As the end of the year draws near, I have been working on a poem to try and put into words some of the anger I feel about the political situation at the moment. I have had a few weeks of high drama including getting locked in a building in Leeds with fifty arts activists and David Cameron – surrounded by police vans and horses. The prime minister had come to visit ‘Shine’ to talk to relate counsellors and got angry arts people instead!
Here is the poem – a bit bleak, I know. But there it is.
Our purple sprouting broccoli
struggle to grow heads this year.
The roots are pot-bound in the plastic tubs
we bought in bulk. Cabbage whites have feasted
on the shoots. Each crocheted plant is sick.
Today The Coalition will announce its cuts.
Our friends who work in libraries
and museums, poets who scrape a living
in schools, posties with their arthritic knees –
hold their breath.
We stare into a future where lives
are stunted and may not flower;
where leaves yellow and drop
onto the cracked paving stones,
onto the pot-holed streets.