Saturday, 28 November 2015

IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN. HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?

I wrote this a year or so ago, in response to a poem by the Beat Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti about the way Christmas has become commercialised, devalued and trivialised.  I think it's still relevant.
Guantanamo is nearly, but not quite, empty. The recession isn't over. The people who fled persecution in their own country are not made to feel welcome here. The Government is still trying to take money away from people who have none. But there are people making their voices heard now, more and more. And you never know, maybe someone will listen.


Waiting.  (after Ferlinghetti)

It's nearly Christmas and we are waiting
for an end to war.
We are waiting
for Guantanamo to close its doors.
We are waiting
for an honest politician;
we are waiting
for the meek to inherit the earth, and weep.

We are waiting
for our money to be given back.
We are waiting
for the recession to be over,
We are waiting for our bonuses,
we are waiting for the lottery win,
we are waiting for an X factor.

We are waiting, very quietly, but with great attention
for the rich man to stick in the needle's eye
and petition for our mercy.

We are waiting for our fathers to come home,
we are waiting for our children
to give up their drugs
and for ourselves to grow old.

We are waiting for the feral children
in the fast food outlets
to be given a hot dinner and be sent home to sleep.

We are waiting for God to remember us
and call round. Some wine would be nice.

We are waiting.

And we are waiting
for Mr Right to turn up on our doorstep,
and we are waiting for
the moose-shooting woman
to go back to Alaska,
and we are waiting for the planet to warm up
and we are waiting for the seas to spill over
and we are waiting for another Big Mac
and we are waiting for the dietician
and the optician
and the clinician
and the mortician.

Some of us are waiting for clean water,
some of us are waiting for five grams of rice,
and all of us are waiting for a fair deal
and we are waiting for charity that doesn't begin at home

and we are waiting for death. It's nearly Christmas time
and we are waiting for a Christ-like figure
to lead us, we are waiting for him to come again,
but he would look dark, like an Arab,
like an asylum seeker,
like a gypsy.
We wouldn't treat him well. Why should he come back?
We have to do it without him,
we have to do it by ourselves
starting with each one of us and in the meantime,
we are waiting.