Daily Archives: July 22, 2017

Belshazzar’s Feast by Ruth Aylett

I am not a silent poet

These are the right men: bonuses
nannies and secretaries, fast cars
designer suits. Masters of electronic
transactions, bestriding the stars.

Silver candelabra stroke warm tones
into the white napery and haute cuisine,
jump glinting riches off the gold plate,
bathe well-fed faces pink with content.

Belshazzar gives the after dinner speech
about hard-working families incentivized
by tax cuts, aspiring to riches. Then
that hand appears, more than life-size.

A hand that writes with quick certain
movements, holding its non-pen
as if a screw-driver, thick fingers,
square nails, with dirt under them.

A buzz of puzzlement at its words,
carved into the flock wall-paper:
weigh, number, divide. “Who knows
what that means?” Belshazzar enquires.

A young immigrant waiter translates.
“You’ve pressed too long on the poor”
“More of us than there are of you”.
“We’ll not fight each other any more.”

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National Hero by Ruth Aylett

I am not a silent poet

I’m a regular kind of guy with a nose for WMD,
this must be true since you all believed me
give or take a demo of a million or two,
but with Bush as my buddy, I didn’t need you
to bring freedom and democracy to everyone,
especially in Iraq; look at all the good I’ve done.

Yes, I also do God with a beatific smile;
I’m true to my friends, I’ll go that extra mile.
They need those robust methods in Kazakhstan
and the Egyptian army, as only armies can
brought freedom and democracy to everyone
to save their nation’s values, oh the good they’ve done.

With seventy million in the bank I’m only slightly rich,
six thousand pounds a minute gets you a splendid speech.
I’ve helped the housing market with two of my own,
and my good friend Rupert Murdoch would never hack a phone,
he wants…

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