Nothing So Special

There is nothing so special
Needing ribbon or bow
If a child is successful
On what merits they show

There’s no label, no button
Not a banner in sight
If they work for a living
Study hard late at night

All their limbs are still present
And their brain seems to work
They are dutiful, pleasant
And ignored by the world

No, there’s really no reason
We should praise to the skies
Every triumphal season
For a sharp pair of eyes

There’s no faculty lacking
That’s obstructing their view
So no need to start clapping
When their talent shines through

If we over-encourage
Then we risk that one day
They may pluck up the courage
To feel grateful and say

That their motive for trying
To improve on their best
Was the people believing
They would rise to the test

The Ogre Next Door

The Ogre next door
Suffers from moodswings
Rattles my chain in the
Miserable mornings

The Ogre next door
Calls out greetings, repeatings
And howls at the cars on the road
Trapped in daydreams

The Ogre next door
Prone to fits and to violence
Is locked in his head
Cannot stand empty silence

The Ogre next door
Bangs on walls and on windows
And yells at his carers
And tilts at his windmills

The Ogre next door
Tries his best to be friendly
He chants on the weekend
And calls us all ‘Henry’

The Ogre next door
Is a guard and deterrent
For travelling salesmen
A neighbourhood torment

The Ogre next door
Is not always one person
Two voices, one head
Makes for odd conversation

The Ogre next door
Doesn’t lie, isn’t lazy
Just different from us
So they tell me he’s crazy

Revolution

the categorization of life lets us know our station
so we cannot fail to grasp just where we are
the nametags thrust upon us show degrees of separation
and we see that some among us have come far

but I am more than just a name,
a string of letters just the same
as many others in this vast humanity
and when you try to box and file me
in a cabinet of others
I must scream out ‘individuality.’

I am a person, not ‘a human of caucasian extraction’
and there sure is more to me than meets the eye.
You must surely understand my very evident frustration
for you’re clearly not a ‘simply average guy’.

why don’t we start a revolution
overthrow the institution
show the world what we are fighting for and why?
put down your weapons of destruction
and let’s build a brighter future
where tomorrow’s child can dream to reach the sky.

The Overlooked

The frostbitten urban landscape equals poetry for the unequal.
A land of opportunity, of quick fixes and slow deaths.
Coated in slogans, we make our way through the world,
Cushioned from the harsh blows we are dealt by our velour-clad thighs,
Our Nike, our Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger.
Waiting around in the cold for a better future,
Watching hope fade away, going up with the smoke rings we blow.
Banded together, we brothers and sisters, by a common goal
It is not our apathy that sets us apart from society,
But society’s abdication of responsibility towards us.
And we wait, some in hope, some in fear,
Some having lost the will to fight, some only steadfast with faith in failure.
Whether our own, or that of others on our behalf.
It’s all one to us, marching without a banner, fed on an over-rich diet of empty words,
Our minds undernourished by rhetoric, and our hearts raw and bleeding.
Our ranks swelling with every step, every door closed to us, other avenues barred,
We gather together in a column, with low morale and high birth rates,
We shall yet overcome, but what will we win?
For to conquer the world is not enough.  One must also learn to live in it.

The daydreamer is brought back down to Earth with a thump

Stolen from my chosen world. Reality arrives with a rush and a whimper. Staring blindly at the hand before me, all faces turned to chart my progress. Wagers placed, the unimaginative betting on the surety of a telling-off. The dreamer castigated for thinking outside the box, outside the hell of thirty sheep, all following one who refuses to lead by example. Do as I say, don’t do as I do. You have to pay attention. Stick with the mundanity of life, it will bring its own rewards. What rewards? What is my motivation not to fly the scene on a broomstick, long hair whipping in the wind and cackling in a self-congratulatory manner? I lack stimulation. I have rarely found the company of sheep to be adequate in this regard. But you must want to conform, fit in, be molded to the cast of social splendour. The government wants more scientists. Well pardon me, please, for having an opinion, but my talents lie elsewhere. I suspect the government really, deep down, desires something far more exciting – more dominatrices, more cheese and mustard sandwiches, more sex, but it’s pointless explaining such things to most adults while one is under the age of ten. They tend to be so shocked that one can think, that the content of any message is lost amid cries of ‘Sacrilege’, as the alarm bells sound and they call in the men in white coats to ask embarrassed questions about your relationship with the world around you in a crude attempt to discover your emotional handle. A label is most helpful to those members of the red-tape brigades who cannot cope without a filing system. It allows them to hide their fear of you in a little box. Somewhere between Arachnophobia and Necrophilia lies a little drawer with my name on it, encircled by a thick chain and multiple padlocks. It is time to break the locks and melt the chain, free the spirit and allow the daydreamers to solve the world’s problems. Protocol will only get us so far, as we keep edging ever-closer to the big red button that could end it all in a heartbeat. No daydreamers would press it for curiosity’s sake, as we have clearly imagined the consequences. Clearly and in technicolour!