Species of Reply/Einstein Wasn’t Wrong, by Peter A Kelly

To witness the wordspill I could hardly wait.
Would he accept that Denial’s Not Appropriate?
And for a moment he acknowledges the reality
seeming to experience nanoseconds of clarity
confirming a partial apparent acceptance
of solid scientific evidence that the
first modern Briton was black, black.
But then makes sure his interpretation
of the incontrovertible revelation pleases
those affected by jingoistic diseases

(finding these words)

I belong here, this is twenty eighteen
Nothing to fear from a Mesolithic fossil
(Nothing against him but nothing in common)
Struggling a bit with the DNA findings though,
Cheddar Man sounds more light than dark to me
However, for the sake of discussion let’s say
this minor blip occurred way back, back
in a time so distant
that it’s almost irrelevant
Well, during ten thousand years
of British history this glitch was erased
from our proud ancestry
but if it had not

(he concludes)

a nightmarish tragedy
which doesn’t bear thinking about
Imagine me and my people, still proudly
patriotic but dark of colour, having to yell at
paler people (nothing against them but nothing
in common) that they should go back, back
to where they came from, to where they
belong, not upon this sceptred isle,
this green and pleasant land


Thaw by Peter A Kelly

Just as 
the season’s
snows threaten
sibling permafrost
Pyongyang crosses the
border into Panmunjom to
meet his brother Seoul in the
Peace Village showing strength
in handshakes gladly reciprocated.

Of PyeongChang County winter games
talk begins, of a break from war games talk
begins. If only in past times those men paused
in Christmas Truce for football and Silent Night
in no man’s land together had jaw-jawed longer
in the frost, exchange of words of similarities
reminded, would not further hostilities
have been prevented?

When brother and brother
disarm to walk towards each other
larger will the human loom, smaller the
difference seem. So be it now. So
sad when families do not talk.

Swallow by Peter A Kelly

Allow this man
and others of his kind
to visit this land of yours and mine
if that’s what they really want

When they arrive
we shall carry our children and grandchildren
aloft upon our shoulders so they can see for themselves
that these people look deceptively like us
generally human in appearance

And when they speak
our offspring will hear the sound snakes make
to sanitise their decisions and the steps they take
in the name of narcissistic whim or profit
regardless of impact on people or planet

Our precious ones
will this way learn
whom to avoid
whom to distrust
whom they must
not allow themselves to become

the vile to be here for a while
putting their poisonous ideas on trial
should not increase their following
but will teach us that
when the venom is spat
the secret is not swallowing