I Was There

Photo by Sarah (copied from Flickr)
Photo by Sarah (copied from Flickr)

I was there.

Cutting a worn figure
with a Players hanging
from my slack charred lips
waiting for my helmet to be penetrated
by a single,
bolt of lightning.

I was there.
Holding onto my best friend,
three foot long
and constantly jamming
as I caressed it furiously,
anxious that our next touch wouldn’t be our last.
I should have
ditched her,
but I couldn’t,
there was just nothing else.

I was there.
Wiping tears from a shattered face,
its mud casing smeared
by the flowing river of regret
that ran from my eyes as I recalled
my eagerness for King and Country,
when all that was obliged
was to stay in school.

I was there.
Grabbing at a mask and forcing it
onto the man next to me.
It doesn’t do to make friends
because as the toxic air around fills gasping lungs
you’ll eventually see their lungs bellow,
in your hands,
or they yours.

I was there.
Looking at her picture,
knowing that she would be true
because every wretch who could sweet talk her to a lie
was next to me.
My brothers in bayonet
depriving her of her satisfaction
through self-incarceration in a field
as far away from a morning kiss as can be known.

I was there.
In the black and white footage,
of those men,
all dead now
and only known to you as mathematics.

But we do hope you remember that

we were there.

Bonfire Night Beneath the Stars

Photo by ptwo (copied from Flickr)
Photo by ptwo (copied from Flickr)

Penny for the guy,
and the girl,
in the sleeping bag
on the doorstep
of a shop that made
£67.4 million pounds profit,
after avoiding tax,
in the financial year
ensuring the closure
of libraries, hostels and A&E units,
in the financial year

Hold the shivering to account,
as fireworks illuminate
their faces distressed,
torn, worn with memories of misfortune,
self-made in your eyes.

Approach your temple,
walk on proud,
and make sure
you don’t remember their face,
as you step over them,
to offer praise
and thanks for your blessings.

Forget that times have fallen
harder on them,
than the discomfort you feel,
walking past to preach and pray
and hear from God’s messenger
peace and justice for all.