National Poetry Day Poems part 1: SIX by Clive Oseman

They served the time for someone else.

Named and blamed, framed and shamed

to douse the flames of outrage.

 

It was all too easy.

A game for those with a job to do

but no concrete clues,

nothing to lose in their reckless desire

that someone had to pay the dues.

 

Wrong place, wrong time, wrong nationality.

Who cares about the lives of family men

if their profiles scream guilty

when the twisting of reality

brands them and robs them of their sanity?

 

Now, the verdict quashed

they’re free to go, to be abused

by those who refuse to adjust their views.

 

As free as birds with broken wings,

the families of the victims

who are locked in ruthlessly remorseless grief

because they’re never going to know the truth.

 

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A Better World by Clive Oseman

There can be a better world,
where the banner of equality is unfurled
and love is much more prevalent.
Where colour is an unimportant fact,
not a sign of different factions,
and religion is irrelevant-
Race doesn’t matter anymore.
Gender is what it is but is not a bar,
and the scar of homophobia is healed
because we ended our inaction,
neutralised the fear that the privileged yield
as a subtle shield against progressive change
and got the hatred of past prejudice repealed,
revealed as a con trick of the age.

This world isn’t perfect.
It never can be if it houses humans
as humans are destructive,
but most people can be trusted to be decent
if the opportunity is there
and those who can’t should be aware
of the coming change of season.

A better world exists.
I dream about it in my bed,
wake up with it spinning in my head
and talk wherever words can be heard and said.

It’s in your minds too.
We need to start anew,
find another way to do
the running of the world.
And the only thing preventing it is us.

If it can be dreamed and can be thought
then history has taught us that it can be done.
Good is easier than evil once it has begun.
The start just takes imagination.

Greed only wins when apathy lets it.
Elitism will fall when everyone gets this.
So spread the word.
The belief that we can’t change things is absurd,
drilled into us by those who have the tools,
who take us for fools and serve themselves,
keep our hopes stacked on the shelves of selfishness,
hide our pride under piles of lies
and tell us only they are wise enough to wield power.
Their propaganda is another flammable tower,
but when this one burns, no innocents die.

Our time is coming. Getting closer by the hour.
The poor have been neglected,
their homes left ruined and derelict,
children uneducated and dejected,
their pleas rejected,
as the victim is depicted as the cause.
We want what can’t be done, they say.
There is no magic money tree, they say
but they pay the DUP
to help them cling to their positions.
And we are sickened.

The NHS wasn’t possible.
Women’s suffrage wasn’t possible.
A black US President wasn’t possible
Same sex marriage wasn’t possible
but each impossibility happened somehow
when the will of the people made it so.

We still have many miles to go.
But the lesson we must learn
is never to accept it
when the powers that be say no.

When they say it can’t be done,
it usually means they’re on the run.

The Tower by Clive Oseman

Injustice drips unnoticed to all but victims.

Drip… drip… drip. Not for minutes, or hours or days

but years flowing into decades,

callous ignorance and carelessness

propped up by vested interests and propaganda

slowly filling to overflowing

the tolerance which keeps it all held in.

..

We all know the cause of this horrific scene.

To be obscene enough to demonise the innocent,

those caught up in the terror,

publish photos under phoney headlines

is more than just a foolish error.

It is a conscious effort to increase tensions

and turn the people away from truth.

But dear Daily Mail, this time you’ve failed.

..

This was a result of greed

in a system where those in need

are not worth the investment,

not worth the effort.

They had their pleas ignored

and the cause of death

was underscored by negligence.

..

Saving money, cutting corners,

ignoring warnings in reports

is like an act of war against the poor,

telling them their lives are worthless

to the landlords and the state.

In a city of such riches,

such disregard of life and rights

is nothing short of criminal.

And we’re demanding justice.

..

When the Prime Minister can’t lower herself

to speak to people full of grief,

such arrogance is beyond belief.

The time has come to change the game.

..

That silent drip drip drip

becomes the noisy tick tick tick

of a time bomb being primed.

..

If you think the plebs don’t matter,

it’s time to change your mind.

Ever Decreasing Circles by Clive Oseman

People die, people lie crippled in the rubble,
tears of grief and grievance multiply-
No sense to any reason why,
just twisted logic, tales of revenge
and a brainwashed fool with bent perspective
and indoctrination as an ally.

People cry, search for scapegoats
ignore the facts their mangled minds can’t cope with.

Don’t mention the word “minority”
They’re all the same, turn on them,
ignore their pleas of innocence.
They’ve got the garbs, they must agree,
what the papers say is good for me.

People die, people lie crippled in the rubble.
We kill to stop the killing,
the chilling fact is, that’s all we know.
It’s all their fault, they brought it on themselves.
If they do condemn, they just pretend.

Politicians scoring points for their own ends.
There are votes to win and bigots hold the balance
They have no need to justify their stance-
The will of the people is their alibi.

So people die.
And people lie…..

(In)Humanity by Clive Oseman

Love and compassion survive,
cling to their lives by the thinnest of threads
as darkness thrives,
hides in every crevice
until the time is right
to strike at the fabric of our being.

When the lights go out
on one, or fifty, or any number of our people
through obscene beliefs of twisted minds-
the pits of those who despise difference
so aim the guns of their insistence
on the innocent and decent-
The world stands still for the blink of an eye
then moves on in the same direction
as everyone forgets
no lessons learned
nothing done, as if their fate was earned.

The only certain bet
is that whoever is taken next
the world will go on turning for the rest,
and no matter how many lives are shattered,
it’s like they never really mattered.

The System is Fucked Up by Clive Oseman

I saw a meme on Facebook.

It stated- “You know the system is fucked up

when the penalty for having no money

is to be fined more money.”

The comments underneath were depressing-

Thoughtless people confessing their ignorance

and lack of perspective,

believing getting arrested was an incentive,

a route to a roof and meals at Her Majesty’s pleasure

as if cruel criminality is something to treasure.

 

No thought given to how we got here,

how social housing has been sold off

at fire-sale prices and never replaced,

how people are left to their own devices

when their luck runs out

and there is no place to turn.

 

It is, indeed, a fucked up world

when life’s injustices mean

at society’s insistence

we make weapons of indifference

yet empathy and sympathy

can’t be used as tools to heal wounds.

 

Let’s criminalise their need,

assume the way forward is

to free the streets of beggars

not for their good, but for ours,

as we breed another generation

fed on selfishness and greed.

 

Some even suggested the meme was a sham

designed to trick us into a scam,

that it couldn’t possibly be true.

They clearly never knew about Ashley Hackett,

a rough sleeper arrested in Brighton

by a plain clothes cop after asking for 10p.

Yes. 10p.

Taken to court, with all the costs entailed

where common sense, eventually, prevailed.

 

But that isn’t always so.

 

Where is the sense in policy,

the knives plunged in by authority?

Brighton has record numbers on the streets,

but it’s not alone.

Everywhere the crisis escalates.

Take Bristol….

 

By some estimates, the numbers rose

by ninety percent in just three years,

yet council spending on prevention

will be cut by forty percent over four.

We know the score, the true intention.

The rich get richer and sod the poor.

 

Meanwhile, for those without a home

the average age of death is forty seven.

Among women, a mere forty three.

 

Some will argue there’s nothing can be done,

head back to social media for fun

and moan about the protests that they see.

They’re Madmen, Not Muslims by Clive Oseman

Amid the chaos of screams and sirens
confusion reigns.
City of love becomes a Hell of hatred
and the world will never be the same-
indeed many will never be seen again,
lives wasted in an orgy of spite
designed to stir a backlash, make us fight
against decent people of belief,
to justify more sickening deeds
when extremists can claim they’re right,
recruiting more brainwashed fools
to drown in pointless pools of blood.

So many fall into the trap,
turn on Muslims who despise this crap,
insanity that spreads across the map
as they see their faith being hijacked
by the mentally unstable.
Such nightmares cannot be curbed
until we note the absurdity
of following the thoughtless herd,
engage our brains, let decency be heard .

I am an atheist and proud,
will shout out loud that I’m an infidel.
But Muslims, I respect you.
Christians, Hindus, Jews
and all others too.
As individual human beings
I love you till you give me reason not to.

Bigots, racists, xenophobes.
You feed the beast.
Remove the blinkers, take a look at facts
and see the real brutes for what they are
not what you are told by propaganda.
Remember what the Daily Mail said
about European Jews in thirty nine.
They’re playing the same card now in a different suit.

Refugees didn’t commit the horror in France
though some will take the chance to bend the facts
and tell you something else.

If ever Britain faces catastrophe
and you feel the need to flee
you’ll no doubt see it as your right
to take flight anywhere that suits.

Just hope they let you through
not take a quick suspicious look at you
and say you’re not a refugee
but an opportunist killer
looking to carry on Blair’s legacy.

Daily Mail Brit by Clive Oseman

He is a Daily Mail Brit.
No empathy, no pity, no sympathy,
just a belief that the symphony of life
is played around his needs,
that every edifice was built to feed his prejudice
and the tyranny he breathes.

Desperate, drowning refugees
should not be our concern,
their disparate lives so distant
as to be irrelevant. Forget benevolence
They’re coming here to beg, not earn.
Our benefits system- The envy of the world.

He is a Daily Mail Brit,
who doesn’t give a shit, just shrugs
that the title courted Hitler
and his band of Nazi thugs-
and hasn’t changed one bit.

He’s worked hard all his life,
has two children and a wife.
His house is worth a mint-
any hint of scroungers moving in
would bring the value down,
so let them drown.
When they arrive they get the best, rent free
it’s often there for all to see
all over pages one to three.

“Rule Britannia
Don’t let the scroungers in
we didn’t win the war
to be over-run by them!”

Daily Mail Brit, I understand you well.
I was born of one- you just can’t tell.
A heartless, misogynistic git
who never heard of clemency
believed in white supremacy,
and wanted me the same.

I’m proud of how I felt that shame
and still shudder that I share his name
proud of how I can imagine
my beautiful, mixed race daughter
set him spinning in his grave
and how, in time, we will win the day.

Domestic Incident by Clive Oseman

All the signs were there

if you only cared to look,

lift the veil to

reveal the trail of black and blue.

Why didn’t you?

Or did you see and shrug

not believing it were true?

Either way what did you do

when the ambulance came

with sirens blaring into the night

like a victim’s piercing screams?

Kid yourself, to hide your shame,

how you couldn’t possibly have known

what goes on behind closed doors

in someone else’s home,

how you never could have seen?

That’s the way of it, it seems.

But fear not,

they’re only bruises and broken bones.

No-one died. It doesn’t matter,

each day someone gets battered

it’s just a domestic

no-one else’s business but their own.

You’ll find it happens all the time,

you’re not “one of a kind”

in acting blind-

let that soothe your guilty mind.

It’s a scandal, a disgrace

how the hidden face of hatred

is allowed to go unchecked

from one scared, scarred victim to the next-

a victim who has no voice,

no real choice,

so there is no arrest

no charges pressed

and the cycle just continues-

on and on the problem festers

like a weeping wound

because those who make decisions

think it best.

Police will come and go,

the feeling of helplessness will grow

as nothing will be done.

It’s a huge taboo discussed by few,

and he is strong and will recover

but the child will suffer

if they arrest her mother.

So will you turn a deaf ear,

repeat the pattern of pretending

this shit never happens?

Or realise men can be victims too-

No doubt less often than the other way

but the problem has been hidden

it isn’t new.

Men are just too scared to say

for fear of being mocked or disbelieved.

Yet violence is violence

regardless of gender or creed.

Cute by Clive Oseman

In a madness of mass malnutrition, national debt

where as we ignore, reject, forget,

sportsmen travel by private jet

and lose small fortunes on impulse bets

Desperate people risk their lives

to reach the safety of our isles

and for their trouble are reviled

more than government paedophiles

whilst in the great land of the free

for ethnic groups to cross police

is to risk gunshot wounds, a pile of wreaths

and a worthless torrent of “rest in peace”

if only they could all be lions, proud and cute

perfect for tourist’s photo shoots,

they’d never be scroungers whose needs are taboo

like filthy foreign prostitutes.

Aloof by Clive Oseman

The guy in the corner-
on his own
with a smile outgrown by solitude.

You know the one.
On Facebook he’s mouthy, opinionated
sometimes witty
his passion for fun and conversation
never sated.
That’s just low self esteem overcompensated.

Now exposed to the world he’s feeling shitty
that he cannot interact like you, with you,
because the past is like a magnet
attracting all the complicated thoughts
out of their blankets,
the beliefs installed by so many trusted people
in so many ways
they never seem to go away
but keep repeating what they say, day after day.

He’s not stuck up, but it’s difficult to open up
when so conditioned to put downs and insults
that even a smile can be misconstrued
as a prelude to a verbal assault.

He wants to mix, but there’s no quick fix
to the legacy of selfish pricks
who made him what he is….

seeing himself as a blank page
among a shelf full of classics
a failed firework in a sky full of stars
a speck of dust in Jurassic Park
a worthless relic to be kept in the attic
who longs to join the action
instead of watching from afar.