Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guy Fawkes' Lantern - Heathcote Williams



















Guy Fawkes’ lantern
Is a surreptitious
Point of pilgrimage
For anonymous
Armies of anarchists who
Visit the glass case
Where it is preserved
In the Ashmolean
Museum, Oxford.

‘What if?’ they wonder,
‘What if Guy Fawkes had done it?
‘Had done the business –
‘For what’s changed?’ they ask,
‘Kings and Parliaments spend tax
‘On wars no one wants.
‘There’s still a Monarch,
‘Most of whose Parliament
‘Is unelected.

‘Twenty-six Bishops
‘From the national religion
‘Sit there as of right –
‘Their Invisible
‘Sky Wizard favoring them
‘Over other cults,
‘And eight hundred Lords
‘Outnumber them all, making
‘Voting meaningless.’

Boisterous voices
Then frighten the life out of
Japanese tourists:
‘Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow.’



A 3rd poem from Heathcote Williams, as promised. This is also a new improved version.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

On opening Pandora's Ballot Box













That wiped the smug smile off your face.
Gone self-satisfaction and in its place,
each time the facade starts to slip,
we see clear evidence of your curling lip.

Having scrambled to the summit, surveyed all the land,
chaos, confusion was hardly your plan,
promises written in smoke spanned the skies
then dispersed to lay bare the expanse of your lies.

Exposed as a fall guy, a frail man of straw,
doomed to oblivion, wielding power no more,
wrapped in an old blanket in a darkened, dank room,
reviewing old videos in the gathering gloom.

Fresh faced, bright eyed, this season's New Look,
less than a year was all that it took
for the make up to fade and reveal faded glory.
No more dashing Young Liberal, same old cynical Tory.

Never has a betrayed electorate wielded vengeance more swiftly and decisively!

Monday, May 09, 2011

The Death of Osama bin Laden: Snuff Films at the White House - Heathcote Williams












“Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends.”


J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord Of the Rings, Book Four, Chapter One

The US President
And his Secretary of State
Are watching snuff films.

US Navy Seals
Line up their chosen victims
Then kill them, one by one.

On a Seal’s helmet,
There’s a hidden camera
So that images


Of those they’re killing
Are fed back by satellite
To a viewing room

Inside the White House
Where the US Navy Seals’
Performance is judged

By the President.
Sheikh Osama bin Laden
Topples. Blood squirting.

The great and the good
Watch intently. Savoring
This death-orgasm –

This buzz the powerful
Get when causing death, claiming
That they’re still human.

When the audience
Has had its fun, the body
Is dropped into the sea.

Rhythmical cheering
Strikes up. ‘USA! USA!’
‘God loves the USA!’


‘The greatest country
‘In the history of the world!’
‘High fives all around.’

The US Emperor,
The first black President,
Who’s ironically

Invaded Africa:
Libya, Somalia, Sudan,
As well as Asia


Can’t stop himself there:
Just as all schoolboys enjoy
Pulling wings off flies,

A lens is focused
To watch trophy death-throes
Of an enemy.

As in ancient Rome,
Where crowds bayed for blood and death,
There’s ecstatic applause.

The rule of law’s absent:
No one’s captured. Or tried.
The victim’s unarmed.

‘Let’s watch someone die!’
The White House equips itself
For a voyeur’s crime –

‘Kill all his women!’
‘Wave to the White House, baby,
‘We’re filming your last breath!’

‘Hate our freedoms, huh?
‘Hate our Right to Happiness? –
‘We’ll jerk off while you croak.’

A box of Kleenex
Appears. Each takes a tissue
To wipe away tears.

They miss Osama,
For now they will have to think
Of more enemies –

Invaluable to
The war economy
Of the USA.

Thank you Heathcote!