The Funeral Procession of Democracy Passes Through Ohio
Through Cincinnati, through Circleville, Columbus, Marion, Toledo;
through Cleveland, Mentor and Ashtabula
where the winds blow sour and withering off Lake Erie;
find what withered lilacs yet cling to their branches
to deck the coffin lid, to strew the sorry progress of that sad cortege.
Assemble the crape-veiled women;
light torches at the railway depots and truck stops;
darken the churches and the cinemas
where the mighty wurlitzers should again rise from their orchestra pits
draped in black and playing in minor keys:
there is a great cloud darkening the land.
Born Blaydon on Tyne, 1957; educated locally; awarded an Eric Gregory prize 1984; trained as psychiatric nurse; specialised as cognitive therapist, supervisor & trainer; now retired from NHS & working independently.
Poems appear in Ten North Eastern Poets (Bloodaxe 1980). Collections: Risings (Enitharmon 1988); The Red Funnelled Boat (Picador 1998); The Capital of Nowhere (Picador 2003); Madame Noire (Shoestring pamphlet 2008); The Book of Ogham (Shoestring 2012).