Three poems by Miki Byrne

Joe Average.
There’s a need
for armour now.
To keep barriers high.
Slit fearful eyes at
inconsequential differences
as fear drapes like shrouds.
Holds in escaping smiles,
desire to do good.
Doors slam in the faces
of those less well off,
disabled, foreign, homeless
as Joe Average
hunkers down.
Carries a blade
of self preservation,
prepares to repel all borders.
Cannot see that they
are reflections of himself.
Those who are Wealthy.
The wealthy swim like sharks
through human shoals.
Brush away small fry,
who slip and slither through
societies net.
The rich perch like eagles
in mirrored palaces,
high above city centres.
See those below who drive them,
feed them, serve and supply them,
as inferior—mere ants who swarm
over pavements, sit  in buses,
or use cars that cannot pass
emission tests and carry no insignia
of high-end luxury.
The rich breathe rarefied air.
Do not venture into warrens
and ghettos.
Have access to private health care,
comfortable homes for their elderly.
The poor use the stumbling NHS.
Return to narrow streets, small homes,
illness, poverty, insecurity
and in these places, people die.
Day, after day, after day.
A Brief Note on Being Vegetarian.
No: To meat, fish, poultry.
face, feather, fleece, fur,
fin, limb or offal.
To: Crustacean, mollusc, shellfish,
scale or eel.
Eggs are acceptable-only if free range.
I am not Vegan, there is a difference.
Yes: To fruit, veg, root, nut, tuber,
legume, pulse, seed, dairy,
flower, herb, leaf and berry.
No, to assumptions of weirdness,
anaemia, communal living,
a tendency toward New Age dreads
and a longing for lentils.
Yes to the hope of your tolerance
as you will always receive  mine.

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