Listening To Mikhail

When Mikhail says we’re making ready

That flags upon the charts are being laid

And our leaders posture, rhetoric unsteady

Should we listen to what Gorbachev has said


Should we listen to experienced survivors

To the experts who seek evidence and proof

To academics, historians and scientists

Who study past and future for the truth


Should we listen when the charities are groaning

Under siege to manage shelter, food

While governments can always conjure money

To weaponise our world for some vague good


When the friend within is demeaned and benighted

And tolerance is seen as enemy

When hatred escalates and is encouraged

Should we listen to what others maybe see


Should we listen to ourselves when twinges niggle

And reason urges calm and look again

Or should we just do nothing and make ready

To pursue a path that leads to greater pain


When the meanwhiles of the nations are unfolding

When the jigsaw picture’s starting to make sense

Should we listen, listen closely and decide to

Build no more walls and get down off our fence


When ex-leader of the ‘enemy’ proclaims it

Is it bluff and stuff to shrug off and ignore

Should we dismiss his words as fake and propaganda

Or should we listen like we never have before

Near Midnight



A scrawl and the hand creeps towards midnight

A tweet and more seconds slip through

The timer of sand in an unworthy hand

So fragile and grains left too few

Harsh words move the levers towards midnight

Pushing them past where they’ve been

One fifty of seconds and counting

Chaotic is calm and serene

At two and half minutes till midnight

The world gasps and points at the hands

Nudging the minutes towards doomsday

Alarmed at posturing stand

Revoking all rights, pushing midnight

New executive orders denounce

Push the hands back with insistence

Resist what the trumpets announce