Snake Oil, Sass and Razzamatazz

I envy those women in the magazines
It goes back to something missing from my teens

Their white trouser, silk blouse lifestyle
When pimples and bad hair were my style

Do I deserve their barefoot walks on the beach
With a dog whose perm is out of my reach?

Can I emulate their effortless charm
In a climate where thick vests are the norm?

And as advertising copy is rife
Where do I sign up for their perfect life?

With a spouse who is polite to my mum
And a car that is the envy of some…

Or is that only alive on the page
While we sigh, we buy, but bicker and rage?

What has happened to us living the dream
In a home of painted white wood and cream?

How are we supposed to manage to burn
All the endless stuff they tell us to earn?

And as pensioners smile sweetly at kids
While their offspring bust a gut on the skids

Keeping families from floating away
Working harder, longer hours each day

For an ad campaigner, trainer, shamer
Knows no namer, public blamer

Never better, next trend setter
Panty wetter, promo debtor

How is this for living the dream
We grip tighter than our miracle cream?

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REM Regrets

It’s the end of the world as we know it
And I’m feeling nothing is fine
Since slipping down stairs on the slime of your tears
As we stumble toward one more crime

With our pulses and tempers increasing
‘Til the drumbeats are all we can hear
With the pounding of chests just a signal at best
For there’s plenty out there now to fear

Do we dare raise an eyebrow to challenge?
Would majority views still prevail?
Those whose protesting shocks in the ballot boom box
Were a message: Society? Fail!

Is there hope for our woeful tomorrows?
Can we ever recover the cost?
Now we’re set on a course to an ending of force
May we mourn what it is that we’ve lost?

Comparabolic Religion

Under the same Abrahamic rite
Why is it one tribe must shoulder blame
For all the ills our tongues in spite
May mutter, hiss, jibe, joke, proclaim

Can all those bearing guiding star
And shunned as less than fully hale
In truth be held as such they are
Accountable by any scale

From other creeds and careful groups
And once again, ill fated, mean
Cast out as ‘other’…  Story loops
Unfit to mingle, foul, unclean

How are we in point of fact
In any way so different
When we all, with lesser tact
Live and die with base intent

Dogma and self-interest
Returning fellows to their clay
Here with darkness in our breast
We’ll charge along this alleyway

Now ignorance and cruelty
False, Godless words have spat to shine
We in our turn may twist and see
Of those whose creed does not match mine

Our own ideals overturned
With harsh contempt, disowned, decried
And know ourselves as those who earned
The scaffold built when first we lied

And chose to follow to this end
The unrefined, archaic lore
Hanging decisions on the bend
Of what worked once some years before

To weigh as wanting one who had
An equal claim to all the Earth
As we ourselves who in our greed
Conspired to steal more than our worth

That’s OK! (by me)

Never try to date musicians
Actors, players or politicians
All who make fame their lifelong mission
Feel compelled to keep ambition

Uppermost in their mind’s eye.
Resisting those whose hopes may lie
In other kinds of pie-filled sky,
Aspire to happiness: decry

The complex marketing campaigns
To fill your dreams with endless strains
Of violins, and chilled champagne
(Someone is selling something vain)

You’re not obliged to join, partake
In putting out, appearing, fake
So falsely cheerful, on the make
We don’t all want the same big break

And there are many paths to tread
That do less harm and keep you fed
You could just read a book instead
To fill your soul, first fill your head

Jacob’s Ladder

Poverty is hard to see
While growing up on toast and tea
I barely noticed its effect
We just got on with duties set

By those so practised to command
Unquestioning of task in hand
Until completed, so to bed
To rest our weary hearts and head

Yet catching toes on higher rung
While hearing others’ praises sung
I somehow over trod my groove
And moorings slipped, my mind did move

No longer cowed by sleight of birth
Unbending under weight and girth
I grasped this hook and pulled to see
What might be made with dignity

But not too far the ladder scaled
Before another turned and wailed
Unfairness at disparity
From what expectant they did see

As unbecoming in my stance
Though well-deserving of such chance
They wanted none with conscience there
Though they complained of life, unfair

With unchecked rage did rant and rave
Until they slipped, unseated save
For what was caught upon a nail
Until seams ripped and with a flail

Of arms and legs undignified
The other fell and so, he died
Unsettled, I, to see all eyes
So arid at this man’s surprise

I dared not breathe too long, nor loud
For fear they’d pick me from the crowd
Yet someone noted, by my air
I must have learned somehow to share

Instinctive camaraderie
Betrayed by actions that were ‘me’
Compassion at another’s fate
Too great my mercy, theirs too late

So shoved and pushed to halt my course
I stayed astride the ladder, worse
To know that I was caught, stuck fast
Between those who’d be first and last

In mind and stomach more than sick
To know such wealth might kill me quick
For feeling what they could not taste
Another’s worth and common waste

The Giving of Thanks

What profit the meek that they gain the earth
Without the wherewithal to plough
And sow the seeds of distant mirth
So jollity may bloom and grow

To render fruitful gifted sod
Takes time that none so meek may hold
Unless in changing nature’s clod
He steels himself to make so bold

And doing thusly, loses all
The bounty he had earned in deep
Humility and careful crawl
To build the empires he did seek

With these two hands undo the deeds
Upon which founder grew so tall
All loftiness and blessed greed
No longer fearful at the call

When other men have stood and shook
From head to toe to hear such voice
Proclaiming what had been forsook
By liberty and foolish choice

What meek men did, they do no more
As others shuffle in their place
And turn their cheek and fear the poor
Whose habits keep them clothed in lace

Where now is earth? What saltiness
Has dripped upon the failing crops
From little more than cowardice
The planet from mean axis, stops

No longer crouching ‘cross the sky
But stalling in such attitude
With what was learned from you and I
When treated harshly, men are rude

Mechanicals at best and worst
Who may not see their actions’ swell
But recognise their face is cursed
And know the reason all too well

Freebies

Why is it acceptable
To offer unpaid work
Expect someone to carry out
The duties others shirk

Without the basic dignity
Of taking home a wage
To compensate them for the time
They’ve bottled up their rage

To cover bills and buy their food
And clothing, pay the rent
Do people somehow think
That volunteering’s time well spent

When everything around us
Has associated fees
(We buy natural resources, water,
Light, heat, air and trees)

Save workers from stupidity
And keep us free from debt
You can’t afford to go without
The things we do, and yet

You’d rather keep the cash
Than spend it on a junior role
So tell us why your profit costs
Another man his soul?

The Bigger Picture

What care we for overview?
When all we know is what we do

The world appears in shades of us
So we ignore all others’ fuss

A protest march, injustice breeds
As others encroach on our needs

Their savage greed disrupts our day
We see their problems in our way

And grumble at their selfishness
In keeping us from work or rest

Our vision filtered as through cloud
For our own voice shouts twice as loud

But when we notice present threat
Do in our turn cause them regret

Reversing roles to stand our ground
Until the tables turn around

Greed

My fellows in frailty
Oh, most lustful race
Whose gluttonous ways
Best describe our true face

As vulgar ambition
That drives ever on
Marks our human condition
By all that we’ve done

May be in one mouthful
Both blessing and curse
Our fall ever further
And Fortune’s reverse

Depend on a viewpoint
That mirrors your own
Your vision won’t falter
While you stay at home

But venturing out
To a world of the strange
Perspectives may hastily
Be rearranged

For never true anarchy
Will be the rule
While ‘me first’ is master
Of all that we do

And selfless ideals
Tend to trip on the stairs
When those who would win
Start believing in dares

It’s vanity, clearly
Imagine us living
So greedy investors
May profit from giving

We’re all keeping score
For an eye, want an eye
No charity scheme
Runs on dreams that won’t fly

On the eve of it all

Surrounded by the spoils of men, milling, swirling, competing for attention, wanting for nothing, yet craving every piece of trash that passes by. We live in a desolate age, where pile upon pile of fancy packaging coats our conscience, wraps our brains and seals the deal with a loving spritz of forget-me. How I long for simple rivalry, without the harsh clamour, wish the humdrum, mono-not-chrome existence to once again hold sway. I pray for need, I beg for demand, rather than the overabundance of what is supplied to those without such a borderline. Edgy, a fringe movement hanging on the silk of their own party dress and swaying gently in the consumptive breeze. I could live in a world of lithographic memories, brown and fuzzy, dog-eared and beautiful in its imperfection. Order amid the chaos of life without pixels. A stream of unconscious thought, growing to a river, and crashing down the butter-mountain, swallowing up all those in its path.