Neubooterdammerung, 7: SJ Litherland

On the Eve of Brexit


Leaving England in such a sorry state where Lear
might lament, beggars have moved from hedgerows
to streets, the mad are mad again, their lunacy
without care, storms are breaking their high seas
on unprotected headlands and water meadows,
winds whistle and whine like fed up children,
not the time to be four score and foreshortened,
whatever is happening England is back on the heath,
turned out of doors by warring families to dwell
on unintended futures and calamity. Take
physic, pomp, the tablets are running out,
as the mad lead the blind to the cliff edge, no longer
metaphor, no longer a cultural symposium,
it never was, England cut in pieces again by greed
and pride, nothing comes of nothing like a fee
demanded, the interest compounded as if
there’s always a price for everything, and love
not excepted, the overruled must speak for the ruled,
for it is he wrestling with conscience the poet
puts centre stage as the lightning conductor
of a broken country. Lear is about to die and regret
that surplus and penury were never to meet,
it’s a history we are destined to repeat,
England full of disorders and closing borders,
answers which have tried and fail must try again,
the play warns the ending is not neat.
Death is the curtain but the tragedy is re-enacted,
the players move from generation to generation,
England failing in its treaties, failing its poor,
the young look on while we have wound ourselves
into our winding sheet, we did not save our fields,
nor our seas, nor our birds, nor our beasts,
the harvest spent like dirty money, no credit left.

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