Saturday, 1 November 2014
Poem: After Woolf
They’ll be scouring the country for another peer
who they can pretend is uncontaminated
hoping that people betrayed and humiliated
will be cowed and passive before power,
will accept the assurances of grandees
schooled since birth in the art of domination.
Panic is spreading. For one brief moment
the suits and robes look tattered,
the velvet curtain has parted, we have sight
of the cogs and wheels which hold our rulers
aloft, seemingly forever triumphant.
Before it closes and they reappear glossed
and strident, let’s hold that picture in our heads
for when they order us to have less
while they take more, when they take what’s ours
and give to those who already have.
They are only what they are: people pumped up
by pumped-up people; people paraded before us
as wiser or cleverer or worthier than us.
They are none of these things. They are just people
who hope that we are too tired or too afraid to
get rid of them.