Two Poems for Easter 2016

These poems were written during Easter 2016 whilst confined at HMP Highpoint. Four days locked up with little else to do, given staff holidays. As I remember, they did their best to get us to the gym for a couple of sessions of badminton – in my case – lifting weights for most.
The first just shows my frustration with having to listen to broadcasts about religious activities to which I not only do not subscribe but have heard every year since the age of about six, when my family acquired their first black and white television. Broadcasters churning out the same old lines – even on my belovèd Radio 3.
The second is a comment on the centenary of the Easter Rising – the broadcasting of which was actually quite interesting – with references to a famous Irish poet that I was reading at the time.

Easter Expressions (1)


More crosses to bear

Oh, that they were there!

Use of ubiquitous Latin hymns

Neither blasphemy nor jest

Their lines left out on linguistic limbs

Which culture’s crosses are best?

Witter on, wild wordy whims!


More holy than thou

Furrows they eternally plough

Remnants, rural or religious

Recollections from ages past

The royal, the rare and prestigious

Colours nailed to a manuscript’s mast


More strings to their bow

Their scribbled seeds to sow

Expressions that exasperate!

This meaningless language

Serves to exaggerate

A corruption through usage

Which belittles the great


More axes to grind

Cultural chains that bind

Minds made oblivious

To their lack of precision

Interpretation too obvious

For logical decision

The deluge of doubt impervious


Let there be more fish to fry

That we might do or die

Some creatures reason not, or so we say

This purpose of prose is to pacify

When life is taken away

No tradition can justify

The ultimate price other beings pay


More bridges to burn

And stripes to earn

Antagonistic aphorisms

Oxymoronic quotations

Relentless rhymes and rhythms

Nonsensical notations

Silly syllogisms

O, grant us salvation from Easter expressions!


Easter Expressions (2)


Think on, today, of that green isle

A century past from the Easter Rising

Through the words of that well-known writer

Though his style, now, unsurprising

A terrible beauty was born

Created during, and by, his life

Despite his origins and loves unrequited

And personal and political strife

He described the need to liberate

This nation of papists and non-believers

By the creation of a republican state

Free from foreign privilege

His verse contrasts with morality

Any nihilistic nationalism

And pleads for plurality

A portrait of poetic patriotism


Think on, of those, wherever they be

That, for any cause, have chosen to die

Whether they be innocent or guilty

In whatever graveyard they may lie

One nation’s terrorist

Is another’s freedom fighter

One country’s citizen or subject

Another’s occupier

One patriotic poet

Another tribe’s traitor

Who might become revered by all

In years, or even decades, later

Right is not exclusively on the side

That fights for our view of democracy

No truth can belong to those that lied

Nor to those that espouse hypocrisy

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