Monday, 10 October 2022 19:34

'Borrowed Rainbows' and 'Tobacco Wrappers': two new poems by Alan Morrison

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'Borrowed Rainbows' and 'Tobacco Wrappers': two new poems by Alan Morrison

Borrowed Rainbows

For Niall McDevitt (above), poet and republican
22/02/1967 - 29/09/2022

The day Elizabeth Windsor passed
A double rainbow was visible
Arcing over Buckingham Palace—
Supposedly a benevolent omen
Of transformation, fresh beginnings,
Good things—Royal mourners
Gasped at such celestial symbolism
For the late Queen's heavenly ascent
To flights of angels singing her to her rest,
& down here, a smooth succession
Of a new King & a third Carolean
Age—but it all depends on points
Of view, personal hopes & opinions,
As to how the double rainbow
Could be symbolic: to a growing
Number it symbolised more the budding
Promise of monarchy's enduring end
& the sleepy hope of a ripe republic...

But now is not the time to speak
Of republics—to do so is tantamount
To traitorousness, sedition, & other
Unspeakable transgressions; one
Republican protestor is one too
Many—a placard reading ABOLISH
THE MONARCHY elicits arrest;
Another protestor cornered & warned
By bobbies not to write anything on
His blank placard, hardly a placard,
Just one square empty space of card
But in propinquity to Buckingham
Palace, enough proof of treason in
The book of Babian of the Yard,
Sufficient grounds for a bruising,
Swift prosecution & sentencing—so
Christopher Robin goes down with Alice...

A double rainbow bruising over
Buckingham Palace minutes before
Elizabeth Windsor passed
Was miraculously symbolic
& enough to mint a new taboo...

May flights of angels sing her to...

Rainbow O Rainborowe O borrowed
Rainbows O borrowed tomorrows O

Now is not the time to be a republican,
Now is not the time to speak of a republic,
Now is only time to join the queue...

 

Tobacco wrappers

Sceptre
spectre
& spectacle
tradition's anointed mystique
none can fight its
spiritual fists
divine right's
unquestioning monarchists

could we replace it
with whispered republics
conspiracies
in tobacco wrappers

pot-&-pan-
handed clappers
cap-doffing
forelock-tugging
bowing & scraping
endlessly queueing
to bow & curtsy
& cross themselves
at the catafalque
as if at a holy
reliquary
or paying respects
to a departed saint
divine being

not citizens
but subjects
subservient
deferential

so we defer
& defer
& defer
the future
put the past first
history on catch up
perpetual repeat

time is ripe
for pipes & plots
conspiracies
& micro-republics
discreetly sealed
in tobacco wrappers

Read 1229 times Last modified on Wednesday, 12 October 2022 23:17