Poet Laureate, by Antony Owen

I am not a silent poet

I do not accept your bulldogs leash around my neck 
I am the son of a toolmaker and know this trade
take that sword and keep it from my shoulder
I am the head of state you want to cut off,
my tongue of wet fire is mine alone,
letters lathed from a world I read –
your unhappy endings of empire.
Take those jewels Elizabeth
put them in the eyes of a
colonial slave boy and
wait like the vulture
on Athena posters
hanging like poets
with poems that
burn like heretics
fireflies of light
poems you can
never, ever
understand
my poor
poor
Ma’am.
Take your stolen sword and jewels from India’s heart,
tame a poet of skin not white to be anthems slave.
I am with Zephaniah and I have skin like nylon
It creases with daily pressures of life Ma’am
ages like Grenfell unseen and listen…

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