Brighton 2020

Chill winds blow across our spines,
Ice cold, so unexpected
Green shoots break warm surface soil,
We shake and tremble, worn out
After these twelve fearful months.
Thoughts of a third wave too much.
Every day across media
Shop keepers and publicans
Voice their need to trade again,
Such incessant clamour galls,
Journos do not have the balls
To call out this pantomime.
The qhastly opposition
Helps maintain austerity,
The already unprotected
Are joined by millions more,
Rains fall until September,
When dams burst, as taps turn off,
When the wards fill up anew,
Nouveau poor left nithering,
In total bewilderment,
Unable to understand.
Where lies Bentham’s safety net?
Full of rents and gaping holes,
Discarded by Thatchers clones,
It is all but cut away.
What follows is hard to tell,
Inside Pandemonium,
The dark capital of hell,
Fear of “the other” plotlines
Are dreamt up in Downing Street.
Once more draw Damocles’s sword,
Machiavelli ignored,
All the way to final hour,
Insanely cleave to power.
Provoking insurrection
In order to smash it down,
The whack a mole strategy.
All the while new variants,
Propagate willy nilly.
Yet hope still springs eternal,
Friends, family, and comrades
Go further than sympathy.
Trust in each other utmost
In community action.
If ever there was a need
To share and pull together
Against those who would have us
Take the blame and pay the price
For something not made by us,
It surely must be right now.
And yet Princes of darkness
Abound around and around,
And I feel too old and tired,
To run down the extra mile,
It’s up to those we brought up,
To pick up all our dropped reins,
And bring these wretched ghouls down.

Harry Rogers in the Yellow Room, 4th March 2021.