Utopia

19 Oct

My latest poem about a land called Utopia, a land that could be if people had the bravery to make it so.

Utopia

Utopia,
A green and pleasant land,
A place where your worries melt like the snow,
Where hope,
like the beautiful roses grow.

Take me to utopia,
There may not be riches in abundance,
The streets may not be paved with gold,
But what we have we share,
We care.
We labour,
But our reward is fair.

Take me to Utopia,
A nation truly united
Sweet compassion
replaces the bitter pill of cruelty and shame.
A gleaming jewel in the silver sea
worthy of the name.

The teacher oath- could do better

13 Oct

The teacher oath, the latest policy from Tristram Hunt, who says a public oath for teachers would emphasise the “moral calling and the noble profession of teaching” and display their commitment.

This policy, newly imported from Singapore, has caused both anger and hilarity, with a number of parody oaths appearing this morning on Twitter under the hashtag #teacheroath, many apparently mocking the suggestion.

One teacher wrote:”#teacheroath I swear to follow education policies thought up by people with no relevant experience apart from the fact they went to school.” Such is the state of labours current (lack of ) education policy.

For the past year of teacher training, I have been hermetically sealed away in a world awash with paper, marking books, planning, re-planning, creating resources. Working till 12 at night, up at 6 o’clock this next morning ready to teach and start the cycle again. Not even a rest at weekends. No wonder my parents said I looked horrific! During this time, I battled constant illness not helped by exhaustion, the pressures of learning a new curriculum while some schools stood in a limbo between the old and new, and the stress shared by other teachers trying to make it all work.

I don’t mean to moan and there are positives, the positive being in many cases you are making a difference to children who may not have the best start in life. But you do need commitment to do this and reach the last day of placement, which coincided with an ofsted visit!

Hunt’s policy of ‘teacher oaths’ is at best a meaningless soundbite sized policy, at worst an insulting implication that the thousands of teachers up and down the country like myself lack the necessary commitment. This is a distraction from the other issues facing teachers and education including lack of school places for a rising population, rising class sizes, funding being diverted to Gove’s pet project of free schools, I could go on.

All this policy has served to give teachers a bit of a titter on twitter and may have alienated many teachers from voting labour at the next election. If I was a member of Oftsed, I would grade this policy ‘inadequate’ and I feel Labour’s policy ‘requires improvement.’ You could do better Mr Hunt.

Plutus

17 Oct

This poem is inspired by the Ancient Athenian play of the same name, where wealth (Plutus) is found to be a blind man and the other characters in the play debate whether wealth would be shared more fairly if Plutus regained his sight. This is a theme I feel is as apt today as it was 2500 years ago.

Plutus

To see Plutus is commonplace,
Blindly stumbling through the marketplace,
Dressed in rags in disguise,
Fooling no one with the drachmas on his eyes.

If only Plutus could see,
Would he share his wealth with you and me,
The gulf between have and have not he would see,
and put an end to this inequality?

The naysayers in the agora say no,
This wouldn’t be so,
For his bounty the would do anything,
Want everything, value nothing.

I guess we’ll let the Oracle decide,
Which one of us will be wrong or right,
Whether the poor will still starve another night,
Or Wrong be put right
when this fallen deity regains his sight.

No hope nor glory

3 Oct

No hope nor glory

While others sing of a land of hope and glory,
For the young, there’s no hope, no glory,
For us, no land flowing with milk and honey.
no Jerusalem on green and pleasant land.
When jeers and sneers come hand in hand.
They won’t understand,
because they don’t care to understand
all they see is hoodies needing hugs
taking drugs
mindless thugs.
In society we have no stake,
Just demonisation, just hate.
Hopeful light of Education education education
turned to the darkness of a lost generation.
Yet if we organise,
Then they will realise,
we do count for something,
That the we are 100% of the future,
Let us put a cross in the box,
Let us kick the ball instead of being kicked by them all,
Let us own the future.

New dawn

26 Sep

I’ve been quiet for a while due to my busy life, but here’s a new poem called New Dawn as I think it’s what we all truly yearn for, enjoy

New Dawn

I’m ready for a new dawn,
I’ve had enough of wishing on shooting stars,
planes flying in the dark,
All hope forlorn.
I’m ready for a new start,
I’ve had enough of artificial light,
Street lights flickering,
Faint stars in the black night.
I know things will change,
I know that with the will anything can be done,
That the dawn will come,
So is that what I see with my eyes,
The distant glow of a sunrise?

Not in our name UKBA

2 Aug

In the wake of these spot checks by the UK border agency in London, I wrote this poem to tell them that they do not do these abhorrent acts in my name or our name as a free tolerant country.

Inspired by Alex Andreou’s post on the Guardian.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/02/immigration-offenders-home-office-tweeting

‘Not in our name’

Any person with a heart would feel shame,
At the things done in ‘our name.’
Not in our name do you spot check on the tube,
Intimidate, humiliate,
Using prejudice to separate,
Those welcome,
Those unwelcome in your eyes.
Not my eyes, not our eyes.
They are welcome to me!
Not in our name do you take us down this dark path,
Pitting neighbour against neighbour,
You make me feel untold shame,
At what you do in ‘our name’

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Masque of treachery

23 Jul

Based upon Shelly’s inspiring Masque of Anarchy, heres my new poem ‘Masque of treachery’

Masque of treachery

On an island set into the silver sea,
Four horsemen came riding free,
each wore a masque to hide his identity,
They were greed, judgement, anarchy, and treachery.

First came greed upon his steed,
whose number was 11,
He counted the money and found it wanting,
he wielded his axe and kept on hacking,
leaving the destitute bitter and bereft in a hell he called heaven.

Next came the judge from his tower high above,
His wig covering his lack of hair
False piety, false outrage is his gift,
he loves to judge a life he will never have to live
Strikes the hammer,
yet he claims to care.

Anarchy rode across the land,
A shining sceptre in his hand,
Yet no crown atop his brow,
Yet he utters, ‘you acclaimed me Caesar to be master over you now’

He claims he’s one with us,
Swapping noble horse for mule,
Broken promises, a masque paper thin,
The signs of his misrule.

Finally rode treachery,
Upon the serpents back,
Folk tongued, slippery to the touch,
His words toxic black.

His lies artfully clothed in truth,
A sweeter pill to swallow,
Like anarchy his masque is only a shell,
Devoid of substance, a void, hollow.

They knew their machinations bore fruit well,
Into their lap the Palace fell,
The people of England thought hope was lost,
For their domination came at a cost.

But one woman could be seen,
Stood upon College Green,
To a crowd of the hopeless, Hope did address,
In a voice so serene.

“Let a great assembly be,
Of the courageous, the honest and the free,
Let it not be a place of selfish power games,
But above the taint of vice and shame.”

The crowd did grow,
Her words struck a chord with them,
Those tired of all the lies,
Those betrayed again and again.

Let a great assembly be,
Of the courageous, the honest and the free,
Where the voice of the people holds sway,
A parliament worthy of the name.

Roar my lions roar,
Roar like thunder,
loud and clear,
roar without the chains of fear.

With forked tongues they deceived you,
with words, deeds, force of arms they whipped you,
they tried to tame you,
But your heart is wild.

So roar my lions roar,
for they can beat us, slay us,
or in words condemn,
but we shall not silence ourselves for them.

so roar my lions roar,
make the corridors of power shake,
make feet in boots quake,
for we are the larger number,
Roar my lions, awaken from your slumber!

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