Times Like These by Frank McMahon

I am not a silent poet

A yacht sails in summer, northwards to the Pole.

A  slush  of gelatinous grey greets its bow

as  it  makes its ambivalent journey.

On Admiralty charts a woman replaces islands,

sketches  new sandbars, reefs marked with buoys,

while their people are  moving into legend.

Lines of footprints cover deserts; jackals, bones,

eyeballs.  Driven from shelter to shelter, children

ailing and confused, half-filled ditches,

refuse  tips: where will the unborn live as

their families take flight?

A gig

was  once  a party, an impromptu concert

in  a  corner pub, a mingle of music, sweat

and  beers. A world of miasma now,

of  beck and call for paupers’ pay, waiting

to  be plucked like a lobster from a tank.

Yes, yes, the richest should have more,

more  tax-breaks crammed into their maw

until they vomit gold, excrete jewels and mansions,

super  yachts and private jets, smearing

the earth and the airwaves


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