Do you hear that sound?
Jackboot heel click on cold concrete?
And neither will you.
Men clad in black Hugo Boss trench coats
will not police the abyss
we are staring into.
It will be bobbies who beam as they swing and taze.
There will be no bold icons,
in contrasting block colours.
and there will be no Wagnerian orchestral backing.
Only willow on leather and fine china’s tinkleclink.
A picture postcard, invented past
watched through rose tinted spectacles
in red and white frames.
A projection of something which was never, ever there.
Windsor tea towel collections
and tweed garottes,
which pink cheeked boy scouts will learn to knot with perfection
before parading and taking saccharin oaths.
Kipling and hymns stolen
from slaves and revolutionaries alike.
Moulded into superficial gestures
towards our supposed proud liberal values.
Endless punishment by capital
and capital punishment’s return
by an obscene show of hands
Gallows entertainment in front of a panel of celebrity judges.
I’m not a fatalist, armed with schema
nor a wide eyed optimist riding alternate waves of endorphin and cortisol.
Neither am I a shrunken pessimist
being slurped noisily into myself like flesh into a ulcer
The murk we are peering into
is much closer than we think
and deeper and more complex than we would like
but by no means impenetrable
The banal evils
that compartmentalise themselves
and lie strewn in our way have lain before others.
They were eviscerated, in awe inspiring displays of solidarity, valour and compassion.
We must not wrap ourselves in the past
as if it were cotton wool
doused in sweet perfume
But we can glance
over our shoulder
and remember, other people have been here before.
We do know what to do.
That solid touch of reassurance,
The grip of camaraderie
on your shoulder, on your arm.