Laps of Honour
Pipe of Peace
The Grace of God
Can't Help it
PIPE OF PEACE
In Your Face: A Triptych
The human race
is a waste of space
and time. Two-faced.
One for themselves.
The other, it delves
into someone else.
I wouldn’t ask
which is the mask.
In Baden Baden
I met bin Laden.
It has to be said
he wasn’t dead.
We spoke in the bar.
‘Sulphur springs are
a cure for all ills.’
A cigarette shot
out of the mouth’s not
a terrorist act.
That is a fact.
‘Light up in my face.
Pollute my space
and I’ll bullet you.’
Now all this is true.
Stateless in Gaza
‘Fairness for all who earn it’,
says ‘Gordon Brown for Britain’.
Looks as though I’m in the shit.
Should I go back there again,
as I do not pass the cricket
test? Ethnic, no job and old.
There’s lots more where I come from,
far too many, I am told.
I think I’ll stay on the run.
Bye-bye, United Kingdom.
The flipside of ‘fair’, I fear,
is unjust and being unwaged,
unpatriotic and clear-
ly a burden at my age.
I’ll find a nice refugee
camp to pass my dying days,
an offence to no one. Me
and my kind are due some praise
for disappearing when we
are not wanted by the State.
The Melancholy Truce
‘Le silence séduit la vérité.’ René Char
The silence between us is eloquent
as the pipe of peace that passed from hand to hand.
The flowering of a bouquet of smoke signals
promises an end to hostilities,
and a quiet evening at home with your tribesmen,
saying nothing, as nothing needs to be said.
Commit it to memory and flourish the moment.
Keeping a pipe alight in any circumstances
is an act of will that allows you to breathe.
The Underview of Life
The worm says to the daisy,
‘Spring up there and you’ll become
a link in a children’s game.
Or be cut off at the head.
Ca ne vous vaut pas la peine.
'Better to root down with me.
And nourish my excursions
into what’s left of the dead.
It’s a life. There are worse ones.
You’ll be part of the food chain.’
‘Two Nuns Murdered for Treasure’
BBC, 30 April, 2007
What is the world coming to?
But it’s not what you think.
It was the nuns that were murdered.
Now there is a call to ‘beef up
security in isolated
Greek convents’. That makes sense.
Democracy for Those Who Don’t Know
Democracy is a means to an end.
It works well enough if you ethnic cleanse.
And if that fails, the enemy within,
or the government, is for the dust bin,
superceded by a Golden Calf
who does God’s will on the people’s behalf.
La Vie en Bulle
Queenie lives in a bubble
where you can do what you like.
She’s always alone in it.
Which suits her. The peace and quiet.
It’s a world without trouble.
You make your own laws - some light
sentences as you see fit,
suspended of course. Not right.
But no one’s bothered a bit.
The harm that is done is slight.
Until the moment maudit
when the bubble blows its kite
and bursts, and Queenie’s rubble.
For Naomi and Jason
Charlie bit his tongue to wean himself.
And mother’s milk is left on the shelf.
It will turn into human kindness.