Inheritance

I write now with my father’s pen
Old steel has assumed my
Ragged pencil’s place
Smooth and worn in my
Calloused fingers.
Daughter at my breast
I remember my father’s stories
As my own swirl and foment
Beneath the creased brow
That is my other inheritance.
Not a gentle man, nor a good one
But a crafter of careful lines
Who spoke limited truth
To lasting effect.
What of him remains
But my own comfortable lies
Sweeter than fact, more palatable
Harder to deny than the
Elusive verisimilitude
Of others.

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Human Rights

Rectitude and moral maze
Seem like to meet their end of days
In hands of saint whose might has ways
Of punishing our own delays

While failure to address unknowns
Has sold what titles to our moans
Could yet be called mere gifts or loans
With careful words we’ll leave these zones

Ally ourselves to no more men
And disbelieve reports of when
The road to peace was better ken
Of others’ culture, sword and pen

The velvet curtain will hold fast
And legislation will bow past
Poor sight-impaired judicial mast
Whose figure seems to fade, aghast

As scales are stripped of balanced view
No counterpoint, but reference, new
Established as alternate to
Our older values, now too few

To understand the loss we face
Try to supplant a lesser place
And see the bold, inhuman race
Condemn all pity, justice, grace

Awakening at last, too late
The image of our fellows’ fate
With little thought and careless hate
We’ll watch our own asphyxiate.

Trad Family Values (Trigger Warning for Sexual Assault)

Just lie down and take what is coming to you
You are what you did, so we’ll do what we do
It’s justice in action, reaction that’s true
Too carefree? Consent! That’s a license to screw…

So grab her and hold her, we’ll strip and unfold her
To shame her and mould her until she is colder
And never, forever, will she dare to tether
Her hopes to a world run by men for their pleasure

For women are worthless, a hot mess of curses
Who pepper discourses with breathy remorses
Before we’ve an ear for our sisters or daughters
Let’s hear from a father (who’s worth our resources)

We’ve room for opinion from lowest caste minion
But suffer no slights from a beardless cotillion
Whose lips tell us lies underlined in vermilion
Until our frustration will brook no Brazilian

Aesthetic. Pathetic, we seek an emetic
For things so erotic they threaten ascetic
Erratic, and segregate tastes so prophetic
We hasten to hide how out-dated our ethic,

Our very existence. No matter the million
That march to a man to protest latrocinium;
We lie on our laurels; inviolate vision
Society’s structure investing our mission

For power that lingers for hangers and clingers
On scales that still favour us dissolute whingers
We’d rather waste time and resources on mingers
To hide behind preachers and ponces’ long fingers

As patriarch beams in the light of the dawn
With funds for a future of cultural norm
Where birth heralds gifts for the fortunate pawn
Ignoring the cries of their less favoured spawn

The female, though fated one half of our destiny’s
Much underrated when it comes to progeny
Gains more of Percy, than man’s greater mercy,
Imprudent, heretical, breeds controversy

These creatures that litter the cracks of society
Were cast-off to bear any bare impropriety
Innocence spares them no bolt of anxiety
As toys for affections of gendered variety

And what of the male as he wanders the land
Silver spoon in his mouth, and a viper in hand
Teasing Eve at his leisure, all going as planned
A man for all seasons, the first of the damned

So clothing was tattered and fluids were spattered
By elders and betters, by people who mattered
Unwanted attentions that blistered and battered
Assault is a compliment, you should feel flattered!

Tradition dictates we must buy them by rite
Postponing delight for our own wedding night
But those who are wayward and troublesome might
Be the better for all that you force on them. Right?

By the width of her bosom or breadth of her seat
You can tell what she wants in her life is your heat
Just ignore what may pass for false modesty, cheat:
If she struggles, you’re stronger, why beat a retreat?

What use is a woman that beggars belief?
But an ornament, decorative, for relief
(And it isn’t a rape if you aren’t a thief
Of virginity), so she’ll submit to your brief

And untalented fumbling, your grunting and mumbling
For out after dark, her experience humbling
Is nothing she doesn’t deserve, just a tumbling,
Yes, shame is the answer, to curtail such crumbling

Societal pillars, though riveted girders
Are challenged with change, so before we go further
Afield for our leisure, let’s talk about murder
And those whose encounters may help feed our fervour

But careful, what soft thought may break through this wall –
The footsteps grow louder, the voices still call
For a change to opinions, stacked for a fall
Bring an end to such violence, once and for all

Submission

Institutions holding power
Over artists, gentle folk
In their own way would devour
Independent deed and thought

With selective themes and rules
Governing what may be seen
Lending weight to private views
Influencing what we mean

Long before our words are cast
Forged as signature by stealth
They’d imagine questions asked
By our readers. For our health

And that of all who stand about
Nattering with glass in hand
At gala, pub, or simply – out
To cultivate this wasted land

There must be structure, must be form
It should be clear all views espoused
Are those full-sanctioned as ‘the norm’
With passions restful, unaroused

In such a way as this, perhaps
Some newer blood may join the rung
As underling to pleasant chaps
And hear their echoed praises sung

The Thought Police

I came across an article the other day that made me oddly angry. I can’t even explain why with any coherence, other than that the concept of ‘sex positive’ feminism seems to be curiously restrictive in it’s focus. Surely if one is being positive about sex, one is being positive about all forms of sex, including the kinky, the kooky and the downright weird. I rather resented the idea that one should feel shame for finding violence in the bedroom or BDSM appealing in any way. Of course I may be reading the article wrongly. I am certainly not pro-rape, but the idea of there being an approved form of sex (vanilla) really bothered me, and sparked a brief bit of furious scribbling:

I don’t appreciate a peeping Tom
Someone gazing in my eyes, declaiming
“Tell me all your secrets, kid!”
Prefer a bit of privacy when
All is said and done, for sometimes
Thoughts inside my head are not
Appropriate, need censorship
But this in no way means that I
Agree, approve, or will support
Your making up my mind, inserting
What you think I should have thought

Relay

Who brings the flame to signify
That peace now lights this land
On whose sure grip may we rely
Which body lends this hand

Upon whose face the gentle glow
To light the way for all
A worthy grasp of all that comes
With populace in thrall

The backers, hip to all things good
Whose strength may awe the meek
Are striding through our neighbourhood
The streets we knew, now chic

With none to cross the undrawn line
All smiles upon each mug
And those with work they must resign
At home beneath the rug

So spread glad tidings, far and wide
The days are passing fast
We’re queueing up to catch this ride
To gawk as it goes past

The Powers That Weren’t

It’s that time of year again when I trudge through my various bits and pieces and root out those submissions that were rejected outright or (worse) that never received a reply. Those that were written to a set theme or spec, I usually post here, as they are rarely suitable for resubmission elsewhere.

As you may be able to guess, these were written to a set theme – Power. I generally try not to over-explain my scribbles as I often feel if they require an explanation, then they aren’t finished yet, however this particular publication requested a brief introduction to each poem, so I have included these in my post.

This poem was written from the perspective of a Liberal politician nominally ‘In Power’ within the current coalition government, musing on the present state of the UK.

In Power
Feel my rhythm, see my vision
Fear the schism of this prism
All must work in culmination
Bettering the nation’s station

Tweaking noses, stomping toeses
Pack a pocketful of posies
Quick to hide the stench of rows
All long-since passed their sell-by codes

Darker glasses for middle classes
Out on arses for making passes
No more handouts for noisy standouts
Put up, shut up, we’re boss and bandits

Tailored speeches to tired teachers
Bitter leeches and lay-down preachers
Sieve for truth from the lie-buffet
Here’s a vibrant youth, let him have his say

Disenchanting, we see them panting
For what they’re wanting, and now recanting
Scrambled egg stains the ties of old
And the very dregs of the yellow fold

This poem was written about a turbulent relationship with an imbalance of power as one person chooses what is best for both of them on a whim, without reference to the other person’s thoughts or feelings.

Power
We’re together
Off and on
Depending how light
You are feeling
That switch in your brain
Flicks from one
To the other
And once again
Here I stand
In the dark

This poem was written on a miserably cold morning, sitting at a desk in a room with no heating, trying to summon up enough energy to face the day and gazing out of the window at one kind driver helping a total stranger get a battered old banger going again.

Jump Leads
Give us a bump start
A quick start, a jump start
To be smart and hearty
A powerful party
Yeah, kick off the traces
Of car-to-car chases
I want to feel spaces
See people, go places