Kicking Off

Dear Leader

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.

Kicking Off

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