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Alan McClure Mar 2020
In search of distractions from fractured reactions
to viral infections conflicting us all
The beast on my shoulder gets meaner, gets colder
gets thinking of things that could do with a fall
Collapsing contentment and rising resentment
As vicious suspicions maliciously twist
And virally spiral compiling with ire all
the lists of the villains who wouldn’t be missed.
It’s easy, a breeze, to believe this disease
is a key to relieve us of troublesome foes
Let karma disarm those who lead us to harm
in whatever the form that enrages you most
But I can’t let it happen, can’t fall for that pattern
and so I shall seek a superior spell
A quick incantation from nation to nation –
I hope you don’t get it. I hope you stay well.
Though losing my patience in self-isolation
my station is not to condemn or to curse
We’re scared, unprepared, we’re deserving of care
We are all of us human – no better, no worse
It’s easy to send all my prayers to my friends
to extend my concern to my own personnel
but when all’s said and done we are all of us one
and I hope you don’t get it. I hope you stay well.
The bog-rolling, bankrolling blinkered baboons
who believe that their need is more urgent than yours
The greedy, the needy, the selfish, the seedy
who’d climb over corpses to capture the cures
To wish them destruction, distress or dysfunction’s
to sanction the strife that’ll send us to hell
There’s only one thought that can stifle the rot –
I hope you don’t get it. I hope you stay well.
The braggard, the swaggard, the ****-stirring blackguard
who puffs and parades and proclaims it a hoax
However prophetic, profound and poetic
the justice would be if you choked on your jokes
You’re only mistaken, a place often taken
by me and by you and by everyone else
You may be a fool, may be callous and cruel
But I hope you don’t get it. I hope you stay well.
The fashion for passion has stirred us to action
Habitual friction, regrettable, crass
I know that I need just a moment to breathe
my rage can engage when the danger is passed
From Daisy to Doris, from Donald to Boris
we’re part of a chorus for good or for ill
We loathe and we love and we hug and we shove
And I hope you don’t get it. I hope you stay well.
Alan McClure Jan 2020
The jackdaws shared
their plans with me
in silver glances,
subtle gestures
quiet but relentless

The plans
were appalling
and yet
made perfect sense

I bore
the burden
began to pack
but stalled

There really is
nothing for it
but to wait.
Alan McClure Sep 2019
There was no police brutality
when we had the vote.
Barely a punch thrown.
We do things right here.
We talk.
We spraff.
We shoot the ****.
We build momentum,
shake foundations,
come within
a midgie's whisker
of doing something amazing

Then we **** it up completely
and write poems about it
for the next couple of centuries.

At least we can still kid ourselves
that it's someone else's fault.
Alan McClure Jul 2019
But he hijacks your mind, you see -
you start thinking
in pithy vignettes
and seeing ancient injustice
in a drunkard's bloodshot eyes

The universal
in the particular -
God, aye! Sheep
as avatars
for all society
and majesty in language
as it's spoken, and heard.

Then you imagine him
hiding other poets' books
behind his own
in Waterstone's in Dumfries,
and remember -
he's as human as you,
thank ****.
Alan McClure Feb 2019
There's a commotion
on the top deck of the bus.
Lost in thought
I take a moment to register
as an old gent stands up and says,
"Does anybody ken that wee boy?"

I look to the street below,
and there you are,
proud, red-faced and beaming.
You'd caught up with the bus
on your scooter
just to wave me away
one last time

Your grin has lit
every face around me
as you catch my eye, delighted.
with a simple love
I wave back
and we pull away.

The bus may leave you behind
but I carry you with me
through streets all bright
with your presence.
Alan McClure Feb 2019
They had faces and bodies when I was young,
and they were rare -
Maybe once a year, a joke would be ruined
by a walking sneer,
my unselfconscious laughter curdled
by their pitiless scorn.
But, young and sure, I'd bounce along,
leave them forgotten,
and look for the good.

Blessed to expect
that people were kind,
I unshackled them,
disembodied the derision,
unhitched them
from reasoning, living beings

Left them free to gather
in geometric clusters
lurking on the edge of sight
like burning after-images
of a cruel sun

Wordless, sightless, lifeless
empty, ******* spaces
glimpsed with a shudder
on the best days -

gathered in consumptive clouds
on the worst.
Unseen by my companions
they eat my ability
to explain or expel them.

They are there
if I acknowledge them
or not
and in time
they make a nothing
out of everything.
Alan McClure Apr 2018
We don't beat hate with hatred, you know.
You just corral them with contempt,
get their defenses up, their bile flying.
Let folk feel beleaguered and defined
and you strengthen them tenfold.
Look at the ****** church, for Christ's sake.

They can't all be bad. They just can't.
There must be plenty decent folk
rocking themselves in darkened rooms
disgusted at the devastation
their party has wrought on the country.
Looking for a way to save some face.

So here we are. A national holiday,
an amnesty on regrettable social views
and rampant self-interest - Hell,
we've all helped out our pals when we could.
Go find a decent Tory. Open your heart.
Leave your partisan badges behind.

In gentle, soothing tones, explain,
"Your party's ******, mate.
They have no plan. You really don't want
to be with them when the dust clears.
If you keep voting for them, you're an enabler -
it's like handing a bottle of meths to an alkie."

They don't need to join your party.
They don't need to change their views on anything important.
On national Turn a Tory Day, all we ask
is that they stop voting for these dangerous morons
so they can get to **** out of the national consciousness
and let the rest of us clear up their mess.
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