What’s it about for you, then?

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What’s it about for them, then

Loneliness, poverty, pain

Bang of the bailiff at the door

Death in a ditch in the rain

What is it like for the Joneses

Bigger and better you think

Posh port and pigs in blankets

Sick in the kitchen sink

What’s it about for him, then

A clock, and an empty chair

Picture of her on the mantelpiece

Candle smoke curls in the air

What is it like for her, do you think

Hairdo and heels and hurrah

Hampers and champers from Harrods

Packed in to Daddy’s car

What’s it about for the Christians

Return of the sacred child

Under a star in a stable bare

Jesus, meek and mild

What is it like for the Druids, then

Stood in the circle at dawn

Frost on the moss on frozen stone

Lit by the sun reborn

What’s it about for the children

Mysterious, glittery, bright

Hope of a mythic benevolence

Come as a thief in the night

 …

What is it like for us, then

Rushing and spending and stressing

Cursing the souls in the queue at the till

Kissing a friend with a blessing

 …

What will it be like for you, then

What will you will it to be

Riotous ostentation, or

Peace and sweet charity

 …

What it’s about for me is this

One white and holy dove

The silence after the shops have shut

And love

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© Gail Foster 3rd December 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Chemistry Of Lucre Is Not Strange

On Radio 4 this morning, plastic fivers…

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So, money doesn’t grow on trees no more

For some of us it never really did

The rich grow ever richer, and the poor

Still grovel for a poxy flippin’ quid

The launderers shall rub their hands with glee

‘Tis easy now to wipe clean, and to wash

The dirty money in the treasury

The grime of crime from shiny plastic dosh

Old money will still glint of ancient gold

New money will still boast itself and flash

And diamonds shine, and lead be dark and cold

As ever was, the alchemy of cash

The chemistry of lucre is not strange

The rich stay rich, and for the poor, no change

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© Gail Foster 13th September 2016

 

Potatoes

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We shall have to eat potatoes with our meagre humble pie

Sit chilly in our garrets writing verse until we die

Sacrifice our sanity, relationships, and health

Forego all thoughts of kudos, recognition, comfort, wealth

To draw the light from darkness, and to write upon the page

Words of painful beauty, words of love, and myth, and rage

To be alchemical, polemical; be vulnerable, be bold

Make magic from mundanity, and turn the dross to gold

To be poor, but to be Poets, who shall ever blessed be

For we possess potatoes and the power of poetry

© Gail Foster 2016

Told You So

A work of poetic fiction 

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He said that he was broken

She told him she was broke

Neither took much notice

When the other person spoke

Far too bl**dy much in love

To weigh the implications

Not much need to forecast then

Future complications

She rationalised the broken thing

He thought that she would change

He thought she would make money

She thought he’d be less strange

You’re not broken, love, she said

And chose a metaphor

You function on most channels

Just not on Radio 4

She’s pretty good in bed, he thought

She’s bright and going far

Shame she’s getting on a bit

And hasn’t got a car

The years went by so quickly

She watched him getting odd

Sometimes he was wonderful

Sometimes a total sod

She had to use a dictionary

To study mental health

He watched with disappointment

Her indifference to wealth

I told you so, he said, and she

Said she had told him too

And both of them remembered

What they had forgot they knew

He really was an odd one

And she didn’t have a dime

And nowt would ever change those things

Not age nor luck nor time

There’s nothing here for me, he thought

Her interest rate is falling

She’s still in social housing

And her prospects are appalling

Love moves mountains, so she thought

I love him sane or mad

She thought that he still loved her too

She really had it bad

In the final conversation

They reviewed the words they’d spoken

How she had told him she was broke

And he said he was broken

I still love you so, she said

He shrugged, his eyes grew dim

With all the faith she had in love

She said these words to him

Take me, love, or leave me

For I always shall be poor…

At that the b*gger got his coat

And walked right out the door

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by Gail