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Riot Brigade

 

Flashed all their truncheons bare

Flashed as they turned in air

Cracking hell’s-grannies there

Dare not a liberal spared

All the world wondered.

Plunged in the tear-gas smoke

Right through the gates they broke

Press-hounds and puppies

Admiring the backhand stroke

Thrashing and thundered.

Points make prizes, praise

The first man to six hundred!

 

Hippies to the right of them

Hippies to the left of them

Horses behind them

Volleyed and thundered.

Rubber-bullets, shot and shell

Not a horse or hero fell

They that had fought so well.

Each rozzer-filth counts the points

Of broken skulls, legs and joints

Top shot will scoop the prize

Of points to six hundred.

 

When can their glory fade?

O the wild charge they made!

All the world wondered.

Treble overtime paid

To each of the Riot Brigade

A wedge of six hundred!   [2018]

                     

[From the play The Wrong ’Un]

 

[cf. Charge of the Light Brigade, Alfred Tennyson]

 

 

 

House

 

I leant out from a high crack’d ledge

When sulky summer was concrete-grey

And heard the break of house music

I knew t’was here to stay.   [2011]  

                                        

 

[cf. Hardy’s A Darkling Thrush

I leant upon a coppice gate

When Frost was spectre-grey,

And Winter's dregs made desolate

The weakening eye of day.]

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