Posts Tagged ‘satire’

INCIDENT 10

Posted: May 28, 2017 in Chat
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In the raised brimming glass of the moon,
in the empty beaker of the day

in the sad, bedraggled evening
hot and bothered at the end of play

two bats met above the town’s rooftops
colliding on the air’s highway:

a long-eared bat in a cassock of black
and a short-eared bat with its collar turned back

collided above the rooftops
of the chic new shops in the centre of town.

And I ask you members of the jury, now,
which one of them had right of way?

Reprise

 Beyond the busy gabbling of the air waves,
the shot-off arse of time’s clearway

 in the last relinquished evening
of the not-very-bothered last day

 two bats met above the conflagration
jostling in heaven’s doorway:

 a free-tailed bat turbaned with black
and a pipistrelle with cassock on its back

 elbowed and jostled above the conflagration
in a time out of time on the edge of time.

 And I ask the jury: In this instance,
to which, if any, would you give admittance?

WHY IS THERE NOTHING RATHER THAN SOMETHING?

If there ever was something
then it was in this place, here

– We left it in the hall, we said
we didn’t know if it’d be use to you

If there ever was a place
it was just here, the space left

– We got smashed, stoned, then fell asleep
when we came down
it’s as though it never was

No, they said, you don’t understand
this is where everything was
Why is there nothing now

Why have you taken it all away
Where have you the locked the world up

Denial, pain, anger, blame,
indifference, disgust –

the bran-tub of passed-down characteristics
and not the prizes

They said
This is what is left behind

the memory-smell on hands of money, coin
wall-shapes of lost furniture
rumours of four walls and roof, bought, owned

no sense of  difference, of space,
or certainty in the mind

 

FAMILY VALUES

Posted: December 28, 2013 in Chat
Tags: , ,

My father’s ghost each night I saw

reflected on the tv screen, passing back

of actors with a meaningful look,

like a soap star.

 

‘It was Society, your uncle,

killed me.’ he said. ‘It was not!’, I said.

‘Would you make presumptions on my age,

even in death?’ he said.

It’s true, I did.

 

‘If it was that black sheep of the family

cousin Economics,

I’d expect it, or grandfather Politics,

well, without question. But Society…

he’s too scatty. He never could tell

one day from another.’ ‘Precisely!

My ordered life, plotted against!

I worked hard for that little state

of order and calm.’

 

‘We disinherited the Medical Profession

on your behalf!’ I said, ‘The doctor

was negligent.’ ‘You were wrong.’ he said,

‘Society killed me!’

 

What a family,

I thought, I would not trust one

with a teaspoon never mind

the keys of the kingdom!

And then when Conventional Romance

looked my way, well, it was

Wayward Romance, her sister

that I was after. ‘You must do your duty!’

my father said, and then he died.

So I did.

She was their audacity, they balloted her

actor-manager of The Rose Theatre;

her voice the decider, the dea ex machine

with which she straddled the trap-door of argument.

Few could escape her bawling-out or charisma;

who else could change theme mid-scene

or change character though it raged against her?

 

‘We’ll give her twelve years!’ said the backers,

carte-blanching theatre, sub-clausing actors: ‘There’s

money in tragedy, bowdlerised naturally;

a rhetoric there to over-ride opponents.

Fill your programme with bluster, let none go Scot-free

and none will renege.’ Their values cashed with hers.

 

The City grew wealthy with players, new fads arose,

rented street populations for crowd scenes,

bit-parts, creating the notion of a nation

(a licensed interpretation). Her entrance mid-scene

as rousing climacteric steered timing’s on-rush

from one climax to another. Each play she chose

manipulated lives, a wielded created

of stage-emotion, subservient to a hidden plot.

 

Twelve years ticking through the turn-stiles, takings

poll-plotting her management acumen, and the faking

of adrenalin pulsing through history,

to smother sub-plotters’ murmurings.

A poised and clinching pathos of reasoning; or was it, rather,

the sheer amplitude of her persona, proving

the inconsequence of plot, theme… theatre?