Made in Farnborough

She was six when it landed
And she’ll never make seven
Fragments rip through skin and bowel
Parents weep she’s still alive

Metal fresh a mile away
Tears flesh like tears never can
Death stands waiting with his scythe
Kisses all the lucky ones

He was twelve when his saviour
Fell to a sniper’s bullet
His wounds will cost him a leg
A hand and his sense of self

Made in Farnborough or Folkestone
Bristol or Bath or Boxhill
Glasgow Gloucester or Grantham
Cardiff Coventry or Cowes

Bullets and bombs and missiles
Proudly bear the Union Jack
Proclaiming our country’s trade
In death and maiming children

Iraq and Syria and
Yemen give thanks to Allah
And to team GB for well
Made rockets shells and warheads

Worldwide, parents praise UK
For cutting down their mothers
For orphaning their children
Leaving them to bleed and die

Made in Farnborough and Folkestone
Bristol and Bath and Boxhill
Glasgow Gloucester and Grantham
Cardiff Coventry and Cowes


The mines don’t blow me up
The mines don’t blow me up
Sing, hip, hip, hip, hooray
The mines don’t blow me up

They sell them on again
With no moral onus
Every side has our stuff
Daddy gets a bonus

The bombs don’t fall on us
The bombs don’t fall on us
Sing, hip, hip, hip, hooray
The bombs don’t fall on us

My daddy is a wonder
He loves us all you see
Keeps us safe as houses
My mum and dad and me

The bombs don’t fall on me
The bombs don’t fall on me
Sing, hip, hip, hip, hooray
The bombs don’t fall on me

The Bombs Don’t Fall on Me

The bombs don’t fall on me
The bombs don’t fall on me
Sing, hip, hip, hip, hooray
The bombs don’t fall on me

My daddy is a worker
He works so very hard
Bringing home the bacon
And sweeping up the yard

The bombs don’t fall on me
The bombs don’t fall on me
Sing, hip, hip, hip, hooray
The bombs don’t fall on me

My daddy is so good
In every piece he makes
Clean and neat and perfect
And mummy’s baking cakes

The bombs don’t fall on us
The bombs don’t fall on us
Sing, hip, hip, hip, hooray
The bombs don’t fall on us


My daddy makes good money
Building shells and bangers
Shiny, bright and wholesome
Hope that none are clangers

The shells don’t land near me
The shells don’t land near me
Sing, hip, hip, hip, hooray
The shells don’t land near me

He sells them to the world
And makes a tidy sum
He buys me toys and sweets
A trumpet and a drum

The shells don’t land near us
The shells don’t land near us
Sing, hip, hip, hip, hooray
The shells don’t land near us

He makes mines and mortars
Sells to foreign countries
Who use them up so fast
They are weapon junkies

There Is A Time and Place

There is a time and place in each our lives
That when it happens is invisible
A pivot upon which the future lies
A place and time known but from a distance

Only in its future can it be seen
In a present that has become the past
Once known all time divides itself in two
There is time before and there’s time after

We live our lives within that after time
And for we lucky few eventually
We see the time where time began anew
Because we chose to let in something true

I now see that time and place, the moment
I first gazed upon your face and know that
Your being present at that place at that time
Made it the time and place that moved my earth

Christianity according to St Teresa and the Conservative Party

Blessed are the poor for they will pay taxes while our rich friends do not.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will have a spare bedroom we can tax.

Blessed are the meek, for they will vote Conservative whatever we do.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for they will use foodbanks and not need benefits.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be polite and kind to the NHS staff despite the appalling service they are forced to provide.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for even though we know Brexit is going to be horrible we can make them believe it is all the fault of the Germans and the French and Brussels.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will make sure all the foreigners are thrown out so we can fight amongst ourselves.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for ATOS will find them fit for work whilst they die on a trolley in a NHS hospital corridor.

Who lies beneath the Cenotaph?

Who lies beneath the Cenotaph?
We know who lies beside it
We will see them carry wreaths
Yet when they bow they feel no shame.

Are they the bones of one of these?
Suited hatted photographed
Their millions well secreted
Blood or money they pay no share.

Are they bones of an Englishman?
Perhaps, or Scots Irish Welsh
More than half the world lost men
Black and brown and white and yellow.

Whose bones lie here an hundred years?
Empty you say!  Like pockets
And like bellies the powerful
Have always emptied from the poor.

In Spring the Wind Calls

In spring the wind calls to the high branches
And they wave leaves and they dance in reply
Wind speaks to them in gushes and rushes
Reminding them of winter’s great roaring

Wind speaks to elder trunks and ancient limbs
They discuss lost cousins who tumbled and fell
Remember those brothers stood strong and true
Through so many autumns of rot and rain

Wind whispers to the grasses and flowers
New born bursting forth from the woodland floor
Tells them secrets of summers yet to be
When wind will waft their seed to places new

Song of the Green Wood

There is a sound that most will never hear
Will never know a voice is possible
That hums and haws through every length of wood
And for a very few will smile and sing

Some hear the chainsaw’s rip and rage and roar
It has no quiet tone nor gentle hum
The distant thud of axe on splitting wood
The ring of hammer hitting metal wedge

Most will never hear the song of the green wood
Not the first impact of the swinging axe
That forges the beginning of a crack
And not the grunt that settles in the wedge

Not the swish of air marking hammer’s flight
Nor the chime as wedge is struck by sledge
An after sound that may be barely heard
Or yet stretch out as nature’s aria

The sappy green wood sings beyond the blow
As fibres tear and cells begin to break
A tranquil sound may grow toward a snarl
A deep low rending may become a screech

Each bole of wood holds a different air
A ballad that reflects its annual growth
Warm summer’s rush melodious and low
Tight winter fractures with a harsher note

The green wood’s song is the magic music
Of the forest giving up its harvest
A song played to an audience of one
A song of beauty most will never hear

Gaia in the Underground


One sweep of eyes is full sufficient
To both assess and to dismiss.
The clothes, the shoes, dog loosely on a string,
The slowly turning cigarette.
The bottle failing to be hidden
In an old fast food paper bag.


One sweep of eyes is full diverted
To both avoid and to disdain.
The hands, the nails, above all the eyes,
The flaky nature of the skin.
The veins distended, an early age,
Mine eye with careful pride evades.


What else you do, do not catch her eye,
For caught you never can escape
And will be hard held to look beneath
The dirt, beyond bag and bottle,
To peel back the tapestry that hides
Your soul captured in her mirror.


Her feet are rooted in the dark earth,
The same deep soil from which we spawned.
The cold concrete of the underground
Can’t hide the hold that links us two.
Inexorably we are entwined
Breathing air and drinking water.

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