In the darkest times let’s not forget…

“Nations are created by poets and artists”

 

Ananda Coomaraswamy

Coronation Day 2nd June 1953

So Labour lost an election … we’ve been here before … resistence continues!

 

 

Coronation Day 2nd June 1953

 

From the bench on the street corner one legged Jack sits watching the scene

pennants and bunting draped ready for celebrations, the crowning of a queen.

 

Jailed for killing a sheep to feed half-starved kids in the far away depression days

Jack remembered the struggle to survive and the children dying in those ways.

 

On the tree lined flowering street a white haired boy tried and failed always

when the showering confetti of petals slowly made it their time to fall too.

 

Red white and pink spring colours in a time of khaki, navy blues, and greys

the white haired boy walked kicking along the stony road a blue tin zinc ball

 

Battered and dented dull on each of its three sides from so many tries

to make it fly, it was in those days with long hours they called peace.

 

Thundering and lightning crackled without warning in clear blue skies

the silenced old gods and wise men left only indentations, remembrances

 

Of psalms and words in the places they’d once stood in so many guises.

In the tall aspen trees above the school yard Jackdaws turned into blackness

 

No longer offering advice to the boy standing in silence on a stone edged street.

He wandered listening to hammering hard voices in those endless days of friction.

 

It was a time of remembrances of yearning for memories, idylls and those years

before the great fracturing, when men stared too long into the crematoria’s fire.

 

Of the man-made hell when God looked away from supplications, turned deaf ears

to the prayers of beseechment from the lost, the implorations for intervention

 

For salvation. And only silence reigned. The old Kings head stared one eyed

on silver sixpences and farthings but he was dead and the Christmas tree lights

 

Fixed to the windows and doorways ready for the street party rationing allowed

And all those old songs – knees up mother brown, oh knees up mother brown,

 

They pushed the damper in and they pulled the damper out and the smoke went up

And she’ll be coming round the mountain will be sung again and sung again.

 

It was a time of remembering past times, it was a time for forgetting times too,

there was hope for the future, for a better life that so many had fought and died for.

 

But spin the gaudy worn tin carousel sixty four years or more forward and see

a future of food banks feeding working poor kids in the high streets of ghost towns

 

Where charity shops fill every other door and the worn out junkies haunt the parade

and we turn our backs too as so many lives are stolen away before our very eyes.

 

So our class celebrates the Jubilee of a queen and our impoverishment

Relinquishing, forgetting what life, poverty and struggle was like in those days.

 

These days.

 

My names Jack.

 

What’s yours?

 

Published Red Poets 2018.

©RobCullen2017