Monday, 22 September 2014

… the thistle jags our hearts,
take these roses
            from our bloodied hands.
                        - Carol Ann Duffy, ‘September 2014’
The analogy fails.

                           There are no flowers

in Whitehall. All that grows in the hothouse of Parliament

is rhetoric test-tubed under licence to Montsanto,

tendrils of falsehood pushed up from a coalition

of mulch and manure – verdant on the surface,

hard iron beneath.

                                    There are no flowers

in Fleet Street. Thrown bouquets are the business

of bride and bridesmaid; the media’s after

something harder and faster – the meaningless congress

of friends with benefits: friends, in this case,

in Number Ten.

                                    There are no flowers

in George Square, only voices united in Flower of Scotland

up against skinheads and Rule Britannia, Nazi salutes

and the Saltire burned, the knife and the boot

and mounted police. Hands are bloodied, but flowers

aren’t offered.

                                    A crown of thorns

is biked up by courier, postmarked London,

wrapped in promises already broken.

Carol Ann Duffy writes referendum poem

© Neil Fulwood