Monday 18 January 2010

Titanic poem and news round-up

A cursory glance at my blog might give the impression that we're all going to hell in a handcart (copyright Richard Littlejohn, Jeremy Clarkson, Rod Liddle and other great minds of our times).

There's the screw-up around the Haiti disaster with the race to impose the Shock Doctrine on a traumatised nation and the slo-o-ow as molasses help to arrive from the US. More from our glorious leaders as Straw moves to save his own skin over Iraq at Chilcott having seen Alastair Campbell blaming JIC and Sir John Scarlett for not having the cojones to challenge Campbell's rewrites which included removing the crucial sentence that Iraq was not an immediate threat to us. And then there's Brown. And Blair.

Elsewhere the war's cheerleaders are saying, yeah, it was all about getting rid of Saddam, so what? This person is being considered for the post of editor for The Independent newspaper and still writes for The Times and the Spectator. Religious fundies of all stripes are falling over each other to get their moment in the spotlight. The milk of human kindness is all dried up as this DJ wanker plays "Jump" as a woman leaps off a bridge and then says, "I'd do it again".

As I can't hibernate or escape to an exotic island, I thought I'd jolly it up and grace my space with some art.

Not sure I can keep up with online poets like Bill Greenwell who posts a good one every week, but I'll try for a monthly. Here's a poem I wrote the other day.

All aboard
10th January 2010

What’s that creaking? Is it metal ripped
And rivets popped
As the vessel sinks another notch?

Who’s that speaking? Is it posts all pipped,
And plans all stopped,
Cries curtailed by the water slopped

Into upturned mouths while the great hulk drops
Into the darkest yet but I’m safe on top

What’s that skidding? Is it deckchairs slipped
From ranks half-cocked
While the orchestra plays its final spot?

Who’s that kidding? Has reason kipped,
Is fraternity mocked,
Are human bonds tied in a fancy slipknot

That each lurch loosens with a sly little sigh
Unheard by those who are warm and dry?

I’ll stay a while with my little pile
Of salvage glittering under a harvest moon
My precious, my ghostly crop. For soon
No food no gas no salt no grit, just slops
Last night I dined in style on ribs and chops
Tomorrow I might suck at straws
As the wind sucks now at my chilling bones
Better that than freezing currents drawing me down
Don’t look down, look up.
Up at those climbed highest to the helm
A realm ruled by flunkies and fops
Who feign and fulminate, feast and grasp
Above the stalking waterline where these last hours I too have dwelled
Til in my turn a desperate hand outheld
Finding no firm clasp in this wintry hell
I lose my footing and like all good men, women, babes and beasts
I drown

Hmm. Wasn't that cheery after all. Sorry about that. Will do better next time.

(Copyright Anna Chen 2010)