The Baptist at Brexittide
The Baptist, on his platter, swivelled his eyes
and caught the up-rays from the blood-streaked salver.
Maybe I can get a tan here in this English garden
if the Sun don’t come?
The silver plate was cold against the shreds
of vocal chords creeping from his hacked-through larynx.
The people must be the pea in my whistle!
Let them set their famished lips to this wound
and play me like an oaten reed.
O pastoral vassals, pipe a pretty tune of
unity, re-stitch this tattered skein of throat
to the body politic that rots e’en now in the sewer
of my legacy, thrilled and jiggered by burrowing rats
nosing in and out of muscle and artery!
Beware! Beware! His floating eyes, his flashing bulbs,
his personal-shopper-endorsed think-tank underwear!
And Nigel, when he was baptized, went up straightway
out of the sewer: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him
and he saw the bowels of God descending like a Gove
and feculating on him, saying, “This is my beloved Son,
on whom I am well relieved”.
The Baptist’s head was scraped into the pedal bin.
With thanks to The Beatles, Coleridge, Blake, The Bible
Simon Barraclough is a poet, writer and editor living in London. His latest books are Sunspots (Penned in the Margins 2015) and, as editor, Laboratorio (Sidekick Books 2015). He was poet in residence at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory in 2014.