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These are tricky times… Here’s a little Brexit poem.

If You Value The Peace

When you dream beyond borders, horizons are wide

But the ocean of prospect has turned a cold tide

When you’re building your life, when your future was planned

Then you learn your foundations were built on the sand

Like the beach bully stands on your castle and wrecks it

They’ve stamped on your life with their smirk and their Brexit

 

When they own all the papers and manage the news

The facts are the facts when they’re facts that they choose

When they spread all their lies and promulgate hate

Then say ‘We were joking’ but now it’s too late

The truth counts for nothing when no one respects it

It’s the immigrants’ fault; our salvation is Brexit

 

When your keystone of pride is imperial measure

No matter its worthlessness, sterling’s your treasure

When it’s shameful to long for some continentality

And a symbol of pride, this small island mentality

Yes you’re scared, but you’re sure that nobody suspects it

Let them keep so-called progress, we’ll keep our Brexit

 

When you keep warm at night in the old empire blanket

Dare to hide genocide, expect millions to thank it

When you look in the mirror and won’t see the blood

Think you’ll keep it all covered by slinging the mud

False history published and nobody checks it

Draped in flags and the queen’s head; red, white and blue Brexit

 

When you won’t learn the words because English is best

Speak s l o w l y, speak LOUD, and puff out your chest

When your culture is lowered to brag and to bluster

And street-parties and bunting and bloody Dambusters

All the rest was too scary, says the one who rejects it

Burn the books, close the libraries, march onwards to Brexit

 

When democracy used to be such a nice word

Before drunken Scots dared to believe they’d be heard

And did somebody mention the Irish again?

Build a wall, brick them off, put them back in their pen

The kingdom is crumbling and this disconnects it

Throw away your old conquests; you’ll always have Brexit

 

Why welcome arrivals or the ones who’d let them in?

Just cut a new deal that kills children in Yemen

Oh yes, the world’s waiting for Blighty to trade

But we won’t shout about the dark deals that we’ve made

Rule Britannia’s a drug, some poor bastard injects it

Oh, the blood and the soil and the bomb and the Brexit

 

When you’ve read of the past, met the ones who went through it

Thought those brown days were over, well, how could they do it?

When you’ve learned about who makes the profit from fighting

Then you know they’re the ones who don’t want us uniting

If you value the peace, be the one who protects it

Not the one with the jack-boots, the sneer and the Brexit

 

 

Something a bit lighter! This poem is a stroll down memory lane and a love poem, too.

Jacques Loussier Plays Bach

It’s a Sunday evening jazz session

Down at the Effra, back in Brixton

More than a decade past now

And the stage is set for all comers,

A clarinet player, a keyboard wiz,

Maybe that old slap bass and a

Melancholy singer

 

Trying not to think about another

Monday morning, sitting on the Victoria Line

That blue vein North and out of these smoky rooms

When there was still smoke in those

Old rooms

With the old guys drinking Guinness in the snug

And the younger ones trying to find a place

To listen

To that Sunday night jazz at the Effra

 

One night they had leant me an old bike

With slightly wobbly brakes and a slightly wobblier rider

I had almost hoped it would be stolen

As it stood outside – but no –

I had to make that journey home upon its cracked saddle,

Knocking into walls, while the others waited for me

At the top of the road in a darkness I was glad of then

 

The walls were not enough to stop me

And I had drunk enough not to notice

The bruises till the morning

And how we laughed about it then

And I decided it far better to walk home next time

After that Sunday night jazz at the Effra

 

And now, I have this music playing in a living room

With a garden outside

And the evening bringing in the autumn too

There’s no smoke, no Guinness, no wobbly bicycles

Locked to Brixton lampposts outside

And the shadows are filled with someone’s wishes

Someone who doesn’t want me to hit those walls

In the darkness

 

And my wishes too

Because I got here in the end

Riding one wobbly bicycle after another

I made my way to you

And here, and now

At Sunday night jazz sessions

At home, in the light