If a Book…

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If a book can drive people to build gold-dripping brick palaces in honour of an imperceptible sky-dweller
Or to melt wax and drape hatred over glistening, Christening altars
Then consider the power of fiction.
If a book can create and nurture mass hysteria for thousands of years, then consider the power of fiction.

If a book can drive people to kill or to keep:
To keep and punish and sacrifice
To sacrifice and ostracise and bully and excommunicate
If a book can invent such fantastic characters that even the inconceivable becomes believable
Then consider the power of fiction.

There, saints on pages say women must be silent
There, invented words would have you devote yourself to destruction
where wives and slaves submit to men
—Men who must not love one another—
Here, sacrifice your children unto this scripture:
And they saw that it was blood.

And still, its readers read—feeding hate
And still, they root for its main character
Through an aperture of death
Death masquerading as life
And still, its readers explain away horror as metaphor

And interpret and manipulate evil into excuses:

Free will and mysterious ways.
So today, embrace the power of fiction.
Embrace the power of fiction and keep writing.
Keep writing your own book
And perhaps one day
Writers shall unwrite The Bible.

JIG

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There’s only one place I’ll go, y’know?
I’ve bent my straight edges and straightened the sticky-out bits
In order to fit.
But I never quite did.
I’m up for upcycling or resale
Whatever the term is for my retail…
And I’m enabled by a label
That comes with me,
D’you see?
Just to be fair,
It promises that all my pieces are there.
And it’s signed off with a kiss;
But this: I’m not complete, don’t forget.

At least…
…Not yet.

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Lifeblood

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They sent me off to Syria to document the war; I thought I’d have a painful job, too bloody to ignore.
But once inside the outside of the coldest, newest hell, I found a limitation on the things that I would tell.
I didn’t see what they did, like the rubble and the blood, or hear the screams of sorrow through the broken neighbourhood.
Behind bombed doors I didn’t hear the terror they were dealt; in front of hell I stood with them, not feeling what they felt.
I didn’t see or hear the dead, the dying, the bereaved; I didn’t know their tears were red, for mine were so congealed.
I didn’t see the babies hidden under bricks of clay; I didn’t know their names or where they’d liked to go to play.
I didn’t feel the pain they felt; the struggle to survive. I didn’t know the suffering of tiny little lives.
The things I saw in Syria were from another place; I looked upon the broken and I saw my daughter’s face.
I held a crying mother as she mourned her children three; and all I thought right then and there was Thank Fuck It’s Not Me.
From Syria I made a call with matters to report; my words were what I felt – not right to say the things I ought.
I spoke of how my children had enjoyed their Christmas Day, and how they’d been excited for the contents of a sleigh.
‘My kids are all so wonderful,’ I said with love and hope, not hearing any problem with the happy words I spoke.
I left the hell of Syria, and took a flight right home, and as I flew I knew I’d have to cry into a poem.
The children there weren’t Syrian, their blood belonged to me; the faces of the dying plucked straight from my family tree.
The falling bombs were merely seeds too late to be un-sown; and with the death of Syria, I looked and saw my own.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/deadly-car-bombing-kills-syrian-civilians-idlib-170625053812771.html

CLICK

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A pawn in an incomplete game of static insanity
Your blood-letting, tongue-tied grimace has you blind
While humanity’s serpents serp and singers sing
Of all the reaping things.
Madness’ descent pauses on this: it had no reason to exist
Until now, when it persists.
After spending too long in the half-life, you reach out and Geiger-count your blessings
Tick-by-tick-by-tick-by-tick

Click
By
Click.

So you reach the total sum of zero
A clickless life, a tickless existence
Bricked up in the wall of political persistence
There’s to be no saving of your soul – it’s only morose code for you
This is a remorseless dry, brown experiment
White helmet knights would save you from the rubble
But trouble is, they’re under it too.

Santa, Maybe.

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I’d really love that Santa Claus
To do my shopping and my chores
Perhaps he’d even make a brew
And fill the car with petrol, too
Or maybe he could bake the pies
To keep me fat with sweet supplies
And while he’s at it he could bring
An end to people’s suffering
Perhaps he’ll stop the greed and hate
And start the love, for goodness’ sake
But something small would do for now;
The quiet ones are just as loud
The sound of many voices peal
From Santa – who might just be real
A unifying, big fat bloke
A symbol of a winter’s hope
So now I have a single wish
I’ll whisper it, and it is this:
Oh, please bring homeless folk indoors
I’d really love that, Santa Claus.

 

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Where the Heart Is

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So what will all those children do?
~Don’t worry child, they’re not like you.

And what will Syrian children wear?
~Forget it, son, they’re over there.

But what will those poor children say?
~You cannot hear, they’re miles away.

It’s Christmas soon, what will they get?
~I’ve told you, kid, you must forget.

But why, and how, what can I do?
~You can’t, it isn’t up to you.

But maybe I can teach my friends
~Oh here we go, you’re off again…

Perhaps I should just start with you
~What do you mean? What did I do?

You turned away, you shut it out
~But we can’t help – we don’t know how.

And you gave up without a fuss
~But son, we need to care for US.

Oh, Father, won’t you ever learn?
~It isn’t us – it’s not our turn.

It is! They’re us – and we are they
~You don’t know half the things you say.

I know I’ll never learn from you
The things you let this planet do
You make it hard to love and trust
With all the lies you spin to us
You say we’re different, us and them
But what if it occurred again?
If we don’t help them, save them soon
Humanity will go to ruin
We need to stand up, take them in
As refugees washed clean of sin
For if we don’t, then when it’s us
Then who’ll be here to make a fuss?
If we don’t help the folk oppressed
What happens if it’s our turn next?

~Just calm yourself, child, take a pew. This will not happen, not to you. We’re fine right here, in Blighty’s arms; our King and country won’t be harmed. Now settle down and go to bed, and sleep away what’s in your head.

What’s in my head is in my heart
And when I wake, I’ll make a start.

~Not everything is black and white, you can’t win every single fight. I’m sure you see in monochrome.

Tomorrow, Dad, I’m leaving home.

The Fallen

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They took, as they tend to take.
Staking another, blood flutters another monster killed by guilty remorse
doors closing all the time opening
Hoping hearts beat as nothing and static arrives
Rhymes for our times and beds for our sorrow
Tomorrow, as they say, is another day
Way back in the future, way back when
Then all will be revealed
Concealed in masquerade
Lemonade for sale
Ale for the drunken
Thunken thoughts escaped
Placed upon life and the rest
The best is to come
Dumb it down for the truth
Rooftop-shouting
Louting and looting
Rooting and thrilling
Spilling on pages
Wages forgotten and spent
Bent out of shape for today
Shaving skin is permitted
Knitted scarves are made of veins
Games aren’t enough
Rough or smooth
Through it all:
The fallen, they fall.

Sonnet 2,152 or; The Verse that Wrote Itself

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The verse that wrote itself spilled from my pen;
No conscious thoughts of mine gave any hints;
I did not know the muse was there but then
A sudden flow of ink came; unstopped since.
The poetry that followed would reveal
All secrets which were hitherto unspoke;
For reason could no longer be concealed
In rhyme, for meter’s beats not jest nor joke.
The prose that now be published be all me;
No edits nor critique has it been through
The muse has spoken clear and wild and free;
And through this art I offer words to you.

For this new love, a poet did I choose;
And therein found my soul, my heart, my muse.

It’s Great

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It’s great that the battle is over
And there hasn’t been fighting at all
There’ve been no guns or bombs
Since the days of The Somme
When we learned our first lesson through war

It’s great that there’s nothing but peace now
And everyone just gets along
There’s been no shed of blood
Because everything’s good
As it’s been since the days of The Somme

It’s great that nobody is dying
And everyone’s treated the same
Since the days of The Somme
We have really moved on
Since our soldiers were pawns in a game

It’s great that we sit and remember
The red fields in a place called The Somme
We will have tea and cake
Reminisce of the waste
Of our men who died over the top

It’s great that we keep still in silence
And be thankful we weren’t at The Somme
For two minutes we’ll hush
And remember the pushed
After that we will just Carry On

It’s great that the world is now different
And it never will happen again
And the things that we know
Mean we’ll Sing As We Go
Since The Somme, since the war, since back then.

It’s great that it’s all in our history
And the slaughter is back in the past
Since the death at The Somme
All the horror has gone
So what’s wrong? Take a pew and relax.

It’s great that our royals lay wreaths there
And the PM will always pull through
So relax, have some wine
And just wait for the time
That they bring a new Somme straight to you.