AUGUSTUS YOUNG        light verse, poetry and prose

   a regular webzine of new and unpublished work
‘There’s no such thing as a poet. Only people who write poems.’



Laps of Honour


Pipe of Peace


The Grace of God

Can't Help it



‘Glory is a firework display commemorating happiness.’  Madame de Stael
'I don't want to join any club that accepts me as a member.' Al Gore

1. Penultimate Press Conference

‘We don’t give in to them’, said Blair. Basra. Mid-May. It’s not
the death-count that bothers him. ‘Dig heels in. That’s my parting shot.’
The high of bombing rubble with million dollar missiles
makes Bush yelp ‘Holy shit’. Blair cloaks the thrill with daggering smiles.
‘We gave them hell.’ The Damned cower with Terror on a prayer mat.
‘But there’s real signs of change. Ask the Prime Minister of Iraq.’

The hollow sound’s a mortar bomb exploding out of range.
‘If history sees me in the wrong, that’s its affair. I’ve made gains:
seeing off Saddam Hussain, winning Ian Paisley’s trust,   
won three election campaigns. Someone believes in me. He must.     

‘Hand on heart, my conscience is clear. To what’s right I gave my all.
Not working doesn’t make it wrong. Judge as you will. That’s your call.’ 
The press corps’ laptops crash. It’s not an act of God, but outage.
‘There have been blips in restoring power.’

                                                                       So history’s page
is turned (though it’s still being written in the dark). More power
to troops on the ground is the fallback. You see the twin tower
of Bush and Blair topple into the desert storm of time
and space. The bones won’t erase the flesh and blood of their crime.

2. What To Do with the Rest of Our Lives

So Blair steps down to rise again. The saviour of the earth?
In mock rain-forests he can be seen singing for all his worth.
The Gore he swears by now’s an Al. He sups by holy candles.
There's talk of a film shoot, Thirty Nine Steps To Save Our Selves.

Jetting goodbyes around the world, he’s welcomed by Mandela.

‘Join the club of ex-Heads of State.’
                                                            The jolly good fellow,
Bill Clinton, honks, ‘Pal, I’ve led the way to an afterlife
that keeps me out of the hair of Iron Rodham, my wife,
who keeps my cigar alight, and may yet prove the better man.
Still, I’m everyone’s favourite because I don’t give a damn.
But, between ourselves, Tone, me starting a war to distract
from the domestic scene wasn’t just a gratuitous act.’

(As children of the sixties neither knew where they were at.
Bill had his lonely sax and Tony was a lukewarm cat.
Yet they stuck in, and networked, and when the going got rough
Clinton turned to oral sex, Blair to sanctimonious guff.)  
‘We’re not going to let them spoil everything, Bill?’
                                                                                       ‘No, old sport. 
The world’s our oyster, pearls and all. The ball’s in our court.’

3. The Immunity Club

Putin, Bush will soon ‘join the club’ where, without rules, ex-Rulers reign. 
Hubris soundproofed from the hubbub of what they’ve created. Sheer mayhem.
They’re immune from reality checks. For one another they’ll pander.
This haven of self-belief sustains their delusions of grandeur.

‘Keep out Chirac’ is the word. He could prove a Trojan horse
Although he’s not the worst, Jacques’ too blatantly obvious.
‘Blair, serve coffee in the lounge. Though Vlad, I think, will want tea.’
‘I’m not the bloody butler.’ ‘No, you’re only a lackey.’

     ‘God, show me the way’, Blair prays, as he does when self-faith slips.
‘My son, you’re destined to lead The Horsemen of the Apocalypse
- US, SR, UN, EU - in the Holy Land. Death’s dominion
be your doing.’
                         ‘That’ll do. Who cares about public opinion?’ 
And so Blair leaves ‘on a high note’. Top tenor in the Middle East,
where all sides will be at his throat. His Number being that of the Beast,
66622 Beirut. Pope Ben’s glad to receive him
into the Church (martyrdom fast-tracks your canonisation).  

4. What’s Left at the Bottom of Pandora’s Box?

Chirac is a grand guignol. A wooden heart worn on the sleeve.
But as a puppet, he likes to pull his own strings. C’arrive,
his baby, the Branly museum, is good reason for pride.
What an eye for African art, if not for genocide? 

       Jacques plays the ass to get what he wants. He’s a scelerat,
panning for gold in Clearstream. But all the world smells a rat,
a Popup of what power’s about.
                                                  It’s payback time: Sarko’s jackboot
is coming down on his redoubt. It won’t be crushed without a lutte:  
Pandora being his last mistress, her box will be opened.
All the evils of the world will confront those bespoken.  
So Blair’s dropped in a Holy Well, Chirac’s confined to a brothel.
Putin’s put in a white brain-cell. And Bush returns to the bottle.

But do they rate a private hell? Vultures who live on the people
should die by the people as well: lynch mobs chase them up the steeple,
to hang up to dance on a line, so all smell their dirty linen,
hands tied. Mouths stuffed. Shut, no crying out loud. Necks crack, cut down, bin’em.  


Fat hope.