Let Us Face the Future
Tuesday, 29 September 2020 18:16

Let Us Face the Future

Published in Poetry

ronavirusLet Us Face the Future

by Chris Nash

Common and apart, we stand in defiant windows,
Each in a viral, personal Grenfell, care of uk.gov,
we’re refugees like all the rest, too late we know
our land’s no longer ours, beyond the heal of love:

An invisible hand locks our lives in data series,
all the roads we assembled to the future together,
are needlessly dissolved in self-inflicted fevers
to end in malls, they commandeer as mortuaries.

The poorest she that is in England screams for relief,
ghosts of daffodils shake masked heads in disbelief:
When and how did we allow our golden western isles
to be consumed cut-price, in death’s supermarket aisle?

From the doorstep shore, oh yes, we’ll clap our NHS,
Remembering whose 21 votes stopped its progress
We will rise, raise our eyes from TV’s slumbering view,
to see from island isolation, over white cliffs, a world anew.

Author's Notes:

Let Us Face the Future was the title of the Labour Party’s visionary 1945 Election Manifesto.
‘Ghosts of daffodils’ is an echo of Wordsworth’s vision of our holy, golden islands.
The Tories voted 21 times to stop the passage of the NHS legislation. Winston ‘Boris’ Churchill said it ‘was the first step to turn Britain into a National Socialist economy’.
‘The poorest she that is in England’ is an echo of the famous words of Thomas Rainsborough in the Putney Debates 1647.
‘TV slumber’ is an echo of the revolutionary lines of Percy Shelley in The Masque of Anarchy 1819 - ‘Rise like lions after slumber’.

RIP - the criminal Tory lack of preparation, and mishandling of our people - more St Bodge than St George.

An Election (26th May 2019)
Tuesday, 29 September 2020 18:16

An Election (26th May 2019)

Published in Poetry

An Election (26th May 2019)

by Chris Norris

Time was I clung to the idea
That it was not our style,
That fascist stuff; 'won't happen here,
The folk would run a mile'.

I thought our character showed clear,
Displayed this sceptred isle
As a land free from any fear
That 'hi' might change to 'Heil'.

That seemed to show the world that we're
Not folk you can beguile
By some shift of strategic gear
With new foes to revile,

New 'enemies within' to jeer,
And other ways to trial
The fascist line of yesteryear
On today's rank-and-file.

Think how we raised a wartime cheer
For Winston Churchill while,
Post-war, he'd be out on his ear
And choking on his bile.

We batted back the 'traitor' smear,
Returned it with a smile,
And thought: you types may domineer
But we're the xenophile

World-welcomers whom no frontier
Can henceforth domicile
Within the shit-filled Twittersphere
Where Farage tops the pile.

* * * * *

That's why I took a sanguine view,
Said ours was not the sort
Of country where some newborn crew
Of fascists could import

Old strategies to launch a coup,
Revive the beast we fought
The last time round in World War Two,
And teach what Hitler taught.

But now the fears are coming true,
The lesson's gone for naught,
The bigots and the racists queue
To pay their leaders court,

The tainted tints red, white and blue
Bedeck hate's juggernaut,
And who's to say what we can do
To counter its onslaught?

That's how the Farage movement grew
So fast, and how its short
Though lethal term in office threw
Dark shadow-lines athwart

Those native qualities I knew,
Or made-believe, or thought
Self-evident till I saw through
That 'We're exempt' retort.

For now the truth is out: they too,
Those sober Brits, disport
Themselves in fascist ways and slew
Far right when swine exhort,

When times are hard, when witches'-brew
'Solutions' are most sought,
And when it falls to some last few
Diehards to hold the fort.