Nigel Mellor

 

 

The re-burial of Lord Haw Haw

 

 

Hanged at Wandsworth

Thirty years this month

His body placed in sacking

In an unmarked grave

Soaked with quicklime within the prison walls.

I had thought that justice

Had progressed.

Surely death was quite enough

For traitor and betrayed.

 

 

At times like Spain*

 

 

O.K.

So Alec often gets it

Wrong

And he’s workerist

And just a bit of a sexist

But he kicks arse

(When camera men from the Front

want photos for Bulldog)

And that’s not nice

But at times like Spain

Looking back

Words were not enough.

 

* For the 50th anniversary of the end of the

Spanish Civil War

 

 

Official secrets

 

 

We are in greatest danger

From the freedoms we have

They do not become a part of life

But a way of forgetting

The struggle which gave them life

When we no longer have to fight

We forget why and how to fight

To be free is not enough.

 

 

Opposition

 

 

We talk

At times

As if they came with hammers

And iron bars

To kick and splinter

An oak door.

It wasn’t like that at all

The door was hollow

Rotted through

They hardly needed to push

And we did

Nothing

To hold it.

 

Nigel Mellor © 2010

The clouds*

 

 

You laughed

When I said that the verb

To own

Did not describe a natural state

You smiled at my poor attempt to reason that

Even though this ownership

Was never questioned

I could prove it wrong

You listened, painfully,

While I described

The possibility that someone

Would build a meter large enough to hold the air

And send me bills

For rent and standing charge

And so much fuel adjusted cost

Per breath

And that armies would defend

This meter

And this man

And you their right

To deny me air.

As I say, you listened, painfully.

Since that time I’ve heard complaints

That someone tried to steal the rain

From Denver, Colorado

The problem there it seems

Is that no one knows who owns the clouds.

 

* For the 50th anniversary of the death of Robert Tressell, author of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

 

 

Interrogation*

 

 

I won’t hold out for long

Soon you’ll get the lot

The names

And more besides

I will crawl at your feet

I know that

But in the long dark night of your soul

You must finally face what has been done to you

That you can do this to me.

 

* For the fortieth anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights

 

 

Nigel Mellor © 2010

 

 

 

All these poems are extracted from Nigel Mellor's

collection For The Inquiry - poetry of the dirty war

(Dab Hand Press © 2010)