Adequate Food, by Judi Sutherland

In the heatwave summer that the Jetstream brings
the women lay down on the supermarket floor
pressed their foreheads on the tiles and silently asked;
What in the name of every sacred thing
we care about – what are we doing
this for?

They lay quite still because their hearts were troubled,
considering, seriously, in the World Foods aisle
while all good things were slipping from their grasp
how to shore up against the rubble
fill up pantries and storecupboards,

What is the flavour of sovereignty?
Is it hard and brassy like a falling pound?
Will we squander everything we built to last
to get our country back? Be sure the powers that be
don’t give a monkey’s about you and me.
Lie down.

Lie down among the debris of your squandered lives
among the ashes of suburban dreams
among the spilled coffee and the broken glass
It’s always the grandmas, the mums and wives
Who have to make sure that everyone survives.
Don’t scream.

War, famine and disease are unfathomable things
but this catastrophe has us all defeated.
It’s a self-inflicted national collapse.
What use is the caged bird that never sings?
What use is gammon without pineapple rings
If you can’t eat it?

Thirty-One Million People Can’t Be Wrong by Judi Sutherland

I’ve been watching Newsnight with the sound turned down while that smug-faced clown sucks in the oxygen of publicity with every beery breath and even his German wife thinks it’s a bit of a prank that’s gone too far a stag night with more fear and fewer hats and a bar-room full of policies to vote this pleasant land back to the nineteen thirties but let’s not go out to the polling station, coz that celebrity chef programme’s on and I’m tired and what we do well in this nation is moderation we’ll just keep calm and carry on up the fascism because all that it takes all that it takes my friend for hate to be elected into office is for thirty one million good women and men to sit back at home and vote nothing

(Judi Sutherland lives in County Durham and is the proprietor of The Stare’s Nest – a website for poems about politics, social justice, and a more hopeful world: )