Saturday, 23 January 2021

Poundland

 

Poundland

 

 

All spark snuffed out, all dreams must die,

all grounded people shall never fly,

the land and Queen no longer one,

spread conflagration through Albion.

 

Flame bitter memories on burning tongue,

scar acid deep pale face once young,

whet bloody knives of stained Sheffield steel,

cauterise nerves to no longer feel,

tan tough epidermis into leather hide,

taped weeping ducts hold tears inside,

come demon, come ogre, offer sacrifices,

take arms on the day that Angel rises.

 

And when you died,

so did I,

for Angels become afraid

to fly.

 

You held my hand

and with your dying breath,

that very last air you had left

fluting in black cancered lungs,

a spent twister of tormented smile

spoke of love, gripping feeling

as you slipped from substance:

too late to take up smoking now,

my dear drifted friend,

for you flume from chimneys,

steeped in seconds, lost in time,

dark in plumage while I, in anger fume,

remember tunes we played,

that you held him briefly,

ruffled his soft blonde hair

and asked of Michael, how was this fair?

 

I once believed in that boy

who put his thumb in a dyke

to save the world.

They tried to steal it, beat it from me,

but failed: only much older and later

did I finally admit,

stories like these were mostly shit.

 

Many now roll eyes and grin

at the boy that pushed his fingers in,

virtuously label it as sin.

He’s up to his limp wrist in skin.

This water, leaking doubt,

looks wild-eyed, mad and thereabouts,

raising voice in startled shout:

‘these walls of Jericho cannot hold out’. 

                                                      

‘How many blows can you take, boy?’

they might’ve said, in between heavy panting,

scalping him, wrenching a skein of hair

with templed fist, pull naked shivering soul from bed:

‘How many steel capped goose steps to the head,

toe rag, until dreams inside are finally dead?’

Curling inwards, like wood lice under stone,

presenting back, arms shielding face and chest,

while she, shrieking gleeful, heaving breasts,

turns and turns the wheel, spins the room,

cackling spittle until he swoons.

 

Shovelling Winter shit with bare plague hands,

mincing young bones to fertilise his land,

as they voted for this without regret,

will defend it with their dying breath.

 

And the contamination had long begun:

for if they had halos, dear friend,

as her winking Westminster suggested,

then they hailed from Poundland,

coming right at you like austerity Angels,

or bottom feeding penny pinchers,

sporting cheap crumpled prison issue suits

and even cheaper clipboards

in repurposed crap cardboard,

so this year, so recycled, so responsibly sourced.

 

Their pens made from hardened bottles

and eco-friendly, waste pushing waste.

They sell them there, down the aisle,

along with streamers of tinsel fancy dress,

rub shoulders with other knock offs,

cheap cuts, concealing salmonella expiry dates

with dog eared stickers glued in hangnail blood,

picked at with scab finger, all blackhead leavings

daubed in dried quick-blade flicked snot.

 

Who watches the watchers? We’d failed,

lost before the game even kicked off,

pushed far back, way behind the baseline,

too far ever to return aces, drop-shots, lobs,

and they sneering, tampering, scratching balls,

inspecting reverse swing and out-fielders,

fiddling the kids while spouting burnt Rome policy,

squat toad-wet in can’t be arsed armchairs,

swivelling on rubber tipped pencils until relieved,

opened their buttocks to ejaculate data,

farting about how you failed, see you later.

 

Go softly on, tear down the next and the next,

breezing through Cornwall like the plague.

Fear nought, they’re coming, these ends of days,

you’d turn in your grave, my friend,

all lives wrecked in tall ships crushed.

St Piran sailed his stone in vain,

as the raping crews from London came,

Look! Here he is, Inspector Tits,

cometh the hour, cometh the man,

crafty tossing off into crisp hotel sheets

claims of huge expenses, with new brooms

new bought from Poundland

to sweep away these coasting coastals.

 

Reaping whirlwinds reaped,

the starving and the dispossessed,

those without warm beds to rest,

now seizing concrete, seizing slate,

burning Albion with granite hate,

booting foot through shop glass plate,

then fleet foot scarper with latest trainers,

latest phones, freeform looting – just do it:

sticky hot fingered, hot shoe footed,

clench our bleeding fists into bullets.

 

Shooken heads as Poundland detonates

in a rush and a push and the land

deploys all special counter measures,

stripping to lay bare in chaff cloud receipts,

knuckle under austerity data sheets,

seize the schools, seize the dole,

shatter into pieces what was whole,

whilst the boy who once was free,

sucks his pulled wet thumb and waits to see.

 

After she was finished,

after she was spent,

we dreamt - in rolling waves calling,

for none were saved, breakers falling,

we’re breathing out, breathing in,

grinding thoughts with imaginations grim,

and pounding visions to dust in Angels trust.

Gabriel scopes out to sea, desert imploring

cold spaces sought, wrecked in our tumbling

here askance, vortex-holed and listing aground.

A million palmed grains per pound

in a long dead friend’s ashes found.

 

It ended there, my friend, so we thought,

no pardon enough that could be bought,

a death knell to sink oh come all ye faithful,

yet cometh the hour, cometh the Angel.

 

We will be free of it, if you will look,

dream with me, grip pen and book,

forlorn false dawns of falsehood break,

fore scarred Cornish cliffs we do retake.

She walked among us with luring scent,

our shattered lands did she frequent

with gladness. Holds your heavenly hand

in hers, here binds fast to mine on land.

And we will shed tears of black compromises,

come the grievous day that Angel rises.






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