Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Save Ulster From Sodomy

In the late 70s and early 80s Ian Paisley led the Save Ulster From Sodomy campaign, a largely Unionist affair, to prevent the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Northern Ireland. Yesterday the Northern Ireland Assembly voted against the Equal Marriage Bill. Ironically the Unionists were supported and lobbied by their old foes the Catholic Church.

Save Ulster From Sodomy

Billboard alongside Belfast Gay Pride Parade.
Papists rule out rubbers
lobby Paisley, Cardinals campaign,
petition Orange Men,
united by a great and noble aim,
odd bedfellows marry hastily.
Saving Ulster from sodomy again.

Forty-two to fifty
they threw out equality,
ranting, foaming, raving, canting,
Stormont storms. Sodomy,
my protestant Gran informed me,
if not the norm, was once a favoured form
of birth control.

Now, the laws the law
in Catholic France and Spain, but
special conditions pertain,
to a corner of the UK where
Old Women reign.
Gran will turn beneath the turf when I say
the side of the angels is Sinn Fein.
Presbytarians are arseholes so stuff 'em!

Strange unsettling settlement
upsets. Sectarian alliances crystalise
and cave, Form and fold, 
old favours, old grievances, old scores,
exchanged for what religionists crave.
What's not settled at assembly
Is delayed, until we settle.
See you in court.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Hung Out To Dry

It was a Christian minister who drew my attention to the idea of the crucifixion as child abuse. He suggested there might be an alternative moral to the narrative. I thought trying to draw a consistent or clear moral conclusions from the New Testament was as feasible as pinning water to the wall. This poem has endured a lot of changes in form, content and even title. I'll keep working on it.

Hung Out To Dry

If God the father sent Christ to die
For the sins of you and I,
Wear a crown of thorns, bleed and cry
Oh dad you've hung me out to dry,
Forsaken me, nailed me high (heave and sigh) -
Then I don't understand the truth,
Of this cosmic act of child abuse.

Where one cannot do otherwise, blame
Cannot be assigned. Judas & the Jews
Constrained, fitted up, put in the frame,
A suicide null and void. A ghastly charade,
Of holy smoke and mirrors.
What conclusions should we draw from this?
What moral has been overlooked?
What meaning was missed?

That conscience makes penitents of us
In the end? Your old man doesn't
Always attend to your best interests? 
Your friends will sell you to the enemy? 
That the game plan depends upon a whim?
That a god who made all laws is bound by them?

Pause. For thought. When it comes
To religion I'm wise enough to know
That once the cat's out of the bag
It's best to let it go.
If God is good, and omnipotent
Yet evil exists,
Then either he's not good, nor all powerful
Or he had a hand in it.

You can download & listen to Hung Out To Dry here 

Hung Out To Dry mp3

© 2013 Wreck Of My Old Self Productions

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Clock Watchers In The Woods

It's my first memory of social embarrassment. I loudly proclaimed my older cousin Barry “sexy” and brought the pickled onion crunching crowd to a glowering halt. His shirt collar was open over his  jacket collar, his hair was slick with Brylcreem. It passed for style in those dismal days and I'd confused style with sexy. I have no idea where heard the word before but clearly it was a faux pas.

Years later I remember an Alzheimer's patient – an old school proper gentleman - pointing at his visiting daughter shouting “she sucks my cock”. Painfully embarrassed his daughter turned to everyone and mouthed, “I'm sorry.... I don't”.

My imagination conflated these episodes.

Clock Watchers In The Woods

Cloth ears? Her ill fitting teeth?
What did granny just gabble
at the gathering?
The voice above the rabble
Stopped the chatter and the babble,
Granny said there are cock
suckers in the woods.

Everyone looks nervous,
coughs and shuffles, muffles giggles.
Talk shifts to the weather;
Mother squirms and wriggles,
smiles politely, tugs his tresses
then to avoid his guesses,
whispers sotto voce,

Granny said clock watchers.
She gabbles often garbled.
What she mutters hardly matters
since she's lost her marbles.
Dad, who'd be watching clocks
or washing socks
this late at night?
She uttered sucking cocks.
What's it mean?

Whisked away swiftly,
unjustly and unwilling,
fluster and kerfuffle,
A tug-o-war to bed -
tuttering and trilling,
But to no-one in particular
he said -
Christ that little fucker's
on the subject of cock suckers
and he just doesn't seem to
want to let it go.

© Wreck of my old self productions