Whisky Thoughts, by Irene Cunningham

They say brain matter is pale grey. We’re all
the same colour, though stupid might be
shades of yellow/orange. Remember when

Shirley Bassey sang If I ruled the world,
belting out that what-if in the sixties
in her sparkling dresses, spreading fancy

while Vietnam hosted desolation?
Britain watched black&white TV, I Love
Lucy, Rhoda, Come Dancing, distanced,

busy preparing the metric-shoogle,
grabbing some American colour on
Top of the Pops. So, who’s fit for the post…

tests if the pale grey matter’s present?
Apparently it’s assumed but later reported
missing – not in action, just disappeared.

What post? Presidential, Ministerial…
Soap-box Tenors, Tyrants & Toe-rags,
the diabolical-wish-merchants-in-drag.

If I ruled the world I couldn’t trust even
a woman because the heart of darkness
lives in all the houses and humans flail

against rip tides and sucking black holes
packed with moneyed eels who don’t sing
out loud, or whisper in speech bubbles.

What colour is sense and honesty…how
do they survive when madmen whip
colours into mud? Catch the bloody eels,

feed them to polar bears. There will be
no days of wine and roses, but nothing
to stop us singing, with whisky in the jar.



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