Grammar school

17 Sep

An education policy with the intention of turning back the clock, reinforcing, not breaking down a socially divided nation.

Grammar school

Welcome dear students

To grammar school,

For you my chaps who are born to rule.
A return to the good old days,

Mortarboards and school ties,

Perfecting the sneers from privileged eyes.

We can afford the extra tuition,

For admission based on examination.

to conserve, to preserve,

Our selective social position.
Carpe Diem,

Tempus fugit,

Latin mottos, a password,

a passport

To running this divided nation.

My lesson plans,

Don’t select based on background,

Do not deny opportunity.

A verb is a verb, a noun is a noun,

Whether you can pass an entrance exam or not,

It matters not.

In my classroom you can aspire,

To a future you can choose,

A verb is a verb, a noun is a noun.


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Not a King,

An actor upon a newly marble stage.

Divi Filius,

Adopted by Uncle Julius,


But what’s in a name?

Made divine,

Constant with the annual passing of time,

Eighth of Twelve.

An actor needs a costume,

Armour makes way for priestly robes.

Warrior now builds bridges.

No to Rex,

He shall be instead


Cap of Liberty (peterloo) 

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A poem commemorating the Peterloo massacre of 1819, when 18 were killed in Manchester just for seeking the vote.

Cap of Liberty

Peaceful assembly 

on the fields

Seeking reform, the vote,


Banners flying,

Topped with that old symbol,

The red cap of


They came riding riding,

Sabres drawn

Just like Waterloo,

A battle against lady Liberty.

Riding down and slashing

People like you and me

18 butchered innocently,

Red the colour of the blood stain

And the cap of Liberty.

I am a Mancunian

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I may be homeless,

Living on the street,

A stranger on a tram that you happen to meet,

But I am a mancunian.


I may be a red or a blue,

Locked in sports gladiator duel,

But I am a mancunian,

I may speak many languages,

One, or a few,

With words sounding unfamiliar to you.

I may be a Christian,

A Muslim, A Jew,

A Sikh, A Buddhist,

Or Hindu.

I may have strong faith,

Or no faith,

But I am a mancunian,

I may love the rain or Loathe the rain,

But gay straight or bi,

Full of faith or no faith be I,

Red or blue,

Have or have not,

I am your kindred ‘ar kid’,

I’m a bee in the hive,

I’m a mancunian.

St George

23 Apr img_1683

Scaled Dragons 
armoured Knights,
Flags of red crosses on white

For so long appropriated by the far right.

But the England I celebrate

Is a pick and mix of influence,

A rich mosaic,

Shakespeare and Chaucer’s style

To me are harmonious with Meera Syal.

So while I eat my Sephardic chips and fish,

This symbolic dish,

I remember one thing,

Our ancient ability to welcome people,

Our plurality is what makes us great,

Starting with our eastern patron saint.

This blessed isle, 

this old/new, 

This England.

Human being

17 Apr

I’m not a number on a list,

I’m a person that exists,

I’m not a problem to be solved,

From a conflict unresolved,

I’m not seeking to take your benefits and your breathing space,

I’m only fleeing hell itself, wanting to be safe.

I’m a human being,

I’m not to blame,

I’m a human being,

A person with a name,

Nobody wants me,

Facing your distain

I’m a human being,

Can you say the same?


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Why should I be sad on my wedding day?

The bells ring, the people of Auld Reekie say

Was it James who said to Westminster,

You the husband, she is the bride,

She the Mrs, you the mister.
Why not marry,

For long we have tarried.

For a century, we have courted,

One King,

A flag of red white and blue flown atop ships,

Scottish stories on English lips.
Paranoia drove necessary action,

Fear over succession or invasion,

Taking the throne from a brother 

to promise to a distant cousin.
Not a love match,

But a dynastic match,

Strategy over romance you see,

When Anne takes her daughter to the altar

To do her duty.

‘I will grow to love you,’ the groom does say,

‘I promise to honour love and obey’

Despite the promise of a new birth,

Why is she sad on her wedding day?