Saturday, 18 May 2019

Mayday in June again.


It's now May 2019 - almost two years after Grenfell
Another National Disaster awaits
The fools are screaming slogans...
The wise are warning us..
The Silent Witnesses are..... silent...

An update of the poem I wrote after Grenfell June 17th 2017

Mayday May Day!


We lay them down in Grenfell Tower
Clad in unintended consequences.
Our very own refugees, lost friends,
Clutching copies of their whistleblowing letters,
Dark reproaches
Posted to their elders, richers and betters
As dawn approaches.














Too late, too late!
The strong, unbolted, stable had unbridled hate.
No more high days, hay days
There are still only Mayday May's days...
This thundering immensity
Fell on deaf ears, bent shoulders, heads bowed.
Who sees any lightening in our sky
Through Grenfell's black cloud?
Aching hearts and dimming hope.
Dulling sensitivity to emergency...
And what of democracy? 


The first of us rise up
Bare teeth fools gesticulating, “Our rights!”
And kick against the pricks.
The chorus is rhetoric
That empty echo trick.
Rasp it out through sore throats,
Spit it out at scapegoats,
Print it on placards in full view
“For the many not the few,”
Or was that,
"We’re all right - Fuck you!”?
The second of us couch potato down
Watching, screens scrolling,
Eyeballs rolling, swiveling.
Keyboards trolling, driveling.
Surfing click and chips
Licking and index fingering.


The third of us just mutter,
“Democracy,” tut and splutter,
“That stupid delusion
Coalition of confusion
Pathetic illusion”.
The fourth of us ponder,
Frowning, thinking it through.
We may question, or dissent,
But fearing the label “troublesome and slow”,
And a last stand in the boss’s office
Him whining, “I’ll have to let you go”.

The final indignity is,
“The politicians’ swerve.”
Loosening their limper grip
On a finely shredded nerve,
We hear them cry,
"This is not what we meant at all
We only came to stand and serve.”
And so they are set free
After settling a suitable fee
They rise in the Commons and plea,
"More time with the family"
Reading a formal, scripted, statement of apology.

Meanwhile, a fifth column forms
These are not enemies of the people...
They are the lonely wise
Who looked up and saw,
Not a moment too soon,
Beyond the moon,
All our reflections in the deep blue sky.
Each yellow star, a prick of light mingled,
Interdependent, not one single.
They turn and ask us, “Why?”













And a woman standing on another Tower
Begins to sing,
"For me, for us, for everyone and everything"
Seeking answers, we vaguely recall...
“Love thy neighbour...
Above all to thine own self be true...”
“If you can keep your head when all around…
“No man is an island…”
“I have a dream...”
“Yes we can...
“For the many and the few”

These bites are all sound
But do they speak to you?

Could there be hope after all?
They forecast more wind tonight
With a hard frost whoring in.
If we hug closer, safer, warm, tight
Are we less vulnerable and small?

Turning away from such troubles
As our evening duties call
We turn to our own vulnerables, small
And bend over our youngsters singing,
“Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high,
There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby.”
Straightening we leave them sleeping
Hearing our words repeating,
“Dreams that you dare to dream really can come true.”


Yes, let’s dare to dream and teach them
How to face their darkest hours.
We can set their moral compass
On those ivory towers.
We could demonstrate, with care,
How to become aware.
When others oppress, abuse
With alternative facts, fake news.
We can prove that lies are obscene
That grassing up is green.
Then they'd all learn to be tell-tales
And Whistleblow a wind
A breath of life, a righteous gale
To buffet those who sin.
A hurricane of hope
As they speak truth to power.

Let this be our lesson
From that awful, burning Tower.


fifth column is any group of people who undermine a larger group from within, usually in favour of an enemy group or nation. The activities of a fifth column can be overt or clandestine.