The eternal rebel
not quite pensioned off–
his goatee beard wags weary and wise–
a mad King Lear without trouser press
gathering dust on the shelf,
ticking off Regan and Goneril,
but keeping Cordelia sweet.
His reedy voice of protest
entrancing swarms of young rats,
big-eyed and hopeful with their bright banners
and badges–they cannot see
the big brute standing behind him
wearing the executioner’s mask,
with all the traps on his belt.
A cruel sea wind blows
the old man’s tie in all directions–
grey and knitted, it still proclaims St Michael,
a few gravy stains never quite dabbed out
after wife number two resigned–
frayed cuffs and crumpled collar is order of the day.
Under the low ceilings of the post-brutalist hulk
(another edifice in need of a makeover)
he berates the sleek one with his sidekick
on the Tory throne.
In his dreams he will wrench open the
jaws of all the evil banks and throw the money
out like confetti. And all the ones from Eton
will be eaten by the people for the people
and his holy pamphlets will over-run with red ink
and be stuffed into the mouths of the
champagne socialists so that they remember his words
and their chatter will cease.