27 June 2014

a new century

a century ago the world began
in blood and pain the auguries were wild
so many things have changed in a short span

my father’s world the currents overran
there was no time for words or thoughts too mild
a century ago the world began

we have to choose which of the screens to scan
it is too easy to become beguiled
so many things have changed in a short span

and we are all entranced woman and man
by all the facts that overcome the child
a century ago the world began

two shots and then the faeces struck the fan
for all mankind none would be reconciled
so many things have changed in a short span

the light itself has been placed under ban
and all that once was purest been defiled
a century ago the world began

so many things have  changed in a short span

21 June 2014

the victor's tale

to those who wait there is no better name
in the wide oceans for the coming wild
giving us hope when all we had was shame

our fathers left us heritage of blame
although their rule was temperate and mild
to those who wait there is no better name

except perhaps the trumpet cry of fame
though that by wise folk is sometimes reviled
giving us hope when all we had was shame

the thought of danger puts us in the frame
yet for our good we left the hearth exiled
to those who wait there is no better name

for hero but we find the story lame
and punish those we thought might just have smiled
giving us hope when all we had was shame

since now we learn the whole thing is a game
and the best player no more than a child
to those who wait there is no better name

giving us hope when all we had was shame

12 June 2014

cancelled bill

some mention made then must the silence fall
upon the envies that have held us late
within the barrier lacking all freight
of decency or commerce but the tall
protectors of our honour lightly call
on such devotion as the wise relate
in their long histories and we do not state
a better truth the pain belongs to all
so what is earned after the sacrifice
no one regards as worthy of our toil
since it has fallen from no awesome height
but rather we are told that the full price
is not a matter for complaint or broil

but can be settled in a day and night

06 June 2014

about democracy

what meanings truth and justice had
we've understood and will not pass
that bill was paid at stalingrad

(not the first time) and we are glad
to see reflected in the glass
what meanings truth and justice had

in eyes that are forever sad
seeing the bones beneath the grass
that bill was paid at stalingrad

for generations good and bad
by that immense levée-en-masse
(what meanings truth and justice had)

so demos spoke and thus forbade
the foolish claims of herrenrass
that bill was paid at stalingrad

so many folk might think us mad
to speak of mankind as one class
what meanings truth and justice had

that bill was paid at stalingrad

05 June 2014

the grown-up truth

we navigate by methods good and fair
our science has been tested and found true
for many seasons the hard-working crew
have full and thorough trust in our good care
so do not worry at the changing air
in certainty that we have paid our due
before the mast the storms we have been through
are the best measure of how much we dare
yet each adventure has its own sweet trap
since we dare not refuse to face the test
so must discover just how little sure
we really are of what is on the map
and what we know but must face all with zest

for all that matters is that we endure

01 June 2014

right into the gale

go through the shallows then out past the wreck
until you reach the point where water burns
you’ll know it clearly by the sharp returns
then note the ship the one with golden deck
and figurehead of angel with wry neck
you’d sign up on her as one does who yearns
for urgent journeys yet as each child learns
there are no funds left to support the cheque
still without vision no one would begin
a single enterprise and we’d remain
stuck in the mud unable to set sail
instead we face each whimsy with a grin
allow the facts of chance to come out plain

and turn our faces right into the gale

23 May 2014

with mouth agape

we lack the honest mastery of time
though calendars and tables give the shape
of power to our lives and let us ape
the feeling of authority sublime
against the forces pushing from the slime
that are true horror still there's no escape
all in the end will stand with mouth agape
and weep and then fall back from the long climb
children look up and ask for a great dad
to hold their hands and pat them on the cheeks
while looking down from his house in the sky
the adult now can't help but feel quite sad
recalling that poor child with its soiled breeks

when first it learnt the whole tale was a lie