New Boots (Slight Retread): Sean O’Brien

Ballad of the Burning Head

Last night I met a running man
Whose head was all ablaze.
He said: I like my brain to burn,
Whatever reason says,

So let the cerebellum roast
And every synapse fry.
If you will run beside me now
Then I shall tell you why.

I choose to be unreasoning
Since thinking hurts my head.
Mine is the bolder, braver course –
I immolate instead.

They tell me there’s no benefit
In my incineration –
But it’s a sacrifice I make
To liberate the nation

From the thraldom of rationality
And all that other shite.
Does this appeal to you? Then
Let me offer you a light.

So we can burn together –
Shining beacons in the dark!
I smiled and shook my head and he
Ran screaming through the park

To where his comrades were assembled
In a mighty burning host.
They sang of Hitler’s single ball
And drank a petrol toast.

They’d struck a match for liberty
With a patriot’s panache,
And then they went out one by one
And crumbled into ash.


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