Josiah Mortimer

Josiah Mortimer

Josiah Mortimer is a political writer from Cornwall and now based in London. He has written for the Poetry Society, Creative Countryside and Culture Matters.

In a Failing State
Thursday, 05 September 2019 08:29

In a Failing State

Published in Poetry

In a Failing State

By Josiah Mortimer

In failed states
Leaders berate
The representatives
As meddling traitors, crazed.
And tin-pot despots declare:

'Only a strong hand
Can lead us to the promised land'

In failed states
The press packs hound
Servants as saboteurs
Print reams of touch paper
Ready-made to tear and spark
And rogues rouse crowds –
Small at first –
To chant outside the doors at dark

Panic buttons are installed
The doors close.

Democracy fades in increments
It is turned down slowly
And finally, subtly
Switched off.

It is saved,
When the raging rains
Tear down these gates

We stand close
to fill the space
As a failing state falls
The old is dying
The new is born.