Citizen Ship Belfast 2013. Nos 31. Without wind a flag is a sorry thing. He…

Citizen Ship Belfast 2013. Nos 31.
Without wind a flag is a sorry thing.

Here’s a wee poem influenced by what I have been seeing lately in our streets. I am no lover of bonfires, flag waving, violent street protest or lazy thinking. Self expression, well formed ideas, positive thoughts for society however, I hold dear. Without these things we are lost.

Without Wind a Flag is a Sorry Thing.

Without wind
A flag is a sorry thing.
Without some big blow
A flag has no life.
This battered wife
Caught by plastic ties
Gripped by lies.
A woman, flapping to escape.

Trapped like some wee
Abandoned fighting dog.
Frightened, beaten and abused.
Barking amongst the silent remains
Of our scrap yard.
This is Northern Ireland.

Your street and my street
Weeps colours from the sky.
All because someone else
Wants their finger
In your pie.

These limp leaden flags
Like redundant lungs,
Cough up the phlegm
Of our leaders, long dead.

The streets shake their death rattle
Like some silent collection.
While we say nothing.
Keeping our heads down.
An incomplete nation, heads bowed.
Praying their lives away
To some hard idol called fear.

To still be doing
What our leaders said
One hundred years on.
Like one trick ponies.
Come on . . . come on . . .
Catch yourselves on, boys.
Are you just a bit too blonde?

Shake yourselves up
Out of these dark slumbers
Like the men of Ulster
You are.

Did all those big bombs
Turn your head now?
For what are you needing this?
Like piss against the wind
And tears all down
Your wet wee legs.
For you were just a child
When you picked up
The scraps of these dregs.
These dis-beliefs.

To believe in this?
To only believe in this?
Is this all you have?
I am saddened by your loss.

My heart is numb.
I have no fear or feeling.
No regard, for your flutterings.
For the scrap metal of your thoughts.
For your scrap yard dogs,
Your scrap yard things.

But you have my pity.
My shred of love,
And my sympathy.
For some amongst you.
You and your lost tribe
Of Israelites,
Would rather you remained
Barking and in chains.

Like guard dogs
Chewing on their madness.
Minting the shekel.
Squeezing your tears,
The washing of all your fears
Through their mangle.

And nothing will ever change
Down your street and my street,
Until you scrap
Their twisted workings.
Let loose their dogs
And shut the doors
Of this scrap yard
For good, for once,
And for all.

Citizen Ship Belfast 2013. Nos 31.
By Randall Stephen Hall ©