Saturday, 2 February 2013

The day we elected...

... Wilko Johnson president
the sun shone.
Which was a start.
He walked into Parliament with a heart
full of honest intentions
and a Telecaster in his arms
and we were one nation under a groove
under a riff. A distinctive, choppy, furious,
down-and-dirty-and-your-momma-wouldn’t-like-it riff.

The day we elected Wilko Johnson president
the Commons rocked out in a way
it hadn’t since Pitt the Younger’s solo
on a harpsichord he’d smuggled into the chamber
during the Poor Law debate
stilled the shouting
knocked the discord dead
and became the stuff of legend.
But now we had amplification
and a lot more soul.

The day we elected Wilko Johnson president
we ditched the old national anthem
for the new. Some bloke from Canvey Island saying
Well, shit happens
80 000 people roared along at Wembley
the 5 Live commentator was still chuckling
when San Marino scored their second
England lost 3-1. No-one cared.

The day we elected Wilko Johnson president
the sun shone.
Or it may have rained.
I don’t know, I was drunk for a week
singing our three-word anthem
with friends, strangers, countrymen
watching borders become meaningless
wealth become worthless
his simple words
I don’t wanna be greedy
echoing through my mind
like a Telecaster, riffing on sustain.

© Steve Pottinger

This poem was inspired by Wilko Johnson's comment - on receiving the news he has terminal cancer - that he'd had a good life, and didn't want to be greedy.
twitter: @oneangrypoet