Canto 31


There shall be peace forever between these people
Zeus, the all-seeing met with destiny to confirm it
Singing all follow our footsteps
Aeschylus


 

Capturing Eichmann

The modern world from violent spasms born,
Of all those scars one taunts us like a ghost,
Forever by one sordid word world-known,
The horror-swarm’d unholy ‘Holocaust;’
Deck’d with virtue
Of good Sir Galahad,
To Argentina flew a crew of young Mossad.

They found him living out his life,
Gutter’d below his station;
A nothing job, a plain, old wife,
Meaninglessly suburban;
A quiet street, as sharp as knife,
Men pounced upon Eichmann,
He was the modicum of modesty
Admitting, there, his true identity.

Nervously shaking, coffee spilt
Upon the hotel bed,
Tho’ weigh’d with guilt voice did not wilt
While naked truths were said;
But even he could not explain why all those Jews were dead.

Buenos Aires
1960


 

Death of Churchill

Back to the halls of power nobly trekk’d
Our cigar-smoking stalwart of the West,
Back at the hustings wins back wide respect,
Prime epaulette pinn’d on his noble breast;
That famous fire
Still glimmers in the eye,
While memoirs of Empire revive the Nobel prize.

But age is age & to us all
Must pass eventually,
Forever to resign the role
On the move to Sicily,
He breaks his hip, a clumsy fall,
Pain hidden stoic’ly,
He hugs his darling wife & takes her hand,
“Take me home, I wish to die in England.”

Three hundred thousand sombre file,
Their Wellington, their mate,
Mile-after-mile, a human Nile,
Their civic oak in state;
Buried within the gardens of his ancestor’s estate.

Blenheim Palace
1964


 

Maggie Dillinger

Flying oer English fields… via Heathrow,
& Euston… same fields up to Manchester,
Moors around Rawtenstall brushes with snow,
A strange sensation, home to Lancashire;
Drizzle-soak’d air,
Winds roaming all achill,
She aims a poignant stare, “Kids, that there’s Pendle Hill!”

Up Manny Road bi Shanks’ Pony,
Sees Trafalgar flats amaze,
Instead of tender history
Faded pockets of past days,
But jesting with her family
Invokes old jokes & ways,
The bungalow housing her mam & dad
Soon full of booze, soon riotous, soon mad!

Mam rocks her latest grand-child, Bern,
Most folk don’t give a toss,
What people earn’s their main concern!”
“Aye, & the bleedin cost,”
“These days,” pipes Dad, “the neighbours would prefer us to get lost!”

Burnley
1965


 

The Last Soldier

The one-man War of Hiroo Onada
Comes to an end one honour-bursting day,
Wielding his war-flag at the surrender,
His sword still sharp, his hair now gushing grey;
With high-held head
He leaves a life behind,
Scores of unsoldier’d dead, the last lad of his kind.

Stepping into another age
He could hardly recognize
Fierce teenagers, crime waves a-rage
& women painting their eyes…
The sacred lands wear new image,
Severing ancyent ties…
“Where is Japan? What devils walk the street?
Did we give up our pride with our defeat?”

He stood at the hurricane’s eye,
Twas alien indeed,
Noise drown’d a cry, the world flasht by,
At such terrific speed,
The lonely sole survivor of the empire’s fallen breed.

Tokyo
1974


 

Toyboy

Drain’d by the stresses of this modern life,
The Dillingers pleasantly seperate,
He takes a sleek & sexy Texan wife
While Maggie, too, seeks out a second mate;
At Port-au-Prince
She finds a paradise,
Where credit cards convince lithe, young blacks to entice.

Jules met her by the crystal caves
& kiss’d her in the moonlight,
Went down with her to see the graves
Sinking since that shameful fight,
When White Men came to shore in waves
To claim a sattelite –
Pipping both Cuba & the KGB,
A conquest in the name of Liberty!

Tho’ dollars have replaced cannon
Still on they come!” he said,
“Lets have some fun,” they sank in sun,
Drank rum & ran to bed –
She quiver’d as his tongue deliver’d lightning to her head.

Haiti
September
1973


 

World Cup

It seems mankind has found a safer War,
Better for conducting trials of nations,
Congeal’d, tarsticky pools of blood no more,
Just a ball & its country’s champions;
Gladiators,
With trident-studded boot,
Thousands of spectators stood breathless as they shoot.

Four years have pass’d since that great day
When Muller stunn’d the English,
Each Dutchman seem’d a new Pele,
A penalty to finish!
But puff’d-up by patriot bray
The Germans accomplish
A goal, & then another, turns the tide,
The final whistle hails a nation’s pride.

Max Stemmler bellows with the crowd,
Tho’ now an ageing man,
Proud to be loud, proud to be proud,
Beckenbaur in the van,
A golden globe is held aloft, the game had gone to plan.

Munich
1974


 

Glasnost

From permafrost to burning Crimea,
Russians embrace communist theorum,
Sharing nidamental Utopia,
Alas, with Paradise, just one problem:
Our Human mind,
Quite volatile, unwise,
Possesses self-designed seeds of our own demise.

Latvia & Uzbekistan,
Ukraine & Lirgizia,
Moldavia & Khazakstan,
Elegant Estonia,
Azerbaijahn, Jadzhikistan,
Byelorus & Georgia,
All ballot independence as the Wall
Crumbles into a heap, Germany whole.

The victor of the two-time War:
Hollywood & Disney,
Vast oceans roar against thy shore,
Land of the soaring free,
Entangl’d in alliances from sea to shining sea.

USA
1991


 

Modern Holocaust

Back in the city where the Arch Duke died,
Murder to herald those millions more,
Thought has return’d to gruesome genocide
Fed by another bloody civil war;
Massive schism
Of Yugoslavia,
Petrifies each Muslim of Eastern Bosnia.

The UN leave the safe enclave
Allah’s acolytes to fears,
The Serbs come on, wave-after-wave,
One hundred & fifty years
Since they were flung into a grave,
Protruding spikes & spears –
Where reaching a warehouse in Glogova,
Thro’ their forces flies the goddess KARMA.

Our modern times denies this real,
Machine guns & grenades
Whip, whoom, & wheel, as wounds congeal
Ten thousand join the shades,
At these last corpses filling pits, Europa’s War-lust fades.

Srebrenica
1995


 

When Mavis met Tommy

Tommy Sumner shuffl’d with the old dears
Into the mini-bus outside their home,
The driver sets off to three rousing cheers,
All off to idle by the Irish foam;
An old penny
Was won within the hour,
Claimd by bingo Betty, first to spot the tower.

They book’d into a B&B,
Tour’d the same old streets & sights,
By-the-sea was far too windy
So they tram’d along the lights,
Then all the ladies left Tommy
For chips & early nights,
So he took a walk ter’ Winter Gardens,
& sat on the seat of Mavis Johnston’s…

That’s my stool!” “Sorry, love, dint know!”
They hit it off at once,
Warm talk’s fair flow to long ago,
Rich in reminiscence,
When nights ran Earendillian, vermilion suspense!

Blackpool
1997

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