Sunday 25 June 2017

Maydays in June

Of Grenfell Tower and other scandals
Why we must Whistleblow a wind of change.

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

This year is turning slow
As a thin moon cuts high clouds.
There's a cold wind tonight
After all the heat.

The Bishop’s abused
Shudder in nightmares. Still returning from a broken youth
Listening to Canterbury Tales
Clutching copies of their unread letters,
Collusions of Effusion, C of E Isn’t this the place where sanctuary should be?
How long do we have to wait?
More examples will follow
Some in anger, others in sorrow.
Remember Hillsborough?
The trial starts tomorrow
Only 28 years too late.

Insert here something about bankers
Rhyme it with wankers
  or Saville and Greville
Crisis with Isis
Jersey with mercy
Austerity with Money Tree
Oppression with depression
Warning with mourning.

Now, such verses sound hollow
All homework we learnt
By rote (not by heart) for tomorrow
Then burnt?
Might this rhythmic pattern of rhymes with no reason
Beat the intro to a season of treason?
Time for hunkering down, Backhanding the frown Nodding off to that silent prayer, "This too will pass..."
Repeat the epithets
"Head below the parapet"
"Save your ass"
"I will not grass..."

Too late, too late!
The strong, unbolted, stable Has unbridled hate.
No more high days, hay days
Are there only Mayday Maydays?

The thundering immensity of all this
Falls on deaf ears, bent shoulders, Aching hearts and dimming hope.
Who sees any lightening in our sky?

The first of us rise up
Bare teeth and gesticulate About “Our rights!”
And kick against the pricks.
Our 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”.

Despairing as far-left and alt-right
Meet behind the continuum's back
"What we have you lack!"
Red and blue make a bruise
"Qui s'excuse s'accuse"

The fourth of us ponder,
Frowning, thinking it through.
And if we know of evil do we speak?
Too few do, too few. Would you?
In austerity don't argue with authority.
If you question, or dissent,
You'll be deemed troublesome and slow,
Less effective and efficient
And then, “Let 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 were wanting to stand and serve.”
And see we let them free
For the current bargain plea,
A formal, public statement of apology.

The lonely wise looked up and saw,
At each and every moment too soon,
Beyond the moon,
All our reflections in all our sky.
Each of us a star, a prick of light mingled,
Interdependent, not one of us single.
They turned and asked us, “Why?”

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...
“Humanity is you...”
These bites are all sound
But do they speak to you?

Could there be hope after all?
The forecast is more wind tonight With a harder frost whoring in.
If we hug closer, safer, warmer, tight
Might we be less vulnerable and small?

Meanwhile in La La Land...
We bend over our youngest 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.”

So, let’s dare to dream and teach them
How to face the darkest hours.
We’ll set their moral compass
On those ivory towers.
We’ll demonstrate how to care
And when to be aware,
When others oppress, abuse,
With alternative facts, fake news.
We’ll say their lies are obscene
That grassing up is now green.

So, tittletattle, nark, snitch and tell tale
Whistleblow a wind!
Let our breath of life, be a righteous gale
Buffeting those who sinned.
A hurricane of hope speaking truth to power.
Let this be our learning
From the lesson of The Tower.

John Pearce June 25th 2017