Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Alan McClure Nov 2016
Remembrance in November grows repellent
each year we rob it further of its sense
by hunting down objectors to compel them
to stand in line or cause a grave offense.
No private contemplation or reflection
when strident shrieks of nationhood prevail
Un-poppied collars count as insurrection
a slight to every brave, red-blooded male.
Division, thumping drums and waving banners
the media wades in with guns ablaze
forgetful of respect, or simple manners –
that’s not how we conduct ourselves these days
If this is what our fallen heroes wanted
I wonder why the cenotaph is haunted.

We cannot know what sent the soldiers hither
or claim the fallen courage of the fight
think boys who marched to foreign fields together
were simple symbols drawn in black and white
If we could rise above the spite and chatter
We’d find unbordered bonds and understand
that shells and bullets lacked the strength to shatter
the looking glass that straddled no man’s land
From timid chaps to lunatic berserkers
we canonise the men who heard the call
if wives had had the power to shoot deserters
there never would have been a war  at all.
Let’s render restless spirits more forgiving:
to honour best the dead, honour the living.
Alan McClure Oct 2016
Put past
The pretence of protection.
her preciousness
is prohibited -
for *******.
Parents paw
the pretty pretty
Pa approves the partner
partner plucks the petals,
‘She pleases me,
pleases me not’ -
matters not one jot.
Pet and preen
her perilous perfection
a prophylactic
in place
of progression,
professional appreciation.
Proud paternalistic patter
Presidents pronounce
on *****,
parroted by ******
and pissheads.
Petty, pathetic
and petrified
of power,
placing people
in parentheses
in playground politics.

I’m sick
that this
Past to present,
passed down
passed over
passed off
as perfectly
practical, natural,
a place for everyone
in place.

Parade our pride
in pyrotechnic protest
in partnership perpetual,
productive, progressive
as people
as people,

and equal.
Alan McClure Oct 2016
we unleashed
a roomfull
of energy
didn't we
our songs
brief anthems
for happy strangers
the floor
rocked, bounced
under spinning bodies
we did that
we did
then spent
we left the stage
sweat wet
and hoarse
in our ears
for the consequences
and finding
there were none.
Alan McClure Oct 2016
for the way
you loosened my tongue
unlocked the longing
let nature, unfettered,
spill forth

For the keys
to the dance floor,
the illusion
of manhood -
the sing-songs,
and lovers

But that part played,
what's left
is loveless.
You weigh on my mind,
you get in the way,
you pin my arms
and force your way in

My boys are watching.
You'd have them think
this was normal, natural -
you're waiting
with your glistening invitation
to take them down
this perilous path

days wasted
they watch.
I wish
myself washed
of this witchcraft.

I'll raise a glass
in this hall of mirrors
then set it down
We'll always have
the past, I suppose.
Now please,
just let me be.
Alan McClure Sep 2016
Historical fiction -
that's where it's at.
Quite fancy writing
about Roman Britain.

A native kid, say,
growing up
in the shadow
of the legions.

I describe
an imagined feast
to my pal,
who pulls me up short.

"They didny hae tatties
in Roman times.
They're fae America,

And I'm grateful,
but I'll struggle to base
a bestselling trilogy
on an absence of potatoes.
Alan McClure Sep 2016
You wear your presence lightly,
you politely undermine it
for the folks who'd find it fright'ning
in the normal daily grind
You are jocular and flighty
wear a self-effacing grace
although your shoulders might be mighty
were they not so undermined

We met at a rehearsal
for an amateur dramatic act
to shrink the universal
to a comfortable size
They took a work of genius
the timeless peerless grandeur
and they whittled it to meaninglessness -
There I caught your eye.

"I hear you need a drummer!"
you intoned in toffee baritone
and sad, diluted Shakespeare
did evaporate tout suite
"We're gigging in the summer!"
I replied in my delight and then
I knew I'd found a friend
who might just help me keep the beat.

I found you were an artist
of broken, brittle beauty
who believed an artists' duty
was to challenge and defy
Who had washed up in the genteel
artists' village of Kircudbright
where the art is safe and snooty,
boats and trees and sunny sky

But your canvas is elastic
is electric and eclectic
as you drastically cast an angry
eye across it all
Any prettiness is sitting
on a nauseous unwellness
where the skeleton of Elvis
boogies by a butcher's stall

Well we found some fellow feeling
in our mutual defiance
casting darts at art and science
and amusing just ourselves
Made some music, sank some bevvies
wrote a book, got raging drunk
but what we managed withered, shrunk
by what we planned and simply shelved.

Well it seems that I've been hoping
that our business was unfinished
that our plans were undiminished
by the passing of the years
That some catalyst would manifest
and shake us into action
dissipate the dull distraction
of the daily hopes and fears.

But it seems that you are leaving
that your talent, brightly blazing
and the fact that you're amazing
has been missed by this wee town
Well I undersand it, ******
but I'll miss you now, my brother
and the tumbled jumbled colour
that you spun from Solway brown.
Alan McClure Aug 2016
See her,
skinny lassie -
so aware,
stood there
at the counter.

The eyes
lifted from papers,
hooded and guilty,
under sunglasses.

She knows nothing,
she's in charge.
Bless her.
Whatever's going to break her
hasn't happened yet.

Makes me shudder,
the thought.
The painful innocence.
"Just a fruit smoothie, please!"
she sparkles
at the man.
Thinks his approval
is unloaded,
worth seeking.

No eyes on me.
Glances fall off me.
If I catch a look,
I see it turn
to embarrassment,
or scorn.

Firing blanks, guys.
I'll take those
over possessiveness,
crawling promises.
Over saccharine
strangler smiles,
over violence, veiled
as love.
Your attention is toxic.
Better show it as such.

"Chips and cheese, please,"
I wheeze,
and his sneer
is a klaxon
of cruel jokes
he'll share with colleagues later.

are the tiny victories
of victimhood,
as the twirling girl inside
stays protected,
Next page