Great Poetry Circle

Great Poetry Circle

About the Poetry Blog

Selection of Great Poetry and some from Tommy Stroller - choose your category - and see my other sites -

World on Fire

TS Political PoetryPosted by Graham Thompson Fri, October 12, 2018 12:31:59

Hospital Britannia

There is something desperately wrong

In olde England - how we still pretend

To be a world power, a first

Class nation with a long history

Of political lordism

Over so many lesser nations

Who have never recognised

The sources of our authority

Even if they respect our over-celebrated

History and look up to our

Bitter-sweet cultural icons - those

Bastards of a twisted and class-ridden past,

Even if they sometimes remember

Britannia the liberator, the Byronesque

Hero who himself despised its demesne

The rain spits in our faces

On our Anglo-Saxon south coast

All the way from ancient enemies

France, Spain, Germany

And Holland - all of whom

We never quite conquered

Even when we still pretend

We did - liberated yes,

But what kind of liberation did we give ourselves:

An old-age mixed with Britain’s filthy damp airs

Breeds lung disease and twisted babies,

Whilst the rich still fatten

On our stone-cold carcass

Bones poking out of drains and

Unrecycled garbage.

Something is desperately lost

Even with stick and age,

Demented thoughts scrabble like crabs

In unfermented brains.

We feel no longer wisdom

As once our forefathers were honoured

To do - no we suffer politely

Still pulling a forelock at our betters

And copying their stately homes

In miniaturised imitation,

Which constantly need up-scaling

Until we really believe every Englishman’s home

Is really the castle of our dreams,

Defended not only against foreign scum

But those from any slightly lower class.

It’s a squeezed tight-arsed world

Where rules are more important than people,

When procedures dictate

If and when people can eat

Even though they are hungry,

When immigrants are locked up

And nobody owns up to throwing away the key,

When beggars are persecuted and givers

Are sent to gaol for sharing a crust of their wealth,

When algo-rhythms steal our souls

And replace them with every advert

We could maybe wish to see

Even though we are never buying it,

It’s just to distract us from the more important matters

Such as life and death,

Human contact and human trust.

One day every human virtue will be stolen from us

By sleight of a hidden computerised hand,

Or a bureaucrat just doing an honest days work,

Or an untrained assistant in hospital Brittania,

Whilst the highly trained qualified professionals

Hide behind their screens,

Equally puzzled by their tick-box over-managed world

Humanity, respect, individual trust

Is sunk in a whirlpool of lies

And eaten by the sharks and money grubbers

Of this technologized overly-controlled world

Lies disguised as saving de-vices

And dressed up as official & politically correct rules

These lies will one day eat up their manufacturers

When the chickens come home to roost

The chicken house will be in flames.

One Sunday Morning in Cologne

I came across a naked woman

Walking in the rain

A lonely Indian in the mall

Trawling the smokers’ trash cans

A man asleep before a bench

Clasping a silver chain

An elevator offering one lost shoe

Stockingless, hi-heeled and tan

Two giant plastic bags

Filled with the next night’s bedding

A wild-haired woman sobbing

A doll inside her pram

Flashing neon haloing late homecomers

Hung over from Saturday’s feasts

It was by chance I walked this way

Not fate that aligned these tropes

The choice lies in all our wills

Not spells cast on screens

Yet still the adverts circle on

Trundling the tragedies of missed desire


Every day the man from the clothes shop

Brings the same headless black dummies

Out into the street and thus displays

His wares to a careless world

Hver dag henter manden fra tøjbutikken

Samme hovedløse sorte mannequiner

Og sætter dem på gaden - på denne måde viser han

Sine varer til en ubarmhjertig verden

Thanks to Camilla Pless og Birgith Lotzfeldt for the Danish help
og de Chirico for part inspiration


Denmark! Oh Denmark

“There is something rotten …”

Holger Danske needs reawakening

Now the Danes are broken in two

One half supping at

Their social-democratic beers

In the long lines of ever longer bars

Expressing their needs

For the return of a lost universe

Of social allowances

Pensions and easy diagnoses

The other exploiting the holes

In a crumbling social system

Making profit from the other half’s tears

Lining their trouser pockets

(Which themselvers have been bought

With the funds from the party

An all night party that never stops

At the parting of every opportunistic dawn)

With the ill-gotten gains from

Technogiants, warehandlers and merchant

Fleets - those great and generous

Contributors to Danish culture

But more importantly

To the party’s continuance

The party that will never see the dawn

Of Holger’s awakening

The Graveyard for the Prisoners of War

When 70 people die -

In a war

In a prison camp

A thousand miles from home

Belgians, French, Russians

And one Lithuanian

No longer as soldiers

But merely as the victims

Of typhus

In the overcrowded camp

Not a concentration camp

For it was before these were

Properly invented

So that even the German doctor

Dr. Fallscheer

He died treating them

But, of course, is buried elsewhere

And they were buried properly

With names written

On each simple headstone

And regiment and country

In their own little cemetry

Next to the long-gone prison camp

Far out in the fens

Of old Slesvig

- why do I find tears in my eyes

As I look down the rows of engraved names:

Bubowski, Dams, Faucault, and Stepkin?

Why do they plead me their cause

As they stare out over the flatlands

Of what is now Denmark

But what was once Germany?

No member of my Thompson clan

Was captured by Germans.

No grandfather of mine ever fought

In the Great War.

Is it that they died

Far from homes, wives and friends?

Or is it that they represent

A common Europe which

They augmented by their deaths,

Buried by Germans

Tended by Danes

And at least one Englishman?




In my head

With Calvin and cigar

Charles the three-eyed XII

Of Sweden

And Christ the humble hero.

Silence etched by rain,

The streets I walk on

Paved with three faces,

Cracking secretly their hidden thoughts,

I tread fiercely,

Hunchbacked we fight it out

Sadistics scrapping on into the night,

Till something breaks,

Or is it cut?

1. Calvin

It fell to me a sign

In quiet Génève

Where every line of desire

Was knotted into fear:

I am the ethos by which the judgment is made.

Show me the talents you have won for our Lord,

Yes, show me your tokens of faith.

Remember the prodigal son .......

The eyes of needles grow.

The cigar gves him away

In the row of small shops;

It is six o'clock precisely

And time to lock up.

It brings a small profit,

The sum his wife knows

Buys hats large and small

And sometimes tight shoes

O for they shall inherit the earth

Two by two on a predestined raft.

The security beneath my fingernails is destroyed.

The manor is left deserted,

My mind a cog, my heart a wheel,

I own nothing I can call my own.

Except a bottle.

It is mine.

I have bought a bottle.

With my own money,

Which I have earnt.

And I have worked to earn the money with which

I have bought a bottle.

I am speaking from a brothel

Conducting my own research

Into the vices of the mob - you know the kind.

I am all that is nice

But I am not beauty

For beauty is vulgar

If not a little indecent.

Tell me my whores

Do you think I am nice?

Do you not think my fingers are nice?

Bought a bottle full

Caught her throttle full

My fingers

Brothel brown

Better than a bottle full

Frothel frown

All over you

Coddle crown


2. Charles XII of Sweden

Glory be to glory be

Land of sleeping elephants

Land of the free

It does not matter who we invade

As long as the kids are put in the way

Scots Welsh or Vikings

They'll all do the dirty spade-

work - though I was a King at the front

An old fashioned King

Who got my hands bloody

With all the best

At least the best of the rest

I carved my name with Swedish steel

From Narvik to Constantinople

Cockpitted and heroed for the folks back home we were

Joyriders in the clouds

Following the apocalyptic four

And full score seven millions

Got blasted on the ground

We´ll give them medals

Their babes free milk

We'll light their candles

And chop off their heads

If they desert my sinking ship, boys

If they support me back to front

And I am God's witness

If God exists

I watched the blood of the lambs

Washed whiter than the Narva snows

And heard the death-man play in Paris

The subtle drum-like tones:

The king now lies in state,

His bullet eye of death

Winks his glory to the world.

And nobody laid a finger on the préfecture,

Not a howl was raised from the mob

Searching for a new King’s head

In the bowels of the silent Pont Neuf.

Now the rain still falls,

The flame still flickers

For the swine who played football:

The referee is French,

And the pitch between the lines

Is human pitch.

3. Jay C. chats with Nietzsche

I spoke as a child to my

Childhood hero.

I speak with the knowledge of my universal murder

Without hope of salvation,

And cannot bear the rhythm of the eternal plan.

I speak with a child’s understanding

But as a man I am judged.

I have the taste of my body.

My body nourishes my mind:

O the ecstasy – devour the lamb,

Absolve it in the selfless soul,

For this is my ritual murder

I am the guiltless idiot:

Humbly I bow before thy feet;

Humility slips from my mouth

Like a sudden saliva bath.

Wine, wine & song,

O play the madman’s drum.

Daddy the devils are behind you with their needle eyes;

And Daddy the sky is moving,

Is shifting in the thunder.

Speak to me Daddy......

I lie unattended.

The tree rests in drunken angles:

It has soaked all the sweat from the land.

My teeth crumbles the soil in perpetuity:

Ickory dickory dock

The blood ran out the clock

The generations lie in the scrum,

Waiting for the water to turn into wine

At the marriage of life and death.

Wine, wine & song,

O play the death-man’s drum.

4. A Very Old Present

I walk into the night,

The precarious pearls of orange rain

Reflect their crown to the eyeless multitudes.

The walls of ordered memory -

The atrophied organ of time -

Are broken through,

Leaving the spatial fool

Gobbling the pity

Of unalterable reality,

Of arbitrary existence.

Insanity reorders it’s words exhumed

Into mosaic resurrection.

Morning creaks my guilt

Intends to catch me

Hallucinating halos

By the cemetery of previous desires.

Who hopes? I tell you:

Green garb and Roman silk

O leafy halos on whose head sweat it be

I tell you:

Eyes for circulation

Corner of Leicester Sq.

The thoughts hide behind the hoardings.

Have a ton

Go on.

It was that (yes that) precise kind of day

(The paintings against the Notre Dame are sinking in the Seine)


(The ash in the grate hugs the nine-tenths of my unused brain)

Up and at

The colonel backfired

The window no ladder no...................

Pearls in back pockets

History sits on us to produce the consumable product.

The word is dust and dry


The lines around the pitch are only lines

Painted an honest white

By men innocent of grounds.


Pandering to the footlights I might find a body

Hanging from the spotlight.

Up and at and into

The home straight is not straight

Peculiar glasses

For drinking eyes?

But do not touch

Symmetrical placards hung from the interpretation of human life.

Touch me I am hot


A plane in the sky perhaps


In my head.

Pass over me

Where bolder names lie more nobly,..

Draped (now)

Mouths sucking teat sea

Or old tea leaves

In Rizla reds.

My head


But is held on either side by boulders

I would not like to say of titanic dimensions!

Ah, that famous old double negative

A Cretan repeating his lies

To Bertrand Russell et al.

It's not the class of all classes

But it's my kind of underclass ...

For mine is the wine

The power and the glory

But it is too much for one head

Such clear clear white wine,

Forget and be -

Etches days oozo go away,

Comebackonanother -

In my misunderstanding.

[Begun in 1967 in Luton, UK, finished in Svendborg, DK 2018]

Notes for the reader:

“It is more difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to pass though the eye of a needle.” Matthew 19 vs. 24

Charles XII 1682 – 1718.
In a life just a little longer than Alexander the Great's, he managed to travel and conquer most of Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Saxony, Poland and Russia, only for those lands to immediately fall back into native hands as soon as he had passed through them. He spent time in luxury with his ally the Ottoman emperor in Istanbul before returning and being shot through the head before a castle on the Norway-Sweden border whilst trying to reconquer Norway. His body, with the shot producing the affect of a third eye in his right temple, was lied in state in Copenhagen and drawn by some unknown artist for history's "consumable product". His most famous battle was at Narva in Estonia where his army of 10,000 men defeated one four times as large from Russia`s Peter the Great. Thus he was a better general than Napoleon but without the big idea.

During the second year of the 1st World War on Christmas Day there was a one day truce. The soldiers from both sides strolled into “no-man's land”, started chatting and exchanging cigarettes. Soon the working class ordinary soldiers from both sides had laid down their army jackets as goals, and started the first of what was to become the greatest rivalry in football history – England vs. Germany. The next day the ringleaders on the German side were court-martialled and sent to a concentration camp In Schleswig, near Løgum Kloster (see above). The Brits were of course more civilized: they shot the whole team as deserters. The result of this famous first match remains unknown, though the Germans claim a 7-2 victory. We finally got revenge in 1966, and the English team got medals from the Queen. But who had the last laugh???

An old English nursery rhyme whose last line actually goes: “The mouse ran up the clock”.

This is based on the old children´s rhyme that used to be sung by mothers:

“Rain, rain, go away, come back on mother's washing day.”

I have used and adapted in different sections the 16th century prayer from the Sarum Primer: “God be in my head, and in my understanding.”

Autumn in Denmark

Lithesome females smile and turn

Oncemore to face the sun.

Autumn suddenly feels like spring

But winter is in Denmark’s seas.

Seagulls wheel the town’s spires,

Pale moons reflected in eyes

Unready for the turning

Seasons. It’s later than

The clocktower bell’s

Sad signal.

Svendborg, DK 12.10.18

From One Inside The Box

Psychiatrists are actually

Ventriloquists, speaking for

You rather than to you

Oh yes they listen

But when you open your mouth

What comes out is:

“I am mad,

I am my diagnosis

I cannot recover

From a lifetime of insanity,

I am damned to die

Manic, depressed, anxious

And obsessed”

With psychiatrists who do not tell you

But only speak for you:

“I am mad, mad, mad …”

Talking with Lorca

TS Political PoetryPosted by Graham Thompson Tue, May 01, 2018 20:37:38

I was not yet in life

When they came for you at 4 in the morning

That dreaming hour when

All poets dredge their muddied minds

For pearls, or the lucky ones

Sing non-stop like an Orpheus

Newly risen from hell’s earth

Or the dreadful ones – like you -

who can see clearly their own death

They came for you at 4 in the morning

Those young raw and drunken falangists

Barely out of their shorts

And who knows where educated?

Extremadura, Burgos, and dry Murcia perhaps

And educated how?

Certainly not in the poems of Machado

Nor with Picasso’s perspective

Of the tour de face

Yes they came at exactly 4 in the morning

Bearing ancient rusty rifles

Which had travelled much further

Then any of those feckless clueless young innocents -

Perhaps from Galicia, Morocco or Pamplona -

And certainly those barrels had been trained

On Catalans, Basques, Asturians

Before reaching Lorca’s firing line

They say it was an orange grove

Before the fruit had been picked

But it was way past the harvest

So they lay rotting and fermenting

On the ground where Lorca

And his nameless companions too

Would soon be providing food

For a million flies

An army

Not big enough to swallow his spirit

But enough to quarry his sap

Yes the bullets took them when their only crime

Was to be socialists and Andalusian

So Lorca never leapt

Like a slippery dolphin

In the fight with his cowardly enemies

Nor bathed in their blood

Instead - they were bathed in his

And though to the end

He still thirsted for the Green

And his eyes flickered

To those fading Green visions

The wind caressed his spirit

Inside the Green

Before he could taste it

Before he could smell it

Before he could feel it

Before he could sail in it

Before he could love it

In the arms of the woman

Who was never to be the next

The wind carried his spirit to us

That little wind that in-spired us

And all who bathed in the GREEN

In all who made Lorca

Not their destination

But a true way-station

With a candle inside becoming carol

On that final path to green glory

And on that toros poster

Crossed by Lorca's words:

"And the bull alone with high heart

At five in the afternoon"

And today your body still lies lost

Pitched under a giant stone

Or under those holy olive branches

Waving now to no-one.

Lorca! Your cause

Was not in war

Nor was it in vain:

Though prematurely dead

Your spirit pitches up today

Not only in this 70 year old

Desiccated fruit:

The young are freed

By your poetry they

Follow on your path

And bear your truth

And the shots still ring in their ears

Tommy Stroller, Spring 2018


TS Political PoetryPosted by G. Thompson Tue, March 27, 2018 11:04:05


I am the star which guides you, my ship, to harbour home.

I am the waves which kiss your bows and urge your timbers moan.

You are the sail which clasps my breath, my song, that makes you yearn.

You are the hull which holds my dreams yet shoots me through the dawn.

No, I am the star which guides the wise, and bids the end of day.

And I am the waves which cleanse your world and keeps your filth at bay.

You are the sale that clutches my breath, the patter that makes me buy.

You are the rack I stretch upon that pulls my dreams awry.

But I am the sun and sometimes the moon, depending on the dice.

And I will love whoever comes no matter which way they face.

If it is true, as you do say, that I have been your rack,

I must become the you I've made and suffer from that lack.

It is no lack to be without what you have always had.

And even now you cannot change the thinking of the stud.

You cannot know, you cannot feel, the centuries of my fear.

But what you must begin to will is LOVE, not power and war.

For the MeToo campaign