Head of State

Alone is his pyjamas
After the sycophants
Are all in their beds
The dictator, silent
Examines his image
By moonlight
Wrinkles and lines
Cratered temples
And soft-joweled planes
Surrounded by wealth
In the marbled rooms
Of a haunted palace
He did not inherit
But strives to display
To best advantage
For diplomatic reasons
Dreaming of leaner,
Keener days
Before he became
A political prisoner
Trapped and tamed
By the violent success
Of his own actions

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

Liberal Litterati

Seedy, lithe and well-oiled
In our uniform, non-conformity
Liberal minds squeak protests
From bedsit to ballroom
Decrying as fashion dictates.
Few trouble to research topics
Alien to a readership whose
Well-formed, lively sentences
So closely mimic their own.
We are all experienced here, we,
Residents of the four-walled glasshouse
What value the grass-roots witness?
When florid imagination lends itself
So well to high-def. verisimilitude
Without the constraints of
Post-traumatic stress
We rail again, against
The order of the world
Our words perpetuate
And tilt our glass
To toast the common man.

How sweet it is (to be loved by you)…

The idealist’s ideologue, congealed on his golden plate
Surrounded by powdered personae, the trappings of stagnant State
As one televisive advisory breaks silence to break away
The balance sheet of reality returns to red yesterday

Now mournful opposition jostles lines to pass old post
Decries each new position as they shuffle lots to roast
A deficit of vision and careers gone down the drains
Idyllic desperation for disparity remains

As rows of rats now queue to quit benighted, sinking boat
That put to sea on rumours, but was scuppered by the vote
Their captain hoped to walk the plank, to once again see land
But thanks to mutineers, he’ll take a shot for what was planned

Did not suit those who carried keys to privy, purse and pool
Who don’t take failure lightly, as it’s they who work to rule
And waiting in the wings to make an entrance, once again
Are other thoughtful fellows whose mark rarely leaves a stain

DElectable

If I were one, not two or three
I wouldn’t care what you thought of me
I’d have the choice to change, to be
The person inside, outside. Free.

But there is you, and her and him
And cool, and chic, and fair and slim
I don’t know where I should begin
To twist myself to meet each whim

Opinions hover overhead
What might she think? What would be said?
You couldn’t tell what’s in my head
I gathered thoughts, but lost the thread…

They’re moulding me to something new
To shine in every interview
And sell my soul – in shades of blue
With hints at things that could be true.

Hollywood Rap

Push me to places
I ain’t seen before
I’ll paint on some faces
To look like your whore

But deep in my mind
There’s so little you see
I keep it locked tight
Holding onto what’s me

The terrible things
That we do in this world
Are only a symptom
We pass off – absurd

So I’ll do my worst
‘Til I’m hailed as the best
You’d think we were cursed
But we’re just like the rest

And I can breathe magic
Just give me the word
It smells rather tragic
But haven’t you heard

The twisting of sisters
And mothers and misters
Is brotherly love
With a burning that blisters

It’s time for my act
So get ready to listen
My mould has been cracked
I’m the last one to glisten

With genuine feeling
That’s cheap by the dozen
You’re welcome to healing
But no kissing your cousin

I’ll take you to heights
Just to jump off the top
And tell you of sights
‘Til you beg me to stop

There’s nothing to do here
And less I can build
But I’ll keep my mind clear
And my body filled

With poisonous substance
That’s hardly substantial
You’ve really no beef
The whole thing’s circumstantial

It doesn’t make sense
When I come from this background
But who cares for pence
When you’re far from the fair ground

The going was rough
I thought I was a goner
But nothing says tough
Like a second-hand Doner

I don’t mean to pry
But why are you still reading
When you could be flying
And fucking and speeding

Nobody cares
So what if I get careless
I’m doing my thing
And it’s none of their business

You just keep paying
The price of my ticket
It’s cheaper than praying
And you know you can stick it

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

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.

Tabloid Catechism

Spite and polish will make her shine brighter
The author can buff with insults and see how quickly
She loses her inferior interior, slickly she grows
In favour of a sickly exterior shell that glows
With borrowed pride in her rented hide she’ll ride
Surrounded by critics and dealers to feel her, peel her
Unseat her, to beat her and shape and defeat her
In poisonous rows of inelegant prose the photos
Nipping her waist and in ever more haste
To keep blowing her nose, and her manicured toes
In uncomfortable shoes, body-conned to abuse
Shamed with glamorous phrases, ungenerous phases
More strokes of the pen to keep her, steep her,
Drowning in ten shades of newsprint, our views print
The choice of the people, the lawyers, the troops
With the focus of every new interest group
The murkier water of sister and daughter
Whose under-age pictures proclaim they fall shorter
Their innocence sold for a penny a piece
To shift Sunday supplements, pay off police
With the politics slanted to left or to right
You can broker new peace or prepare for a fight
And consistency needn’t concern you this year
Your excuse is the public reflection of fear
There’s an honesty to it, this devilish deal
An emotive hard-pressing of Biblical zeal
We wrote it, stand by it, will bribe to keep quiet
Our right to the sale of page three and her diet
What’s Mystic and listed and sicker, more twisted
What’s darker and deeper than truth that’s insisted
We’ll publish it, dressed in the finest of rags
And polish with spite all protesters and slags