The Enemy

A silent needle of pain
reached my most intimate guts.

 

The implant had been successful.

 

The enemy,
the very enemy,
was now living within me.

 

He had travelled far,
leaving behind
his tower of glass so vulnerable.

 

He had penetrated my sacred orifice.
He had installed himself in my fortress.

 

He now survives
of my own blood.

 

When I am happy, he is delighted.
When I drowse,
he dreams of new victims
for his offspring,
to take over,
as my spinal cord
runs out of steam.

 

No battlegrounds in open landscapes to fight him,
no guns or catapults to shoot him,
no visible target,
no struggle outside,
no point in being outside:
there is nothing outside the system, my friend,
just a little plant pot with frozen seeds of insurrection
and a tape-loop player with a Workers’ Power litany.

 

So what’s the strategy?

 

I will travel to the city of Babel,
where languages were made.
I’ll listen to common voices
rejoicing plural routine.

 

I will then climb to their ziggurat
to see the world at my feet
admiring the prosperous valleys,
coveted
by irrational hills,
and all the roads and the rivers,
lines in the nurturing palm
of Goddess’ gracious hand,
which rests when the day turns silver.

 

And when my enemy
is in sleep mode,
the jet black total guardian,
speckled with seminal beams,
will whisper to me
how to challenge our destiny,
how to turn our demise
into the brass of a swing
that will muffle History
with its tales and defeats,
enticing our Future,
to dance away from its fate.

 

And in the morning,
my enemy,
excited by the occasion,
yet concerned by the rarity of the air,
will find his way through my nostrils,
will pop his private head out,
and cast his calculating,
seductive,
chary warm eyes
on the public riches of Earth
claiming hegemony,
imagining business deals:

 

All that wealth to amass,
so much outsourcing required…
planning, measuring, counting…
my saliva tastes like cocaine.

 

And then,
the gentle Zephyrus
embracing the rebel Haboob
will make me sneeze,
launching him out,
all covered in snot:
A projectile to nowhere,
rising,
like nationalism in England,
then dropping,
like the profits of The Daily Mail,
driven away
by the winds of Babylon,
for my enemy,
my very enemy,
to finally splash
on the waters of the Tigris,
drowning,
adrift,
in the Arabs’ River,
as he meets his match
in the lost
under-lands
of the Persian
blue Sea.

 

Copyright © 2016. Tony Martin-Woods
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.

 

Picture: Two figures representing either Zephyros, the winged god of the west wind, holding his lover Hyakinthos in a close embrace; or an allegorical depiction of Love (Eros) desiring and seizing the beauty of youth. From http://www.theoi.com/Titan/AnemosZephyros.html

Trouble at T’Till

TROUBLE AT T’TILL

Unwanted guests for the weekend
White socks in the night club
Lousy friends on facebook
Tatty jackets in your wardrobe

Asbestos in your garage
Termites in the loft
Weeds in your patio cracks
Children with nits
A wooden shed full of rot

And Trots in the party
Fucking Trots in the party

Unexpected item in the bagging area
Unexpected item in the bagging area

Tony Martin-Woods

Written in the morning of the 15 August 2016 following media coverage of Tom Watson’s statements about Troskyst “infiltration” in the Labour Party.

Image from Flickr: The Little Spinner, Newberry, South Carolina by Lewis W. Hine, 1908 (LOC).

 

Beautiful England

“wert thou the unicorn, pride and wrath would confound thee and make thine own self the conquest of thy fury” W. Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, Act 4, scene 3, c. line 341

Oh Beautiful England,

Green maid
Longed for
By warriors
And nomads
And traders
And workers
And dreamers
From Abroad,

Whose Children,

Sometimes blond
Often not,

Have turned you
Into a mirror,

Into a mirror
Of the World,

Tell your sister,
The other England,
Who still believes St George
Was from Windsor
Or Newcastle
Or St Albans
Or Stoke,

Tell her,
For our peace of mind,
Tell her
Who her real parents were.

Tell her
That it’s millions,
Many millions,
Of all tongues,
Who make you
Very fertile,
Who balance
All her books.

Tell her
To stop drinking
Gin and tonic and Pimm’s.
Tell her
To sober up to reality
Tell her

To embrace
Her Foreign Kith and Kin.

Copyright © 2016. Tony Martin-Woods
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.

Painting: Happy unicorn and a naked virgin. Rothschild Canticles. Flanders 14th century. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, MS 404, fol. 51r from  by Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450-1516). Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/elenakarasiova/

 

Resurrection now

I have decided to start my own resurrection

now,
today,
before I lose my strength
and sense of humour,
before I am told to go for good,
before the scroungers that await for me to bleed dead
jump on me remorselessly
to celebrate my life
stuffing themselves
with my bittersweet flesh.

So, this is the plan:

I will get myself out of my current body
(this requires some effort:
you need to do as if you close your anus tightly
pushing yourself upwards
rotating your shoulders
and inserting downwards your neck,
as your new body needs to be born through your head).

Then I will get rid of all the dribble with nice white towels
and get some new clothes that I would have bought for the occasion
(a red t-shirt and black loose very soft trousers, with cotton pants).

I will then leave my corpse lying on the sofa
with the TV on,
something cultural,
and a very hot drink
in a nice stars wars mug
next to me
on the floor.

Then I will go out,
buy the Private Eye,
to see what they say
about the tory hyenas,
the media liars,
the ukip shit
and the bankers who fund them three,
and get a haircut
whilst I read the magazine.

Then go to a shop
and have a coffee,
and a piece of cake.

Drive to the pool,
in my non-resurrected green car,
and have a swim.
I will come out refreshed
and pampered.

I will then buy some Elvis Priestley sunglasses
and some flowers
and stand round the corner of my house
waiting for the ambulance
and the cops
to turn up
to discover my ex
lying there
with a calm smile
and his eyes wide open.
I will be the first to show my condolences
and say great things about me
cracking jokes on how I used to be.
I just want to be there, you know I mean?
checking out things,
being in control of my own post-mortem history,
and ready for when my wife and the kids come:
a simple blink of my eye.
over the Elvis sunglasses,
shall suffice for them to know
that the quirky looking guy is me

again,
with no rejections and
no strategic silences any more
free to go, and say and do,
free to start the same revolution,
free not to fall in the same traps,
free to look after my family,
and many good friends and strangers,
free to help them to resurrect,
free to help to save the planet,
and free to bypass
my former enemies,
who now,
after all,
remember
that I wasn’t so bad.
???!!!
…Lovely, but too late!

Copyright © 2014. Tony Martin-Woods
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.

Paradise

I

El paraíso vacío
Is a colourful white universe
Covered in woods
Where rectangular leaves
Of softly creased textures
Secretly stem
From online branches
Of centenary trees.

Limited liability
Unlimited luck.

El paraíso vacío
Is a room-not-to-be Where
One cannot linger
For they will charge you to do so.
No souls live there.
Just cows
And riffles
And chocolates
And briefcases.

Limited liability
For a haven
Of unlimited crime.

II

El purgatorio repleto
Is certainly hot and busy.

Red shores drawn up
By tides of barren magma.

Sexy dudes and babes
With little or no clothes,
Tight cheeks,
Perky noses,
Dark blue eyes,
(Or light hazelnut with sunflower sparks)
Whisper in the toilets
In a cool code
And pass urine,
That goes down a pipe
For it to be mixed
With footballers’ sweat,
Bottled in small vials
And sold in airport lounges,
Shopping brothels
And malls.

image

III

El infierno amorfo
Is not a trendy place at all.

It stinks badly of burnt
old
angels’ hair.

It’s inhabited by the classic baddies,
you know,
Paedophiles,
Murderers,
Corporate hawks and their like
Alongside the dull,
The uncommitted
And a bunch of bought-again Christians,
But you can’t see
Any meaningful faces
Cause they are melted.

The squeaky voice in the loudspeakers
Advertising junk food
And plastic toys
And useless utensils
Cannot fill the air
As there isn’t any left.

When the hour strikes
The flight attendants read out
News and safety instructions
Which eventually drown
In the background noise
Of well oiled machinery.

IV

El paraíso pleno
It’s a place of Love and Action Where
everything matters,
Everyone cares,
But nothing counts.
A place Where
Everyday,
Before dawn,
Wide open full coffins
Are ritually laid
In the gardens
Of pubs
For pagan nuns
Who fought in the War
To break clouds
Of red skies
With yellow songs
Of hope and sarcasm
As the laughter of the people
Raise the purple from their night.

V

Listen to the birds
As they tweet
Come down the tower
Touch
Sing

image

Copyright © 2014. Tony Martin-Woods
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.

Paintings by Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450-1516)

 

 

 

Rivers of Blood

We are all provisional in this world,
And in these islands.

Even those who still live
In their very delivery room
Attached to the stirrups of the bed
onto which they were expelled
from their mothers’ womb.
Those who still haven’t mopped up their amniotic fluid.

We are all provisional in this world,
And in these islands.

Even those who behave
Like if it was their own merit
To have been born
In a certain spot,
Like a (sweet) potato who takes credit
For the choice of the plot where she was planted.

We are all provisional in this world,
And in these islands.

Even those who planned very carefully
Where precisely to move
Using a spreadsheet to calculate
The lowest income tax
And the highest wage for their trade.

Even those
Who simply ended up
Overstaying in a green and kind place
Where they arrived by pure accident
(Which is actually what happened to me).

Even those who saw themselves
Forced to flee their place of birth,
Sieged by the chaos brought about
By hunger, war and capitalism,
Those who hide from misery or death.

Even those who simply dream with new faces,
New horizons, new air.

We are all provisional in these islands,
And in this world.

Because we are the Rivers of Blood
Feeding the Oceans of Hope.

Copyright © 2016. Tony Martin-Woods
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.
First published in Contra. Poesía ante la Represión. Coordinadora Anti-Represión Región de Murcia. 2016. Murcia