Tag Archive | Blame

As Lands Lie Bleeding 

On Remembrance Day I write a poem which is based on the concerns of a 94 year old veteran who served in the Second World War. This former soldier believes that we are now standing at the brink of a third world war and potential global catastrophe due to what he calls the greed and self interest of a group of sociopathetic leaders who have no compassion or empathy for those they lead or for the greater human race as they seek only power no matter the cost to the rest of us. I hope I have done justice to the words of Harry Leslie Smith in this poem which I’ve titled As Lands Lie Bleeding. I hope you enjoy the read. 

As Lands Lie Bleeding 

I can’t stand by and watch the world explode

these are not my words 

but those of a former soldier

in the winter of his years

who genuinely fears for our human race 

this is a man who has faced unspeakable horrors

the likes of which we hoped we would never see again 

like hearing whilst stationed in Germany 

that atomatic bombs had been dropped on japanese cities

and turned the souls of inhabitants 

in to what he describes as chalk marked stenciled drawings on pavements 

in the fragile peace of a cold war world

we had believed those days were behind us 

yet now we stand at a crossroads

not seen since the 1930’s and rise of Nazi Germany

as once more the conservative right 

squares  up for a fight without realising the consequences 

these people have a glorified sense of self 

but no sense of other nor compassion for their plight 

without a moral compass they play games with our lives 

in contrast to those who rebuilt a shattered continent 

at the end of the last global conflict 

who in this country brought us

The NHS and welfare state 

but now the politics of fear and hate are on the rise again 

as the disadvantaged look for scapegoats

to blame for their decline 

shortage of housing and rising crime statistics

blame it on the forigners not the British 

say those who preach exclusion 

as if by doing so we magically solve all problems 

I support an independent Scotland 

but I recognise that independence alone would not solve our problems overnight 

however in the dreamworld of the British Conservative right

they are prepared to make no such admissions about their United Kingdom

and by perpuating their delusions 

they are sacrificing the ambitions of their children 

to live in a better world than this 

an old soldier is warning us 

with autocratic governments in positions of power 

the world stands at the darkest hour 

since the days of Hitler and the reich 

life he says cannot go on like this 

something has to give.

we are standing on the brink of war 

he urges us to take a step back 

not for the Saltaire, stars and stripes, or union flag 

but for humanity 

he worries about the sanity of sociopathetic leaders 

with no respect  for others 

as they lust for power at all costs

and watch lands lie bleeding 

as they play war games by remote control 

 © Gayle Smith 2017 

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The Currency Of Hope (An Open Letter To Catalonia From A Scot Who Voted Yes)

With less than two days before the polls open for the Catalan independence referendum I make no apologies for this poem in support of a yes vote. The Catalans stood by Scotland during our referendum so it’s only right and proper that we should do the same for them and I for one am proud to answer their call. I have given it the title The Currency Of Hope and written it in the form of an open letter to the Catalan people. I hope you enjoy the read. 

The Currency Of Hope (An Open Letter To Catalonia From A Scot Who Voted Yes) 
Dear Catalonia 

We have been where you are 

but the stars didn’t shine for us 

on the night the votes were counted

I remember we stood at the crossroads

but were cowered by press and media who campaigned for the union 

and bribed for a pocketful of promises 

we retreated from democracy 

and at least temporarily 

abidicated our responsibilities 

to look after our people our country, and our interests 

now others suggest you do the same 

with threats and blame thrown at you 

for daring to dream of a democratic future for your citizens 

don’t let them mock your ambitions

when you go to the polling booth

speak your truth 

and send a mesage 

to all small nations 

that freedom costs nothing 

but the currency of hope 

© Gayle Smith 2017

Parallel Universe

Hey Readers  This poem is a look at the Scotland of the 1970’s, in the context of our relationship with Europe. This was the Scotland which to a significant extent shaped the woman I would become. What worries me is that this is the Scotland I fear we’ll return to if we vote to leave the European Union I’ve titled the poem Parallel Universe I hope you enjoy the read.

Parallel Universe  

In the 1970’s Scotland wore navy and gray
it was a land of blue collars, smart skirts, and puritanical ways
we had to show respect
for those so-called betters
dressed in tweed and Arran sweaters
flirting with new ideas was actively discouraged
in a nation which lacked the will to break with tradition
we were a country too small minded to believe
we could break free from Britain
it’s amazing what centuries of servitude can do to national ambition
skirting the edges of gender identity
was strictly forbidden
with boys and girls  roles strictly taught
to obedient children
many were conditioned to be proud of the united kingdom
though the monarchy for which some would march in July
would make paupers of them of all
whilst wearing the robes of privilege
to be British was not to like those
who were not us
no surrender written on walls
which had long since surrendered to poverty
but better to be poor than a Catholic according to family friends
who conveniently forgot my dad was a Catholic from Irish descent
in the parallel universe
the unionists demanded
we  must be content to live in
the patriots among us knew
the united kingdom was never a united Britain
a cursory glance at the political map told the story
Scotland the deepest shade of Labour red
England for the most part true blue Tory
despite this we were or so the story goes
all the same
foreigners were to blame
for all our problems
I couldn’t see the logic
we never really had any in Scotland
well not to me
to my way of thinking
no matter where we came from
we were all equals
I was raised to believe
there was no such thing as others
to me we were all just people

@ Gayle Smith 2016

Parting Gift

Hey Readers This is my first political poem of the year and yes it is on Scotland and our continuing fight for Independence. You see we may have lost the referendum in 2014 but someone once said the dream shall never die and that someone, former First Minister Alex Salmond was of course right to say what he said.  To my unionist friends, and yes I do have some who may disagree with my view on this issue  I respectfully say this.  How would you feel if because you lost one vote by a narrower margin than your opponents would have liked, they told you couldn’t stand for election again. You would I suspect and quite rightly in my opinion be very angry, well now you know how many yes voters feel. Try as you might you cannot wish either Scotland or our people’s right to independence out of existence so you may as well get used to the fact because until you do your parties are finished in this country. I have
titled this poem Parting Gift  I hope friends of all persuasions  (because I hope  it challenges the wha’s like us brigade among the yes voters)  find it an interesting, thought provoking and challenging read

Parting Gift

Scotland you are
an international nation of internationalists.
you dare to think big
though some get annoyed
at your refusal to be small
that you don’t do as they would typecast
and build barriers at Hadrian’s wall
you will not go back in the box
where they think you should be placed
you have experienced a taste of democracy
and want the power it brings
you will not go quietly from this united kingdom
though eventually you will leave
take the keys to your own home
and get rid of the hand me down furniture
replacing each item with your carefully selected choice
you will sing your song
with words and tune crafted
by your authentic talents
to be heard in your voice
Scotland you will make mistakes
we all do
you must and I hope will
have the courage to own them
never blaming others for your shortcomings
you should remember that loving yourself
is the first step on the road
to truly caring for others
it’s time to get rid of the cringe
discard these rags of red white and blue
give them to the twenty second hand shop
as a parting gift to those wrapped in ermine
as you walk with dignity
to a land they can’t imagine
the robes of the rogues
always were Ill fitting garments
with no place in the Scotland
who will unpack her boxes
in a better home than this

@ Gayle Smith 2016

Xenophobes With Word Processors

On day 28 of NapoWrimo my subject is xenophobia which as we know is activity encouraged by certain sections of the British establishment and their friends in the press and media. Yes i am mainly referring to the tabloid press and the BBC but if truth be known even some of the so-called respectable broadsheets indulge in this disreputable behaviour. i have to admit to being totally disgusted with the fear of foreigners nonsense so i have decide d to write this poem as my way of voicing my considerable displeasure at this out of date attitude to those some would perceive as other. I have given it the title Xenophobes With Word Processors i hope you find it an enjoyable, challenging, and thought provoking read.

Xenophobes With Word Processors

Xenophobes With Word Processors
sit behind their comfy desks
typing hate at record speed
This is the last thing we need in a civilised nation
Scapegoating and demonising
so called ‘ others’
Is not the way to go.
Yes I know they live in a mythical past
but that is no reason for not embracing the present
These people may find me unpleasant
because I don’t want a day trip to Victorian Britain
I want better than that
I want a vision for tomorrow
a land of fairness and equality
where our national priorities
are spending real money
to get people out of poverty
rather than wasting money
on weapons of war
providing decent homes
reducing the gender gap
so girls can be valued
for who they are
not what they can used for
like part time jobs on zero hours contracts
It’s time to state the facts
It is not immigration that’s to blame
for the state of the country
Ugly language creates more problems
than it solves
meanwhile Xenophobes With Word Processors
sit in ivory towers with guarded gates
spreading fear and hate
teaching the gullible to loathe
those considered different

@ Gayle Smith 2015