter by.

Publishers will be rushing to see your manuscript
Fame and fortune await – we can get you equipped
With a ready-made, instant, poetry writing kit.

 

All poetry must be practised with due care and supervision. Any promises made in this poem are subject to the discretion of the reader, poetic licence and the whim of the reviewer. While we promise fame and fortune, no mention is made of the amount of fame and / or fortune which may ensue.

Boxing Day Blues

December 30, 2014

Boxing Day again – too much turkey, pies and beer
Goodwill to all men, and lots of Christmas cheer.
Farage dons green wellies and joins the Surrey Hunt
Cigar in hand, spots a camera, pushes to the front.
Irresistible lure of publicity stunt.

Toady in his element, on turret of trundling tank
City spiv turned country toff, get back to your bank.
While Nigel farages round the fox-hole,
City Link workers are flung on the dole.

I hope he chokes on his Brussels sprouts
With his UKIP chums and their upturned snouts
To a din of grunts and scoffs, they spout
Tales of bestial gay donkeys, to which they gave a clout.

Captain of the “People’s Army”, he leads from the rear
Let’s get him a phone app, thoughtful gift, this time of year.
UKIK is its name – you give immigrants a great punt
Off the cliffs of Dover, while prize porkers grunt in clover.

On Question Time yet again, no-one to speak up for us.
Foreigners they take the blame, but we all get the brunt
Tory cuts, stretched services, a privatised NHS.
Don’t blame the poor for Britain’s problems – it is not their mess.

It’s not the fault of immigrants, you can find the real culprits
Wealthy, hypocritical, racist UKIP shits
Wearing Barbour, green wellies, puffing on cigars
Tearing up the countryside in oversized four-wheel-drive cars.

 

If you have enjoyed my poetry on this blog, my new collection, “Little Green Poetry” is now available from Lulu – – £4+P&P (paperback) or £2.50 (for e-book readers)

You can still order copies of my first collection, “Little Red Poetry” from http://www.leftbooks.co.uk or http://www.lulu.com – again for £4 (pb) or £2.50 (as a pdf for e-readers).

I hope you enjoy reading my poems, and, as always, all proceeds will go to help build the fightback against corporate political parties, to build a voice for the millions, not the millionaires.

To find out more about my politics, visit the website of the Committee For A Workers’ International, which is engaged in struggle in around 50 countries worldwide.

New Year’s Eve, St George Square

December 8, 2014

Haud yer wheesht a wee minute, I canny hear mysel’ speak.

 

[Spoken by a slightly drunk woman, as she clambers unsteadily onto the statue,

Wellington motionless behind her, crowned by traffic cone.

Sporadic volleys of fireworks cascade into the sky.

On the distant Clyde, the last heavy crane, now museum-piece, stands alone.

The flicker of a silhouette against neon-orange.

The noise of revellers dies slowly away.]

 

2014 – here’s to ye. Now that wiz a year an’ a hauf.

 

The optimism, the Saltires, so nearly defeated

Cameron, Milliband and that other yellow wotsisname.

Too close tae call, the papers said.

An they a’ came streamin’ North. ‘Better Together’.

 

But the last laugh was oors. Devo Max.

Dae the ba’-heids think that’ll shut us up?

Nae chance. We have got tae fight on.

 

Away wi’ yer cuts and austerity,

Away wi’ yer tripe aboot a’ in this taegether.

Now Sheridan, he’s no numpty.

He’s one of us, knows how tae fight.

 

He wiz on aboot revolt –

Red Clydeside, tanks in the square.

A long time ago mebbe, but we’ll get there again.

Solidarity.

 

We defeated poll tax, prison, Murdoch, the lot.

The likes of Cameron, dolled up tae the nines,

Bedroom tax for us, while they swap their hooses.

 

They’re never goin’ tae get us doon.

Here’s tae 2015, an’ a new dawn.

Pounding

November 4, 2014

I line up at the back, no speed record for me

Alongside Scooby Doo and a Teletubby.

Inside my vest, my heart is pounding

Anticipating the race, cheers resounding.

In my ears, the starting gun sounding

Us off – syncopated surge carries us forward

As one, in a collective lunge

And a stop – into a brick wall of humanity.

I shuffle through the starting line,

Released, the path clears, temptation

To go with adrenaline, in full flow.

Slow, slow – take it steady

I tell myself. Concentrate on the pounding

Beat of my feet on the shiny, wet street

Going on and on. The city fades in the distance.

We separate from the multitude

At the split off point – force myself off on the long way round.

Alone, on a trek past sleepy village, after village

Sileby, Barkby, Queniborough, Thrussington.

Rounding the corner, going back home,

Keep the rhythm steady, feet still pounding,

I can do this – visualise the finish,

Put the pain out of my head.

But my muscles scream out,  the endless pounding

Has taken its toll. I stumble and slow to a walk,

Trudge past now-familiar landmarks

That never seemed so far from home.

A second wind then takes me, past bewildered shoppers

Wondering why anyone would put themselves through this.

Finally – New Walk, and a last incline,

Final, aching push uphill.

To a corridor of claps and cheers

Vicky Park and welcoming beers

In my local. But first, a massage

Yet more pounding. My spine felt fine,

Till your hands started pounding

Playing xylophone on my vertebrae,

My legs cry out in agony.

But I am proud, shiny medal hangs

Round my neck.

Veteran of another race.
little red little green

 

If you have enjoyed my poetry on this blog, my new collection, “Little Green Poetry” is now available from Lulu – – £4+P&P (paperback) or £2.50 (for e-book readers)

You can still order copies of my first collection, “Little Red Poetry” from http://www.leftbooks.co.uk or http://www.lulu.com – again for £4 (pb) or £2.50 (as a pdf for e-readers).

I hope you enjoy reading my poems, and, as always, all proceeds will go to help build the fightback against corporate political parties, to build a voice for the millions, not the millionaires.

To find out more about my politics, visit the website of the Committee For A Workers’ International, which is engaged in struggle in around 50 countries worldwide.

Ballad of Leicester Pride

September 2, 2014

 

The far-right don’t like diversity

They are scared, confused and crude

But I am proud of this diverse city

We won a victory, and subdued

 

Their threats, racism and bluster

They really haven’t got a clue

Hundreds we managed to muster,

Rally against their bigoted views.

 

Mardi Gras the carnival was called

A celebration of human rights.

Faced with violence, the Mercury stalled

Afraid of putting up a fight.

 

So we organised opposition instead

It really was quite easy.

But the march still hung by a thread

Because the council were quite queasy.

 

LGBT, black, white and brown

Unity it was the answer.

We gathered together in Leicester town,

Faced hate with music, dance and laughter.

 

But bullying and homophobia

Continue still, unabated,

Amidst far-right xenophobia,

So we peacefully demonstrated.

 

We are aiming for equality,

So let’s not get in a stew,

We can defeat bullies with frivolity,

Why can’t we love whomever we want to?

 
little red little green

 

If you have enjoyed my poetry on this blog, my new collection, “Little Green Poetry” is now available from Lulu – – £4+P&P (paperback) or £2.50 (for e-book readers)

You can still order copies of my first collection, “Little Red Poetry” from http://www.leftbooks.co.uk or http://www.lulu.com – again for £4 (pb) or £2.50 (as a pdf for e-readers).

I hope you enjoy reading my poems, and, as always, all proceeds will go to help build the fightback against corporate political parties, to build a voice for the millions, not the millionaires.

To find out more about my politics, visit the website of the Committee For A Workers’ International, which is engaged in struggle in around 50 countries worldwide.

TTIP? Nein danke. No thanks. Non merci. No, gracias.

September 2, 2014

Rub the lamp,

Say the magic words, “T T I P” . . .

Kazaam! A muscled, bouffanted behemoth,

A Tory-blue genie

To do the bidding of big business.

 

Billions in tax breaks,

But only for the rich.

We’ll have to survive

On zero hour contracts

And a minimum wage.

 

Gaze in horror

As democracy melts away

Before your very eyes,

And the NHS crashes and burns

In a bonfire of private finance initiatives

Taking us with it.

 

Look on, dumbfounded

As health and safety

Vanishes in a puff

Of asbestos dust.

 

Fancy a bit of fracking?

Worried about pesky red-tape?

Planning legislation?

TTIP makes it all too easy.

Obstructions obliterated.

 

Join the protestors.

Those fighting back

Defending hard-won rights.

Clean water, decent healthcare

A planet worth living on.

 

When we have no say,

We need to take back our voice.

Poor, weak as individuals,

But together

We can stop their supply at source,

Shudder the world to a halt.

 

 
little red little green

 

If you have enjoyed my poetry on this blog, my new collection, “Little Green Poetry” is now available from Lulu –  – £4+P&P (paperback) or £2.50 (for e-book readers)

You can still order copies of my first collection, “Little Red Poetry” from http://www.leftbooks.co.uk or http://www.lulu.com – again for £4 (pb) or £2.50 (as a pdf for e-readers).

I hope you enjoy reading my poems, and, as always, all proceeds will go to help build the fightback against corporate political parties, to build a voice for the millions, not the millionaires.

To find out more about my politics, visit the website of the Committee For A Workers’ International, which is engaged in struggle in around 50 countries worldwide.

In Absentia

August 26, 2014

I wasn’t there.

I can only guess,

Foundering in the mud

The gulf between sides dug in

A chasm of generations.

You were unable to give tongue,

Horrors left unsaid.

 

We weren’t there.

How can such voices span the gap of time?

Unamplified, analogue – signal is too faint,

Drowned out in digital dazzle,

The stampede of politicians,

Hypocrites all too eager to clamber

On bandwagons of false patriotism.

 

They weren’t there,

As realisation sunk in

War-tired, weary

Drenched by the same rain,

Battered by the same cold winds,

Existing on the same meagre rations.

Conscripts lusting after glory and honour;

The realisation – pawns

In someone else’s power game.

Insomnia

June 3, 2014

I wrestle elusive snake of sleep

Entwined among my bedclothes.

I count a woolly jumper of sheep.

Red-eyed, bleary, lachrymose,

Thoughts echo round my head

But refuse to yield their secrets.

I succumb to restless dreams instead,

Wake – startled, fitful, sleepless.

Again I try once more to seek

Lethe’s dark and silent shore.

But consciousness seems to sneak

In; chinks of light under my door.

I wearily wend my way downstairs

To a soothing mug of cocoa.

Tired, confused, befuddled me,

Fills cup with espresso.

Caffeine courses through my blood

Energising, enervating.

Wakes my brain up with a thud

No cause for celebrating.

I zombie-shuffle in the dawn,

To a chorus of early birds.

Welcoming sun through curtains drawn,

Inspiration to pen some words.

But tiredness blunts my energy,

Clouds distort the view.

My ideas lack any synergy

So I pour another brew.

My neurones crackle, fizz and buzz

With conflicting commands.

I fight on through fog and fuzz,

End my poem in a trance.


You can read some more of my poetry in ‘Little Red Poetry’ (£4 pbk, £2.50 pdf e-book). Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Copies are also available from Left Books