The Wasteland (After Brexit)

Posted: January 12, 2019 in political poetry

Will April be the cruellest month
the arm of England from the shoulder of Europe,
trading unity for solitude,
dull minds to nationalistic fervour?

Winter kept us hopeful,
the empty promise of a brighter future,
the fearful bias of withered minds.
Summer will expose them, bringing soaring prices
amid the spectre of climate change, we will swelter
and carry on regardless queuing on the M5
listening as the kids complain all the way to St Ives,
because crossing the Channel became too expensive
like when we were children, holidaying in Spain
after driving for two days
because it cost a fortune to fly
and we were frightened, that was before
cheap flights by O’Leary and membership of the EU.
So hold on tight, down we go. Once you are on the outside,
will you feel free?
Or will you miss the freedom, of flying south for the winter?

What are the ties that bind?
Why do we let them go?
When fear drives your feet to vote, sons of men,
who spoke the things they should not say,
or think, for as you know
when bigotry is given rein to run
generations are slain in their millions’
left to seep the blood of hope and freedom
on distant muddy battlefields,
no option
but to annihilate, ceaselessly, the imagined enemies of
small-penised men.

In no more than seven decades since such evil arose
and was beaten back to the stony ground
all the world thought it defeated yet, anew, refreshed, reviewed,
rises the fearful antipathy which previously dragged the world to indivision
more than once.
Oh England, steadily will the shadow of regret creep,
in retrospect, so much could have been different
but we are stalked
by the spectre of our past walking behind us
and the spectre of our future running away
and here lie the bones of the world we changed
Clowns to the left
jokers to the right
where are we stuck
and with who?

You brought us tulips, a hundred years ago
The called the end the Tulip Crash
and for certain, we never trusted you after that
We called it Union, but was it ever such?
Surely Cabal would have fit it better
for cabal it surely is, under another guise
is it better to be without the cabal when the cabal holds all the cards
Or should England have stayed in the game
playing the tables as we have done so well
and prosperously
for forty years?
When did it lose our trust? It dictated terms we could not accept
but so much of that dictation
was fine in form and useful in reality
Injustice of the sexes was resolved in
it’s highest court
Workers rights, consumer safety made life, so much better
for all of us
Money gathered from those who had it good,
sent to disparate regions for whom good had never happened,
built roads, and schools and new communities were born
Even here, in good old Blighty, the folie bergere of all the regions
wealth appeared in places politicians believed,
only existed in summer, for beaches and icecream,
assuming, all the servers are stored, like boats, in the wintertime.

Europe gave us freedom, a carte blanche, GO. Where you choose,
with an Allez, a Prego, and a wave from a well tanned hand,
so we felt like a part of something and shared
the common wealth created.

Sharing is an uncommon act for an Englishman,
even in our communities, we each come first.
Communism is a dirty word and no amount of pretending
will bring caring socialism to the heart of England,
it simply wouldn’t fit inside that mean and withered thing.

We dreamed of a melting pot,
you and I,
A land of milk and honey where
the wind would rush and bring
hues of colour to this drab, grey land.
Colour came
And we rejected it.
Buried it beneath a mountain of media hatred,
an endless litany of bigotry spewed against the dispossessed and fleeing,
from colour we retreat, resent, reject
in this acid rain,
we will build a new Brittania,
smaller and more impoverished
than the last.

by Carey Lenehan.

I was fooled, weren’t you fooled,
by that early burst of Springtime?
I pulled off socks and dug out flipflops,
short sleeved T’s,
and hung the sweaters out the way.

I basked, didn’t you,
in that warm afternoon sunshine?
Toured around on the mower,
listening to thrushes mating and revelled,
yes, revelled,
in the warm kiss of the southerly breeze

I watched, we all did,
those first yellow butterflies
dancing their chaotic ballet
amongst the early bramble shoots
whilst the ponies
frolicked amidst a burst of daisies,
pushing out between unfurling clover leaves.

I smiled just like you,
when I saw the rain and snow elsewhere
while we were eating lunch in the sun and wondering
just how hot it might get.
Had a giggl as we sweated, empathising with
all those poor sods not so lucky as me
Then opened a bottle of wine in 80 degrees and felt smug.

That was last week.

Today the clouds flew, like fighter planes on a mission
entirely the other way
colliding with our sweet, warm air
in a clash of titans, a tussle of temperatures.
After a brief tumult of pressures, in swept a chill
from a whole new direction.

I watched it, didn’t you,
Chasing the honeysuckle buds back down the stems
Murdering the frogspawn beneath a skim of ice
Turning the wisteria shoots from spreading hands,
to shrivelled fingers.

So I’m looking, aren’t you,
for the thermals I stored away?
And those snow boots I thought I’d never wear
just when I thought it was Spring,
Winter returned
Who’s laughing now?


The world has changed again

and I remain, as before,

beached on the wrong side of history,

uncertain of my place in the future

and wistful for the world that has gone.


Like so many, I am the child

of a different century,

a believer in the triumph

of Good over Evil,

in kindness before greed,

of taking care of those in need


the turn of a clock

left that age behind,

zeroed all the numbers

and sent our children blind,

rudderless, sightless

into a world of narcissism

and shifting morality.

No more rules, just unequal equality,

gave them food they didn’t need,

plastic pleasures not designed to feed

anything but the ego, the endless selfie,

the me, me me.

And now, sinking into a bed of fragrant vice

and unsatisfied needs

comes the Great Pretender,

the merchant of dreams.


Arise, Trumplestiltskin,

because in your image, the world doesn’t look

like mine any more.

Nothing I believe has made it

over the threshold

of the new millenium

and my precious Earth, is crammed

with user abusers too dumb, too overcome

with consuming and preening

to see how the world bleeds,

how the dispossessed flee,

and the whales desert the seas

while I stare into the future, aghast

at where

this human race, at speed

has chosen

to go,

at the things

they pretend not

to know

Oblivious, to the doom they bring to us all, mindless, kindless,

brainless, frameless and

redundant of hope.


I dream of the world that is gone,

see the world that is left

and wonder how we overcome

the rise of the wicked gnome

the reign of the Trumplestiltskin

and the terrible harm he might bring?


All seems calm now but

for how long..?

Farewell then Barack Obama

You came

You saw

But you couldn’t conquer

The vested interests of a hostile congress,

the endless duress, of bitter antipathy

You tried, you really did,

to make your country whole,

your people healthy


To be brutally honest

It doesn’t seem like much,

After all the hope, all the promises

You didn’t close Gitmo,

You didn’t make peace happen,

Nobel or otherwise

You didn’t make much change

That cannot be undone

With the slash of an executive pen on a wilful executive order

By the next loudmouthed hopeful who sits in your chair

Did you leave America better, or abandon it worse?

And as the world now endures

this newly Trumped up curse

And a murder of demons,

The very worst of the worst,

Set about destroying those few things you achieved

And we watch on appalled, unable to halt the worst thing of all,

Your Democracy hijacked by the agents of greed.

So whilst your country descends towards hell and beyond,

I can only hope that you won’t stay gone

You might think that your time at the helm has come to a close,

But I have to tell you Barack Obama

I fear that may not be true

And you should remember

Despite everything you did and did not do

Through all the criticism deserved and not

Your bore yourself with grace, with humour, elegance and taste

With patience and with courage that I could never doubt

I was proud of the person you showed to the world

So like the rest of the good people, I would have liked you to stay

To keep us all a bit safer from the crazy coming our way

And you may smile, bow your head, make to leave the stage,

But I doubt that you will be gone

for long

As we face our End of Days.

Lest We Forget

Posted: November 11, 2016 in political poetry Lest We Forget by Carey Lenehan Here they stand, poppy breasted, silent heads bowed in ritual, To remember a generation lost to politicking, lunacy, rhetoric, lies, and the ravenous mil…

Source: Lest We Forget