Fareweel tae aa oor island’s fame,
fareweel oor claims tae glory;
Democracy lives but in name,
for Parliament’s a story.
Noo saccharine and hollow speech
demeans a Premier’s station,
demarking Bozza’s pinchcock reach –
sic an arse tae prorogue aa the nation!
But sic a guile for mony years,
gained Empire’s greedy wages,
and is wrocht noo by a gang o fieres,
Late Capital’s bluff sages.
Tho Eton Rifles we disdained,
secure in Labour’s mission;
but Eton’s gamesmanship’s oor bane –
sic a farce tae prorogue aa the nation!
Auld Éire lang has seen the play
whaur Tories strut but sell us,
and Scotland sune must brak away
tho Tories tut and tell us.
For wi this shower we must not cower,
but mak oor declaration –
the UK’s soul is bought and sold,
sic a curse tae prorogue aa the nation!
Now that we are post-NonBrexit, we present Nine Indicative Poems to test the opinions of our readership. Please feel free to vote No to any or all of them.
Trump’s Adviser ~ Ellen Phethean
You shouldn’t leave it till the last moment. What on earth were you thinking: better dead than red? It wasn’t wise to tweet a non-existent border could be closed. Never state
your views about The State when in a state. Don’t leave it till you’re on the wrong side of the border between consciousness and un. Earth your ire in sleep, otherwise you’ll regret it. Have you read
the latest memo? Important bits in red so even you can’t miss them. Some states are threatening to block it. So wise up – leave the small print to me. I’ll unearth some stats and figures about borders,
walls, etc, a history that borders on the boring. Bored folk don’t bother reading. Earth could go up in flames, those with big estates don’t know or care, think they can leave and find a safe, exclusive place, price wise.
I think they’ll discover otherwise. We are merely boarders on this planet, foolish to believe otherwise. Whatever hue your politics, red blue or green, nothing and no-one can state with certainty they’re saved. This Earth
oh, this poor Earth is heading towards the end. Wise men of the Fourth Estate write: don’t sit on the fence, border, wall, whatever. Be scared. Be very scared. I’ll leave
you to consider the wise option re the border leave it up to you, though I doubt you’ve read anything I’ve written about the state the earth is in.
Blocheads ~ Alan Smithee
We divide again, form a new huddle from the old huddle again, a division within a division, again, bifurcating, again, regressing within a form, like fractals, again, filing through the lobbies again, our minds made up then unmade, again. Tell us the options, again, apply the whip then withdraw it, again, break a few heads again, eyes to the right, noses to the left, again, bind us again to our choices then unbind us, make meaningless what is meaningful, again. Reschedule again, push back what is brought forward again, get off the plane, get round the table, repeat again how we must respect the will we think has been expressed, again, deliver what no one can be sure they asked for, again.
Booby Trap ~ Neil Young
I’m the trap you set for yourself when you hacked off my north from south, the one your old conceit forgot, red-lined through bog and lough.
Did you think my misty lanes redundant names on an antique map, your patchwork to unpick and prod, there’d never be payback?
I snap but not with flames, I’m primed with treaty, tongue and pact and if I flash this time your own borders will collapse.
The Brexit Tortoise ~ WN Herbert
Xeno was just about to arrive at his desk in the Ministry of Paradox when he saw the Brexit Tortoise was, again, ahead of him, and also vexed.
(These End Days it took an extra hour to get to work with the eccentric gaits staff were instructed to twerk so as to Take Back Britain’s Silly Walks.)
‘About tomorrow’s votes,’ it began, circumventing mammalian pleasantries: ‘Did you intend mine to be followed by the Achilles amendment –
I hear not selling arms makes him angry as hell but while I have four legs… here, give them a pull.’ At each tug its shell rang like the division bell.
‘Yesterday it was some hare and, boy, did he split them!’ ‘Stop! You want my colleague, Zeno – love or loathe him, he does the meaningless votes, usually verbatim.’
Last week it had been Theseus, who demanded a report on his ship that once had landed the treaty from Maastricht unto South Thanet.
So far they’d replaced it spar by spinnaker till they’d redone the whole hull, so would he state here it was the same ship, still fit for fools and non-sailors?
Before that, it had been some barber who claimed to shave every man who didn’t shave him- self – this barbarous Pole came over here and: shazam!
‘Look, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I was a Cretan,’ Xeno began, but the tortoise said, ‘Check this banana, measure that arrow. Only the pointiest may enter Eton:
‘fruit flies prefer one, time flies like the other – but how shall we decide?’ ‘Why is the arrow withered and the banana straight? Don’t answer – I’d rather
‘know if it’s true you’re the same chelonian as did for Aeschylus?’ The tortoise shrugged, nonchalant. Xeno didn’t know they could do that. ‘Was he Remoanian?
‘I get a lot of wet work. You’d have to call the stunt eagle. Last week I was up in South Ronaldsay, being dropped by Childe McGonagall.*
Technically, I’m still supposed to be falling.’ (Here the eyes of the tortoise were jewelled with insider’s glee.) ‘Confidentially,
‘Icarus is still falling. Theologically, we’re all still falling: Thatcherella, Major Bum, Gravy Dave, and the May-thing.’ ‘Do you mean failing?’ ‘That’s it. Just with more wailing.’
* William the Poet…Chanc’d to espy a live Tortoise, that the Dominie kept in the garden, and never having seen such a curious kind of reptile before, his Curiosity was excited no doubt to see it, and he stooped down and lifted the Tortoise with both hands, thereon admiring the varied beautiful Colours of its shell, when behold it dunged upon both hands of William the poet, which was rather aggravating to William, no doubt, and he dash’d the Tortoise on the ground which almost killed it.’
Trance – Jim C Mackintosh
Stunned by the cries of Adam’s bairns I’ve wandered in circles every breath since madness grew among birch bone and building root with those precious bundles out of my reach, with eyes full of sadness as I walked on tripping over the despair of the many, the future of all divided, bargained in division and there on a loose plinth a ragged lion, once brave, now in a trance and we looked in each other’s eyes beyond our muteness more swollen than the cloud of omens gathering and screamed in unison – Enough!
Of Lost Things ~ Matt Quinn
Fast asleep and loose at the seams, Bagpuss gives up the bowl of choices, and the rather unusual shop.
The mice sing the song of lost things and lose themselves in the great fog. And the fog is everywhere:
fog on the mouse-organ, fog wheezing from the throats of toads, fog muffling Professor Yaffle’s pecked-out forecasts
of dismemberment and ripped-up ragdolls as ornaments on the rigging of the sinking ship-in-a-bottle.
The ship’s saggy old skipper yawns and settles down once more to sleep in the swirling fog.
And everything in the shop window becomes a thing that somebody has lost.
In The Same Boat ~ Steve Griffiths
Here’s to the builder who told me, our journey is not what your journey is.
Here’s to the many who heard the catch in the throat of the motor.
The same boat sails by and we all look at it.
Here’s to the boy of fifteen who once sat at my kitchen table and told me the friends in Birmingham wanted him to carry a gun, and we chewed the fat and tried for calm.
Give me a companion who sings in the shower, even tunelessly, though a tune would be a gift. And let my country be like this too.
There is a tube train coming. A man teeters on the platform edge and falls next to the rails. Do you jump down, stow him under the platform and shout at him ‘Don’t move’ with force through the reeling gloom?
More to the point, there is not a tube train coming, and your limbs and your mind are not closed or frozen.
The Morning Has Gold in its Mouth ~ Natalie Shaw
And it is not ours: keep it from us lest we
spend it all on fags n beer then lollop into A&E so we can clog the hospitals with our drunken bodies
If you let us touch it we will turn your gold into fat and generations of worklessness: your morning is not our morning. Our morning rises like an ashtray, our morning with its purple bruises stumbles through the day.
Waiting for the Brexitarians ~ Pippa Little
(and Banksy’s Parliament painting)
What are we waiting for, assembled in the Commons?
The Brexitarians are due here today.
Why isn’t anything going on in the lobby? Why are the chimps sitting there without legislating?
Because the Brexitarians are coming today. What’s the point of chimps making laws now? Once the Brexitarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.
Why did The May get up so early, And why is she sitting at the airport again, Ready for the Brussels redeye?
Because the Brexitarians are coming today Why don’t our distinguished orators turn up as usual to make their speeches, say what they have to say?
Because the Brexitarians are coming today And they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.
Why this sudden bewilderment, this confusion? (How serious people’s faces have become). Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly, Everyone going home muttering to themselves?
Because night has fallen and the Brexitarians haven’t come. And some of our men just in from the border say there are no Brexitarians any longer.
Now what’s going to happen to us? Those people were a kind of solution.
I could be a blogger with a stack of dull opinions. I could be an envoy to all the great dominions. I could be a farmer with subsidies and quotas. I could work in marketing, manipulating voters.
What a farce What a farce
I could be a copper or a maverick detective. I could be a columnist, lousy with invective. I could be a lobbyist with MPs in my pocket. I could make deliveries, just sign here on the docket.
What a farce What a farce
Because I try to make a deal in the Country’s name. No consensus and we’re all to blame. Taking control or taking the piss? What a farce. What a farce. What a farce this is.
I could be a dogger, looking for a fumble. I could join celebrities to frolic in the jungle. I could host a game show and patronise contestants. I could run a hedge fund and maximise investments. What a farce What a farce
I could go on Strictly and smoulder as I Tango. I could be the mouthpiece for a European quango. I could teach at Oxford and be always on sabbatical. I could wrote a couplet what is really ungrammatical
What a farce What a farce
Because I try to make a deal in the Country’s name. No consensus and we’re all to blame. Taking control or taking the piss? What a farce. What a farce. What a farce this is. What a farce. What a farce. What a farce this is.
Reports reach the emperor in his Duckhouse at Drabizond that Brexitopolis has fallen. Strange. He does not remember reigning over such a city. Perhaps his great-great-grandfather, the one who blinded everyone, won it from the Corbynensians –
granting they existed. He fumbles for his golden spectacles, the ones no engineer can any longer grind the lenses for, relics of a previous dynasty’s finest composer, whose robo-nightingale songs were lost with the Imperial
Online Archive. He does not care for music, but still. Drowsy, he peers at his eunuch’s corns. ‘Bear us to the Room of the Peripli.’ ‘Sire, you are already here.’ ‘Then illume charts of our despotates that we may prepare our generals –
this second Brummagem must be retaken.’ ‘My Emperor, I am all your generals and your admirals, and, it would appear…’ upon the crackled saucer, an inverted postage stamp… ‘Never mind. We know what is written there.’