DICKENSIAN DAYS

Walk from New Cross Gate to Greenwich High Road,
Via Deptford Broadway, my mind explodes.
Dickensian days, cold November nights,
Nationalist thug bullies picking fights,
“Oo you lookin’ at? You want some? Come on!”
Decades old slogans, same ignorant songs.
Closed down shops have rolled down steel shutters,
Freebie newspapers blow along gutters,
So called journalists write stories reckless,
Describe new poor as lazy and feckless.
Near Marquis Of Granby girl begs again,
Hungry, pathetic, her eyes filled with pain,
Traffic relentless each twenty four hours,
Hope dies slowly, democracy cowers……

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 29th November 2022

WTF IS GOING ON?

Everyone knows
Everyone knows
Everyone knows
What’s going on!

Nobody says
Nobody says
Nobody says
What’s going on!

What can we do
What can we do
What can we do
To show we care?

Who can we tell
Who can we tell
Who can we tell
To show we care?

Where can we go
Where can we go
Where can we go
When things go wrong?

How can we sleep
How can we sleep
How can we sleep
When things go wrong?

A little girl asks
Have you got a pound
Have you got a pound
Have you got a pound
Got a pound for me?

I live in this tent
I live in this tent
I live in this tent
Have you got a pound?

Everyone knows
Everyone knows
Everyone knows
What’s going on!

Everyone’s scared
Everyone’s scared
Everyone’s scared
What’s going on?

What’s going on?
What’s going on?
What the fuck is going on?

Young girls in tents
Young girls in tents
Young girls in tents
What’s going on?

All the world
Walks right on by
Walks right on by
Walks right on by
What’s going on?

No-one looks in
The young girls’ eye
Walk right on by
Walk right on by
No time to cry
No time to try
No food to buy
Walk right on by.

Seriously,
What
The
Fuck
Is
Going
On?

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 27th November 2022.

FAG END OF DEMOCRACY

London Beggars by Gustav Doré

Even staid comedians call out loud
For people to gather out on the streets,
No coincidence as ramparts tumble,
Petty bourgois lifestyles come under threat,
Neo liberal Labourites throw flames
At socialism on inside and out,
Nurses, lecturers, rail workers, posties,
All designated enemies of state
By those who allow their cronies to feast
On pandemic profits stolen from us.
Integrity lies besmirched in bullshit,
Brand new Draconian laws in pipeline.
In New Cross young beggars populate streets,
End of democracy almost complete.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 27th November 2022.

BIG D

A Short Story by Harry Rogers

I was sitting in the Cricketers Arms on Sunday evening after a long day selling my pictures on Bayswater Road.  It had been a good day, I had sold well over £400 worth of kitsch to Japanese and American tourists for cash and I had three hundred and ten pounds and two hundred and forty dollars in my pocket, all of it tax free.  After expenses I reckoned that two hundred and ninety quid of this was pure profit.  This was brilliant for a late autumn day’s trading in 1971 and I was feeling pleasantly contented as I started into my second pint of Courage Directors bitter.  

The main door to the pub opened and a head full of dark black curly hair and beard poked through the curtains and stared around the pub.  Catching sight of me sitting by the window in the back of the long bar Joey Peacock pushed through the curtain and strode towards me in a purposeful way. There were a few old guys sitting at the bar who looked up as Joey passed them and shook their heads in a resigned way.

“Bloody ‘ippies everywhere, they ought to bring back conscription, that’d sort them out.” One of them muttered and the other old reprobates nodded their agreement and turned back to their beer. 

Joey was a challenge to these old geezers who were born before the First World War in his bell-bottom jeans, blue shoes with silver stars on and three quarter length women’s brown fur coat with a large silver broach in the shape of fully rigged sailing boat on the left lapel and a fresh red carnation on the other.  He was the epitome of the South London counter culture and as such a complete anathema to everything those previous generations stood for.  To make matters worse he reeked of patchouli oil and had a permanent smile on his face just like Jerry Garcia.  The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers could easily have been modeled on him.  He sat down at my table and immediately pulled a ready rolled joint from inside the fur coat and lit up.  I was used to such behaviour from Joey, at that time he didn’t give a shit about where he was, he would smoke reefers anywhere and anytime and had no paranoia about getting busted at all and so far he had managed to avoid the long arm of the law.He took a couple of long slow tokes on the joint and passed it over to me.  I took it and drew the taste of mellow Afghani hashish into my lungs.  As I did so Joey asked me “What are you up to for the rest of the week man?”

“I’ve not got anything major planned” I replied “Why?”

“Fancy a trip to Amsterdam?”

“Yeah, as it happens, I do.”

“Have you got your passport up to date?”

“I always make sure of that Joe, you never know when you might need it.”

“Good.  We will be travelling with Ricky and Kelvin.  I’ve already booked the firms blue transit van onto the ferry from Dover to Ostend and up to four passengers travel free so you won’t need to pay a fare.”

He took the joint back from me and took another deep lug.  As he did so I said “ Kelvin? I thought he was in Bexley mental hospital having a breakdown?”

“Oh he is” said Joey, casually “but he volunteered himself in for treatment after his girlfriend left him for someone else.  He felt it was for the best as he was feeling suicidal.  He is free to leave at any time.  He keeps ringing people up and saying that he can’t carry on much longer but I reckon he just needs his mates to help him get past this downer. So this afternoon I went round his pad in Lewisham and picked up his passport and a few clothes and a couple of other bits and pieces such as his pipe and stash box.  In the morning we are going down to Bexley to snatch him out of the bin and we are taking him on a little holiday to help him get over it.”

“Does he know we’re coming?” I asked

“No but he has open visiting allowed so I reckon I’ll just bowl in there and tell him that the van is outside and we’re taking him out for the day, and he will come with us.  We won’t tell him we’re going abroad.  Once he is in the van we’ll get him stoned and then he’ll be with us until we get back.  We’ll just tell him it’s a mystery tour.  It’ll be fine.”

“Ok Joey, if you say so, I’m up for it, sounds like we’ll doing him a favour really.”

“Yeah” said Joey “he needs to sort himself out.  Of course he ain’t got any money so we’ll all have to club together a bit of spending wedge for him but it’s a good cause in my book.”

“What time are we off then?”

“I’ll pick you up around 10 o’clock in the morning.”

“Great stuff man, I love adventures.”

 “OK I’m off to see Ricky now to make sure he is still up for it, see you in the morning.” And with that he got up and left the pub, making sure he walked as close to those old contemptibles at the bar as possible so that they got a good whiff of the last remnants of the joint he was still smoking.  They just shook their heads as he floated past and carried on drinking.

I finished my pint and wandered out of there and across the road to the Greenwich Steakhouse for a mixed grill.  I knew Monday was going to be the start of a crazy week, I ate my dinner and went off to my flat in Greenwich Circus, watched Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland on ITV in the psychological thriller A Child in Waiting on my portable Black and white TV before rolling a bedtime joint and smoking it whilst listening to the Floyd playing Atom Heart Mother on my bedroom stereo as I drifted away for an early night.  I knew I was going to need it to set me up for the coming journey.

I awoke at 8.00am and switched on my Roberts transistor radio.  The news reader was talking about Japanese Emperor Hirohito setting off on an overseas tour, I changed channel to Radio 1 and they were playing “Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me” by The Tams.  I switched it off and got myself a bowl of cornflakes and rolled a joint with the last of my hash.  I got a small travelling bag together with my passport, a spare pair of purple loon pants, a few t shirts and a hand knitted Arran sweater, plus my super lightweight high tog goose down sleeping bag.  I finished the joint, took a bath and settled back to wait for Joey to call round.

As I sat in my antique leather armchair I started thinking about how Joey and I had met and what an absolutely crazy set of people he hung out with.  He was part of what can only be described as an anarcho hippy business consortium set up to capitalise on all things underground called The Deptford Dynasty.  They used a psychedelic font design of the capital letter D as their symbol and it appeared on everything, letterheads, cards, clothing labels, packaging, tee shirts, their shops, and was painted very large on the side of their vans, including the one we were about to go off to Amsterdam in which had the nickname “Big D”.  They ran a number of shops in South London selling a range of goods, including drug paraphernalia such as hookahs, bongs and soapstone chillums, cigarette papers, scales, stash boxes, incense holders, temple incense, joss sticks, underground records and books, clothing and footwear.  They also ran two cafes and small bar.  All of this had been financed by a successful smuggling operation in 1967 when they opened their first shop selling Afghan sheepskin and goatskin coats from Ghazni province, situated between Kabul and Kandahar.  These coats had a very pungent aroma when first bought from the local Afghani traders and Joey had used this smell to great effect when he drove a truckload of coats back from Kabul to England underneath which he had concealed 1000 lbs of top quality hashish. That works out at 16,000 ounces, at a street value of £40 per ounce that is £640,000.  Joey had sold the lot at £300 per pound, after costs of £50 per weight (lb) the net profit was a cool quarter of a million pounds which was a substantial sum in 1967.  The customs dogs never came near this stinking heap of rancid clothing and the customs officers had just waved him on when he came through Dover as they did not believe anyone would be so audacious, but this was Joey all over, a total risk taker beyond belief. This half ton of dope had given them the capital they needed to set up their Big D empire.  Before I had become a card carrying member of the Bayswater Road Artists Association I had trained as a plumber and met them when I was asked by a mutual friend to carry out a small emergency repair in the kitchen of their cafe in Greenwich.  I had immediate rapport with Joey and from then on we had become good friends.

They owned three adjacent shops in Deptford High Street, a clothes shop, a record shop and a cafe, and they had converted the basements into a giant communal living area by knocking through the walls and strengthening them with RSJs.  This led to it becoming the major partying venue for that part of London frequented by rock bands, hippies, junkies, writers, and groupies and it was just the most fabulous permanently midnight tripping space south of the Thames.  I was an outside observer of the mayhem, having never taken up the offer to join the consortium but I knew most of what went on and was often included in the inner sanctum when special events were taking place.  The whole set up was based on using capitalist processes to fund a totally hedonistic venture and, somehow, their in house accountant was keeping the whole show on the road, or so he said anyway.  They had expanded into mail order clothing and were selling thousands of pairs of leather loon pants via full page advertising in the rock music press and had many famous rock and roll stars on their client list.  Life was cushty for the Dynasty and they lived like there was no tomorrow.

Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, the sound of Joey pumping on the horn in The Big D transit van outside my flat pulled me out of the armchair and I grabbed my bag and a brown leather bomber jacket and left the flat.

Ricky Roach leaned over and opened the van door for me, I swung myself up onto the bench seat and tossed my bag over into the back of the transit.  As I closed the door Ricky handed me a joint with a grin on his face,

“Alright Frenchie,” he said.

“Yeah, I’m fine man. I’m ready for the off.”

“Ok then, next stop Bexley” said Joey and we pulled out of Greenwich Circus, turned left past Greenwich Police Station along through Burney street and into Greenwich Park. Joey had been to New York earlier in the year and had come back with an in car cassette player and stereo speakers, a truly innovative revelation to me as I didn’t even know such things existed, and this was installed in Big D and as we pulled into the Park the opening notes of The Changeling by The Doors from their album LA Woman started blasting into the cab.  I looked across at the Royal Observatory, the blue sky above the Chestnut trees and late summer sun shining on the big red ball above the domed telescope and I felt really happy, of course it could have been the Citrali dope that Ricky had handed me, he always sourced the highest quality narcotics and this gear was no exception.  I settled back into a mellow reverie as Joey drove us across Blackheath on the way to Bexley Mental Hospital where the unsuspecting Kelvin awaited us.  “Don’t You Love Her Madly” played as we headed up Shooters Hill Road, and we all sang along as this seemed the perfect lyric for Kelvin. “Don’t you love her madly as she’s walking out the door.”

Twenty minutes later we pulled off the A2 and into Dartford Heath and very quickly we drove into the grounds of Bexley Hospital and parked outside the Victorian administration building.  Joey got out of Big D and said “You guys wait here, I’ll just go in and get Kelvin, this shouldn’t take too long.” And with that he breezed into the main entrance.

“So how’s it going then Ricky?” I asked

“Oh OK I suppose, I’m not making a lot of dosh these days and things are a bit slow in the building game.  Still I’m hoping this trip will sort me out a bit.” He said

“Are you still seeing that girl, Julia?”

“Oh yeah mate, it’s the real thing with us I think, we’re probably going to get married later this year.  Probably going to have to when her mum finds out I’ve got her up the duff.” he laughed

“You haven’t?”

“Oh yeah, she told me two weeks ago and I’m very happy about it, not that I particularly want to get married but she does and if we don’t her mother will go fucking ballistic.”

I laughed as he said this.  Julia was a beautiful eighteen year old from Catford and Ricky had met her six months earlier at a party in the basement in Deptford.  They had shared some Mandrax and had retired to his bed where they stayed in stoned out state of mandied bliss for a full seven days.  I have to admit I was not really surprised that she was pregnant as they were obviously loved up to bits and also both enjoyed being out of it most of the time.

Ricky had originally been part of the Dynasty but he had a penchant for betting on the horses and playing cards and had got himself into serious debt in 1970, so much so that Joey had to bale up by buying out his company shares for £20,000.  Ricky used £10k to pay off his debts and spent the next month slowly frittering the other ten grand away culminating in losing his last £1500 in a late night poker game in a Chinese gambling den in a basement just off Gerard Street in Soho.  These days he worked for Dynasty doing bits of building work for them and also he worked with a couple of old mates doing dry lining and plastering jobs.  He was also a very strong opponent of the Tories and had a habit of veering off into long political rants about Ted Heath and seeing as they had won an election in June 1970 he was likely to go off on one at any time, especially if he had been smoking a lot of dope, which was most of the time to be fair.  He had a flat over the top of the Dynasty shops in Deptford High Street and so spent a lot of his time partying in the basement and recently he had started to learn how to play the bass guitar and was often found jamming with any musicians that were hanging out there.  I guess you could say that he had effectively dropped out most of the time and was doing less and less actual work the more he got into his white Fender Precision bass.

We were contemplating rolling up another number when Joey and Kelvin came out of the doors and down the steps towards the van.  It had taken Joey precisely 15 minutes to find Kelvin and convince him that he needed a holiday. So we left Bexley and got back onto the A2 Dover Road.  Joey handed Kelvin his stash box and pipe and Ricky said “Hello mate, make us a good old Kelvin special pipeful eh and we can get this journey going properly.”

“OK but can someone tell me just exactly where we are going?” he asked

“You’ll find out when we get there, let’s just say it’s a special surprise just for you Kelvin, a kind of Magical Mystery Tour.” Said Joey and we all started laughing, Kelvin looked puzzled but he opened the stash box and was very pleased to find quarter of ounce of Nepalese Temple Ball hashish wrapped in tinfoil in the box along with his lighter and a packet of his favourite Drum tobacco. “OK geezers, if you say it’s going to fun, then I’ll come along for the ride I suppose.”, and he started building the pipe.

It didn’t take Joey long to drive down to Dover and they pulled into the ferry terminal at half past twelve.  Kelvin was pretty much spaced out by this time having not smoked any drugs for a fortnight and so he was out there, somewhere, but not far enough gone not to recognise where they were.  “Where are we going?” he implored, “On to a ferry?”

“Don’t panic Kelvin, you’re going to be ok, trust me.” Said Joey

Kelvin murmured “OK man, whatever you say.”

As we sat in the queue waiting to embark I looked at Kelvin and thought about his chaotic life up unto this point.  He was half gypsy and found it very hard to settle down to any form of straight existence.  As a child his parents had been travelers, living in a trailer van, following fairgrounds from town to town and his school life had been totally disorganised.  He had left home in 1961 after reading Kerouac’s On The Road, and had found his way to Soho where he had started hanging out with Fred The Carpet and all the other London beatniks who frequented The Duke Of Yorks pub in Rathbone Place and this was where his love affair with Mary Jane (marijuana) began.  He never went home again and spent the next five years drifting from one sofa to another in bedsit land.  He learnt to play guitar and wrote a lot of stoned poetry.  Eventually he met a red haired girl called Candy who was the spitting image of Elizabeth Siddal (Rossetti’s Pre Raphaelite muse).  They got married after a whirlwind courtship and moved into her studio on a plot of land next to the banks of the river Quaggy in Lewisham.  She was as fiery as the colour of her hair and Kelvin and her were always arguing, mainly about his failure to do anything about making money.  She was a moderately successful painter who was making waves in the modern art world, Kelvin spent his time trying to write poetry and starting novels but was mostly just too stoned to ever get it together properly and she became increasingly disenchanted with his indolence, until she eventually walked out on him and moved to New York.  He was devastated by this and, as is always the way, finally realised that he had messed up big time losing the love of life and he fell into a deep depression.  He had contemplated suicide but was too apathetic even to carry this out.  He felt utterly rung out and this was why he had entered Bexley as a voluntary patient on the suggestion of his GP who had written a letter for him recommending this course of action.  He had taken a couple of empty notebooks and a few pencils into the hospital with him and had started writing the outline for TV comedy series based on the activities of two lavatory attendants called Poe and Lavvy who looked after the Ladies and Gents on a busy railway station.  Not smoking dope was good for him and he had drafted out the plot-lines for a pilot episode and in fact he was well on the way to recovery from his mini breakdown when we had picked him up, although we didn’t know this until later.

Joey drove forward to the ferry terminal window and handed over the travel documents and our passports to the bored looking official behind the desk. He looked at the passports and eyed us suspiciously before stamping the tickets and issuing Joey with the embarkation cards. He handed the passports and paperwork back and said “Head towards lane 20 for the Ostend boat and wait to be guided on board from there. Have a nice trip.”

“Thanks man, we’ll try.” Said Joey

“Oh so we’re off to Belgium then?” asked Kelvin

“Yes, to start with” said Joey and the three of us looked at Kelvin and started laughing.

Joey slipped a cassette of The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album into the player and we sat at the back of lane 20 listening to “Brown Sugar” as it filled the van with Keith Richards guitar and Mick Jagger singing “Brown Sugar, How come you taste so good” and we sang along with him.

After 25 minutes as The Stones launched into Bitch we were ushered up onto the gangplank and drove into the back of the RoRo ferry.  Joey parked where he was told and we got out of Big D and headed straight for the bar.  We bought a bottle of Cotes de Rhone and sat by the window staring at the lorries waiting to be loaded on.

Kelvin said, “I’m going to get a cup of tea, I’m off the alcohol at the moment.”

“OK” said Joey

Kelvin stood there looking a bit sheepish and then Joey said “Oh I’m sorry man, you aint got any bread have you.” And with that he pulled out a wad of notes and peeled of a couple of fivers and gave them to him saying “This will tide you over for a bit.” And he grinned.  Kelvin smiled for the first time since we lifted him and we all smiled back.

He went off to the cafeteria and we looked at each other “So far so good” I said

“Yeah I know it’s amazing what happens when you reach out the hand of friendship, most of the time people are ready to take it and will go along with the idea of love man.” Said Ricky and we nodded as sagely as three twenty five year old freaks could and picked up our wine glasses and drank  away and as we did so the boat pulled out of the harbour.

We drove off of the ferry four hours later and as we cleared customs the Stones were singing “Sister Morphine”, we pulled onto the A10 and headed towards Gent.  Joey knew this road very well as he had been trading in second hand clothes from the warehouses near the flea market in Amsterdam for a couple of years for his high quality speciality clothing business supplying TV and Film production companies. We sped past Gent and Antwerp and crossing the river headed into Holland, the traffic on the motorway to Amsterdam was very light and the sun was just beginning to set as we pulled into the city at 8.00pm European time.  Joey headed towards the city centre and pulled off the main road near to The Milky Way (Milkweg) at  the end of Lijnbaansgracht but there was nowhere to park and after driving around for about ten minutes Joey spotted a yard with only one car parked in it and so pulled in there for a smoke.

Kelvin was asleep and I shook him gently saying “Wake up Kelvin, we’re here and we need you to build a pipe.”

He sat up and slowly rubbed his eyes, “Where is here?” he asked.

“Welcome to Amsterdam” said Joey “Now build a pipe for us before we go exploring.”

“Fuck me, Amsterdam, I love Amsterdam.” said Kelvin and loaded up his pipe.

We had just started smoking it and Big D was choc a bloc with Afghani fug when there was a knock on the driver side window.  Joey turned down the tape player and opened the door to be confronted by a Dutch police officer in full uniform with a gun and everything.

“Who is the driver?” he asked

“That is me.” said Joey, getting out of Big D.  As he opened the door a cloud of dope smoke enveloped the cop.

“You cannot park here. It is illegal and you must pay a fine now.” he said after the smoke had cleared away a bit.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” said Joey, calmly, “why is that?”

“This is a police station and you cannot park here.  You must pay a fine of 20 guilders.”

“I see, I didn’t realise, hang on, I’ll get some cash out of the van.”

He opened the door to be confronted by three quivering wrecks who were convinced we were all going to be arrested for drugs.  Joey calmly got his wallet out of his pack and pulled out a twenty Guilder note and handed it to the policeman.  He had written out a ticket in the meantime and handed it to Joey in exchange for the cash.

“There is a public car park just around the next corner, I suggest you park there.  Now please leave the police station and enjoy your visit to Amsterdam.”

Joey climbed back into Big D and we drove out of there very quickly.  The cop was smiling as we drove off.  We all felt very relieved and burst out laughing, it was like something from a Cheech and Chong album.  Joey parked in the car park and we tumbled out onto the side of a canal and looked at the reflection of the street lights in the water.

“God I’m hungry boys” said Ricky “Can we get something to eat and quick?”

Joey said he knew a Chinese restaurant nearby and we went there for a blowout.  Kelvin ordered more tea with his meal and we drank beers.  An hour later we were back on the canal side in jolly mood and Joey suggested we head for the Paradiso where we would probably hear some music.  After a short walk we were there and onstage was a Dutch band playing Pink Floyd style music, we paid a few guilders and went in.  We were immediately confronted with a guy selling hash. “You want to buy dope man.  I have good shit for a good price, come over here and try some.” We sat down at a table with him and he pulled a joint out of his shirt and lit up.  It was top quality pink Lebanese hash and he wanted 20 guilders for five grammes.  I liked it so I bought some.

We spent the next three days smoking drugs, drinking beer, watching bands, chatting up Dutch girls and talking with Kelvin about what he was going to do when he got back to London.  Slowly but surely his mood lightened and we could all tell that the black dog had left his side and that he was forgetting all about Candy.

On Thursday morning we were just about ready to leave for London when Ricky said “Hey boys, I’m going up the railway station for a bit, I’ll be back in a couple of hours.”

“The railway station? What the fuck for?” Kelvin asked

“I’ve got to report my stolen luggage to the station police.” He said

“But you aint got any luggage.” I said

“I know,” said Ricky, “it’s been stolen.”

With that he sauntered off towards Amsterdam Centraal station which was about half a mile away.

We sat it a cafe drinking coffee with two young Danish girls called Vibeke and Alana.  They were hitching a lift to Berlin and we said we would drop them off near the motorway.  They asked us whether we would like to smoke something with them and of course we said we would love to.  We left the cafe and piled into Big D.  Alana reached into her backpack and pulled out a small vial of white powder.  Vibeke was putting skins together to make a joint and Kelvin passed her a packet of drum and she loaded the tobacco into the papers, Alana sprinkled a small amount of powder into the joint and Vibeka rolled and licked it.

“What’s in the joint?” I asked

“Oh it’s just a bit of smack darling” said Vibeke

She lit the joint, took two tokes and passed it to me.  I had not smoked heroin before, I guess there is a first time for everything, I copied her and took two tokes as well and passed it on to Joey.  He took one toke on account of he was going to be driving soon and passed it on to Kelvin who took two hits and passed it on to Alana who finished it off with two more.  I settled back into the seat and looked out of the window at a beautiful clinker built botter moored on the opposite side of the canal.  Everything I looked at seemed somehow sharper, picked out in vivid relief and I had a feeling akin to being wrapped in the softest woolen safety blanket whilst at the same time I felt I could deal with anything with absolute clarity of thought.  This was dangerous for me because it felt too nice, so nice that I resolved then and there that I would never use Captain Jack ever again, and so it has been ever since that afternoon.  I can’t answer for the others but I could sense the danger for me as I knew that I would easily be won over by the delicious comfortableness of it and as I had already lost two close friends through the awfulness of junkydom I just knew it was too much of a risk for me.  We all sat there in a calm and chilled state and Joey put a cassette of John Lennon’s Imagine album on and we chilled out to it whilst we waited for Ricky to come back from the station.

As Lennon sang “And the World is so tough; Sometimes I feel I’ve had enough” in the penultimate track of the album Ricky opened the door to Big D to find a bunch of very subdued hippies lolling on the cushions at the back of the van.

“Look lively people and make me a joint, I’ve just had it right off.”

Kelvin opened his stash box and started putting three Rizlas together, I asked Ricky what he meant and he said,

“Well Frenchie it’s like this, I need a new Marshall bass stack to go with my new Fender Jazz bass guitar but I am short of wedge at the moment so this afternoon I have started an insurance claim on my stolen luggage.”

“But you didn’t have any luggage…..” I said

“Ahh you know that, I know that, we all know that but the station police don’t know that and they have just taken down a full statement verifying that I have had my large suitcase stolen on the station precinct whilst drinking a glass of old Geneva gin at the cafe bar there.”

“How does that work?” asked Kelvin

“Oh come on, get it together” said Joey, “Ricky insured a whole load of valuables before he set off, and now they have, unfortunately been nicked.” he laughed.

“Joey’s right,” Ricky said, “I went round all my mates and got them to give a load of receipts for some pretty valuable gear, I should get about a grand when I get back and put the claim in.  The assessors will check things out with the station police here and, ‘cos the Dutch old Bill are so efficient at bureaucracy they will have no option but to cough up.”

We all fell about laughing, Kelvin passed the newly rolled reefer to Ricky who lit up.

“It’s time we hit the road” said Joey and he started Big D.  We pulled out of the car park that had been our base for those three days of Hunter S Thompson style mayhem and headed for the Motorway.  We dropped the girls off at a service station, we gave them most of the dope we had left as we were wary about going through English customs carrying, and I gave them my phone number just in case they ever made it to London.  Of course we never heard from either of them again.

We got back to Ostende in four hours having had to stop for Kelvin to have another cup of tea and a final pipeful before we got on the ferry.  After an uneventful crossing we cleared Dover without any hassle and were back in Deptford by 10.00 pm sitting in the Oxford Arms eating cheese rolls and downing a pint each, except for Kelvin who had yet another sweet tea.

“Well Kelvin,” I asked, “are you going back into Bexley to carry on with the treatment?”

He looked at me and a beatific smile broke across his face as he replied “Nah Frenchie mate, I’m feeling a whole lot better, just like my old self again.” He looked around at all of us and said “You geezers are just the most far out friends any one could ever have, thanks for getting me back on the track, I won’t forget this.”

I looked over at Joey and he winked at me.

A month later Ricky duly got a cheque from the insurance company for one thousand and sixty five pounds and brought the amp and speaker cab that he needed for his band The Happy Acid Star Hoppers (The HASH).  Kelvin moved in with the wife of the manager of one of The Dynasty’s cafes and started writing a screenplay about fairies and dragons whilst eating lots of mushrooms.  Joey and the rest of the Deptford Dynasty carried on expanding their empire and spending money like it was going out of style.  I carried on selling my art on the railings for another eight years until Margaret Thatcher became prime minister, the exchange rates tightened up and the world on Bayswater Road changed forever.  I don’t know what happened to Big D but it was a great van and I wished I had it now.  I’m about ready for another trip to Amsterdam now that I’ve turned 75, where is my phone book……….. I must check those guys out again!

(Any resemblance to any events or anybody living or dead is entirely coincidental, know what I mean man!!)

5849 words

Harry Rogers, in the old study, Aberbanc 

PIGEONS TURN ON CATS

They’ve come knocking at the door
Of the desperately poor
To bale out their rhetoric.
We have seen it all before,
All in it together eh?
Their slogans come round again,
Slogans put out by liars.
It’s time we pissed on their fires,
For pigeons to turn on cats,
Turn these robber barons out,
We want our health service back,
Our patient records kept safe
From privatising jackals.
Cap wealth of billionaires,
All power to the people,
These Tories have got to go,
Whether they’re Conservatives
Or Labour Party traitors.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 21st November 2022.

JAKI THE LADETTE

Written in 2012 my response to the Jimmy Saville revelations. In 2016 I recorded this with my friend Andrew in his home studio.

Here comes Jaki the ladette
With the ladders in her tights
She’s been out speeding
For one too many nights

In a mirror through the smoke
Her mascara’s gone streaky
But she don’t see the joke
Staring back so freaky

Tries to roll a cigarette
Can’t see what she’s making
Drops skins down the loo
Hands won’t stop shaking

Ooh Jaki Jaki Jaki
Jaki the ladette
Ooh Jaki Jaki Jaki
Jaki the ladette

Wobbling on stilettos
She staggers to the bar
Empties coins on the counter
Can’t tell what they are

Orders a vodka and red bull
She’s teetering on the edge
Her hair looks just like it’s
Been dragged through a hedge

But here is the strange thing
No matter how stoned she
gets
She can’t stop remembering
Like an elephant never forgets

How that creepy disc jockey
The one with the monster cigar
Raped her in her fifteenth
summer
In the back of his Rolls Royce
car

Ooh Jaki Jaki Jaki
Jaki the ladette
Ooh Jaki Jaki Jaki
Jaki the ladette

Copyright: Harry Rogers, in the old study
30/10/2012

BIRD FREE ZONES

No wonder wild birds are scared of humans,
When we fill skies with drones, missiles and shells.
Research shows traumatic stress disorder
That lasts for decades where we create hell.
Once their habitats are violated
Birds steer well clear of two legged
destroyers,
Once bitten twice shy, inquisitiveness
Transforms into long term paranoia.
Where we’ve waged war it’s much harder to watch
Close up freedom displays of birds on wing,
Further we drive them away through battles
Harder becomes for us to hear them sing.
Why would any species coexist with us,
When all we do is throw them under bus?

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 13th November 2022.

PUPPIES DIG POPPIES

All those dogs of war have puppies
Puppies who scrabble Earth’s garden
Dig without thought amongst poppies
Poppies whose beauty must harden.
Delicate yellow, pale from Wales,
Gentle protection from lightning,
Mystical Himalayan blue,
Imagine those dreams that come true,
Scarlet from Ypres, those that we keep,
To honour those dead whilst we all weep,
Papaver black for objectors,
Who bravely stood proud against war,
White linen for peace and justice,
All of these seeds scratched to surface,
By puppies born from dogs of war,
Who don’t know what we’re fighting for.

Harry Rogers, in the Red Bedroom, 12th November 2022.

WILL CIVILISATION COME?

AFTER GOING OVER THE TOP

Waiting for civilisation to start,
Beyond contradictions of human heart.
Watch each generation tramp off to war,
Stocked with new bullets, grenades and much more.
Anger and hate instilled deep from day one,
Arguments sorted through barrel of gun.
Stand with sad silent souls in Whitehall rain,
Know this will happen again and again.
Generals, royals, complicit MPs,
Dish out medals to live and dead heroes.
Rewards for inventing smart weaponry,
Pound signs followed on by untold zeros.
Our planet burns whilst we drop more bombs.
Civilisation? Will it ever come?

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 12th November 2022.

PROPAGANDA RECEPTACLE

Cops stop car on M25,
Boot full of ropes and climbing gear,
This is how start of end begins,
Social media trawled each day,
Checks on thoughts behind what you say.
Protesters, strikers, greens, left wing,
Now “Enemies of the people.”
Brand new lies, analysis dies,
Gaslighters daily out scapegoats,
Channels carved for new Twitter trolls,
Spaceman shits in Pandora’s box,
Meta rhythms spar with TikToks,
Social now part of spectacle,
Propaganda receptacle.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 11th November 2022.

RED RIPPLE

Red ripple peters out near to West Coast,
MAGA plants have failed, They’re now mostly toast.
No doubt spinners, busy writing reports,
Will claim that this one has been stolen too,
Spit feathers, throw more toys out of their pram,
But future’s not theirs, they don’t understand.
People see through fake alternative truth,
They know more lies won’t fix leaky roof
Donalds apostles run out of glory
Yet even now they won’t change their story.
Judges next on list of those under threat,
Hold all your horses, ain’t seen nothing yet,
Rats most dangerous when they are cornered,
Only sheer numbers will snuff out their rage.

Harry Rogers in the Yellow Room, Midnight, 10th November 2022.

ZOMBIES DANCING ON ASTRO TURF

In all red states AstroTurf has been laid,
Those MAGA zombies well and truly played,
Never so many drunk so much coolaid,
Spaced into joining Donald’s fake parade.
It’s a knife edge in many, many ways,
Gets hard to believe what media says,
Black painted white and a million greys,
Are these really democracy’s dog days?
In gun shops ammo is all but sold out,
Q Anon fakers strut proud as they spout,
If Jesus walked today he’d scream and shout
“You’ve got it wrong, that’s not what I’m about.”
He wanted love for all under the sun,
Freedom is not what you get from a gun.

Harry Rogers in Harriboy’s Hut 8th November 2022.

ILLUSORY DEMOCRACY

Life in illusory democracy,
Where minds are blown by falsification,
And crowds line streets for aristocracy,
Is hell for majority of nation.
Where criminals openly join police,
Sewage runs daily into our chalk streams,
Children are taught to pursue golden fleece,
And only knobs are free to pursue dreams.
Loan sharks and bankers win public plaudits,
Deemed more important than those who clean up,
Fraudsters ignore environment audits,
Cultural vultures strut as they preen up.
Out on our streets some march for election,
Whilst others call for blonde resurrection.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 3rd November 2022.

CONCHY

https://www.ppu.org.uk/
The Unbroken Ponies recorded this version of Conchy in Llanon, Ceredigion 2015.

He wore a black poppy and a white feather
Every single day with pride
He wore the black poppy and the white feather
Every day until he died
Nothing they did could make him change his mind
Wouldn’t do what they told him to
They locked him up and even beat him up
He still wouldn’t do as he was told
Kept his head high never let them see him cry
Wavered not even as he got old

Conchy was his name
Waging peace his game
Conchy was his name
Waging peace his game

Black poppies
For Conchies
Sixteen hundred
Long dead and gone

They set him to work on the ambulance train
Treating dying and wounded men
Sent him near the front for the whole of the war
Again and again and again
British and French and even German soldiers too
Patched up those he thought would survive
Collected creased photographs of loved ones on swings
From those who were no longer alive

Young girls on swings
From London or Berlin
Daughters, mums and wives
All now with ruined lives

White feathers
For Conchies
Sixteen hundred
Long dead and gone

Took Conchy for his name he was born to disobey
Never did what others told him to do
Refused to go and fight he would never kill a man
No matter whoever wanted him to
Envelopes were sent to him with white feathers in
For week after week after week
He kept them, every one, wore one in his lapel
Waited for somebody to speak

Conchy was his name
Waging peace his game
Conchy was his name
Waging peace his game

Wear a black poppy
For Conchy
Wear a white feather
For Conchy

Sixteen hundred like him
Long dead and gone
Remembered here
To live on and on

Harry Rogers, in the old study, Aberbanc, November 11th 2014

DANCE, DANCE, REVOLUTION DANCE

Shine as brightly as eye of any day,
Dance in sunshine and take our breath away.
Shimmer in tune with afternoon heatwave,
On waterfall beach outside smugglers cave.
Like Isadora blend in with flowers,
Improvised whirlwind of danger is ours,
Pull down barriers, outside on our streets,
No place for royals, no kings, nor elites.
From Paris to London, Moscow, Warsaw,
Zephyrs of love will blow strong evermore.
Sands of time shift, mirage of long lost past
Appears as we tread her footprints at last.
Isadora knew there are no blueprints,
Dance revolution, it’s time now methinks.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 2nd November 2022.

HOW DARK THE SKIES…

How dark the skies as Rishi rules,
Home office run by racist tools,
Sad Molotov cocktail thrower
Highlights Braverman’s no-goer.
Her obsession with invasion
No kind words in her oration,
All we hear is desperation
To show how she saves our nation.
Things never been less chaotic,
As she presents patriotic.
She’s found that refuge, ironic,
Where scoundrels sup gin and tonic,
On terrace underneath Big Ben
There Enoch’s ghost spouts forth again.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 1st November 2022.

PHONES

Phones can blow your mind, Phones can make things worse.
Phones can be unkind, Phones for metaverse.
Phones bring new Twitter, Phones are not secure.
Phones make life shitter, Phones Elon manure.
Phones will destroy time, Phones will listen in.
Phones weapons for crime, Phones turn ears to tin.
Phones, ubiquitous, Phones now rule our lives,
Phones will ruin us, Phones are our archives.
Phones when we wake up, Phones next to our beds.
Phones bring each shakeup, Phones fuck with our heads.
Phones give fake pleasure, Phones keep small folk small.
Phones are false treasure, Phones control us all.
Phones can send us blind, Phones? Algorithms.
Phones aren’t what we find, Phones, modern prisons.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 31st October 2022

CHELSEA BUNS

Farewell Shaun

He said he’d make me forty Chelsea Buns.
Forty Chelsea Buns for my birthday.
I asked him how much, he told me no charge.
We talked about dietary needs,
I said there were some vegans coming.
My seventy fifth birthday party came,
Shaun arrived with one hundred Chelsea Buns,
One hundred Chelsea Buns for my party.
He put them all in Small World kitchen.
Said he couldn’t stay, Kate had got Covid.
I thanked him, we hugged, and then he was gone.
Everyone who ate one said these are great,
Best Chelsea buns they had ever eaten.
Now he’ll never know how much we loved them,

Or him!

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 28th October 2022.

BACK TO HIS BOG

He strides back into shite filled back bench bog,
Where his cabal of hyenas reside,
This laughable upstairs downstairs throwback,
Mister ridiculous Jacob Rees-Mogg.
He’ll skulk in corners with Nadine Dories,
Where they’ll suck their teeth as they plot and scheme.
They’ll do all they can to lay rocks in roads
As they flog that dead horse that is Boris.
This Eton bred skunk, bringer of Brexit,
Over top hat and under hand practice
Treats all around him as lesser beings,
His is sweetest of all these new exits.
Now his star has fallen, he’s out to grass,
Rishi has kicked him straight out, on his arse.

Harry Rogers in the Yellow Room 25th October 2022

LECTERNS CHANGE

We watch in disbelief disrupter Liz
Recite her version of her history.
Triumphant in defeat she smiles throughout,
Apparently uncomprehending of
Responsibility for misery,
Fear, paranoia and fiscal turmoil.
Her twisted lectern echoes her logic
Both of which now leave office forever.
Trussonomics lie trashed in rain sodden
Heaps of soggy unforgiving newsprint.
She and family march defiantly
Past media hordes, heads held proudly high.
In a couple of hours a new lectern
Will appear, new acolytes there will cheer.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 25th October 2022.

HE’S GONE…. AGAIN

Hokey Kokey Johnson has gone again,
He has slunk off back to cocktail beach bar.
To misread signs in Liz Trusses entrails
So badly demonstrates total lost plot.
Disruptive days now over, tide has turned,
Assets can become liabilities
In less than an iceberg lettuce shelflife.
All his cabinet stooges now scramble
For a position under new regime
In exchange for solidarity vows.
Headlines will shriek of “Start Of Something New.”
Welcome to start of austerity two.
In bamboo Shangri La paradise bar
Boris licks his wounds, as some shout “hurrah”.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 24th October 2022.

GENERAL ELECTION BLUES

We must have a General Election.
Keith and his TINA brigades demand.
A new reset general election
With blue sky centrists in rampant command.
I lie, smashed up beneath pink campaign bus,
Alongside Palestine, Corbyn, and truth,
Thrown there by party machine animus,
Who act without rhyme, reason or proof.
We, who are hated for being leftwing,
Are still expected to get out and vote.
Somehow it’s become quite the broad church thing,
Deny debate, stab strikers in their throat.
Ghastly spectacle grows ever greater,
General Election? See you later.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 24th October 2022.

HE’S BACK….

He’s back like a jack in Pandora’s box,
Flown home from holiday to spout bollocks.
This sham shit show is not democracy,
It’s one step removed from ochlocracy.
Media outlets would have us believe
In a pandemic of amnesia.
Usual suspects spouting to deceive
In vain hope that their words will still cream ya.
Oh what a month and it’s not over yet.,
Double quick panic to fill number ten,
Everyone knows the score but they won’t bet,
On who’ll creep beneath shadows of Big Ben.
Passengers booed as he got on their plane,
For fuck sake hope it ain’t Boris again.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 23rd October 2022.

MAKE DO AND MEND – AGAIN

Pragmatic assassin destroys allies
Whilst she apologises for her zeal.
There are no scruples in self survival,
No account taken of how people feel.
Austerity mark two hoves into view,
Delusional zomboid sociopath
Spews inarticulate leader babble
Whilst her own colleagues splutter aghast,
Meeja vampires ask how long can she last?
Food banks struggle on, almost overwhelmed,
Samuel Smiles self help is trotted out again
By BBC consumer advisors,
It’s make do and mend all over again.
Oh well, at least they got Brexit done, eh?

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 18th October 2022

AND THE MOON WENT DOWN

Photo by Ben Burke

The Pub doors were locked

They were drinking after time,

A dozen demi mondaines,

Drinking beer and spilling wine

Their heads were slightly spinning

As they laughed and joked

Meanwhile in the corner Josie

Sat and quietly smoked.

I stood drying glasses,

Slow but sure

I just turned eighteen,

She almost thirty four

Her eyes met mine through

The blue grey haze

I knew that she was married

But I could not shift my gaze

Slowly the moon went down

Over the power station

Yeah, slowly the moon went down

Over the power station

Patiently she waited till

I finished all my chores

I put down my towel

She headed for the doors

Outside in the street

Standing in the cold night air,

The wind was gusting

Messing up her hair

I came out the door

she took me by the hand

She squeezed it tightly

She made me understand

Heading for the Thames

We crossed the road together

Cuddled closer

Forgot about the weather

(and we)

Could see the moon going down

over the power station

Half light seeping, through the town

Gently stroking the nation

We reached the house

Where she lived with Arthur

He was up in Scotland

A long distance lorry driver

Fumbling with the keys

She puts them in the lock

I look down the street

See someone walking round the block

Climbing up the stairs

I put my arm around her waist

With the inside of her wrist

She caressed my face

Passing quietly by a door

I saw her baby in a cot

That was when she asked me

To be her Lancelot

And then the moon went down

Over the Power Station

It went down, down, down

Over the power station

(Repeat to fade)

(Harry Rogers 20-10-1980)

GUY DEBORD’S GHOST

Guy Debord’s subliminal ghost flickers
Reincarnated on our backlit screens
As spectacular events multiply
In permanent anti revolution.
Whilst workers make weapons that kill workers
We wring our hands and plead out loud for peace,
Royals drip with medals, children lay wreaths.
On our smart TVs all is black and white,
Enemies set up, morning, noon and night.
Old men outside cafes sip lukewarm beer,
Grateful that those bombs are not dropping here.
City based armour clad police forces
Smash protesters running from their horses.
Non stop coverage rolls on, on, and on,
Media star newscasters sing their song,
Most people know not where do they belong,
Futures are uncertain, it all feels wrong.
Security profers a thin veneer
Of hope that it will never happen here,
Whilst we watch bombed out kitchens globally
Strewn across bodies laid out in their streets.
This normality, that we all accept
Along with our toys, still not too much yet.
Cameras keep rolling, show must go on,
World Cup is coming, it won’t be too long.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 11th October 2022.

FROGGY AND MOLEY

My poem about Operation Julie mixed in The Red Bedroom October 8th 2022

Froggy and Moley woke up one morning,
They went walking through Llandewi Brefi,
There were no hippy friends giving warnings,
That their breakfast drink might turn out heavy,

They watched the spider crawl from the drainpipe,
He weaved the strangest web they ever saw,
Rainbow shaped, it hung against bright blue sky,
Whilst Julie knocked loud on back wooden door.

They spied the water come from kitchen sink,
The sun warmed their blood, as police cars came
Both of them thirsty, stooped and took a drink,
They did not know they’d never be the same

Froggy and Moley
Never be the same
Froggy and Moley
Never be the same

As old bill finished their search of the house,
Moving rainbows appeared, in all of their eyes,
Every human, cat, dog, insect or mouse,
Froggy or Moley, tripped, none to the wise.

Lysergic crystals permeated all,
Quietly opening perception doors.
Operation Julie began the fall
Of hippiedom to repression led laws.

Froggy and Moley?
They ended up dead.
Cut into pieces,
On dissection bed.

Froggy and Moley
Were never the same,
Froggy and Moley?
Just pawns in the game.

Chappletown, April 2017.

FLUMMERY

“Easy peasy this lark innit son?” “Money for old rope dad.”

Feathered hats await prince and king on pegs,
Along with embroidered cloaks of darkness.
Order of garter, secret society,
Designed to circumvent democracy
Through rampant, archaic, pageantry.
Naked effrontery of imposition
Of spanking new Prince of Wales, in mourning.
No thought to ask people their permission,
Just announce job done as if accepted,
No debate, nor vote, it’s automatic.
Now we await further state flummery,
King’s coronation, Will’s investiture,
More drive bys, hand shakes, flag wags and curtseys.
Talk of republic repressed, as ever.

Harry Rogers in the Yellow Room 8th October 2022.

ANTI GROWTH COALITION

Anti Growth Coalition born today,
When Prime Minister Truss brought it to life,
Is now likely to bound into being
Right across society as a whole.
Her yobbo hooligan challenge sounds like
“Come on then, if you think you’re hard enough.”.
She will take on all comers, so it seems.
Crash gains momentum as house prices fall.
Yet still she persists with her same old song,
Turns out it’s herself that is wrong, wrong, wrong,
Currency weakens, and belief drains away,
Everyone’s worried yet she smiles all day.
Where’s A.G.C. office? I’d like to join,
I’ll float my pen along dotted line.

Harry Rogers in the Yellow Room 6th October 2022.

CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS?

In Downing Street a soucouyant sucks blood
From people already almost bled dry.
Matters not to her that we break and cry,
For in her chest beats cold heart of iron.
There in her lair we can find neither care,
Nor succour for those trapped by her actions.
Her party, split into warring factions,
Now torn asunder as she boldly rants
Her newly learned, ill prepared, platform script.
There is already a strong whiff of change,
As wannabes parade indecently
Across fringe meetings with “Look at me mum”
Speeches designed to promote their talent.
Crisis? What crisis? Election soon comes.

Harry Rogers in the Yellow Room, 5th October 2022.

SLAM ON THE HANDBRAKE

Tyres scream on cinder strewn Tory racetrack
As machine executes a handbrake turn.
Not quite a complete donut but almost.
Glazed, unapologetic, ghastly grins
Punctuated by explosive silence,
Leaderene Mark Two destroys her debut.
Maggie’s bastards are back in Birmingham.
Growth discovered on Chancellor’s sphincter,
Now lanced, enables bullshit to flow free.
Broken backed economists are called forth
To babble on across rock strewn airwaves,
Laud entrepreneurs, praise profit mongers,
Proselytizers for their own theories,
Their words destroyed by Borgen style U turn.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 3rd October 2022.

NO GLORY

There’s no glory, morning or otherwise,
Only Tories spinning out alibis.
On local news Liz digs her hole deeply,
Costs heading north rise ever more steeply.
Language bamboozles uninitiates,
In truth a monster has vaulted their gates.
In courtyard below chickens run headless,
Attack dogs released, shoot from lips wreckless,
Chancellor’s trousers ripped out and threadless,
Number ten strangled by Thatcher’s necklace.
Property owning democracy fails,
House prices crash as young mortgagees wail.
In City shorters spur on recession,
Monster scales tower, deepens depression.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 29th September 2022

GREASE THE SPINDLE

When state roundabouts fall out of kilter,
Mayhem is distributed far and wide.
Centrifugal normality becomes
Chaotic. Everything goes haywire.
This mad, economic, merry-go-round
Spins perfectly whilst you grease the spindle,
Do this and the ride is smooth every time.
Ignore the proletarian column
Central to community carousel
Through austerity, and then feed the rich,
Will bring about fairground catastrophe,
Unparalleled in modern history.
All those bobbing riders have been bucked off,
Now they think it is time Lizzie fucked off.

Harry Rogers in the Yellow Room 27th September 2022

BAAA, BAAA WHITE SHEEP

Top paddock Labour sheep await Leader
To dip them all in centrist rhetoric.
Lights dim, giant union jack filled screen
Covers wall behind serried platform hacks,
Whilst flock baaas its way through god save the king.
Party line parroted off pat by all,
Tell everyone we believe in power
Because now we’re ready for government.
It’s as if there is no-one to tell them
The game is up, we all know what they are,
The internet teems with truth to power.
Each time Sir Keir appears he looks haunted.
Why wouldn’t he? He’s been royally caught out.
We know exactly what a shit he is.

Harri Rogers, in the Red Bedroom, 26th September 2022

AN INTERVIEW

Welcome to the group.
Thanks, good to be here.
What can I tell you?
Where are we going?
That’s a good question.
Who’s our enemy?
You are right to ask.
Are we all comrades?
Occasionally.
Are toys still in pram?
Precariously.
What is unity?
It’s the holy grail.
What’s the correct line?
We’re working on it.
Are we nearly there?
It’s a long old road.
Does anyone care?
We will soon find out.
What shall we do next?
Let’s set up a march.
Will anyone come?
They have done before.
Did people listen?
We don’t bloody know.
What’s our solution?
Stop asking questions.
But I need to know.
Oh you do, do you?
It would be helpful.
Are you C.I.A.?
I’ll get my coat now.
That’s a good idea.
When’s the next meeting?
We’ll let you know, bye.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 16th September 2022

INKY PINKIES

Camp out on pavements, these hip hip hurrahs,
Marmalade sarnies, Duchy biscuit jars,
Union Jack jackets, black hats and black ties,
Mourners wake each morning, tears in their eyes,
Meanwhile a pen breaks, hand covered in ink,
He hates it, hates it, thinks that it all stinks.
Out on London streets queues stretch five miles long,
On Radio Four they sing same old song,
Corgis, Britannia, her husband, her kids,
Meanwhile the country has gone on the skids.
Beethoven’s death march, over and over,
Uppity horses dreaming of clover,
At least she’s at peace, inside her oak box.
Me? I still think it’s a load of bollocks.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 15th September 2022

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT

LOTO, on bended knee, tugs lacquered forelock,
Prohibits PLP from utterance
Of any words about any subject
Other than in deference to dead queen.
Anti monarchism completely banned .
No calls for a socialist republic,
Only fawning lost era platitudes.
Never mind respect for arcane system
That exists because of historic theft,
Plunder,and murder, instilled by state fear.
What about respect for public servants,
Who need immediate support and help?
Six billion pounds for a funeral?
Six billion more for coronation?
Labour grovel to divine right of king,
Pander to ancient aristocracy
Whilst we struggle as health service breaks down,
And media give platform to bent clowns.
I won’t take flowers to St James’s Park,
Nor vote for liars who hide in the dark.
So let’s repeal all land enclosure Acts,
Sell off all royal trains and boats and planes,
Sack fake journalists from our BBC,
Bring on an end to their sycophancy.
Let’s start to debate new democracy.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 14th September 2022

ONE MORE FLASH IN THE PAN

A BBC announcer quotes
From his Mail On Sunday,
From HIS Mail On Sunday,
Not THE Mail On Sunday.
No more hidden in plain view,
Emboldened now they reveal
True colours as they bask in
Crass funereal half-light.
No more objective pretence,
Nor both sides of the argument,
Nor repressive tolerance,
Just naked propaganda.
Young children pile flowers high
Outside royal palaces,
Mass indoctrination stunts,
Wrapped up in fake pageantry.
Feathers, tabards, gartered tights,
Uniforms, lanyards, medals,
Meticulously gilded,
Horse drawn carriages rolled out,
Multiple gun salutes boom,
Ridiculously fielded.
All football matches cancelled,
Yet the Test Match carries on,
Enough Is Enough sidelined,
Labour sings the same old song,
Unions recall pickets,
Workers left in lurch again.
Myrie says cost of living,
Not important anymore,
Elizabeth’s death far more
Significant for us all.
It’s truly cataclysmic,
All this enforced mournful pain,
To all intent and purpose
Media has gone insane.
Cortège moves to Hollyrood,
Watch brothers reunited,
Charles speaks soft of his mama,
Creates brand new Prince of Wales.
I will say one thing, despite
Yet more flashing in the pan,
I’ll not sing God Save The King,
For I’m still republican.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 11th September 2022.

BLOOD AND ROSES

AMAZING WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH AN OLD LAPTOP IN YOUR BEDROOM AIN’T IT?

A refugee from planet Earth
Came by my house today
He asked me if I had some work,
A place where he could stay.

I took him in, I gave him tea,
I made him up a bed.
I bandaged up his broken knee.
I washed his bloody head.

Set him onto mowing my lawn
Trimming my hedge, digging my veg.

I wash all the blood,
He cuts the roses.
My near neighbourhood
Look down their noses.

We are happy here,
With blood and roses,
The blood and roses,
Those blood red roses,

Harry Rogers, Harriboy’s Hut, 30th October, 2016.

WHERE THE CHILDREN PLAY

For many people life after twelve years of Tory austerity is beyond desperate. This poem is a bleak reminder of the effect poverty has on society.

Early, in the dimness of the morning,
He goes to the window.
He opens the curtain wide.
He takes a little look outside.
He sees something, something,
He sees something in the trees.
Something, hanging, in the trees,
Where the children play.

He looks, closer,
Doesn’t know what it is,
Hanging, in the trees,
Where the children play

The sun rises over the flats,
Shafts of light bounce between
The branches and the leaves.
Another Eltham day is dawning,
Next door’s cat mewls at the door,
The street is slowly awakening.

He looks again to the shape,
The something, hanging in the trees,
Where the children play.
He sees his next door neighbour,
Hanging, in the trees,
Where the children play.
Hanging in the trees,
Where the children play

In the early Eltham sunlight,
Where the children play.
Another warm autumn sunrise,
Where the children play.
Police car parks, beneath the trees,
Where the children play.
Why did he have to do it there?
I hear the small crowd say
Why couldn’t he find somewhere else?
He did it
Where the children play

Harry Rogers, in the old study, Aberbanc, 2013

TOMORROW’S YESTERDAY

Tomorrow is already yesterday.
We know exactly what P.M. will say.
All been said before, again and again,
Compare and contrast hats, bows, handbags, pain,
Journos across platforms raid history,
Archives, videos, ancient mystery,
Proof manufactured to help build new clone,
To scramble our brains and fill up our phones.
Exhausted, jaded, people now cower,
Comparisons painted hour by hour,
How will she handle levers of power
Inside ultimate ivory tower?
On streets comrades gather, as times get tough,
When October dawns enough is enough.

Harry Rogers, in the Red Bedroom 7th September 2022.

FOREVER SHINING

Black and white sunshine beams forevermore
From those photos stashed away in boxes.
Hugs and smiles, suspended permanently.
Immutable halides show unknown ghosts
Recognised by fewer as the days fly.
Albums passed down show family strangers,
Wreathed in real sepia and blue black tones,
Dressed in their finery, or uniforms,
All long dead but living silently here.
Bandmasters, tourists, dinners and dances,
Beaches, camels, holiday romances,
Pets, cars and houses, men who took chances,
Somehow different from modern selfies,
Old photograph stories wait to be told.
Who will be haunted enough by the old?
How fleeting imagery leaves us behind,
Times forgotten patiently hid, waiting
For discovery by storytellers,
Driven onward through curiosity
To reincarnate identities new.
Forever shining whilst paper survives,
Write new found memories of long lost lives.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 5th September 2022.

PUT KETTLE ON, HE’S GONE…..

At last, removal vans driven away
From soiled nest. Chalices, brimmed with poison,
Await new occupant on mantle piece.
And yet, are we sure nightmare is ended?
How broken is that Bo-Jo yo-yo string?
Will he come back to walk his dog again?
New media rumours of coups persist,
Boys Own comic hero fuels dead embers,
With his multi ifs and buts and maybes,
Desperate Hasta la vista, baby.
Twists and turns, as an eel on a barbed hook,
Mired in slime, coiled tight around fishing line,
But soon floodgates burst due to pent up truth.
Inexact terms swept away as blue boy
Revealed as the sociopath he is.
His false dawn broken now Brexit is done,
Clear cerulean sky permanently
Obscured by darkest clouds of depression,
Final TV speech reveals his mettle,
All he offers us? A fucking kettle.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 4th September 2022

SWANSONG?

On the fate of Boris Johnson,
Now that he has reached a swan song.
What ever will become of him?
Will he keep going to the gym?
Populists so feel the need
To suck up praise, to supercede
Each action on our media
Expand on Wikipedia.
He’ll hang glide into LBC,
Tippy Toe Tango on Strictly,
Slip us all a Bake Off cake,
Step onto Gardener’s World rake.
Become an even bigger luvvie,
Segue back to being scruffy.
Oh how we’ll laugh at his antics,
Cockups, guffaws, speeches frantic,
God help us he won’t go away,
On our screens ever and a day.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 2nd September 2022.

GO LARGE

There is no point going mimsy
Bigger is better by far.
Giant Nuclear power
Plants make absolute green sense.
Go large.
No point telling little lies,
When telling any pork pies
Best make sure it’s a whopper,
And then keep on telling it.
Go large.
If you’re gonna stab colleagues
In their backs use giant knives
Buried deep and ultra quick,
Act fast, don’t prevaricate.
Go large.
If you’re going to bribe pals
Stuff envelopes royally,
With high denomination
Banknotes, small ones ain’t so good.
Go large.
When you crash and burn just smile,
Laugh off all criticism,
Totally ignore failure,
Ramp up your propaganda,
Go large.
Whilst plotting your next comeback
Raise your media profile,
Keep taking photos of stunts
Stay huge in the public’s eye.
Go large.
Or disappear.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 2nd. September 2022.

RIDING IN AI CARS

Soon we’ll all be riding in AI cars
Watching our TV on the motorway
Or maybe looking up at the stars.
Next thing we’ll be playing AI guitars

A.I. A.I. A.I. cars
A.I. A.I. A.I. cars
A.I. A.I. A.I. cars
Riding riding A.I. Cars

You can read a book on that old M1
Do pencil drawings as you. go along
Write poems and letters to anyone,
If you want you can write a brand new song

In your
A.I. A.I. A.I. cars
A.I. A.I. A.I. cars
A.I. A.I. A.I. cars
Riding riding A I. cars

Make a lino cut, knit jumpers and socks,
Hold business meetings zooming face to face,
Play your loud guitar with a band that rocks,
Anything you want as you ride place to place

A.I. A.I. A.I. cars
A.I. A.I. A.I. cars
A.I. A.I. A.I. cars
Riding riding A.I. Cars

Harry Rogers in Yr Cwtch, Newcastle Emlyn. 1st September 2022.

CATASTROPHES

Grain ship reaches horn, feeds old and newborn,
Just in time to prevent catastrophe.
Tumultuous floods destroy Pakistan,
Unstoppable, it’s a catastrophe.
Iodine pills handed out in Ukraine,
To prevent nuclear catastrophe.
Few workers get inflation proof wages,
It’s a cost of living catastrophe.
Rivers fill up with untreated sewage,
An ecological catastrophe.
Inflation runs wild as markets implode,
It’s an economic catastrophe.
In fact our whole sodding planet is fucked,
It’s a total global catastrophe!

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 31st August 2022.

PICKET IN THE SUMMER OF LOVE

Day after the police attacked pickets at the Barbican strike.

Nineteen Sixty Seven, Summer Of Love,
Early morning Barbican picket line,
A coach load of strike breaker scabs at Myton,
Forced through by City of London police.
Young plumbing shop steward bangs on windows,
He shouts “Scab, scab, scab, dirty rotten scabs”.
Old Bill grab him and drag him to their van.
Powerless I watch from a ways away,
Two cops held his arm, one more jumped on it,
These three bastards broke it in three places.
That was my political turning point,
When I understood power of the state,
How their force is used to smash us all down,
Terrify workers, keep them in their place.
I’ll never forget such brutality,
Fifty five years later, still militant,
I support striking comrades in struggle,
I always will, until my dying day.

Harry Rogers, in the Red Bedroom, 30th August 2022

PINOCCHIO’S CLONE

Pinocchio’s clone sits on Labour throne,
Polishing his nose, now that it is grown.
Last left vestiges thrown over prams edge,
Slowly, one by one, pledge by pledge by pledge,
Discarded easily as old child’s toy,
Doing what he’s told, a cynical ploy.
Silence now golden, keeps out of the way,
Goes up in the polls, says less every day.
Draped in shadows, it is safer back there,
Keep powder dry, no more devil may care.
Don’t try hard to win, move quick in your shoes,
Watch Rishi and Liz help Tories to lose.
This Starmer secret? No manifesto.
Nowt said? Into number ten, hey presto!

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 29th August 2022

TIGHTENING

Quantitative tightening almost here,
Watch slump follow recession, end of year.
Transitory value takes house prices down,
Mortgage payers trapped in most every town,
Goods and services priced beyond control,
Businesses collapse, no money for dole.
Once they grew rich, lived high upon the hog,
Rampant inflation now, it’s dog eat dog.
People spend savings in these rainy days,
Bankers jump from windows damned with faint praise.
What goes up must come down, we all knew that,
Still we let greedy syphon off the fat.
Ghosts of Jarrow march on our streets again,
Belt tightening now totally insane.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 28th August 2022

DEFINITELY WAR?

It’s war, it’s war, it’s definitely war.
We know exactly what we’re fighting for,
Don’t we? Don’t we, know what we’re fighting for?
It’s chrystal clear ain’t it, just as before?
One more political hot potato,
All dressed up ready to kill for NATO.
Wandering, aimlessly, out in the bush,
Certain conviction which button to push.
Upgrade deterrent, bigger and better,
Domesday clock ticks louder, louder than ever.
So delve deeper into dressing up box,
Ignore striking workers, and monkey pox,
Fear must be created, again, again,
Propaganda grows more mental health pain.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom
27th August 2022.

BREAKS FALSELY THIS DAWN

Falsely breaks dawn on hilltop once again,
We marched up here with hope to ease our pain.
Twenty thirty target timidly set,
Fifteen pounds an hour wage, but not quite yet.
Fabian swallows swoop from TUC,
Comrades left outside loop, same history.
Go softly forward is their battle cry,
As darkly Tory clouds block out clear sky.
Old miners watch centrists steal across our floor,
Sellout new generation as before.
We want transformation now, nothing more,
Nothing less, this is existential war.
These leaders, with smoke filled room policies,
Should ask first, not hijack democracy.

Harry Rogers in The Red Bedroom, 25th August 2022.

STOLEN AWAY

Nothing is safe, nothing sacred,
All we worked for stolen away,
Pockets picked after taxes paid.
What was once ours now belongs them,
Those grubby fingered miscreants,
Who openly boast greed is good.
Blue sky thoughts fill faux Tory brains,
“Why bother to keep things in house?
We can have power positions,
Without responsibility,
Let them make inflated profits,
Council chamber belongs to us.”
Outside on streets through bleak estates
Fear builds as privatisation
Gluttons hoover hard earned wages
With bold increased alacrity.
Six million wait for treatment
From health service, impossible
In it’s ability to cope,
To deliver without access
To financial resource needs.
This is genocide against those
Without access to private care,
Time travel back pre World War Two,
It’s the American approach,
Anti collective, dog eat dog,
No freedom for all citizens,
No such thing as society.
Thatcher haunts from beyond her grave,
Her students hell bent to finish
Destruction of socialism.

Harry Rogers in The Yellow Room, 24th August 2022.

REALITY HAUNTING

Abattoirs powered by animal fat,
Carbon neutral answer to eating beef.
Slurry spread across fields by waterside,
Runoff into rivers near sewage pipes.
Phosphate generated green algae bloom,
Windermere ruined, no place for wild life,
Pollenating insects all disappear
Orwellian nightmares proliferate,
Pumped strutters stride in through Westminster gates,
Tightly clutching oil share certificates,
I’m alright Jack, Randian battle cries,
Frack our way out of energy crisis,
Fuel weapon production, create war jobs.
For my sanity get me out of here.

Harry Rogers, in the Red Bedroom, 23rd August 2022

STAND TALL

Watch the rich do exactly as they please,
They force poor people down upon their knees.
Tories dine on irregularity,
Take holidays from reality.
Responsibility below power
Enables life in ivory towers.
Thatcherite future ghosts conjured from past,
Tattered new normal flags fly from their mast.
Abusive laws throw freedom under bus,
Heavily touted by Sunak and Truss.
Leaves wither early then fall to parched ground,
Media excretes usual blue sounds.
Despite Starmers Labour we’ll cut up rough,
It’s time we stood tall, Enough Is Enough.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 20th August 2022.

NO RAINBOWS

Scene Red Demo recorded in Harriboy’s Hut 11th November 2019

Torrent falls out of the sky
Flooded victims sit and cry
On the hill I wonder why?
There’ll be no rainbows anymore.

Seems like once upon a time
Everyday the sun did shine
Life was gonna work out fine
There are no rainbows anymore

Clouds block out the sun
Rivers take down fun
Cannot see the sun
Rainbows have all gone

No Rainbows
No Rainbows
No Rainbows
Anymore.

Remember ash trees by the stream
Can only see them when we dream
Nothing stays the same it seems
There are no rainbows anymore.

No Rainbows
No Rainbows
No Rainbows
Anymore.

Harry Rogers
Pencnwau
17/11/2019

COME COMRADES LET’S RAVE.

Mental health trashed in Pandemonium,
Yet still correct lines are more important.
Revenants, wrapped in bear skin positions,
Forever riding in closed carriages,
Whilst others constantly doctor photos,
Continue to squabble as planet burns.
How heavy this mirror is now become,
Weighed down by constant moral reflections,
Zoomed in from dialectic directions,
Hammerheads worn from driving truth nails home,
Sickles blunted by failed bureaucracy.
Yet still flickers emancipation flame,
Where freedom and hope dance in sunset glow,
Arms around shoulders, come comrades, let’s rave.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 13th August 2022.

SOMETIMES GOING BACKWARDS

Sometimes going backwards drives me forward.
If I search haphazardly in dark rooms,
Randomly tossing dusty detritus
Into tape decks, onto old turntables,
Sounds I never knew I’d lost bite me hard,
Drive me down dark highways without headlights,
No roadmap nor inane satnav pilot,
Only chaotic bang crash anarcho
Synthesis that leads on to memories
Not yet formulated in my old brain.
Unlike comfortable cover overcoats,
Trawled from well thumbed lyric poet chapbooks,
This buried treasure unheard by critics,
Fuses blown circuits into new formats.
These processes seem supernatural,
Oevre busting creative dynamite,
Eerie, scary, yet exhilarating.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 12th August 2022.

ARCANAS OF FUTURE DREAMS

Spent a long time hoping revolution would come,
Still looking to the future for change to happen.
Ghosts from long lost past pop their heads up everywhere,
Trapped in historic sludge lillies wait to float free.
In those times to come, when there’s no more you or me,
Will past happenings apply to reality?
Everything has sped up, beyond capacity,
All culture all at once blown to infinity.
Our brains try hard to cope but soon get overloaded,
Critical abilities over exploded.
Days before technocracy filled now with appeal,
Easier to survive then, much less to conceal.
Place vinyl on turntables, conjure old spectres,
Get out boxes of slides, switch on time projectors,
Images and sounds trigger planted memories,
Context is something loaded by society.
Sequential chords mixed with exotic sunset scenes,
Promised much not delivered, visions never seen.
Everyday fades out to strains of God Save The Queen,
Humanity now chained to ultimate machines.
Astral planes are feasible in new metaverse,
Honestly ask ourselves could there be nothing worse?
All around rivers dry up, food crops lay burnt, destroyed,
Whilst half the world are busy, playing with their toys.
Hucksters still proclaim there is no alternative,
Capitalism is the only way to live.
And yet dreams still float within imagination,
Ideas not as yet born can bring about salvation.
Wraiths whistle tunes that stimulate new directions,
It’s necessary to foster recollections,
Not to carry on making same mistakes again,
But to help build futures where all are free from pain.
As future dream Arcanas trundle into view
Will we find secret meaning as old becomes new?

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 11th August 2022

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

Cost of living keeps going up,
Time to say
Enough is enough
Government has sold us a pup
Time to say
Enough is enough
No such thing as leveling up
Time to say
Enough is enough
Learn from women who won that cup
Time to say
Enough is enough
As our lives get rougher than rough
Time to say
Enough is enough
Why should life be tougher than tough?
Time to say
Enough is enough
Shout out loud
Enough is enough
Sing it proud
Enough is enough
Everyone
Enough is enough
Join us now,
Enough is enough
Bring them down
Enough is enough

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 10th August 2022

DISHONOURS LIST

Dishonour meaningless in times like these,
Sick, poor, hungry, young, old, watch now agog,
Johnson cavorts free to fly on the breeze,
Still bounces as that out of control dog.
How can a leader be sacked in disgrace
Yet maintain favours of privileged job?
Bullingdon smirk still etched deep across face,
Yet no-one knows how to dislodge this yob.
He sits at his desk, exceedingly pissed,
Plots out new futures, new ways to make cash,
Whose names will appear on last honours list?
One more mockery corrupted with trash.
He burns midnight oil, quaffs Downing Street fizz,
Hands on his baton to acolyte Liz.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 6th August 2022.

GROWTH GROWTH GROWTH

How dare you leave us to fight on alone,
Make union picket lines no go zones,
Day in, day out, cast your catfishing lines,
Yet we see you now behind your disguise.
Abandon each pledge, each policy oath,
Mimic Tory trumpet call, Growth Growth Growth.
Say nothing when truth is spoke to your face,
Expel any critics, you’re a disgrace.
Relaunches, reboots, photo rent-a-mobs,
As recession looms there are no safe jobs.
Food bank queues lengthen, PFi debts mount,
Somehow those past mistakes no longer count.
New Labour daydreams, more blue sky thinking,
Out here we’re drowning, rivers are shrinking.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 5th August 2022

TRUSSED UP SILLY SEASON CHICKENS

Whilst u-turning on public sector pay,
Favourite Thatcher clone can do no wrong,
According to mainstream media polls,
During this arcane, pre honeymoon, farce.
What a charade as Rees Mogg leads campaign.
These though are early days, worms can still turn,
Buffers can be run into any time,
We wait, with bated breath, for next blunder.
Whilst people paint George crosses on their cheeks,
Every headline reeks of nationalism,
A few who still retain a modicum
Of integrity are trashed everywhere.
Summer used to be the Silly Season,
It’s a lot madder than that nowadays.

Harry Rogers in The Yellow Room, 2nd August 2022.

BLUE BLOOD GENETICS

All the fancy dress bespoke,
Royalty besmirched with coke,
On Cornwall’s granola choke,
Oh, not this rosetinted bloke?
Football mad, stood on one leg,
Now buys his suits off the peg,
Princes ain’t too proud to beg,
Republican powder keg.
Palaces and privilege
Not enough atop their ridge,
Perverse imps wave, cross the bridge,
Life’s cool outside Windsor fridge.
Present trophy, it’s your norm,
Ride out this new Twitter storm,
To many you’re still high borne,
But now, we see, you have form.
Blue blood genetic template,
Cannot resist tempting fate,
The Firm now must contemplate,
What hell doth this king await?

Harry Rogers, in the Red Bedroom, 1st August 2022.

WHERE THE CHILDREN PLAY

A poem about these desperate times where people do and say terrible things.

Early, in the dimness of the morning,
He goes to the window.
He opens the curtain wide.
He takes a little look outside.
He sees something, something,
He sees something in the trees.
Something, hanging, in the trees,
Where the children play.

He looks, closer,
Doesn’t know what it is,
Hanging, in the trees,
Where the children play

The sun rises over the flats,
Shafts of light bounce between
The branches and the leaves.
Another Eltham day is dawning,
Next door’s cat mewls at the door,
The street is slowly awakening.

He looks again to the shape,
The something, hanging in the trees,
Where the children play.
He sees his next door neighbour,
Hanging, in the trees,
Where the children play.
Hanging in the trees,
Where the children play

In the early Eltham sunlight,
Where the children play.
Another warm autumn sunrise,
Where the children play.
Police car parks, beneath the trees,
Where the children play.
Why did he have to do it there?
I hear the small crowd say
Why couldn’t he find somewhere else?
He did it
Where the children play

Harry Rogers, in the old study, Aberbanc, 2013

SMART ALECK SOUNDBITES

Would be king of the smart aleck soundbite
Tries to hijack a Lioness win ride.
Smack of insincerity on steroids
Propels him further into losers void.
No matter how hard he tries to find IT,
He’s lost in a charisma deficit.
In LOTO office as panic sets in
Dark art lords totally run out of spin
So ill at ease with no wind at his back
All he can do is cuddle Union Jack,
Thus is the truth of his horror story,
Spun from ersatz Tory Jackanory.
As number ten keys slip further away
Workers need leaders to fight for their pay.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 28th July 2022

SOLEMN PROMISES

There were ten of them,
I remember them.
Solemn promises,
Given as pledges,
When you told us all
You can trust in me,
Put your trust in me,
My integrity.
Why did you need to
Tell us about that?
Now it’s growth growth growth,
Pledges are all parked,
We see who you are,
Revealed from the dark.
Like a stunned rabbit,
Sat in that café,
Truth slapped in your face,
You had nowt to say.
Caught out bang to rights,
Still don’t understand,
Talking to The Sun,
Such a waste of time,
We see straight through you,
It’s not what you say,
What you’ve done or do
Every single day
Reveals who is you.
All your jokes fall flat,
Each paltry relaunch,
Polls remain flatlined,
You’ve thrown hope away,
There’s one thing to do,
You must walk away,
For the sake of the
Many, not the few,
Get thee gone today,
Had enough of you,
See you clearly now,
You take your pledges,
Fake solemnity,
Wrap them up in silk,
Forensically,
End of Wigan pier,
Toss them in the sea.
Stop this Blairite guff,
Enough is enough.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 26th July 2022.

DON’T STOP STARTING

As soon as I stop starting
I know that I don’t belong,
Won’t write another poem,
Never write another song.

Put my pencil on the pad,
Shake ink droplets from my pen,
Caress my keyboard, slowly,
Here comes if and but and when.

Seems like all I have to do,
To get the magic going,
Is to write the first words down,
Then my juices start flowing.

But if I prevaricate,
Leave cap screwed on my ink pot,
There’ll be nothing in future
To make folks forget me not.

Harry Rogers, in the Red Bedroom,
24th July 2022

FORDE

How ghastly this situation,
With liars in domination,
Their poison splashed across the truth,
Hardwired with manufactured proof.
Honesty trampled in the dust,
Integrity blown, shit or bust,
Ignore overarching danger,
Main thing? Keep control of manger.
Forde report confirms all our fears,
We laboured in vain through those years.
No comfort now in told you so,
No point to call for time to go.
That well? Defiled for evermore,
Tainted, spoiled, by Randian war.
Roaring silence clatters eardrums,
Something more wicked this way comes,
Ignored, it will not fade away,
Beware, new dogma has its day.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 24th July 2022

IF THINGS DON’T CHANGE THEY STAY THE SAME …..

Companions of dishonour.

Even now he clings on to his monumental delusions. Cannot find the words to apologise for his actions that have demeaned the whole concept of parliamentary democracy. His failure to recognise his shortcomings only surpassed by his stupidity in believing that he was, and is, above the law, and could, and can, get away with anything. This last PMQs by Boris Johnson defied belief as the very people who voted to remove the canker from the despatch box whooped and cheered as he ignored every question as usual, laughed at his third class student debating society jokes and slanders and clapped vociferously in a standing ovation as he shuffled out the side door, hopefully never to return. His final riposte “Hasta La Vista, Baby”, though was strangely apt. Channelling Arnie in The Terminator fits Johnson and his ilk pretty well. His whole approach to politics is about the destruction of the status quo, the termination of any vestiges of integrity or democracy. What’s so incredible is that having been possibly the biggest liar ever to be Prime Minister and having to leave office in total disgrace he is already being rehabilitated by those who outed him and the right wing media. Headlines saying “What Have We Done?” appeared almost immediately. Rishi Sunak is being systematically knifed from all directions and it looks increasingly as if sorcerer’s apprentice Liz Truss will be his successor. The madness of the last few years will continue. Even now Truss will not openly criticise Johnson, she is banking on the Johnson supporters in the Tory Party membership coming over to her in the run off for Party Leader. This means that the mainstream news media programmes will/are already, be filled with analysis of what can only be described as right wing populist propaganda. It is highly unlikely that there will be that much political debate around alternative policies because this situation is not part of a proper democratic discussion because the vast majority of the people have no say whatsoever in the selection and election of the Prime Minister. Listening to Liz Truss defacating all over the British Government economic strategy of the last twenty years and saying that she will take the country in a completely different direction means, in my opinion, that she would have no democratic mandate and therefore ought to put her brave new world to the test of a general election. Of course this is highly unlikely to happen, why would it, after all this has become the norm in British politics. As for any realistic opposition from across the floor of Westminster I am not holding my breath. The Starmeroids have embroiled themselves in a furore of their own making with the release of the long awaited Forde report. So, whilst the deafening silence on this issue continues in the MSM and amongst extreme centrists, internally Labour is in turmoil. They are hardly in a position to offer up a credible alternative to what can only be seen as another Tory disaster waiting to happen. in such a volatile situation there has never been a greater need for a Left alternative to Neo Liberal Labour.

Harry Rogers in my Covid infected misery, 22nd July 2022

BANDITS AT TEN O’CLOCK

TANGO WHISKEY ALPHA TANGO

Scramble! Scramble!
Bandits at ten o’clock
Cue Dambusters theme tune
Legacy photo shoot needed
Glossy coffee table biography
Waiting above bomb hatch doors
To be dropped all over Pimlico.
“Come in Tango Whiskey Alpha Tango,
This is a drill, repeat, a drill,
Do not strafe the Sunak residence,
Do not strafe the Sunak residence,
No spaffing the treasury.
Return to base, return to base,
Alpha Charlie awaits in the mess.”
“Roger Roger, Tango Whiskey Alpha Tango,
Bimbling back to base now,
Keep the Charlie in fridge,
Spaff spiff spoff over and out”

Harry Rogers in the Yellow Room, 19th July 2022

WHEN IS A PARTY NOT A PARTY?

When is a party
Not a party anymore?
When all socialists
Have shuffled off out the door?
When suitcases empty
Beyond long hand of the law?
When nobody knows
What the Labour leader’s for?
When democracy
Lies trashed on conference floor?
When extreme centrists
Dump policies they ignore?
When the NHS
Profits the rich, not the poor?
When Lord Mandleson
And his spads tot up the score?
When the traitors sneer
As cowards flinch evermore?
When the flag turns pink
Red no more in tooth nor claw?
Can someone help me
‘Cos I need to know for sure?
When is a party
Not a party anymore?

Harry Rogers in Nether Edge, 15th July 2022.

Transcript of my contribution on Not PMQs 13th July 2022

George Loveless – Tolpuddle Martyr

TOLPUDDLE MARTYRS FESTIVAL 2022

In these times of intense austerity it is important to remember those activists from times past who bravely stood against the tyranny of capitalist exploitation aided by the ruling class. On the 15th July The Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival returns. State Terrorisation of socialists, and trades unionists such as the Tolpuddle Martyrs continues today with Pritti Patel’s new laws designed to scare people away from participating in collective activism. This Tory government know their policies will lead the working class to use their only weapon, strike action, to challenge them. In the 19th century employers believed they had carte blanche to pay workers what they wanted. When the six agricultural workers, The Tolpuddle Martyrs, formed their friendly society they made it clear that they would not work for less than ten shillings a week, the employers cut wages to seven shillings per week and were proposing to cut to five shillings a week. The activism led to the state using arcane legislation to their deportation to Australia as common criminals. 800,000 people marched in London a year later in one of the biggest demonstrations in history up to that date and the sentences were overturned. The Trade Union and Labour movement owes a massive debt to these workers who stood up to their oppressors, and it is right to celebrate their memory. I find it interesting that today the modern Labour Party offers little solace or support to workers whose pay has been decimated by over a decade of austerity and pay cuts, especially in the service sectors. It is encouraging to see trade unionists making a stand as the economy is careering into recession. We all look across the myriad of social media platforms and see disenchanted socialists who’ve left the Labour Party or been expelled, as they call for an alternative party of the Left. This is proving tricky as there are entrenched historic ideological differences between the existing left groupings. Attempts to pull together a socialist alliance to challenge Labour as an electoral alternative have failed time and again throughout my 75 years of existence. To be frank I get pissed off at the constant nitpicking about which group has the correct line. Starmer and the extreme centre, the Tories, the CIA, and all the capitalist shits across the planet love it when the Left tear lumps out of each other instead of focusing on the Neo Liberal enemies in Parliament. In my view it is sad that the Jeremy Corbyn leadership was attacked so viciously by right wing and extreme centrists within the Labour Party. The administration, the bulk of the PLP and elements of the traditional labour movement conspired to bring about the failure of those of us worked so hard to make the For The Many Not The Few manifesto a reality. That manifesto was clearly popular with large sections of the electorate, as the 2017 election result clearly demonstrates. I worked hard in Ceredigion CLP as chair but, following the 2019 debacle when centrists conspired to bring about the downfall of Jeremy Corbyn, and then, in 2020, withdrew the parliamentary whip from him, I could, in all honesty, no longer remain in a party that behaved so despicably and in June 2020 I resigned from the Labour Party. I joined Left Unity Wales in September 2020 and am still a member. I am now one of 4 comrades from Wales on the National Executive Committee of Left Unity. As I see it this Tory government are still in power in large part because the extreme centre did not support LOTO and the manifesto drawn up by the Labour Party Membership. Now we see a government in crisis with a Starmer led opposition not able to offer even a modicum of support for trade unionists on strike fighting for a fairer deal in the teeth of the cost of living crisis. This is why large gatherings of socialists and trade union activists at events such as the Durham Miners Gala, Levellers Day, and The Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival are important for a a variety of reasons. I believe one of the most important of these is the affirmation of the importance of collective action against injustice inflicted upon workers. It is good for activists to know that they are not alone, that there is collective strength. The Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival takes place on 15th – 17th July. As the RMT, UNITE, and other unions stand firm with their members in struggle against the awful government such gatherings bring us all together. This weekend many of us involved in the fight for peace, justice and equality will be there organising together for a socialist future. LIVE, HOPE, ACT.

Harry Rogers, 13/07/2022

Join Left Unity here https://leftunity.org/membership-form/

FEEDING EGOS

Wot, No Pritti?

An election is in process
Before the rules are put in place.
On the news they call it progress,
A move away from past disgrace.
Candidates launch manifestos
Willy nilly on Twitter feeds,
The lesser known stand on tiptoes,
This helps to feed their ego needs.
“Look at me mum, I’m in the race,
To be the next Prime Minister,
Take a look at my smiling face.”
It’s all so bloody sinister.
But then it’s nowt to do with us,
Democracy lies beneath bus!

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom , 12th July 2022

THE UGLY BEAUTY CONTEST.

Graham Brady 1922 Committee Chair.

On that bright day long exit is over
There’ll be whooping and dancing in clover
Hooray we will cry, the BJ has gone,
So now the Tory circus carries on,
We will hear a lot more of same old song,
Stable sweeping always takes too long.
Shiny new Prime Minister emerges
Into winners enclosure, poll surges.
Headlines trumpet change as things stay the same,
News media gets in line, same old game,
Countless column inches focus upon
Faux ugly beauty contest someone’s won.
Abuse of democracy just begun.
We fall for Tory three card trick again,
Leadership imposed, indefinite reign.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 11th July 2022.

TIME TO GO

Empties cleared away, photo albums packed,
Suits and ties mothballed, cardboard boxes stacked.
Sat alone in geometric nightmare,
Phone now silent, no product on his hair,
Blonde bombshell awaits toot from moving van.
Silence so strange now for yesterday’s man.
No need to conjure up instant bluster,
Nor aphorisms ready to muster.
Diary emptied, no meetings today,
Dressing up clothes all safely packed away.
Ah but memories around him do swirl,
The parties, the jokes, too racy to tell,
Daydream turns into winter without snow,
Voice on stairs calls “Boris? It’s time to go.”…….

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 9th July 2022.

‘AVE ANUVVER BEER KEIR

‘Ave anuvver beer Keir, ‘ave anuvver beer,
Old bill in Durham say yer in the clear.
Young Wesley Streeting keep yer powder dry,
Peter’s shelved yer application, don’t cry.
You an’ Ange ‘ave nicked the main chance today,
But are yer ready to come out to play?
Polls are a disaster, despite no fine.
Vox pops appalling all along the line.
Policies all ditched, start again from scratch,
Change yer tactics in middle of the match.
Go dahn Wimbledon wiv the ‘oi poloi,
Ignore picket lines, ya stupid boy,
Watch out, ‘cos when ya scrap yer Brexit plot
Lib Dems will likely filch the effing lot.

Harry Rogers in the Yellow Room, 8th July 2022.

DEATH BY A DIRTY DOZEN CUTS

How we cheered as Tory plotters
Plunged knives into Eton rotter.
Even before he stopped twitching
Some could not wait to start bitching.
Into the ring more hats are thrown,
“Oh no, not him”, I hear you groan,
This spectacle, “democracy”,
Is nothing but a fallacy.
There is one thing that we should note,
Prime minister without our vote.
But then we’ve seen it all before,
There’s no constitutional law.
Nineteen Twenty Two committee?
It all stinks of something shitty.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 8th July 2022.

WHITEWASH BY TEA

Dylyn the dog will run free at Chequers
Until summers end, so Johnson believes.
Even now he clings on to the trappings,
Unable to relinquish the dummy
Of Prime Ministerial privelege.
In his fevered mind he still has power,
Places total blame on all and sundry,
Sees no reason for any contrition,
Likens own supporters to animals,
With herd mentality the driving force
That pushed him out the door of number ten,
Fails to accept responsibility.
Now all the talk is of his legacy,
Shredders are buzzing, whitewash before tea

Harry Rogers, in the yellow room, 7th July 2022.

IMMORALITY GALORE

Spend our money on your war
Forget about the poor
Pass another nasty law
We all see what you’re for
Now you’re halfway out the door
And lies flow more and more
Everybody knows the score
You’ve become such a bore
Your ideas a running sore
Leave now we all implore
The pound falls through the floor
Feels like nineteen eighty four
Nothing left to restore
Snake no longer guarantor
You, rotten to the core
Should swim now to distant shore
Slip away power whore
Never owt like this before
You who saw work as chore
Immorality galore
Still not gone? Fetch a saw
We’ll cut you loose whilst you snore,
Get thee gone, smirk no more
No-one loves you anymore.

Harry Rogers in the yellow room, July 6th 2022.

THE HAND HOLDING BOYS OF ORLANDO

Another demo from the archive recorded in 2018 at

Sandy Springs, Atlanta, Georgia with my good friend Steve Baird. This lyric is about the awful mass shooting in 2016 at the Pulse gay club in Orlando Florida and the politicians of the day responses.

THE HAND HOLDING BOYS OF ORLANDO

I don’t see beauties as we drive on by
Cow parsley and foxgloves in the hedgerow
My eyes are still filled with tears as I cry
For the hand holding boys of Orlando

On TV Donald says he will ensure
That no terrorists come from the get go
Utters no words to the hacks on the floor
For the hand holding boys of Orlando

Hillary says that she’ll stop everyone
The police have questioned and then let go
Buying and owning assault rifle guns
For the hand holding boys of Orlando

Only Bernie has stood up in public
From Washington to Maine and Ohio
Sharing grief and sympathy in his shtick
For the hand holding boys of Orlando

The sun sets on the gun laws still standing
Bigots and shock jocks across radio
Spread hatred, lies and misunderstanding
For the handholding boys of Orlando

If I could I would travel back in time
To that club where gay men and their friends go
Take the gun from the one who did that crime
For the handholding boys of Orlando

Harry Rogers, in the hut, july 2016

WHERE BLUEBELLS BLOOM

Looking through old demo tracks I came across this version of one of my songs recorded with Marc Gordon at Studio 49 in Narberth in 2013 for our album of love songs “Ripples In The Water Of Love”. The song title was suggested to me by my old friend Colin Bodiam at Deep River Records in Depford, London. The Lyric is set in County Cork, Eire not far from Skibbereen.

Where Bluebells Bloom

On the road to Barlogie Cove
With an old friend of mine
I drive past that house of yours
That overlooks Lough Hyne
We’re off to empty lobster pots
On his old clinker boat
I hear a single seagull sing
A very plaintive note
You’re sitting in the window
Of that upstairs room
You look with longing at that
Hill where bluebells bloom

That hill
Where bluebells bloom
That hill
Where bluebells bloom

Where you took me in the springtime
Through the woodland glade so blue
To the summit of your universe
And swore that you were true
I see that his flash car is back
Parked up in the drive
The way that I was feeling
He’s lucky to be alive

I guess that I’ll keep driving
Down to Barlogie Quay
And let all of last year’s fantasies
Fade into memory
I hope you’ll not be crying
In your lonely room
As you look out that window
Onto Knockomagh Hill
There where bluebells bloom!

Harry Rogers in the Old Study 2012

TWADDLE TALK

This piece of performance poetry was recorded by The Chilly Dogz in 2010 at Red Kite Studios in Llanwrda. Words by Harri Rogers, Guitar by Marc Gordon. Still valid today as a critique of management speak.

TWADDLE TALK

Your office door is always open, I hear you on the phone 

Run it up the flag pole, Give the dog a bone 

It’s a nice little earner, Kick it in the long grass 

Stick it on the back burner , We’re gonna whup their ass  

I hear what you say 

I don’t like what you do 

I wish you’d go away 

Cos I can’t stand you 

You say you’re building your team 

But things aint quite what they seem 

Sharing Mars Bars in the Mendips, Where the glasses are half full 

It’s all singing and dancing, In the best of both worlds 

So throw me a bone, Give me a break 

The buck stops here, Let’s cut to the chase 

Gotta ramp it up, cos you’re off your face. 

I hear what you say

I don’t like what you do,

I wish you’d go away,

‘Cos I can’t stand you 

You’re a legend in your own lunchtime, 

But I know where your bodies are buried, 

So gather up your parrots and monkeys, 

Take those skeletons out of your closet, and clear your fucking desk 

Stop talking twaddle and GIVE US ALL A REST 

Harry Rogers, in the old study, Aberbanc, 23rd February, 2010

PONZI SOLITAIRE

I went down the East End
Near where I used to live
I saw a lot of things there
That I just can’t forgive
There were Bankers and Brokers
Every fucking where
Poncey ponces playing
Ponzi solitaire
Poncey ponces playing
Ponzi solitaire
Even though the system’s broke
They keep right on playing
They’re not listening
To what us folks are saying
Never mind the Euro
The dollar or the pound
The bail-outs or the crunch
Society falling down
Anti-social Tories cheer Hip Hip hooray
While their creepy auditors chip chip chip away
As the welfare state we built is vanishing today
Old New Labour politicians don’t have anything to say
Shareholders stand forlornly
On the steps of Mammons church
The bankers and the brokers
Have left them in the lurch
The greed is good brigade
Care not for other people’s dreams
Outrageously they’re still stashing
Cash from solo Ponzi schemes
Poncey ponces playing
Ponzi solitaire
Poncey ponces playing
Ponzi solitaire
These Poncey ponces playing
Ponzi solitaire

Harry Rogers in the old study, 10th November 2010

STAY STAUNCH

Had enough of coke fueled politicians,
And neo liberal superstitions.
Comrade, don’t ask me which side am I on?
I’m on the same side I’ve always been on.
I have never crossed any picket lines,
Always lobbed money in buckets for fines.
In early morn, as blacklegs are bussed in,
I’ve stood side by side, fighting hard to win,
Justice for workers, in struggle on strike,
Our last resort when we stand for our rights.
Now Jabba The Hut says he’ll send in scabs,
One more dodgy scheme from one of his chaps.
He’ll bring in police to enact his law,
Rise up, stand as one, NOW we know the score.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 23rd June, 2022.

UNBROKEN PONIES

I wrote this lyric for my band, Scene Red, we recorded it in 2013 on our first album Tales From Dolwion on Deep River Records, available on Bandcamp, https://scenered.bandcamp.com/album/tales-from-dolwion . It’s a short memoir of my life as a fourteen year old boy serving after time drinkers in the Bricklayers Arms, Trafalgar Road, Greenwich, around 1961.

3 AM Monday morning
In the Bricklayers Arms
This old pub is losing all its charms
Dad sits at the piano
Playing autumn leaves
I serve two villains
Fresh blood on their sleeves
The weekend’s nearly over
I have had enough
East Greenwich town’s
Getting kinda rough
I’ve got school in the morning
Homework stays undone
I’ll get caned again
That won’t be much fun

Meanwhile,
Unbroken ponies
Running free in Greenwich Park
Unbroken ponies
Eyes shining in the dark

Shining, shining, shining
Shining in the dark
Unbroken ponies
Running free in Greenwich Park

Two geezers spoofing
Drink for drink for drink
Their wives are waiting
But they don’t stop to think
Eddie’s in the old bar
Giving head to a worn out queen
My mum’s drinking brandy
With a bunch of old has beens
I watch the villains
Stitching up their alibis
This pony stands unbroken
Defiance in my eyes
This old pub
Is losing all its charms
3 AM Monday morning
In The Bricklayers Arms
Pretty soon I will be
Outside running free
Running with those ponies
That are just like me

Unbroken ponies
Running free in Greenwich Park
Unbroken Ponies
Eyes shining in the dark
Shining, shining, shining
Shining in the dark
Unbroken Ponies
Running free in Greenwich Park

Harry Rogers, in my old study, 2011

ANOTHER RESET COMING SOON.

Still wanders through corridors,
ghoul, who dresses up
In multi staff changing rooms,
Emerges to present us
With a brand new changeling guise.
A total reset master,
Permanent disorderly,
In total, chaotic, bliss,
Overwhelmed in denial.
Still sports distainful manner,
Unable to recognise
Any construction of truth,
Shuts off realisation,
Drunk on addictive power,
Dismisses all wall writings.
Full pelt in rocky waters
Sails uncharted not quite sunk
Holes rent daily, hull leaking.
Spaffs schoolboy pipedreams with glee,
Unaware days now numbered.

We wait on with bated breath,
Soon our faux democracy
Will stumble on as BoJo smirks,
Whilst all crashes around him.
Red Wall? Reset? Level up?
Orwell was never more right.

Harry Rogers in the yellow room, 8th June 2021.

WAITING FOR THE TIDE TO TURN

I’M SITTING IN THE ANCHOR AND HOPE

DRINKING WHITE SHIELD WORTHINGTONS

THE BOY FRANKY’S MOORED AT THE QUAY

AND I’M STARING OVER BUGSBY’S REACH

I ALREADY KNOW SHE’S LEAVING ME

GUESS THAT’S WHY I’M GETTING DRUNK

THE RIVER LOOKS A GOLDEN PICTURE

A RED SAILED BARGE HEADS INTO THE SUN

I CAN’T CRY NO MORE

I KNOW IT’S OVER

I CAN’T CRY NO MORE

I KNOW IT’S OVER

THERE IS A ONE EYED RIVER CAT

SLEEPING ON A COILED UP ROPE

JOHNNY EDGE SITS IN THE SUNSHINE

SPINNING UP MY LAST PIECE OF DOPE

OLD NORTON FROM THE BOAT YARD

TELLS US SOME CLAPPED OUT JOKE

I’M WAITING FOR THE TIDE TO TURN

BEFORE I SAIL OFF A SINGLE BLOKE

I CAN’T CRY NO MORE

I KNOW IT’S OVER

I CAN’T CRY NO MORE

I KNOW IT’S OVER

WHEN YOU CAN’T CRY NO MORE

YOU KNOW THAT IT’S OVER 

WHEN YOU CAN’T CRY NO MORE

YOU KNOW THAT IT’S OVER

I’M WAITING FOR THE TIDE TO TURN

I’M WAITING FOR THE TIDE TO TURN

I’M WAITING FOR THE TIDE TO TURN

BEFORE I SAIL OFF A SINGLE BLOKE

PANIC IN THE CIRCUS

There was panic in the circus
As they struck down their tents
They packed their trunks and animals
And hurried out of town
But, as they drove across the bridge,
Militia shot them down.
Cages tumbled into deep gorge,
Lions roared, horses screamed,
Clowns howled, acrobats akimbo
All dashed on rocks below,
Tangled wreckage lay drenched in blood,
Diesil and alcohol.
Only the ringmaster remained
Alive, gently twitching
Atop another grassy knoll,
Before sniper topped him.
Shrapnel permeates green landscape
Hallmarked by BAE,
Delivered by train through Poland
Directly from NATO.

Harry Rogers, In the Red Bedroom,
May 7th 2022

DANCE AROUND THE MAY POLL

Mice dance around May poll whilst cat’s away.
Multi coloured ribbons flutter in breeze,
Tangled inexplicably as they play
Games with democracy stuck on its knees.
Cat loses track of lives in Gujarat,
Garlanded he strikes billion pound deal,
Eases visa rules, such a clever cat.
Gambols fast and loose. How does Kashmir feel?
Lives vanish, is it seven, eight or nine?
Embrace another bloody autocrat,
Drink deep of diplomatic casks of wine,
Lives run out for this most reckless of cats.
No silver spoon helps him in New Delhi,
Cheshire like fades as mice invade telly.

Harry Rogers, in The Red Bedroom, April 21st 2022.

A THOUSAND DAYS OF CHAOS

One thousand bumptious, roller coaster, days
In the Westminster fun palace theme park.
Milestones lie scattered across all benches
Where terminology has never been
Quite so inexact as it is today.
Gates are left open for party goers
To gaily wander through willy nilly,
Laughing smirkily at legality,
All the while spewing fake apologies
For taking electorate for granted.
Only when polling stations close in May
Will the circus select new ringmaster.
We’ll bid farewell to this classical clown,
As his short lived reign comes tumbling down.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, April 19th 2022.

GET OFF OF THE GRID

I’m a gettin’ scared
Of Armageddon
I’m a gettin’ scared
Of Armageddon
Can’t watch anymore
Stark pictures of war
I’m a gettin’ scared
Of Armageddon

Tell you what I did
I got off the grid
Tell you what I did
I got off the grid
I won’t pay their bills
I won’t pay their bills
Tell you what I did
I got off the grid

Get off of the grid
Don’t pay what they bid
Get off of the grid
Don’t pay what they bid
Set up solar farms
Let’s use our own arms
Get off of the grid
Don’t pay what they bid.

It’s time to rise up
It’s time to rise up
It’s time to rise up
It’s time to rise up
Get off of the grid
Get off of the grid
Hit them where it hurts
Let’s get off the grid.

Harry Rogers, Hastings, April 6th 2022.

THE PROCESS OF CONCENTRATION

When did morality go up in flames?
How did desperate liars seize power?
Did you hear the town hall clock strike thirteen?
What can be done about such lunar tricks,
Played constantly on our weak, damaged, minds?
Slogans writ large across red tour buses,
Lapped up by poor austerity victims,
Trashed by the reality of brexit.
Instead of health services delivered,
Shining brightly, in new Jerusalem,
Find crumpled expectations blown away,
Cast to winds in preparation for sale
To rabid yankee scum tax evaders.
Pandemic rages but our eyes avert,
Past daily dose of military porn,
Towards flash Gov dot com advertisements,
For new multi billion pound process.
Send asylum seeking single young men
To camp Rwanda for resettlement.
Grant one way tickets to oblivion,
All for the sake of taking back control.
Anybody who protests too loudly
Portrayed as enemies of the people.
Whither guardians of media truth?
Have all bastions of legality
Been overwhelmed by coked up uber spads?
We now live in universe beyond sleaze,
Beyond greed, beyond even perfidy.
Westminster become Pandemonium,
Capital of sociopath reigned hell,
Ever more desperate to hang onto
Their increasingly sick power bases.
Daily mainstream media flood airways
With militaristic jingoism,
War films or nature documentaries,
The news, game shows, quizes, soap operas,
Everywhere one looks it becomes clear,
World Wars One and Two have never ended.
Soon Brexit bunting will limply flutter
Over crass blitz spirited street parties.
It is very hard to gage numbers of
People able to concentrate enough
As we move further into penury.
Tell me again how we got to this place?
How brilliant to sell off Channel Four,
Close down all those who hold executive
To account. War is love, and greed is good.
When is the next general election?

Harry Rogers, in the Yellow Room, April 15th 2022.

NEW THINGS TAKE TIME….. SHE SAID!

Gushily mouthing obscene expletives
That demonstrate a complete lack of soul
Our home secretary defies logic.
Spends time on emisseration projects
Designed to assuage her back bench ghouls.
Her latest frustrated apology
When questioned about visas for refugees
Fleeing war attrocities in Ukraine,
Generates more questions than it answers.
Doesn’t she know what a refugee is?
These people whose whole lives are now destroyed,
Need shelter, sustenance and instant love.
Surely visas can be issued home here?
What kind of country are we living in?

Harry Rogers, in The Yellow Room, April 8th 2022

PUTTY

Our lives, governed by twin parentheses
Which run side by side and drive us all mad,
Are attacked daily by propaganda.
Truth lies inconveniently hidden
Behind shaky Chinese walls, constructed
To ensure that people never find out
What, exactly, actually happened.
Technology, too sophisticated
To understand, bamboozles most of us
Into acceptance of daily hubris,
Pumped out continuously on platforms
Owned or controlled by power obsessives.
Our minds, twisted through pandemic and war,
Are moulded as putty by demagogues.

And now we cannot pay our heating bills….

Harry Rogers, In The Yellow Room, April 5th, 2022.

THE LAUNDRY

I was born in 1947
A full two years after second world war
Ended in victory against Nazis.
For every year of my long long life
There’s been war waged somewhere on this planet,
Families destroyed, houses blown to bits,
But what lies behind this ongoing shite?
Why do politicians from every
“Free democracy” rock up at arms fairs?
Dead keen to enable Arms companies
To maximise sales of deadly weapons?
It’s because war is very lucrative,
The sheer volume of taxpayers money
Directly transferred into shareholders
Bank accounts annually is mind-blowing.
This legal money laundering machine
Maintains a murderous global elite,
Who thrive on misery, death, destruction,
Sickness, paranoia, fear and power.
Nothing more or less than a mafia
Sustained by democratic illusion.
Factories employ millions in the
Production of mass destruction weapons
On every continent across the world.
This sociopathic scam masquerades
As necessary to keep us secure.
In reality it’s gangsterism
And we are being robbed of better lives.

Harry Rogers, In the Red Bedroom April 1st 2022.