A yacht sails in summer, northwards to the Pole.
A slush of gelatinous grey greets its bow
as it makes its ambivalent journey.
On Admiralty charts a woman replaces islands,
sketches new sandbars, reefs marked with buoys,
while their people are moving into legend.
Lines of footprints cover deserts; jackals, bones,
eyeballs. Driven from shelter to shelter, children
ailing and confused, half-filled ditches,
refuse tips: where will the unborn live as
their families take flight?
was once a party, an impromptu concert
in a corner pub, a mingle of music, sweat
and beers. A world of miasma now,
of beck and call for paupers’ pay, waiting
to be plucked like a lobster from a tank.
Yes, yes, the richest should have more,
more tax-breaks crammed into their maw
until they vomit gold, excrete jewels and mansions,
super yachts and private jets, smearing
the earth and the airwaves
with their self-obsessed banalities.
In shadowed lobbies, their hired hands work
on dispossession, the cutting of common bonds,
democracy just one more acquisition.
The future bleeds away as we pick
at old obsessions. The past is now a home
with many rooms, space for those who hold
a ticket for nostalgia. For each a leather
armchair on a floor of empty cans; loop on loop,
the TV screen shows newsreels of the past;
paper walls and cling- film roof, the toys abandoned
on the lawn where foxes prowl. Brewing
in the cellar, fantasies, stench, nightsoil.