We interrupt this poem to bring you reports
of an explosion
of wild untruths and other signs that the news
Early indications from those who were first
on the scene
have led to widespread fears of another Sweden
or Bowling Green
and that peace might erupt at any moment
in other places.
It is believed that amongst the rubble of reality
were found traces
of humanity and an understanding that stretches
Many experts predict this will lead to a new wave
of presidential orders
for such trumped-up charges form part of
a familiar pattern.
But back to the poem: we’ll bring you more news
as it doesn’t happen.
inside his cranium,
a brain to rack,
he found the word
an unclear attack.
Budding lovers beware
of the Flowers of the Garage Forecourt;
they are not for courting.
Love will not blossom
with the Flowers of the Garage Forecourt,
these blundering bouquets
of cellophaned sadness:
the slip-road roses and tarmacked tulips,
petrol pump peonies
and crushed-dream chrysanthemums.
All those dahlias of desperation.
The I-forgot-you forget-me-nots.
Please know this, would-be customers
of the Flowers of the Garage Forecourt:
romance wilts with a lack of forethought.
As I grow old
I will not shuffle to the beat
and make that slow retreat
to the right.
I will be a septuagenarian insurrectionist
marching with the kids. I shall sing
‘La Marseillaise’, whilst brandishing
homemade placards that proclaim
‘DOWN WITH THIS SORT OF THING’.
I will be an octogenarian obstructionist,
and build unscalable barricades
from bottles of flat lemonade,
tartan blankets and chicken wire.
I will hurl prejudice upon the brazier’s fire.
I will be a nonagenarian nonconformist,
armed with a ballpoint pen
and a hand that shakes with rage not age
at politicians’ latest crimes,
in strongly-worded letters to The Times.
I will be a centenarian centurion
and allow injustice no admittance.
I will stage longstanding sit-ins.
My mobility scooter and I
will move for no-one.
And when I die
I will be the scattered ashes
that attach themselves to the lashes
and blind the eyes
of racists and fascists.