Tag Archive | Wealth

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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Oath Of Aillegence 

As members of parliament get back to work after the recent General Election some people including myself are questioning the idea of Honourable Members having to swear an oath of aillegence to the monarch. This to me seems and outdated practice which should be best left in the past and replaced by an oath of service to their constituents after all it is their constituents they have been elected to serve. It is with this in mind I have written this poem entitled Oath Of Aillegence I hope you enjoy what I think will be a thought provoking read. 

Oath Of Aillegence 

I pledge my loyalty to my friends 

my fellow citizens of this shared living space 

irrespective of gender, impairment, race, religion, or sexual orientation 

or any other group by which the one percent seeks to divide them by 

I swear to support the global commonweal of every land , and tribe 

I will endeavor to be on the side of justice 

and fight inequality and prejudice wherever I see it 

if the powers that be don’t like it then  so be it 

but principles matter to me 

I’ve always played fair 

and I expect the same back 

no saltire, union flag , or star spangled banner will change the fact

I swear no oath of aillegence

to any monarch or ermine robed fools.

who attempt to set the rules for  my life 

doffing  caps and bending knees are so 18th century 

yet the servile defer to what they call traditions 

claiming that this dysfunctional behaviour is what makes Britain great 

they even say it’s what makes Britain British 

are these people for real ?

they don’t have a clue about what’s going on in the world

they don’t understand what its like 

growing up a boy who wants be a girl 

in a Glasgow housing scheme 

or the fact that poverty isn’t a lifestyle choice 

they piss champagne in to gold plated toilet seats

after singing out of tune from the top of their voices

and think that by buying a charity single 

they are doing their bit for humanity 

as they merrily  count up their millions

made by the sweat of the workers

people are dying just a few miles away 

they would rather I didn’t say this

in case it puts them off their nice expensive meal 

insulated from  real world problems 

they will never know how it feels to visit a foodbank 

or buy your clothes from second hand shops

this inequality has to stop 

and though I alone can’t do much to stop the suffering or the pain 

I who grew up listening to tinsil town in the rain

know what that song really means 

as does everyone who grew up in the schemes 

and that’s why I swear no oath of aillegence to any  queen or her heirs 

I swear my oath of aillegence to the people of the world

and swear to treat them with fairness and equality 

© Gayle Smith 2017 

Tainted Gold

Hey Readers.

This poem looks at Britain’s history as the first industrial nation and how the past still shapes the present especially with regards to the class divide which was enhanced during that period and how this impacts on us even now when it comes to how we view our environment. I have given it the title Tainted Gold I hope you find it an enjoyable and thought provoking read.

Tainted Gold

As children we were taught to be proud
Britain was the first industrial nation
the first country to break
from the agrarian way of life
we took a scythe to communities
which had lasted for centuries in the name of modernity and profit
cottage industries died
and wealth was no longer shared
but concentrated in the hands of a few
the capitalist class had been born
and the gap between rich and poor grew wider
a trend that continues to this day
the bard would shake his head in dismay
at the destruction of what he called ‘nature’s social union’
all for the wealth of an elite
this revolution far from eradicating poverty
or at least driving it in to retreat
has made the situation worse
whilst destroying resources
both at home and overseas
lust for wealth led to an obsessive greed
as leaders hunted for colonies
and built an empire in the name of the crown
this we were told was something
on which the sun would never go down
lest we forget the real facts of the matter
the chattering classes can’t hide
no amount of propaganda disguised as pride
can stem the tide of nature
or change the narrative of the story
it’s embarrassing to see
a country which claims to be
amongst the most developed on earth
embark on a policy of apathetic indifference
when it comes to maintaining the health of the world
whilst city boys and girls rake in obscene profits
and the landed gentry shoot the grouse
on the glorious 12th
the mind thy self mentality
cares more about fictional characters
in TV soaps
than improving our quality of life
as our leaders yet again
use the scythe
to cut the earth
in the endless search
for tainted gold

@ Gayle Smith 2017

Causalities Of Greed 

Hey Readers 

Later this month I will be reading at the January edition of  Extra Second spoken word event at The Blue Chair on the theme of Climate Change. As a Geography and Politics graduate this topic really  appeals to me and I want to do it justice by writing some new poetry to the theme of the evening. This poem freshly written this afternoon, is one I will consider performing at the event. I have given it the title Causalities Of Greed. I hope enjoy the read. 

Causalities Of Greed 

It’s been gradual 

a slow change 

which happened over time 

an environmental crime 

 caught us unaware

as we were guilty of neglect

for our living space 

our disgrace was the fact 

we failed to realise the problem

the damage it could do 

was doing will continue to do 

If we don’t change 

some dismiss it as strange 

the product of liberal thinking 

unpatriotic 

a fantasy which gets in the way of their profit 

their right to be a money making machine 

ensure their security and wealth 

those in robust health don’t think of long term solutions 

the damage pollution causes 

interested only in short term gains 

they conveniently ignore the victims 

as they watch the world chocking 

unaware they too 

will be causalities of greed 

@ Gayle Smith 2017 

The Cruellest Of Storms

Hey Readers This poem was inspired by the writer and journalist Will Black who asked his Twitter followers of which I’m one to #WriteAPoemAboutTories with the most retweeted poem winning a copy of his new book Psychopathic Cultures. Having written many political poems in the past including a good few on that particular party I needed no second invitation to take up the challenge and this is the result of my efforts I’ve given it the title The Cruellest Of Storms I hope you enjoy the read.

The Cruellest Of Storms.

It blows from the Thames.
this cruellest of storms
batters down the homes
of those most in need of shelter.
the icy blast
of the coldest political weather
for generations
shows this united kingdom
is not the united nation
some would like to believe.
former industrial towns and cities
never recovered from the 1980’s
but this new Conservative party
has nothing new to offer
people long since thrown to the wolves.
rules made in Eton
show contempt for those 
whose families can’t afford to pay
for private tuition.
this is the reality of democracy
Westminster style
where the billionaires rule
and sneers are masked by painted smiles
worn for public consumption
for the  TV  camera
and pictures for their friends
in the press.
no wonder I voted yes in the independence referendum.
the thought of Iain Duncan-Smith
cutting benefits to the sick and disabled
fellow citizens being unfairly labelled
blamed for all our social problems
because they are not us
disgusts me beyond rage.
immigrants are human beings
I know Glaswegians and other fellow Scots from many different lands
understand that my dear green city is a place of welcome  for all.
meanwhile in Tory Britain
we are excluded from the ball
not deemed worthy of an invitation
or a seat at the table
this pooling and sharing of resources
does not apply to the place
which decisions are made
about how to spend money
in a land of sour milk with no honey
where those with little or nothing
must make a choice between food and heating
in a country which is marching relentlessly to the right
where tax breaks are given to the wealthy
and trident is considered more important
than inner city children gaining access to education and opportunity.
there is no sense of community from those who lead the worship
in a man mind thyself society
where those who have will get
and those who don’t will be ignored
and the moral of the story is
Vote Conservative and all will be fine
meanwhile at the other end of the line
millions are striped of their dignity 
in fortress Britain social mobility
is a gift given only to those who can afford it.

@ Gayle Smith 2016

Ladies Day

Hey everyone Though not a fan of horse racing, a woman has far better things to do which her money than gamble. I do however know, that today being the Thursday of the Royal Ascot meeting it is also what’s known as Ladies Day. This is a day when all the things I loathe about British class system come out to remind girls like me of all the things we haven’t got and to be quite honest we wouldn’t want. With this in mind I have decided to post a poem I wrote on this event 15 years ago at the turn of the milenium. I’ve titled it Ladies Day I hope you enjoy the read.

Ladies Day

It’s ladies day at Ascot races                                                                                               with outrageous hats and smiling faces
where Charlotte’s and Chelsea’s parade with a passion
making mistakes in the name of fashion

How many osteriches died for today?
So that their feathers could be put on display
by Lady Fitz-smugly and all of her set
to make an impression that the world can’t forget

This is there chance to be seen on the box
to prove beyond doubt money doesn’t just talk
it screams and it howls in a most vulgar manner
but there too thick to know there a fashion disaster

Yes these the It girls can’t spell
I T
yet believe they are better than both you and me
their partners are minted with big flashy cars
in their jet setting lifestyles they mix with the stars

But there’s something about which makes them half-witted
Yes I know that there loaded and have jobs in the city
though for the great wealth with which they’ve been blessed                                                 they just can’t seem to learn to get properly dressed.

@ Gayle Smith 2000

Reason For The Season

Hey everyone. A Christmas poem which asks us to think of those less fortunate than ourselves and remember the reason for the season. A reason which I believe all too often gets lost at this time of celebration. Yes I love the parties and the nights out with friends but for me it is important to remember the babe of Bethlehem who came to the world as a saviour and never to forget that his love was is and ever shall be a gift for all of humankind. I’ve called it Reason For The Season I hope you find an enjoyable and thought provoking read.

Reason For The Season

A time for parties
celebrations with friends
for a woman like me
to be bang on tend
for shopping and mistletoe
maybe a kiss
when temptation and wine
meant you couldn’t resist

we all put a tree up
and cards on our walls
but what of the ones
that nobody calls
who never get invites
to share the in the fun
what of the child
who was treated like scum

alone and unwanted
with their voices ignored
what would we do
if they came to our door
invite them to join us
or turn them away
then moan that these people
had ruined our day

in a world where we’re slaves
to our hopes our and fears
we fool only ourselves
with displays of fake cheer
we forget the abandoned
the stray and the stranger
and the reason for the season
the child in the manger

@ Gayle Smith 2014