Mixed Messages – dVerse

once, they said we could have it all –
the partner, the career, the children
we could be superwomen all day long
immaculate, capable, professional
the mother, the lover, the corporate boss
all superlatively and effortlessly achieved
the house, the car, the long-haul holidays
yes, once, they said, we could have it all

and then, and then
we were vilified for wanting a career, and
for wanting to leave our babies at nurseries, and
for making someone else prepare the dinner, and
we were penalised at work, we were penalised at home
whatever we did – we were wrong
the back-slapping testosterone board-room, boar-boorish doors were closed
the mothers at the school-gates-club
raised their collective eyebrows at parents’ evenings
as the strange apparition of the ‘career woman’ made her appearance

and then, and then
the childless, the husband(or wife)less
were dragged through the biting, back-biting, tight-lippedness
un-natural, bitch-in-the-boardroom, frigid, husk treatment
damned if you do what they want
damned if you don’t
damned every which way but young, blond, legs-up-to-here and easy to please
we are our own worst enemies, and
we listen too much to the media, and
to the politicians (who listen too much to the media)
we listen too much to our inner bitch voice
you know the one, the friend who nobody wants
can we turn her off?
only if we work harder than was ever expected
of the mother-lover-corporate boss –
only if.

Mixed Messages

———-

It’s that time of the month, the last Saturday, where us poets can leave whatever type of poetry we like at the dVerse bar – yes, it’s Open Link Night! Tonight, Mary is our congenial barkeep – her first time on OLN, so be kind, don’t wave money in her face to get her attention or reel off a long list of drinks. All in good time!

This piece of mine was something I was working on for submission to an anthology, but I decided to go with something else instead which was more fitting. I only half-finished this poem, so this has been buffed up a bit and chopped around. As is common with my work right now, it’s a little political! I obviously have issues I need to get off my chest.

Please pop over to dVerse to see what varigated delights await you. No two poems will be the same, that’s for sure. Happy reading, all.

 

 

Veritas – dVerse

If I had the belief
had the guts to be street-wise,
could save my own spirit
from those pernicious, damned white lies,
I’d grasp it with both hands
and take the world on my plate
adopt the mentality,
eliminate the disparity
that pervades every alleyway, back street and door,
I’ve said it too many times
from down here, from the floor
that the shadow that dogs us,
pulls us down to the ground
is the vague sense of emptiness,
the lack of completeness,
the dullness, great sadness,
the all-pervading madness,
no – there ain’t no Messiah
at the bottom of that glass,
or in that last chocolate chip cookie
I’m adding to my ass,
no, where we’re all going
– those silent, straight rows –
won’t give us the second chance,
we can’t repeat the romance,
do it all over again,
have just one more, sweet last dance,
excuse our poor ability,
blame our short life’s fragility,
nobody will do it for us, it’s a tragedy
of giant proportions
we can’t believe the distortions
the hard work is necessity
and we must do it ourselves –
be our own self-believers
and lovers, and fighters
for at the end of my journey
when the white light is calling
the one, the last judge on my mind
will be me.

 

Veritas

———-

This week, on dVerse Poetics, Anthony has asked us to write a poem using at least 5 of the words below:

 – Messiah, Allegory, Luminous, Plate, Shadow, Door, Persona, Glass, Vitiligo, Epochal, Pernicious, Warmth –

What a collection! I didn’t really have a particular idea in mind before I started, but then, as is often the case, my poet brain took over. It’s a bit of a rant – about trusting yourself, about not buying into consumerism, about feeling free to be your true self… Lots of issues, mixed up in one, big old chunk of words. I think I’m still considering Claudia’s question yesterday about how real we get in our writing. And I just know that each poem offered up by the dVerse community will be vastly different. A great prompt, Anthony!

Please pop over to dVerse to see how others have taken the bait – and enjoy!

 

 

Friendly Fire

Don’t come cap in hand with your right-wing agenda,

your mouth is an organ, a vile pretender

to intelligent, thoughtful, democratic ways,

you spew forth your sound-bites, earn thoughtless praise

from a populous dulled by consumption and greed,

mesmerised by the box in the corner that feeds

them with ‘news’ that is passing for real information –

celebrity gossip, face transformation,

lose weight in days from your vast corner couch,

buy clothes, shoes and skincare, perfect your pout,

get two point four children and a four by four car,

ferry them everywhere, see the world from afar

through the screen of an iPad (other brands will suffice),

you can’t let them outside, but will never think twice

about letting them surf the wide world late at night

just as long as your kitchen and garden are right,

because the neighbours are watching, your community cares

if your house lets the side down, and you’re caught unawares

by a marginal rise in the next lending rate –

you must make those payments, you cannot be late,

there’s the store cards, the credit cards, your salary’s too low,

there’s no extra income, watch your hard-earned all go

on taxes as immigrants flood across all our borders,

they sit with their hands out, it’s so out of order –

or they work for nothing, or much less than you’re worth,

but –

is that the true picture, are you blaming them first

before looking in the mirror, and believing the lies –

it’s easier to lash out, to turn a blind eye

to a broken down system that allows hate to be dressed

in a suit and a tie and a smile that at best

is trapped on the lips, gets no further beyond,

who’s to blame if, not thinking, you vote for them wrongly

believing that everything will be better, ever after –

nothing sounds quite so hollow as victorious laughter.

 

Friendly Fire

——

OK. We’re on the other side of the European elections and I feel like we’re going to hell in a political hand-basket. Turn out at voting is so damned low it makes me feel ill. I don’t think I’m an alarmist, but I do worry that we’re sleepwalking into something very, very dark. Voting turn out is low, low, low and it allows political extremists to rise to the top like the scum that they are. A disproportionately low turn out allows for a disproportionately high representation of the so-called marginal parties in the European Parliament. It’s downright dangerous. Get your behinds off the sofa next time, please?