Foreign Policy

I wrote this poem not long after watching Gurinder Chadha’s Viceroy’s House, a film about the partition of India in 1947 and the creation of Pakistan. However, in this poem, I talk about many other colonies of the British Empire (not just India).

Other influences include Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and Sons of Liberty. This first is a series based on the books by Diana Gabaldon about a woman who has fallen through time from 1945 to 1743 in Jacobite Scotland.

The second America’s War of Independence and the antics of Sam Adams, Ben Franklin and the rebels who freed White America from the British Empire (there were still slaves in 1776!)

The poem Suicide in the Trenches by Siegfried Sassoon was also a big help but its usage here isn’t part of my response poetry thread. John Agard’s Flag also came into play when I wrote Foreign Policy. 


Scotland’s dislike for the sassenach goes
way back in time when blood-breasted
soldiers marched with rhythm and rhyme.
Committing all numbers of war crimes,

they blitzed Bonnie Prince Charlie and
his men in the Forty-Five – lead teeth tore
through their brains – nobody spoke
of them again.

Then there was Ireland’s Easter – freedom
fighters, rogue rebels – 1916, soldiers depleted
at the Somme, and then the Crown frowned,
as towns were levelled. History repeated.

The English bought properties forcing
the Irish from their homes, leaving
them to roam through grassland glades,
further dividing the nation.

She was more than a battle of beliefs
– a book of revelations – they made the
Irish think themselves inferior, whilst
England stood tall, rich and superior.

India 1919: the Amritsar Massacre –
bullets whistled like an icy wind, Gandhi
led civil marches and protests, stressed
at imperial ideologies.

Churchill had a plan – he said: “let’s
cut a hole in India and call it Pakistan,
it’ll be like carving a cake.” Many Muslims
bled travelling to a destination

they may never make – the streets inflated
with violence – fires and fights – dimmed
Diwali lights and now political choirs with
torn tongues like seasoned liars.

Previously known as the Minutemen –
Lone rogues who rebelled, labelled
as tyrannical hooligans who belong in cells
They were The Sons of Liberty,

patriots who fought for their land, while
the English soldiers bloodied their sand.
After much blood has been spilled, America
wins, but both sides must repent their sins.

General George is worshipped like a saint
but he used slaves without complaint – I do
wish slavery was a dream but this is how harsh
humanity is, standing with esteem.

England’s borders spanned the entire world
and around the globe its borders curled. To
Australia, they sent prison inmates on the
backs of ships, in cages like primates.

Britain committed eternal damnations, whilst
slaves worked sugar plantations – whipped for
freethinking and mutiny at the brunt of scrutiny
and abused for being alive.

Contrived – the English simply can’t be trusted.
Their personalities are just plain busted. They
play a façade. They mean one thing and then
they say “On Guard!”


#FakeNews

I wrote this poem / monologue in March 2017 and it started as a response to Netflix’s The Crown (my favourite show of 2016). As I wrote on, the poem / monologue became a wild creature.

#FakeNews is a critique of power and corruption, and in a sense, an ironic afterthought of the Chilcot Enquiry, The Death of David Rockefeller, The Panama Leaks, and the sociopolitical quake of 2017. It’s a discussion about humanity itself, as our history is a bleak one.

However, the poem is inspired from Charlie Chaplin’s famous monologue from the 1940 film The Great Dictator. The updated version is below. I think that video with the montage of images is more applicable since what Chaplin is saying in that film can be applied to the world today.


The Crown is a ruck of busy bodies, necks
crooked with materialism: wrecked by
power-driven minds, kindness in rewind.
I’d like to help everyone – man, woman,
black man – white. We live by people’s

happiness, not sadness – there’s room for
everyone, a lifestyle free from fights for
love and the Earth’s fruits, but we have lost
the way, allotting numbers to our worth.

Greed has tainted our souls, in jails controlled
by hate, knock-kneed in civil unrest and
warfare. We drive fast cars but our minds
minds minds, are behind bars.

I’m not a royalist by any means but The Crown is by far my favourite show of 2016
(The Crown, Netflix)

The internet provokes cynicism – with wired
attire like Xavier’s Cerebro: life is violent,
lost to technology – things that bring out
humanity’s resourcefulness, victims of a
system that tortures – Rothschild

Murdoch, Rockefeller: families who thrive
on public chaos, fear of human progress.
Puppeteers die, and power will return to
the people – liberty will never perish…

Ha, that’s wishful thinking: Dulce –
No – Decorum – No – Pro patria mori.
The Man despises us, and thus oppression
continues to condition us like cattle with

machine minds and machine hearts.
No, we are people with love in our souls:
only the unloved hate – Power To The People!
Make it free and beautiful.

Charlie Chaplin parodies Adolf Hitler in his comedy masterpiece ‘The Great Dictator’
(The Great Dictator, United Artists)

A brave new world, no Winston Smith, no
Big Brother – a chance to build something
good together – a gateway to fight back
against corporate oversight, as dictators

handcuff brains to corporations.
Do away with invisible borders and greed –
fight for a world of reason.
In the name of democracy, I can drink to that.


Choose Life: Part III

I wrote this poem a few months after watching the unnecessary but still excellent sequel to Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, T2 Trainspotting, and I ended up enjoying it more than the original film.

This poem is based on the ‘Choose Life’ monologue that Renton delivers in a restaurant to Veronika after she says “what’s choose life?”


Choose social media: YouTube, Skype,
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp.
Choose books, I mean actual books.
Not that crap, you know Nooks, E-Readers, Kindles.
They’re shams of literature, like Instagram
for pretend photographers.

And I’d hate for my enjoyment of a good novel
to be reliant on a finite battery life.
That’s the strife of being a traditionalist, progression
is always snapping at my heels like the Devil.
And then there’s Little Lord Fontelroy looking dishevelled,

Donald Trump. Choose him. Actually, bad idea.
Don’t even go there. He thrives on fear and the
sound of his own voice. His happy hands
dropping bombs on lands I can’t even pronounce, but
I can renounce his ways – his racism, his treatment of women
and his use of Agent Orange – no this isn’t Vietnam,
it’s his suntan lotion creating media

Honestly, I think the ‘Choose Life’ monologue in T2 is an improvement on the original 
(Trainspotting, Mirimax)

commotion like Mrs May and her will to throwaway
human rights to catch maybe-terrorists.
It’s all a joke you know? Like the daily Politics Show,
everyone’s acting, on this “strong and stable” stage
performing magic tricks like a mage in World of Warcraft.

Choose the future, or what’s left of it after this deficit,
and I’m not just talking about the economy.
Choose the NHS. Choose the Public Services.
Choose government. Choose a zero hour contract,
choose student loans, choose halls of residence
despite those very accurate horror story tomes.

Choose reality TV; choose the Kardashians and their antics.
And the undecipherable semantics of the Big Brother house,
or the: mind-numbing, IQ-depleting, logic-defeating Love Island
that has taken the populous by storm, reality TV is now the norm.
And this is what society wants us to be. Stupid, docile – infatuated,
shot by one of those cupids with their mini bows and arrows.

Twenty years on, the four misfits get up to more mischief on the streets of Edinburgh
(T2 Trainspotting, TriStar Pictures)

Choose slut shaming. Too skinny, too fat, too tall, too short.
Not pretty enough. Choose 13 Reasons Why, Choose Edge of
Seventeen. Choose depression, choose suicidal thoughts,
choose social anxiety. Choose made-up piety, as society goes
to pray then lays waste to streets. Day in, day out on repeat.
And then takes a seat as they tuck into a nice, tasty dinner.

And then choose the same for your children,
your mothers, fathers, sisters, younger brothers.
And then smother the pain with denial.
Take a breath; now you’re an addict, so be addicted.
Not conflicted. Just be addicted to something else.
Choose your loved ones.
Choose your future, just choose life.