bits and bats and sticks and stones and pics and pomes

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I started writing regularly three or four years ago.  This page will contain poems with a political or social slant.




Pushed up like a bra

Pulled down like knickers




Tired of anger

Some days, even my anger is weary.
How much longer?
How many more lives squandered?
More and more
and deceit
spew from the radio.

On TV screens,
concerned faces
count the dead
calculate the score
apportion blame.

Some dispute the evidence
accuse our great and good.
To what avail?

Shall I march
sign petitions,
contact my MP?

Will anyone take heed
or will they simply
carry on
to the bitter end?
We’ve started
so we’ll finish.

Whose right to fight?


A BBC report on March 7th described the situation of Commonwealth soldiers ( from Fiji, I think).

It's an attempt at blank ( but metrical?) verse. I feel it is a many-sided issue, and covers people's reluctance to join up because of the sort of wars we're involved in, apart from anything else, and I wonder if the tough guy culture, and name-calling when recruits are in any way different is a necessary part of creating soldiers who will fight battles effectively. The title is deliberately ambiguous - whose right/ who's right??

They can’t get all the lads they need at home,
most youngsters just don't want to go to war
and I can see no reason to condemn them
I wouldn’t go myself if I were asked.

On a mission to the outposts of our “empire”
they’ve found the men they need down on the ground.
They’ve enlisted a selection of young soldiers
ambitious, bright and eager to take part.
The brass hoped this might plug some of the gaps,
trained them up and shipped them out to fight.
But when these fellows joined the British army,
jibes and racist pranks became their lot.
So they organised themselves into a union
though they couldn’t strike or claim a higher wage.
They took the steps to make their problems public,
and hit the morning news for what its worth.
Is this just one more murky episode of history?
Most of us at home don't give a damn.
The deaths of soldiers from these far-flung places
play out less TV tearful than our own.

Olympic Ideal

Four hundred grand

a logo for London.

Fourteen pence an hour 

making products for Beijing.


What a souvenir!

Great value for money!

Can London beat this?


It’s not about the cost,

It’s not about winning,

It’s taking part that counts.


June 2007