The election: Irises along the canal
Wednesday, 16 June 2021 20:40

The election: Irises along the canal

Published in Poetry

Irises along the canal

by Mair De-Gare Pitt

Fly the flag for the men
who dug and died on these banks.
Brandish your torch for their wake.

Their country was work.
Their time was cheap.
It was bought and sold.

Fly the flag for sunny days.
Nod at your face in the shadowy glass.
Bring a splash of cheer to the deeps.

Your country is summer.
Your time is fleeting
and it is not for sale.

Author's Note

In response to your call-out – my most pressing concern at this difficult time in world politics is the rise of nationalism. In America with Donald Trump’s America First, in France with Marine le Pen’s far right party – all over the world. And in my country too, Wales, there is the rise of a national politics.

I partly understand this. I love being Welsh, love Welsh culture, literature and language, sport and music and history. And I am aware that poverty here has hit many families hard and that people are searching for relief. But I am deeply distrustful of any movement which is inward-looking and exclusive. I am sure the Scots, English and Irish have similar love for their country, but I fear movements which separate people who have so many unanswered needs in common.

The Labour movement united people as brothers and sisters. Let’s not forget how precious this unity is. And let us extend our friendship and support to people from any country where need, oppression and poverty are rife. At a time when the world is threatened by climate change, and where the consequences will no doubt be felt most by those who have least, surely we need to face this together.