(with apologies to Norman MacCaig)
Jack Straws like tame Blairites lie about the House
And hang zigzag on hedge funds. Quiet as a mouse
The Corbyn on the front bench whines.
Nine LibDems go wobbling by in two straight lines.
A hen stares at nothing with one eye,
Then votes for it. Out of an empty sky
A currency falls and, flickering through
The floor, fills the coffers of the men in blue.
They lie, not thinking, in the cool, soft grass,
Afraid of where a thought might take them – as
This Brexiteer with prating face
Sniffs the air and bangs the drum of race.
Gulf under gulf, a pile of gulfs they stand
In two years’ time, and with masochistic hand
Break the union like a law and see
England outside Europe circa 1953.
Tony Williams’s most recent collection is The Midlands (Nine Arches Press, 2014). His graphic sonnet sequence All the Rooms of Uncles Head (Nine Arches Press, 2012) was a PBS pamphlet choice. He lives in Northumberland, where he is senior lecturer in creative writing at Northumbria University.