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Gordon Scapens

Racial Prejudice


The depth of bitterness

blooming in blind opinion.


The language of bigotry

caught in its own trap.


The sound of phobia

trying to fool the world.


The empty promises

falling on deaf ears.


The shape of indignity

from yesterday’s lies.


The trick of blaming

prejudice on victims.


The interaction of ancestors

stalking us for years.


The ambiguity

of who we think we are.


We are our own enemies,

we just don’t know it yet.

Counting Nightmares


He sends men off to war

where he would not go,

marching towards horizons

they cannot see,


and they have no songs,

words dying like flowers,

buried behind the face

of an unknown clock.


There is no time to waste

only time to lose,

and man-made trouble

stares in all our faces,


writing the small print

at the bottom of plans

for forceful policies

perpetrated as peace missions.


This is an uneasy world.

Living is watching peace

walking off the page

and being unable to follow.


War is never over,

man has its measure.

They count soldiers going out,

count nightmares coming back.


This war slays little dragons

while the big one waits.

Gordon Scapens © 2023

Helpline to the Gods


Hello, is that a god

I’m speaking to?

Stop looking inward,

forget the beautiful lie,

I have a complaint.


While you scrabble about

at the fringes of reality,

hiding behind fake news,

this planet of ours

is sinking in its history,

is not fit for the purpose

for which it was intended.

It’s hurrying to a mess,

will end up in a ruin.


Despite your indifference

reacquaint yourself

with your conscience.

We don’t even know

how to cry properly anymore

and have the right to ask

that you promise us

the right sort of tomorrow.


What was that?

Hello, are you still there?

Hello? Hello?

My Cremation


I won`t actually be there of course,

such is the nature of these events,

but my spirit will join you

to prove so many words useless.


Not that I`m looking for silence.

You may tell a few lies

if it stimulates communal smiles,

and sombre faces must be banished.


Just remember the knowing clock

and its reminder of stopped laughter.

Don`t shed your tears for me

and drink something intoxicating


to toast my inspired mediocrity.

Merge slowly with the early hours

to make a celebration worthy

of the warmth of my departure.


Please party until your eyes close,

dance until you drop.

I will just hope Death

is not catching.


Even after the end

I shall still be laughing

the other side of words

and juggling stars.


I’ll be less then, and more.




Gordon Scapens © 2023

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