Tell Harry That I Love Him

(This poem was written on behalf of my daughter Mollie to the lifelong British socialist, political activist and NHS campaigner Harry Leslie Smith after he was taken in to hospital with a life threatening condition. Harry died shortly afterwards aged 95)
Tell Harry that I love him
Please tell him that I care
Tell him that I'm worried
If not a little scared
Tell him of my admiration
Of how I respect his honesty
How I treasure what he's told me
About his life, his history
Tell him that I've watched his Labour conference speech
Until I know it off by heart
That I carry it within me
Though we are generations apart
Thank him for his words that painted pictures
So that I could be informed
About a life almost unimagined
Before I was ever born
Tell him I'll hold him in my memory
As long as it may last
But mostly, please tell him that I love him
Whatever may come to pass

Copyright: Fishylyrics 2019



An ill wind blows at Westminster(aka The Mother of all Farts)

Margarita Mayhem was a Tory Minister, the Prime one of the day
Mayhem by name and nature too, even colleagues were bound to say
She'd stumbled through her tenure leaving behind a littered trail
But today's unholy stink at Westminster would surely be a step beyond the pale

The PM stopped mid-sentence, her face turned ashen grey
Her knees began to tremble and her hips began to sway
And then it came from deep within, a force too great to stop
Docking at the point of no return with first a moan and then a pop

Clenched buttocks could do nothing and the pop became a mighty roar
A natural gas eruption with methane at it's core
The explosion echoed around the chamber while the PM shrank from view
Her embarrassed eyes sought left and right demanding swift rescue

Rise Grooling, Grunt and Fondle, faces a ruddy blush
Like commandeered Quixotes and with voices very hush
Mumbled meek apologies if they should be to blame
Then settled humbly to their bench, heads hung in mock shame

The blast at last was left behind but, oh boy, far worse was to arrive
A malodorous funk so poisonous mere words could bare describe
A punge so rich in sulphur, in rot and in decay
A reek of pure malevolence passed through the House this day

Hot air rises as it will and it crept from bench to bench
MPs groaned, order papers waving, unable to take the stench
At last The Speaker shouted "Order" and he held a steady gaze
As the leader of The Opposition emerged visible through the haze

Corblimey struggled to Despatch, yet determined for a kill
And declared he'd had an email from Jean in Bexley Hill
Who to put the matter bluntly was having trouble at one end
And was there any remedy the PM could recommend

Labour Members rolled in the aisles, huge cheers, rapturous applause
Such wit and spontaneity from the leader of their cause
What clarity of mind he'd shown in circumstances oh so dire
This erstwhile Son of Sam was now the hero of the hour

Cue Gable dancing lightly to his feet, his face still bore a tear
Asserting this was just the type of hard exit that the British people fear
The Greens cried "no emissions" while the SNP sat schtum
And a voice from the back gave curt advice about a finger and a bum

Enter a digit jabbing Skinnard, well known not to gladly suffer fools
"Deeds speak louder than words" says he "and that one sums up Tory rule"
Well, that sent the Tories in to frenzy and pandemonium ensued
Insults were hurled and curses cast should a foe's face appear in view

With retching still heard on all levels and no dispersing of the acrid cloud
With bodies scrambling for the doors and Members tripping in the crowd
With hands not knowing what they were groping - not unusual some may say
The Speaker had no option but to halt proceedings for the day

That evening the gig economy sprang sharply in to life
Cleaners, Florists, Perfumers worked all through the night
Lavender on every bench, scented candles, sweet bouquets
By morning all was fresh again, no whiff of yesterday

Also scheming hard that night the team at number Ten
"Nothing has changed" squawked Mayhem but that didn't convince the men
A cunning plan was needed to pin the odious blame elsewhere
Especially as the whole Poohaha had gone out live on air

Step forward Alexander Horace de Waffel Bilge, tousled hair and garbling tongue
Who insisted he could come up trumps with an explanation for the ghastly pong
"A draught of ale, a glug of gin and a few hours thinking time.
That's all I need" said Horace while slurping down his wine

Next day came Horace to the House, could he defuse this powder keg
He'd consulted widely - GCHQ, MI5 and 6, and even Mystic Meg
"I've unearthed the guilty culprit. I've had all hands to the pump"
And professed it to be the Russians with a putrid cyber dump

Even Bloomsberg at the Beeb didn't fall for that one and the PM's race was run
Mayhem was ultimately done for after months of hanging on
Crisis upon crisis had finally broken poor Margarita's heart
But who could have guessed it all would end with the Mother of all Farts!

Copyright: Fishylyrics December 2017 


Meet Joe…

See the eyes, the lack of pride
The self-reproach felt deep inside
No welcome here, no gaze returned
Head bowed, glances spurned

See the smile, lips tight drawn
It tells a lie, the face is torn
It hides a soul too hard to own
A camouflage for truths beknown

See the shoulders stooped and bent
The weight so heavy it can't relent
A load long carried in the mind
No pause or respite can it find

Feel the stomach cramped and tight
Hands are cold, head is light
Last pickings fed to smaller jaws
Tonight much like the night before

He reaches in to memory
For answers to his misery
Recalls only wages earned and money spent
Bigger bills and higher rent

Feel the humiliation as he stands in line
Two years now since the very first time
He signs for his boxed up charity
And wonders how this came to be

This throwback to an age gone by
The daily battle to survive
Work's safe refuge turned on its head
Employment's safety net in shreds

Feel the confusion, feel the pain
Feel the anger rise again
What crimes or wrongs were committed here
To be served a punishment so severe

A sentence crafted by corporate pen
To impoverish the worker once again
To have him servile, keep him tame
Know his place and know his shame

To strip away his dignity
Exploit his vulnerability
And lay the blame at his own door
The fault all his for being poor

See an existence cruel to bear
See a future full of fear
Meet a life born out of another's plan
Meet a 21st century working man

Meet Joe...

Copyright: Fishylyrics - February 2017

Homelessness – the devil’s cocktail

The abused who from the abuser hides
Her nerves don't hold for long
She starts at every nascent sound
She has to keep moving on

The doorway sleeper beside his dog
One blanket torn and wet
His face now shows the crooked scar
From the boot that followed the threat

The child whose home is now a B&B
A cot his new playground
Mum's zero hours became zero pay
And the rent just couldn't be found

The veteran in his wooded tent
His mind bears long a stain
All night he roams for fear of sleep
And the dreams that bring the pain

The unloved teenage girl who runs
Into a world that may not care
Now choices of the street are hers
She learns too soon that life's unfair

Add the addict and the migrant
And poor souls yet to learn their destiny
See the devil's cocktail for the homeless
In our disunited Kingdom 2017 

Copyright: Fishylyrics January 2017



The 18th June Nineteen Eighty Four
A date that The State had been long planning for
Revenge on it's mind, heart filled with hate
No chance that Orgreave would be Saltley Gate

No diversions or road blocks for pickets that day
Just escorting of miners along their way
For those men their fate was already sealed
As the Bobbies led them down to the corn field

Battle lines drawn, plans hidden from sight
Horses and dogs to the left and the right
Five thousand Coppers armed up to the teeth
Community policing this wasn't to be

The order was given, mounted police charged
Then short shield units commenced the barrage
Blows rained down to the head and the back
As the pickets they fled from the brutal attack

The beatings were savage, injuries many
Broken limbs, gashes, bruises ten a penny
Policemen delivered what their masters had yearned
Expenses and overtime dutifully earned

That paragon of virtue, the BBC
Doctored the film that the public would see
Footage reversed, truth bent like a bow
Government and broadcaster had their ducks in a row

Shamefully, ninety five miners charged with riot and affray
Their crime it appeared was just running away
A potential life sentence for these men of coal
The state had bloodied body but still desired soul

Ninety five acquittals eventually served
Collusion and perjury exposed by lawyers
No officer prosecuted, nor yet disciplined
For the lies that were peddled about "the enemy within"

"The enemy within" who works deep underground
In the damp and the dark with no natural sound
Whom with each breath of dust reduce their life term
As in retirement they wait for the dreaded "e" word

And now a public inquiry denied by the Home Secretary
A stockbroker's daughter, a Cheltenham College lady
No need then for justice, no search then for truth
That's a privilege reserved for a more genteel group

A word for you Amber, it doesn't end so
Politicians will come and politicians will go
But working men and women no longer bend at the knee
The truth we will have it, whenever it be!

Copyright: Fishylyrics - November 2016

Trickle or Trick

For those not cognisant with "trickle down"
Please allow me to explain
It's a form of macro-economics
From which we're all supposed to gain

To spread the wealth around, it's told
When The Rich make their vast sums
We follow with our pan and brush
And sweep up all the crumbs

Or put another way, perhaps
So the theory goes
We all drink up the spillages
From the cup that overflows

Now I've been waiting patiently
For a nibble or a sip
But to be quite honest with you
I've seen neither morsel, nor seen drip

I'm no trained economist
No Smith, no Marx, no Keynes
But I can spot a mighty heist
With just a poor boy's brains

No trickle down, instead a mighty geyser spurts
It's riches hidden from our view
A volcanic spewing forth of wealth
To satisfy the greed of few

But let me offer a word of warning
To you beneficiaries of the scam
The game doesn't last for ever
Enjoy your exploits while you can

For come the day of reckoning
The world, it turns around
King is pawn and pawn is king
When the walls come tumbling down

When we come, we'll come in numbers
When we come we'll come with strength
We'll come with jurisdiction
We'll come with clear conscience

When we come, we won't be asking
No polite requests, no subservience
Repossession, fair and just
No deals, no recompense

Copyright: Fishylyrics - November 2016