Calais

Sangatte to Jungles
Our government mumbles
Responses to nations’
Incoming migrations

Now paperwork hoarders
Are challenged by boarders
In Eurostar tunnels
And motorway funnels

They’re stoning the crowd
Burning tyres, leaping loud
Until lorries are loaded
All holds are allowed

This stowaway stream
Set on chasing a dream
Shows no signs of slowing
Or stopping, but growing

Their numbers increasing
To challenge policing
We’re caught at the port
Over which we have fought

Now our tourists are static
Behind much stacked traffic
They’re losing their reason
In holiday season

As cars packed with kids
See their fun on the skids
With the clock ticking down
Mum and dad due in town

Though we hoped to ignore
Swimmers washing ashore
Counting costs in big bribes
And the loss of small lives

In a bid for asylum
We’d like to deny them
Perhaps we may find
What they’re leaving behind

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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.

Inactivism

The ones who showed up
(Nothing better to do)
Who responded – what luck!
This dispassionate few

Lacking courage; conviction;
Lose energy fast
As they gawk at the faction
All hurrying past

This embarrassing spectacle;
Lacklustre, bored;
Ensuring their protest
Is safely ignored…

What happened to fervour
And faith in a cause?
Results of endeavour
Wrought change, not just snores

You want anyone
To accept your world view?
Then there’s work to be done
And it’s all up to you

Not a person will heed
Any nonsense you spout
If you, hasty to lead
Fail to plan for the bout

So don’t wing it on camera
Prepare with a script
Ere the freedom to clamour
Is hastily stripped

Once your message is seen
To be patently dull
You’ll have blown it on screen
For the others as well

A Head in the Clouds

How ironic it seems
That a selfie of Jen
Has eclipsed other headlines
Of conflict again

It’s as if through a lens
Entertainment appears
To be focused on comments
By anchor and peers

Though our hungriest, game
For a laugh as may be
Under clouds and on Sky
Must disrobe for TV

Where it leads if it bleeds
All depends on the dress:
The front cover of Vogue
For a dazzling temptress

Or a reddit thread, late
Where true fans would agree
Little more than click bait
Will be all that you see

There’s a choice for the viewer
And it’s moral – how quaint!
Pick which story to follow
To see through the paint

While there’s Isis; the Syrian
Conflict goes on
And shells still fall on Gaza
All through Libya’s Dawn

Civil war slowly creeping
Through Ukraine and East
As the whole world sits, watching
Awaiting the feast

We have crackers and hackers
Stampeding both scenes
And celebrities dropping
Like the flies of their jeans

We may be quite discerning,
Pick a view to a kill
Or an intimate evening
With a very cheap thrill

When the freest of thinkers
Chooses girls in the buff
Over lifting their blinkers
To examine the rough

I’m amazed readers make it
This far through a poem
Without pictures explicit
To lighten the tone

So the best we may hope
For a future of peace
Is a world that’s too broke
To afford to release

All the weapons still stored
Under ground, as above
Though it’s MAD to assume
That when push comes to shove

Such assurances mean
There’s a soul in the flock
Still refusing the fruit
That’s created to shock

Here’s an uncivil liberty
Waiting to pounce
While the government votes
For less private accounts

Choreographic Activism

I polished the drilling
Of Ms Oriana Fox today
Who’s disgruntled, but willing
Teaching folks in her own way

She’s quite sane and more sorted
Now plus one and a bit
Feeling slightly less thwarted
By the usual shit

She’s booked: gig’s on next Saturday
Way oop North of Watford
Dance-protesting the cuts that say
All artists will get shafted

And by doing a take-off of
Maria Miller
With some showtunes and JayZ
In a wig as a Tiller

Girl is dancing in her vest
To raise awareness fast
That if these cuts are not arrested
Arts have breathed their last

Wicked Truths

Fear and guilt implied
You provoked a scene
Now the world has lied
To deny what’s been

Guilty conscience herd
Legislation late
Undermining words
We’d all love to hate

Did you really think
With the box in hand
No one snuck a peek
In the whole damn land?

Were we so naive
Docile and secure
That we disbelieve
All the things he saw?

Now the whistle blown
Plays a waiting game
As he’s hunted down
For exposing shame

And our lives go on
At the same slow pace
While we log each bomb
Lobbed in cyberspace

Trusted

If cuts are made to NHS
As government will do, I guess
What may become of services
That great and good have seen as theirs?

We’ll pay the same, and more I’d bet
But fewer beds and longer yet
May grow the lists of those who wait
On tender butcheries of State

And leashed upon a marketplace
Already flooded, with no space
For those whose qualities are such
We can’t afford to give too much

As nurses, doctors seek the dole
When cast out of their former role
We’ll pay them not to cut and stitch
Not staunch a wound, nor soothe an itch

But tell their tales to DSS
Who can’t assist those in distress
Where platitudes are rarely bought
And sympathy unknown, if sought

Those managers of life and limb
For them, the outlook will be grim
With reputation poor at best
We’re subsidising workless rest

And gaining nothing, paying twice
For healthcare that we’ve put on ice
While skills hard-earned are left to rust
The NHS ends in mis-Trust.