There, oh there,
dying a thousand mad deaths
decades after, centuries after,
they are all after,
the jargon’s wobble hints
like an atomic bomb
the certain lack of largesse n’oblige.
We, sisters, brothers,
sweat-greased caps doffed,
of all shades,
like forelocks tugged,
the mores they change
the mores they stay the same,
the middle classes fighting
the working classes,
subjugated, the best of us
fighting amongst ourselves.
People who threw up their arms
about Trump’s wall
link them to keep refugees at bay.
Irish politicians unanimously vote
to keep homeless people homeless.
A lovely dog was
hounded by reporters
after being declared barking mad.
Sport. It’s not the winning
but the taking apart
Weather. Hurricane Beelzebub
is expected to stay.
The lovely person is dead.
Many have been joining in
with tributes to declare the loveliness.
A far right-group has won power in
a hard-fought election.
In sport the best team won again
for the umpteenth time.
The weather. There will be fall out
all across the globe.
We burned the witches,
the peasant cottages,
our bridges, the turf,
the breakfast, our winter skin
under the summer skies,
we burned diesel, petrol, money,
we burned down the road,
we burned bright under dark clouds,
we burned chances like confetti,
everything we ever had, wanted, needed,
went up in smoke, our lives,
the next generation, their futures,
everything in lusting lick of flame.
Not quite darkness, not quite wilderness
not quite wandering,
more surely walking, wondering,
the converging parallels of talking and listening,
grabbing at tri-coloured stars
to steady me
as they pass around words
like theological iodine tablets
for the fallout from the nuclear bomb
branded as fireworks.
We are the vicarious walking wounded
countless others, lives ,families, selves,
blown to pieces, if
their kingdom would come.
For how else,
do we go from here?
Peadar is the editor of the excellent poetry magazine, The Poetry Bus. This poem is from his debut collection, Jewel, and was previously published in Revival in 2009.