The Anti-Social Conscience

Fear of flying
In the Erica Jong sense
Is not wrong – even for hardcore feminists
We are all intimidated sometimes
When faced with the prospect
Of successful seduction
In an post-AIDS era.

Fear of flying
Bugs with the power to infect
The next generation with long-term consequences
Is a logical response to a natural phenomenon
So we avoid the tropics, where possible
And wear trousers, long-sleeves
And poisoned perfume.

Fear of flying
To exotic climes
With local customs
Hostile to strangers
Would appear an acceptable
Response to the xenophobic
Fury of others – so unlike our own.

Fear of flying
Seems perfectly reasonable –
A socially acceptable phobia for a reduced carbon footprint
Unless, of course the sufferer happens to be
The passenger in the next seat (adjacent to me)
Quaking in their Birkenstocks,
Passing gas, and sweating cobs.

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Survivor

I am right there
Surrounded by cockroaches
Squatting in the ruins,
The wreckage.
Collateral, damaged
In the fallout
Of a truly
Decadent society
That looked up to its
Graven images,
Photoshopped.
Idols, now idle.
How they glittered
In their lame, sequinned
Lifestyles.
Just me – a bunch of
Bad habits
And under the rubble,
One drug-addled
Rock guitarist.
Perhaps if we put our
Heads together
We can try
To find words
To remember.

HarMonica

Why is it the ‘other’ woman
Brings us out in rash hysterics
Howling at the moral failings
Of our politicians? Clerics,

Parents, teachers, doctors, shrinks
All united in their hatred
Of a figure that still stinks
Clad in pot pourri de tabloid

That blue dress, evocative:
Events that should be long forgotten
(Youthful indiscretions hid)
Provocative, with gains ill-gotten

We suspect and we accuse –
Cynical, the cuckold’s friend
And tap out mindless platitudes.
While vain, her struggles to defend

What shreds of reputation, scorched
And tattered to her yet remain;
We gather up our pitch and forks
And stoke the pyre once again

Anticipating further fun
Rough justice for another’s slight
We gather at suggestion
She might escape unhappy flight

Delighted at the sacrifice
Of one more soul to unjust mob
Let he without sin cast the first
(So many more the crowd will lob)

In brave hypocrisy at what
No doubt too many may have done
Themselves and not been hotly caught
Entrapment by ambition

Pilloried or harried hence
Built to take a desperate dive
Fashioned into common, dense
Unfit for consort, Saints alive!

The very thought a woman wronged
Who made a choice that haunts her still
Might be allowed to face the throng
And live down public shaming? Ill

At ease with those she counted on
Whose turncoat ways still cause distress;
We won’t allow her to move on
And rake old muck to make new mess.

What is it we hope to gain
Constructing walls to keep her caged
When influence she held through fame
Is long dissolved and disengaged?

A public life, her sentence stands
With little room for private grief
Unhappy Recognition’s hands
Control where she may find relief.

Now with a cause she would promote
To shame the bullies that still flaunt
A woman’s infamous deep throat
For speaking up for truth not taunt.

I wish our morals stretched as far
Restraining tongues at twitter time
Realpolitiks remain sub par
We’ve little else to do online

Slut-shaming is our dearest trend
As one more hussy kicks herself
For lending hands and more to end
All dignity, career and wealth.

This altar calls for fresher blood
I fear the next will pay a price
The mob is in an ugly mood
With barely-legal sacrifice

Lined up for entertainment here
Soon rubber-necking, righteous louts
Will crowd around to shove and leer
At those who try to tough it out

We’ll see them crawl and cry and squirm
Extracting vengeance from each one
With twerking fervour: all must burn
Up goes the cry – the hunt’s begun.

Cherry Conserves

Ding, dong, the bells rang out
And sirens wailed as cars sped by
With MPs anxious all to spout
Proud eulogies to she whose dying
Broke the mould that shaped this land
A Britain blitzed and bristling
Tenacious hold of ringed hand
Conducting as her choirs sing
But praises in her final hour
When all about her’d scoffed in doubt
A woman might ascend to power
To rule their classes, well-endowed
Through echelons of history
Such ilk, ill-favoured (and less-liked)
Set braver face than enemy
And damned the rest to build a dyke
For old and loyal as they’d seem
Support has grown in recent years
The bad old days are here again
No sum may yet assuage our fears
What party rages through the night
As shades and lines are thinly drawn
All hail the dying of the light!
Now bow before the bitter dawn

The Cuckoo and the Nightingale

Tinkle on the ivories
You’re waiting in the wings
Listening as others wheeze
The skinny croaker ‘sings’
She got the job through hours spent
Mouth open, on her knees
Her sound resembles native Kent
While dulcet tones that please
You warble on, just marking time
Stood, shuffled to one side
The notes that soar not hers, but mine
A gift they chose to hide
So as dramatic climax nears
On anorexic face
Fat lady singing through the tears
While mask remains in place

Unwelcome

Faces crease in concentration
Making efforts to ignore
Insistent toddler at the station
Tantrum thrown beside the door

Tired workers heading homeward
All but desperate for peace
Nervous mother still a coward
Fearing offspring’s full release

Cries that echo round the carriage
Painful stares at stalemate scowl
The product of a broken marriage
Childhood monster’s awful howl

Pacifist attempts a token
Of what discipline we lack
Silent look conveys unspoken
‘Madam take your vile kid back’

Children borne but rarely welcome
Oft ignored with quiet bribes
Entering a world that needs them
Yet can’t stomach little lives

An Act of Equality

Literal, a glitterball with
Shapeless, senseless twitter call
Tripping over coveralls
To break the bones of bugger-alls

Work-shy, drip-dry, never mind
The kind rarely if ever kind
And always coming from behind
To ride the coat-tails of the blind

Where were you when brains were given?
Hearts and minds and shame were shriven
Could you please explain this living
Or why all should be forgiven?

Old excuses, new abuses
Trust, then lust, then bust for users
Weak-chinned, long-shinned, thin-skinned losers
Make the worst of beggars, choosers

Careful, tiptoe past the trigger
Or a lip may start to quiver
As we shudder, shake and shiver
At the news we must deliver

Mark the pages, turn them faster
Or may all end in disaster
Swathed in loam and sticking plaster
All that Nature’s coffers muster

A dystopian vision

A country left to go hang, its policies blowing in the wind like so many dead leaves, rolling across the bloated corpses of those yet clutching the reins of power in their vice-like grip of death.  The fetid air issuing from their purple cheeks only serving to stir up a small cyclone, spewing banknotes in a circle to help scatter the blame far and wide, sowing discord and discontent unevenly across the land, oozing mistrust and perverting the course of the rivers of truth to ensure every citizen has their rightful opportunity to know the bitter taste of fear.

Is this my land of plenty?  My Jerusalem?  This green and pleasant land has become a granite-grey terrain, a place of howling apes in media zoos.  Where once the sun shone down, reflected in the shimmering seas and rivers, upon the citizens at work, now we see, but dark skies and troubled waters, from the defeated couch-potato throne of the unemployed.  We gaze with disinterest at the hopeless perspectives issuing forth from the hi-tech plastic box in the corner.  We mark the passing of time, not by the seasons, or the light of the stars, but by counting the unnatural, tallying the vanishing wrinkles on each ‘celebrity’ face, and we wonder… What is to become of us now?

Song of the mistress

I wait by the phone for your ring.
It’s foolish, but here is the thing.
Although you have her and life isn’t so tough
It seems even perfect girls aren’t enough.

Why lie to yourself on your wedding day’s eve?
If you truly loved me, it’s her you would leave.
But somehow you’ve woven this web to suit you –
Get to marry the cake, but you still eat me too!

I love you too much to demand that we wed.
So it’s her with the ring, but me in your bed.
Just how did things go so surprisingly wrong?
I gave you my heart to be trampled upon.

You love me, admit it! I see that you do.
In hiding the truth, who’re you fooling? Guess who!
She’ll hate you for lying and leading her on.
But she’ll win in the end: If you love me, be strong!

The honeymoon’s over, she’s pregnant, you say?
Well my deepest condolences. Now, go away!
You have quite some nerve waltzing back here to me
After three weeks of sun, sand and sex by the sea.

What am I doing? How did we get here?
In love and adultery nothing is fair!
Now three children later you’re out on your ear
And trying to crawl back to me now, I fear.

True love lasts a lifetime, yes, this much I know.
Or I would have shown you the door long ago.
So my hands are tied, why, what else could I do?
I’m finally getting to grow old with you!

Sleeves of hearts

We stare at them, those gentle souls
Who show emotion out of doors.
We pass them crying in the street
And hurry by, afraid to meet
The eyes of whom, in self so free
They do not fear ‘discovery’.
There but for grace of self-control
Would you and I be of such mold
And made to show so openly
That which we feel – how true we’d be!
Thus unable to tell a lie
Would the career of thousands die
And we might ever and anon
Sincerely let mankind live on.