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Gordon Scapens

Explaining Progress


This isn’t a supermarket

but a cathedral of stored blessings

awarded to those carrying

the appropriate purse.


This isn’t money you spend

it’s oil for the cogs of commerce,

something to ease contentment

to faceless companies.


This isn’t a queue to exit

only a ritual conga dance

to the tune called

‘the insolence of wealth’.


This isn’t a till receipt

just a page from a bible

saying something is hidden

that  needs to be told.


This spreading of such places

doesn’t mean they breed

it’s just money is a religion

in certain quarters.


And the corner shop

being boarded up

is just learning

to live in the dark.


Life disguises itself,

tells the biggest lies.




Fading Away


The attitude towards her

is like she’s an inmate

but she feels separate

and belongs somewhere else,

but not sure where.


There are daily happenings

without her choosing,

and strangers visit,

talk like they know her.


Time interrupts silence

for group mealtimes,

group activities, group bedtimes.

She is always included

but wonders why she’s here,

why the past is a story

all about someone else.


She knows she’s individual

but remains silent

in the step she’s taken

in her life that wasn’t there,

knows she’s not a number

but does have a name.


If only she could recall it.




She Will Never Be Less


Hear her change minds,

undaunted mouth playing

with a poetry of conviction.


She can hold a moment

in the grip of a smile,

but wear your prejudice

like a worn-out medal

and there’s nowhere to hide.


Tears are freely offered

but only for emphasis,

especially when seeing herself

in discriminating eyes,

and the sensitive will discover

her lifetime’s secret ache.


She is the revelation

of an indefinable spirit

but has relentless faith

in her right to equality,

never to be reduced

to anything less.


She is worth more

than just her image,

and tries to realign attitudes,

but retains the belief

she can’t be classified.


Observe, take notes, learn.

She is Woman.


She is where man comes home.


Ukraine Conflict


The good guys:

When the war is over,

separate but together,

they’ll audition for clowns,

paint smiles on faces,

remember laughter,

scatter jokes about leaders.

They’ll dispense love again,

a daily ration of hugs.

They’ll remind themselves

of who they are,

and be able to look up

and speak only stars.


This is deserved progress.


The bad guys:

When they lurched

to the start of it,

separate thugs together,

rattling misread signs,

not knowing the distance

between them and consequences,

they were worse than fools

and were defined

by the good they hated

and the senseless butchery.

They would never have

their place in the world again.


This is deserved retardation.




Gordon Scapens © 2024

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