Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Crimson Shoes

A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of nationalism:
Painted poltergeist prancing to a bombast's tune,
It's a mocked-up mockery, an am-dram totem.
If Satan showed up, it'd surely demote him.
For hours each day, the fools bow and pray -
In place of churches they constructed casinos
And shopping malls. Et in arcadès ego.
These establishments offer most peculiar prizes
In England's name, and all such names.
The slot machines rest upon axles and stilts
Which keep them amply raised above the tide
Of blood. Otherwise they'd need to keep glancing down,
These merrymaking gamesters, these jokers, these clowns,
And then where would they be? Down a few pounds.

Their shoes stained with crimson, their socks a dark red,
Whooping and clapping, they go home to bed.
Above each mantel is an icon of sorts:
St George, engaged in his favourite sports.
He kills dragons, you see. We thought them extinct
But now it turns out we've all been hoodwinked:
Single-craniummed creatures, granted, died out long ago -
The modern beast is more of a Hydra, you know.
Spear one head, crush a skull, and another appears,
Each worse than the last, each a new set of fears.
No one's ever seen one. I suppose that's true.
Still, I want them massacred. Wouldn't you?

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