Friday, 14 November 2014

A Fire of Novembrance

I like fireworks, they’re pretty, aren’t they?
Earlier this year, I saw a particularly good display
At a big festival. It was really impressive.
But I wouldn’t burn a person,
Or celebrate it – even centuries after.
I would celebrate
If someone had ever
Actually blown up Parliament
And killed everyone in it
And we could have started again,
Without the king,
Without the bickering,
Shouting at PMQs.
I’d never celebrate an execution
Especially not of the last person
To enter Parliament
With honest intentions.

Anyway, my poppy is bigger than yours,
So obviously I care way more
About dead soldiers from whatever war,
About whose granddad died, mine or yours.
About the sun that never set and the blood that never dried…
And whose dead relatives mitigate their views on war,
Yours or mine
And whose ethnicity trumps who else’s
In the expression of those views.

And the killing,
And the sanctimony,
And the poetry,
Never stops.
It goes on and on and on and on and on

And The Prime Minister lays a wreath,
And tries to look like normal humans look
When they experience normal human feelings
Without the constraints of realpolitik
And having to care what everyone thinks
And having to pretend there’s something glorious
About Europe’s competing empires
Carving up the world
At the cost of millions of their own
And millions of others
And the birth of the banking system
We all know and love
And the oil economy
We all know and love.
And the over-rated sitcoms
We all know and love
And the paper flowers
We all know and love
For 3 to 6 weeks a year
(Depending on the level of self-righteous outrage
In the letters page).

And the soldiers who fought
To keep opium poppies off our streets
Are remembered with poppies.

We love soldiers, don’t we?
Except when they want to talk about it.
We love soldiers,
Except when they’re claiming,
(Then they’re scroungers).
But we love soldiers,
Except when they want to access mental health services,
Then they’re on their own.
We love soldiers,
Except when they’re poor
Then they’re not our problem any more .

“Poppy Day”
Remember, remember
Remember whatever
A plot to blow up parliament in November
And its’ tragic failure.
And all the soldiers we remember,
Because we knew them...
For our own political reasons,
Such as they are.

Firework Night
Gives way to Poppy Day.
Meanwhile, on a staircase
In a high-rise flat
A needle fills an arm.
Thank God we pulled out of Afghanistan…
And that’s the end of that.

1 comment:

  1. Bit late mate, poppies and fireworks were last week. get your christmas lights on.

    filo hayes.