Poetry: Political, Vaguely and Otherwise


Owed to the Press

Want to lie without redress?
Get a nice job in the press!
If you're regularly pissed
You could be a journalist.
If you like to cast ordure
You could be an interviewer.
If your thing is smearing poo
Broadcaster's the job for you.
If you'd like to be a Nazi
You can join the paparazzi
If you think we do not need yer
Go and sign on with the media.

Don't let them fool you all the way -
Make April First your No News Day!

(c) Richard Lawson
Congresbury July 2005



They say that nobody's badr

Than Moqtada al Sadr

But when shove comes to push

He's no worse than Bush





Poor Cardinal Cormack Murphy O'Connor


Poor Cardinal Cormack Murphy O'Connor

His sonorous moniker's dipped in dishonour

An odour of skankiness stubbornly lingers

'round his treatment of clerics with wandering fingers

(c) Richard Lawson

Dec 2002






two kids inside a car
for the right
to spin a useless steering wheel





trapped in a waking dream
a window on the world
one square of colour
some empty story line
to wipe away our lives
mixed with a narrative
of how the west was gunned
and brought the empire to its knees,
and how from out the east
another enemy
brings an immediate fear.

A charcoal bowl
warming the desert night
gold covering their skin
light-sparked brown eyes
gaze deep into the red
hungry for warmth
fingers stretched out
in blessing and receipt
hearts hot with holy rage

a desecrated land

five men talk through the night
and glance towards the stars.

From the night sky
their fire cannot be seen
among the starscape of
town lights on dark side earth

the desert silence breaks:
sound of a clearing throat
dragged out; a growl; the sky
gives birth to promises
of catastrophic heat.

The present fuses with
a great reality
and tissues of perception
snag on the corners of
a breaking time

the battering of bombs is felt
around all earthbound fires
the charcoal glow
is blown to flames
that spread in heart space
halfway across the earth
as history unfolds

sweet humankind your dark sad fate
the train that plunges in the lake
we are the fools who tell the tale
the idiots now who kill the world.

© Richard Lawson



They say that rain's like tears.
What do they know?

I've seen real rain
run down the faces of my friends

while they laughed and cried
with playful happiness

to greet the warm wet globes
splashed down from
- not clouds

if these grey slops are clouds -
from bulging
dizzy uproarious pregnant
white blue-black grey light-shot
sky mountains. How do they know

there are no gods in there?
What does a man of any colour know of gods?

Those trembling raindrops
turned tawny dust a bloody brown

and in a lightning flash (it seemed to us )
the magic world turned green.

That's rain. This isn't rain.
It's more like a cold sweat

one drawn out moment when you
wake from nightmare

and fear to sleep again
in case you go back in.

But this is worse, the nightmare carries on
under the sun. You're caught both ways.

Instead of thunder
we got bombs

instead of twigs and dry thorn sticks
crackling to warm a calabash of stew

we got the spitting fire
of small-arms battle noise

and all that sunlit
brown skin life-love stopped.

This cold thin silver greyness
is not tears. Tears are hot.

Faces that shone with rain
went still as stones, eyes now forever dry,

open in blank surprise,
and dead teeth shining
cloud white in faces pillowed
in brown skin mother mud.

The sun forever left my land
only the burning stayed.

Dreamlike we travelled
ran, hid and waited until

somehow that moment
when the big bird roared and pushed

and I was born again
borne off the rumbling roughness of the ground

smooth into sunlit white-cloud world
where gods live for a day

to wake up

stood on a tarry Bristol road
polished with streetlights

crashing with cars
cold water running down my face

caught here alone, alive
but in a cold dark hell.

Of course, it doesn't always rain.
Sometimes I see a spark of good in someone's eyes.


(c) Richard Lawson

Caught In The Crossfire


caught in the crossfire
crouching beside your father
behind the rubbish bin
until a slug untied the fragile knot
that held you in this dusty unkind world

you soared to paradise I'm sure
but paradise is often tainted
with anger dripped from martyrs'
wounded souls

some scars don't heal

oh, we can give, and grieve
and hold each other
and hate, or block it out
or turn our minds to other things
but this is where we sit:

caught in the crossfire



Richard Lawson
Congresbury 2000



ragged as a wizard's beard
and blown white hair
some fronded plastic
dresses the sharp buds of a sleeping tree
beside Trawsfynnydd lake.

a prayer flag.

and the prayer :-

"Lord Money, hear us.
"We do not care for Nature, but for You
"Who are the juice that flows
"From Nature's wounded side,
"And for the goods You give
"To be our own possession
"To have and to hold
"Til Death us do part
"For ever and ever



weird walking this way
against the car stream
no way signs for walkers

follow the flow of workers
past a temple to gold
understated magnificence
lacking a name

no logo except
two globes of light
girdled by chains

no pointer to the Tube
follow the flow
click clack they're plunging in
that space cut in a hive
that mouth could swallow
a million bodies every week

what is it?
no sign to say a station
proceed with caution

looks like a station
but why no signs?

feels like the war, with way signs cleared
to slow down the invader.
most strange

ah here's one:






the pipes were playing Roisin Dubh
as the sun set fire to clouds
behind the Malverns

road lights strung a starry necklace
on a writhing maggot
deep in the heart of England

faint acid electric smell
burnt offering to the god
along with human sacrifice.

locked in each metal cell
soft systems
sustained by living pumps

swept down the glistening trail
drawing us on
to darkness

locked in each body
a cauldron mind
slowly ferments

some exchanging words
some listen to music or mind froth
always the hum and swish of speed

tentacle of lights
we're skaters on an energy
skittish and thin as ice

slaves to our freedom
prisoners of movement
ghosts in the machine.



Like Aztec pyramids, stinking with human blood,
burnt offerings on an altar built to greed,
we turn from care of our dependants' need
to sacrifice them to a demon god.

The smoke that stains this low white Easter sky
is raised to nostrils of a higher breed
in places far away. They plant their seed,
Corruption, while a million voices die.

Once more the nails thud in to sever love
once more the deadly clouds obscure the sun
once more incomprehension in the one
who follows orders filtering from above.

To God this feeble thanks we can return:
It's animals, not humans, that they burn.

Richard Lawson


Quick music in the tender leaves
thin voices call their riffs:
I'm here, I'm here
the Light is coming back
the day is near
when we will fly and feed our young again.

This is the hour of birds
and monks. A single star
pricks out the grey blue sky,
the one that guided lonely prophets
nestling in their desert consciousness
swathed in the knowledge of their God.
An awesome blue intensity
throbs in their bones and brains
calling, I am, I am
nothing but Love exists

Lost in the shrinking woods
a wild cat screams.
Lost in the turmoil of the towns
a million voices sob their harsh reply -
There is no God. Another day of emptiness
struggling to live, longing to be known.

Jerked out of sleep by clocks
the governors of our fate
stir in their satin sheets
and thank their stars they're not as other men.
They set the rules, give orders,
tend the machine.
It's hard, but must be done.
I must sell death so that this life goes on.

Stench of his rotting beasts
torments a sleepless farmer.
His stomach turns with that
and with the thought of generations' care
that ends with him.
The image of a frayed blue rope
that beam within the barn

We still have choice.

Richard Lawson
Congresbury 1 May 2001



President George Bush has attacked five Iraqi tourists
with a knife. A spokesman for the White House said
"Better that, than
World War Three".


A motorist has set fire to himself in protest
at rising petrol prices. The leader of the Opposition has
hailed him as a martyr and called on the Government
to cause more oil to be created in the bowels
of the earth.


After a decade of study, a respected think tank
has published a twenty volume report showing that
the arms industry does more harm than good.
A banker has condemned the report as factually correct
but nave.


Scientists at Porton Down have discovered that
the Foot and Mouth Disease virus can be modified
to attack humans. A top scientific expert said
"We are looking for ways to cure the
common crowd."




With intent vacuity
They drink in the pale image
Of their rich cousins

Behind the glass
Beautiful faces
Come and go
Shimmering like goldfish

The shadow
of a picture
of an image
of an icon

Food for a million eyes
Phosphorescent with hunger

"You keep your wealth.
One day we'll share our pain with you".






The city burns into the night
Still for a few hours quiet
Street lamp rust flames strung out

A single car sighs on its way
Planes tunnelling in the dark
See us a scattering of pinprick jewels

Rain beats a rhythm
For the melody of dreams
Around the sleepers broken sounds
Locked out from streams of thought

Broken reflections of a fractious world
The path of peace is paved with
Thesis and refutation

The year of tyranny is almost past.
It laid its grim foundation
On supine bodies in a sleeping world.


© 2001 R. Lawson This page was last updated on 19.11.04