No Surprise To Me

I saw her late at night

her neck, a signpost

rising through the surface

to the skies

Loch’s leviathan

her charm, her presence

testament to strength

and what is wise

from hidden depths and caverns

came she upwards

as proof to disbelievers

who despise

the legacy of truth

within the legends

endurance of her spirit

against lies

emergent energy

when threatened, dismissed

force of nature

nurtured in disguise

risen to admonish

free the shackles

to clarify, reveal

to crystallise

the ever-present power

‘neath apparent

the what is possible

when spirits rise

revealing, by endurance

force of fabled

to the detriment of those

with blinded eyes

her eyes, those eyes

a steady, streaming light-force

gleaming, fixed on shores

on me

all ayes

what, said I, of myth

and disbelievers

the proof, she said

is rising when you try

I gazed a while

she froliced for my pleasure

or to prove, perhaps

that she had found the prize

across the lands

a vision from deep waters

to me, a true believer,

no surprise

Ceud Mìle Fàilte – To My Part Of Our World

I think I’m really clever

so coordinated

when I can remove

the remnants

of today’s make-up

with my right hand while

unhooking earrings with my left

after having

stacked

crockery and cutlery

in preparation

for twenty

having cleaned for the days

I didn’t

while working

teaching

clearing

sorting

finishing

one job

before embarking

on the next

 

I think I’m so organised

after

shopping

with my list

for food

drink

accroutements

the je ne sais quoi

of visitors

 

I think I’m on the ball

 

I’m not

 

I’m not on anything

but the same wheel

that we’re all on

you know the one

when we impress ourselves with our

own abilities to cope

under pressure

to be

to do

to act

to keep on

keeping on

 

I think I’m doing so well

and I am

 

I definitely am

 

I know this

by comparison

to when I’m not

and, oh, there have been times

when ‘not’ has been

the ‘it’

 

but now

right now

I’m doing well

as well as anyone can do

with

still

so much to do

 

I think I’m so clever

removing

with my right hand

today’s make-up

while

at the same time

my, oh, my!

such dexterity

disentangling dangling earrings from lobes

time-saving

knowing I have organised

am organised

will be

the hostess with the

enough

more than enough

to make them welcome

and

next week

I’ll abseil

and kayak

just for fun

 

these are the

holiday-days

the manage-and-do

and fill-the-days

with what is not the

everyday-do-days

these are the good

but also

busy days

 

as all days

 

I think I’m so clever

so coordinated

so resourceful

that I can do all this

and be

sane

 

while monitoring

watching

still

always

what is going on

in the realm of those

whose lives

coordinate

and manage

a different agenda

where

welcome

hospitality

ceud mìle fàilte

are not the operative words

I know

I’m doing well

and the earrings and makeup removed

two-handed

in a satisfied acknowledgement

of

the fridge

and dishes

ready

speak my truth

 

I’m clever

in some ways

in more ways

like so many

the everyday ways

we do

we are

the embrace

that love

to welcome

life

and loving

 

how clever

and resourceful

and full of life

are we

in spite of all

 

slainte

friends

 

these are the days

of life

living

and being

the welcome

to our part of the world

Which Pill?

It is with deep regret

And no small measure of embarrassment

That I stand before you, here, today

I’d really rather be all on my own

But the niceties, we know, must be obeyed

And so, with pressure, here, I must atone

 

It is with deep regret

And no small measure of rage

That I come before the people of this land

I’d really rather eat my own two shoes

But, the niceties, and colleagues’ daggers at my back

Have told me that I have to or they lose

 

So, it is with deep regret

And no small measure of humiliated self-defeat

That I work up something of a spit

I’d really rather gob right in your face

But, the niceties, and the plebs I swore to serve

Have hounded me and I have lost the race

 

It is with deep regret

And no small measure of choking pride

That I curse the day you found me out

I’d really rather you’d stayed in the dark

But the niceties, and a press that changed their tune

Have forced me to admit I’m not the brightest spark

 

So, it is with deep regret

And no small measure of unwillingness

I leave behind the steps of Downing Street

I’d really rather keep the role I played

But the niceties, and loyalty, are not what they once were

They’re calling me a pill, the hapless, hard-to-swallow Theresa May

 

It is with deep regret

And no small measure of wanton disregard

I’ve divided, more, the countries of this land

I’d really rather, that, you all forgot

But the niceties, for it is not self-awareness

Are insisting that I say that I’ve been caught

 

It is without regret

And no small measure of utter stupidity

That I’m holding on to power

I’d really rather you all just agreed

For the niceties, and careerists, can go hang

I retract, with no regrets, every word that I’ve just said

 

It is with deep regret

And no small measure of frustration

That we, the people, all must live the pill

We’d really like to dose it out to them

For the niceties and those who splurt the lies

Are culpable, and worse, they know no shame

(source)

(S)praying For The Country

Dear God,

Well, that was exciting, wasn’t it?
I haven’t had so much excitement since I was a but a child and that big, burly farmer bellowed at me to, ‘Get the fuck out of my wheat field, ya wee bastard!’
Peed my pants that day, I can tell you. Gave a whole new meaning to crop spraying.

And that fellow was so out of order. It was, after all, a devil-may-care moment, shared, I’m sure, by all normal children from time to time.
Honestly, who hasn’t, in the flush of exuberant youth, cast off the yoke of obedience, thrown caution to the wind and trespassed on someone else’s property? I like to think of it as my ‘Buckfast in the park’ moment. Pissed, at least, in one sense of the word. Har, de, har, har!
Such japes.

I should, of course, have left those days behind for good and followed daddy’s advice. ‘Be a good girl.’
Such wise words.
He was quite the sage, you know. Well, you would know.
I learned so much from him.
Although he did have the unfortunate habit of speaking in cliches.
Ah, but he was so strong and stable.
And I did take his advice.
I was as good as good can be.
But, Jesus wept, (my bad), it was so boring.

People used to look at me like I was some sort of robot. Always doing as I was supposed to do. ‘Tess the Tame’, I once overheard someone whisper. Well that, and ‘Little Miss Pee-Your-Pants’.
Can’t trust anyone to keep a secret, I’ve found to my cost.

I suppose I just had to rebel at some point.
I’ve practised quietly for years.
Doing little things here and there, you know.
Never accept a court judgement.
Make stubbornness an art form.
Under no circumstances, give in. Except sometimes. Stamp a metaphorical foot in the recesses of your mind.
Curse them all. ‘Ya cunts, I’ll have you, one day!’
So liberating. In a mental, internalised, repressed sort of way.

And another wheat field day arrived.

How I longed to relive that glorious, carefree day. Without the final flood.

I felt sure, this time, that I would get away with it. I was sure I had the farmers and everyone else on side. I had practised speaking naturally till I had it almost off pat.

I had traipsed all over the country, talking to a few people in barns and the like. What is it with me with farms and isolation? Might need to work on that too.
I had even, as one does, practised, to the mirror, keeping my face composed at all times, so that no one, no, not even daddy, would know what I was thinking. All those, ‘fuck off ya trumpet’ thoughts were so well contained, apart from the odd twitch of my lips when I almost came right out and said it.
‘It’s my party now! I’m in charge! I’m head girl! Getyersel’ tae yer ain wheatfield!’
I had it all carefully organised.

And then I peed my pants again.

Thank god for Tena Lady.
I have shares in them, you know.
Always be prepared.

And now that corn-coloured, flop-haired saboteur is on his bike again, working up what passes for a sweat in the crack of his arse.
Waiting in the wings. Ready to steal my thunder. Undermining me at every turn. I don’t need his help for that. I can do things by myself. I have words. And stuff.

I’ve always been a loner, though.

Didn’t do naughty till that day, back then.
The shame of it haunts me still.

I’m not saying I’m going to flip. That would be so middle-class. And daddy wouldn’t have approved.

But, I swear to god, if I hear one mention of ‘pishing it’, I’ll sell my shares in Tena Lady and spray this country from Land’s End to John O’ Groats.

And, with the wind in the right direction, so, help me, Ireland will taste my piss.

I will be remembered as the biggest piss artist of all time.

Got to be remembered for something, after all.

Amen.

(source)

Pour With Pride

washes clean

refills

by drops

each puddle

overflows with effort

teems and soars

tracks its route

in streets

on pavements

pathways

arrives

at every tap

at every door

fills from mountains

hails from every cloudburst

spirit of survival

reigns supreme

power of the shower

pitter patters

splashing through

the nightmare

to the dream

washes clean

refills

the blood that’s thirsty

refreshes

where it reaches

countrywide

dance and sing

with thunder

raise your voices

in the storm

that’s brewing

blowing

pour with pride

Remember, To Carry The Flame

We marched for you back then

You don’t remember

Crusaders for a kingdom

How we strived

Destitute, determined

Carried with us

Hope, appeal, intention

To survive

 

We stood for you back then

You don’t remember

Faced down the tanks

Deployed in George’s Square

Heard the Riot Act

Dismissed, resisted

Gathered for a living

Far more fair

 

We starved for you back then

You don’t remember

Force-fed prison time

For worthy aims

All but now forgotten

As the years pass

No recollections

Still done in your names

 

We died for you back then

You don’t remember

Someone from your family

Now deceased

Their legacy, the freedoms

Fought and died for

Bequeathed to you

So future would know peace

 

We lived for you back then

You don’t remember

Parents of a past

Lost in years’ layers

Gone, their cause forgotten

Present children

Remember now

And ask if you still care

 

We worked for you back then

You don’t remember

Unborn you were

But we had you in sight

Fighting for the future

Of all children

And conditions we could live by

Workers’ rights

 

We fought for you those years

You don’t remember

Distance lends enchantment

Or dismay

Forgotten, now, we are

We were foot soldiers

Who thought that we had

Surely won the day

 

We fought for you back then

You don’t remember

Battled for a birthright

Better ways

Took a stand

We fought for bread and butter

For a piece of

All created

By our hands

 

We fought for you back then

You don’t remember

In daily labour

Justice all we sought

Manned the streets, the trenches 

Raised our voices

We fought for you back then

As parents ought

 

We fought for you back then

You don’t remember

Torches dropped

As mem’ries fade away

Hopes were high among us

Generations

Would benefit in living

Brighter days

 

We fought for you back then

You must remember

Gains we made

Eroding by the week

Fight for us

As once we fought your corner

Supporting those

Who work for what you seek

 

We fought for you back then

Oh, please remember

The battle scars we wore

To pave the way

Conditions that we railed against

Remember

Vote anyone

But not for Maggie‘s May

Like It’s Easy

I used to vote for Labour but I’m Tory now

For Tess is on my side so all is swell

Mother Earth incarnate with some great one-liners

She’ll fight my side and give the Euro hell

Used to be a socialist with common aim

But now I’ve seen the error of my ways

A right-wing party full of millionaires

I know they’ll care for me through all my days

Used to fight for workers and the rights of men

But now I trust in what the Tories spout

Fuck all the pensioners, the sick and the destitute

Fling all the foreigners out

Used to have a conscience but that’s over now

I’ve shifted sides to get a better deal

Man mind thyself is an awesome creed

Not rational, who cares, it’s what I feel

Won’t have need for hospital, I’m healthy, see

I’m never getting old so that’s okay

No family to care for and even if I did

I’d do it all myself for that’s my way

Theresa speaks my language now in trite soundbites

She’s closer to the cause I cannot name

Hallelujah, peace on earth, I’m Tory now

May god forgive my choice, I have no shame

 

He doesn’t. And neither do I.

 

If you’ve ever had a conscience or cared enough

Tell me why you now believe the right

Have they ever fought for you or your family

Have they ever even had you in their sight

Don’t tell me, like it’s easy

If you’ve ever thought of anyone but you

Vote for that party and take the pain

Society depends on what you do

Devil’s In The Detail

When I said I’d have a party

I sure meant it

Ain’t no one throws a party like I do

Devil’s in the detail

Entertainment

Mind-altered states

My guests know what to do

No need to lift a finger

Mere suggestions

Hordes they come

To thrash the night away

Shoehorn in as many

Pun intended

Then watch as all invited

Play or pray

Ain’t nothing like my parties

They are legend

Men they come and go

But all the same

Good and evil vying

In an orgy

Pointing fingers

Doling out the blame

Aspersions cast

It gives me so much pleasure

My nature, see

What can a devil do

But party on

And plan a new dominion

Premises worldwide

More than a few

Not my fault

I’m only party planner

Devil’s in the detail

As I said

Up to you lot

Invitation only

I’m just the maggot

Worming in your head

Justifying

Parties that deliver

Worst excesses

Esteemed, by me

The best

Received your invitation?

Hocus pocus

Cast my spell

Now you can do the rest

Ain’t no party

Like a devil’s

When delivered

What I do

It’s only in my name

See you on the 8th

I hope you’ll be there

Kiss it once

Then you must take all blame

Breaking The Curse

learned to live with fortune

in the realm of poverty

where poverty is relative and claused

reflecting on the ravens’

hard-hearted princes in their towers

counting crowns of peasants without pause

riches something finer

than gold coins or stocks and shares

weighted in the pans of wealth and worth

rebalancing the measures

by means of minutes, days and hours

tipping scales of justice where they’re cursed