When May became P. M., she had a doggéd view –
Her Parliament majority would fly us through:
All Brexit documents on leaving the E. U.,
All Acts of Parliament, all formal how-d’ya-do,
All business needs, all travel, borderline decree,
Could all be pushed along by her majority.

Alone she looked at things.
She thought she had the means:
Thinking it had wings;
She said that “Brexit means
Brexit” – whatever that means.

Now miréd in amendments,
Votes and locked division,
Britain’s Brexit biscuits
Are dunked with limp derision.

 

 

Damian Robin is a writer and editor living in the United Kingdom.


Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.”

28 Responses

  1. Joseph S. Salemi

    Theresa May is clearly the most incompetent Tory Prime Minister since the unlamented Edward Heath.

    She has secretly done everything in her power to undermine Brexit, and is now pretending to sacrifice herself to get parliamentary approval of a disastrous and anti-British agreement with Europe.

    Is there anything this woman has done which isn’t a complete foul-up?

    Reply
  2. C.B. Anderson

    I don’t pretend to understand the political nuances inherent in this matter, but where have the likes of Winston Churchill, or even Maggie Thatcher, gone? I know the answer: to the grave, which is exactly where England will be going if someone other than Tommy Robinson doesn’t step up to fill the breach. Where is the royal family, and where are King Arthur’s knights? The Round Table now consists of a bunch of eunuchs without honor, whom no one with any sense would wish to emulate. I cannot abandon hope, but I despair of ever being presented with evidence that my hope is justified.

    Reply
  3. James A. Tweedie

    The smothering, labyrinthine, blood-sucking, run-the-gauntlet, path that winds through the EU bureaucracy, the insurmountable obstacles interminably thrown up by the muscle-flexing national leaders of Germany and France, the UK’s inability to assert even minimal control over its own national sovereignty, and the financial extortion demanded as penalty and punishment for withdrawal, are incontrovertible proof that the only thing better than escaping from the disdainful, vengeful clutches of the European Union is to have never have joined it in the first place.

    Reply
    • C.B. Anderson

      Exactimundo, James. Where have the heroes gone? Where is King Arthur when we need him? And who sits at the Round Table nowadays but eunuchs unfit for any quests but appreciation of their own discredited navels? Where have the mothers of heroic generations gone? Questions outnumber answers, and we seem to be left in a miasma of undifferentiated nothingness. Will someone please stand up?!

      Reply
      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Mrs. Thatcher would never have been such a limp dishrag as this Theresa May has shown herself to be in dealing with the E.U. Maggie would have told those Belgian-French-German vermin to bugger off with their new Third Reich. And as for that narcissistic technocrat, Macron, she would have eaten the little twit alive.

  4. Damian Robin

    Thank you for these comments that contain so much truth.

    By the time this is read, Brexit, the exit of Britain from the European Union (EU), will have moved to a later stage. Evan has posted it on the day flagged for the UK to leave the EU. The thing rolls on and April 12, May 22, June 30, even five years or a second referendum are now the new markers that may or may not be reached.

    I wrote the poem below yesterday. It needs revision when I have some mental distance from it and the morass of Brexit has stopped moving. Sadly, the UK Brexit negotiators are not able to go back over their work to revise the consequences.

    A good thing that is coming from the mess is the human core of many of the politicians who are not central to the work. There have been more than ten major votes in two weeks and the BBC has posted how MPs voted. Many are voting against their Party whips. And many are talking openly of their core beliefs and move out from expected Party alignments.

    As to the wished-for knights in shining armour, I would put forward Jacob Rees-Mogg. He talks with dignity, reason, humanity, and bravery. It’s a no-nonsense bravery of faith. He is a Catholic. He said of his opposition to same sex marriage “marriage is a sacrament and the decision of what is a sacrament lies with the Church, not with Parliament.” And also “I oppose same-sex marriage but I would go to a gay wedding.” [from Wikipedia entry for Jacob rees-Mogg — Sawer, Patrick (9 September 2017). “Jacob Rees-Mogg: ‘I oppose same-sex marriage, but I’d go to a gay wedding'”. The Telegraph.]
    He is a straightforward speaker more than a political manoeuveror.

    As he is involved with principles not power, he is unlikely to be in line for a government position in the present climate.

    Even though, very soon, the Prime Minister Treasa May, who frequently made the useless comment “Brexit means Brexit”, may no longer be Prime Minister.

    Here’s the (overlong) poem

    Reply
    • Damian Robin

      Brexit Means …

      Brexit ! Get us out of here !
      The EU grows, we disappear !
      Three years have gone, leave’s overdue,
      Yet still we’re in the EU’s crew.
      Complicated waters rise
      That we must ford to free our prize.
      The country polled the People’s Vote –
      To sail away, to be remote,
      To ship off from Leviathan
      That slops on site and citizen;
      On all our lives its flesh-glut sags,
      Like beady, bloating offal bags,
      A lipo-fat’ning flabby bin
      That floods while never breaking skin.

      Brexit ! Why are we still here ?
      Get us out from under here !
      Before our grating, grinding gears
      Collapse to scraps of bum arrears
      As England, Wales, and Northern Ireland
      Stall in Brussels’ yards with Scotland
      Where we’re stacked as smashed crash dummies
      Pyramiddled high like mummies.
      In its shadow MPs dither,
      Becoming wise as options wither;
      They handle human terms with sense
      But cannot get squat passed the fence
      Of bureaucratic precedence,
      Of dates and time, all grammar’s tense.
      For human traits of move and win
      Creates its own chaotic din;
      When parliamentary debate
      Has dropped the map that follows Fate
      In legal sidings dwell the rules
      And trade’s side-lined by trophy tools:
      All is insubstantial bluster
      And sails of Heaven hard to muster.

      Brexit ! Get us out of here !
      In circles now our futures steer,
      Intransigence gains stymied weight
      As though we’ll sink and clog the state,
      Our lands are strapped along the shore
      Moored in EU “As before”.
      Parliament may raise its voice
      To point again to People’s Choice;
      But though MPs may strain to give
      They’re hampered by Executive.
      Never having had the room
      To swing and push with freedom’s broom,
      In rampant service, minds go sour,
      Cavorting on the leaving hour.
      But hear! these points have been discussed
      Not battled, baynotted and rushed.
      Not trenched, dug in, hard Party lined,
      Their true realities have been refined
      The truth unspade-ed shifts with toil
      But where to mound the displaced soil .

      Brexit ! Get us out of here !
      Though little’s left to gurn or fear
      We won’t fall out at sea like stone
      Or storm-washed from a dingy throne;
      For even if we go “No Deal”
      We’ll still possess our Sovereign Seal.
      Businesses will still be run.
      Like dynasties, once they’re begun;
      Food and goods will move through hands
      Across our shores to foreign lands.
      We’ll still have routes and trade branch links
      Even if the EU sinks;
      Shrink-wrapped in uncertainties,
      We’ll still send products overseas
      Though businesses look down the pan
      At possibles they cannot plan,
      Whenever Deal or No Deal comes,
      They will resume to add up sums.
      Embarrassment can’t be ignored
      But diplomats were never floored
      When human thinking’s flesh shone bare
      With closure dropped for full-on share.

      Brexit ! Get us out of here !
      Ground-level-pegged or multi-tier.
      Though human scale’s re-introduced
      There’s still the fear we’ll be seduced
      By EU ease of “As U were”
      And being ruled from over there.
      Our forebears always fuddled through –
      What ever comes is what is due.
      It’s not about a nation’s pride,
      It is about what moves inside.
      Not narrow-plated sovereignty
      It’s what it means to be set free.

      Reply
  5. Joseph Charles McKenzie

    It is a fine and noble thing to see a British poet defend his country’s freedom and cultural prestige, even as we in the States feel most powerfully the duty and privilege of acknowledging the fundamental importance of the English literary tradition in the development of our own.

    Reply
    • C.B. Anderson

      Our agreements may not outnumber, but certainly overpower, our disagreements.

      Reply
  6. Damian Robin

    Noble thoughts. And thanks for your powerful support of the English literary tradition and English freedom fighters.

    Reply
  7. Joseph S. Salemi

    I see that Theresa May got kicked in the teeth for a third time by Parliament. When is this broad going to realize that the ruinous “exit deal” she got from the Frogs and Krauts is UNACCEPTABLE to Britons?

    Reply
    • Damian Robin

      A vote to extend the UK’s tenure in the EU got through by I vote out 625 – 313 to 312 – yesterday.

      The Brexit deadline stretches
      Like latex underpants.
      The British public retches
      On Germany and France.

      The UK’s like Europa
      Raped by so much bull.
      The EU’s is its doper
      And has a rope to pull

      To drag back like a lummox
      Fed on porkie pies
      The poor cow in whose stomaches
      The soup of Brexit dries.

      Reply
  8. Joseph S. Salemi

    All of this is part of Theresa May’s plan. The Brexit move keeps on being postponed, week after week, month after month. May hopes that something will happen in that time to cancel the entire thing. The woman is a dishonest, lying bitch.

    Britons, take this advice from an American — JUST GET OUT, deal or no deal. Let everybody who can’t handle it scream their bloody heads off, but JUST LEAVE! Let the businessmen scream, let the bankers scream, let the Irish scream, let the Scots scream, let the Frogs and Krauts scream.

    Show the courage you had when fighting Napoleon and Hitler. Tell the Europeans that you’re finished with them, and if they don’t like it they can drop dead. And tell Theresa May to shove her “deal” up her arse.

    Reply
  9. Jan Darling

    ‘How Brexit Came to Its Current State’ by Jan Darling

    (Remembering that the vote Teresa May supported did not reflect her own)

    The young were asked to vote on it

    But they were far too busy

    With Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn –

    And texting makes them dizzy.

    With ne’er a thought for Britain’s goals

    Or rights that they would lose

    Remaining under Euro-rule

    No action did enthuse.

    When Grandpa and the Olds left home

    That Polling day to vote

    They had in mind their hard-won past

    ‘Proud Britons’ was their quote.

    While way down in the City

    Or Camden Lane perhaps

    Gen Y’s were on vacation

    and shouting ‘down the hatch!’

    ‘Wot’s it got to do with us –

    Millennials of the batch?

    Teresa May? She’s so old school –

    She’s worse than that old Thatch!’

    It takes some guts to stand your ground

    Ignoring gross derision

    To see your Party lose its way

    Defying Vote’s decision.

    ‘Let’s vote again, we had no chance

    To tell you wot we thought.

    We had to plan some protests

    ‘gainst cheating at our sport.

    ‘We’ve stuff to say, but don’t know yet

    Wot our thoughts may be

    We’ll check right now on Facebook

    To see who might be free.’

    Should she lose next Brexit votes

    She’ll see her Party’s sad turncoats

    Recall she served not her own opinion

    But that of those in her dominion.

    The haughty tyrants ne’er shall tame

    That dauntless, dogged British dame.

    The waves she rules, her own renown

    Resist attempts to bend her down.

    Reply
  10. Joseph S. salemi

    If all Gen-X and Gen-Y types
    Did not go to the polls;
    If yuppies from the London banks
    Were dreaming of their goals;
    If self-absorbed Millennials
    Were too spaced-out on speed–
    Well, that’s the kind of leftist scum
    Great Britain doesn’t need.
    And as for Terry May, her views
    Don’t matter one damned whit–
    The Brexit vote said “Get us out
    Of all this E.U. shit!”

    Reply
    • Jan Darling

      Even under deadly pressure –
      Proper language we should treasure;
      And never let an ugly curse
      Invade our poets’ use of verse.

      Reply
      • Damian Robin

        THANK YOU, Jan, for your sure views
        on words quick whisked in passion’s ruse
        that whips up tone for harsh effect
        to froth your bile if you reject
        the depths of truth that we respect
        and think all others should respect
        and not one of us should reject;
        and so we egg the heart’s effect
        that takes its place when we peruse
        this beat up world from Beauty’s views.

      • Jan Darling

        It’s good to hear another’s gem
        of what is right and true to them;
        a proposition, neatly phrased,
        invites response, not ire that’s crazed.

        My point is this: when Briton’s voted
        they expected ballots to be noted;
        not dissected, shaped and grossly bloated
        with opposing EU’s comments quoted.

        (Without the gift of Arthur’s Court
        British battles would be unfought
        Britannia won, she ruled the waves
        so Britons never would be slaves.)

        It all comes down to sense of Nation
        repelling Europe’s sought castration.
        Reclaim the Crown – shrug off the grime,
        return to home and restart time.

        We do not differ, you and me,
        we both respect supremacy.
        The Vote is in – where is the action?
        We must not allow a text redaction.

  11. Joseph S. Salemi

    Darling, Robin — I’m afraid
    You just don’t know how warfare’s played.
    Being prissy and polite
    Doesn’t work when you must fight.
    You think the anti-Brexit crew
    Will show the same restraint with you?
    They’re out to have your guts for garters,
    And listen up — that’s just for starters.
    Once they’ve “revised” the Brexit vote
    They’ll turn on you and cut your throat.
    “Good Will” and “Beauty” sure sound nice,
    But frankly, you both sound like mice
    Afraid to kick and scratch the foe.
    If that’s the way you choose to go
    Then fine — pen sonnets for this site
    Wrapped up in pure and pious light;
    Write odes that mark you as genteel
    And proper folks who bow and kneel
    Before the Leftist-Labour creeps
    Who play real hard, and play for keeps.
    That’s the way to lose a battle,
    And guarantee your own death-rattle.

    Reply
    • Jan Darling

      Cat and Mouse……………………
      I’m at a loss to find the wit
      in using words like arse and shit.
      Ways? there are more to skin a cat
      Than using words that sound like that.

      The mouse will turn when given reasons
      and gnaw away the left’s malfeasance.
      Don’t blame it on Teresa’s way
      She’s not alone with feet of clay.

      She had the guts to change her side
      She sublimated her own pride.
      She’s up against bureaucracy
      The EU’s mediocrity.

      She stands alone, by friends deserted
      Till now with left she never flirted
      E’en now she has the middle ground
      Her plea for reason’s all but drowned.

      Staunch Tories seated on her right
      are feeling gleeful at her plight.
      Should she slice her nose to spite her face?
      They would applaud her fall from grace.

      Looking left there’s no progression
      They just want a flush secession.
      They’d throw her body to the sharks
      As quick as you could say Karl Marx.

      Could Farage be saviour of the Nation?
      (His views are known on immigration)
      This may be key to Brit salvation
      A few more years of EUggravation.

      But getting back to use of word
      Good will and Beauty are absurd?
      ‘they sure sound nice’ – is that a vice?
      Or is it just to rhyme with mice?

      Goodwill and Beauty may succeed
      If they will let her once more plead
      More time to solve the nation’s plight
      She won’t give in without a fight.

      To kick and scratch is not the way
      To guarantee you win the fray
      Negotiation takes much longer
      But yields an outcome likely stronger.

      Reply
    • Damian Robin

      Yes you’re right, Joe, what I know’s
      No more than boy doll GI Joes
      Of war’s furors or battle cries,
      Or blowing out somebody’s eyes.
      You’re right, I don’t know how to fight
      Those Leftist ghouls opposing right
      Who’ve changed their minds like dead of night;
      Nor Government who would do Right
      That’s nothing more than poor appeals
      To EUreaucrats for hankshake meals.

      Inside/outside doesn’t matter
      It’s just a cobbled horse hoof clatter
      That may well clunk my hopes on floors
      But here it’s only metaphors,
      I’d kneel then stand, it’s little new,
      I’d turn and ‘to myself be true’.

      I hum the tunes of Falun Gong
      Persecuted for too long.
      They have their organs ripped out, sold,
      As I’m sure you have been told,
      And bodies bagged in refuse sacks
      In queues to burn in Party packs,
      The floor mopped clear of bloody silt
      In transplant centres newly built.

      Though my pennings aren’t ideal
      (A miss-matched mish-mash scrawl of real –
      Reality conforms elsewhere,
      Here is only drafts of air)
      I monster scrub behind the scenes
      In messy moves with menial means.

      Reply
      • Damian Robin

        re my comment above about ‘organs ripped out’ please consider https://chinatribunal.com/
        The China Tribunal had its second sessions this weekend. It is investigating the yea or nay of Organ Theft in China. Its unanimous interim judgement is that it is happening; it is unusual for an independent tribunal to give its finding before finishing its investigation but the seven members hope that by doing so some lives will be saved.

  12. Joseph S. Salemi

    Alright, let’s go straight to prose.

    Terry May wants more time to argue and convince? Argue with whom, and convince whom? The bureaucratic scum in Brussels have said in no uncertain terms that the Brexit deal she agreed to is not subject to alteration. So who’s she going to argue with?

    “More time to solve the nation’s plight”?

    “She won’t give up without a fight”?

    Good grief, the woman gave up when she folded like a cheap camera to the outrageous demands of the Frogs and Krauts! If she still wants to fight, it’s with those members of her own party who are trying to preserve British sovereignty! As for time, she’s had over two years to get her bloody arse in gear over Brexit — Maggie Thatcher (a woman with a backbone) would have handled this affair with savage despatch.

    The problem with Terry May is psychological — her heart is simply NOT IN BREXIT, and therefore she cannot direct her willpower and energy to bring it about. In addition, she is scared out of her wits by the French and the Germans, because she is desperate to keep their good opinion and respect. She is essentially a statist and a benign liberal despot (as all European E.U. partisans are), and she cannot even conceive of acting like an independent leader of a free nation. That’s why she refused Trump’s offer of help in getting through the Brexit difficulty — she couldn’t bear the opprobrium of being associated with a hard right-wing leader.

    Bad language is a problem for you? Well, in that case you should retire from political disputes, because it is only going to get much, much worse in the next few years. And frankly, salty language will be the least of your problems as defenders of Western civilization. You’re going to need knives and guns, not books on etiquette.

    Reply
    • Jan Darling

      I apologise, Robin, for jumping in front of you with a reply. I am wondering if, perhaps, we are demonstrating fundamental differences in approach more than anything else. In this specific discussion there are two sides – not only of the argument – but also of the Atlantic. One is essentially phlegmatic and the other is in-ya-face. It seems to me that we want the same outcome – Britain to direct its own destiny again. There will be problems en route because she is undoing what she has done. There is always a price to pay for that. Robin is right in expressing the many frustrations of slow/no positive movements towards solution. Joseph is right in observing that TM’s heart is not in it. It can’t be – she voted for the other side. BUT she took on the responsibility of representing it with grace and immediately, and is discharging it as well as she is able. I understand Joseph’s use of ‘salty language’ – I just think that his case is not improved by vulgarity.

      Reply
      • Damian Robin

        Thanks Joe and Jan. Perceptive comments, Joe. I will reply more fully in a bit.

  13. Damian Robin

    Jan, re salty dogs and spicey language—depends on the audience. In front rooms and tea rooms, delicacy pervades. (Until the revolution and the truth-police raids.)
    On campuses, in bars, online, and open mike debates, there’s open space for conflict til civility deteriorates.
    Extremes poison the water. Deadly streams pour on slaughter. And this is where Joe sees things going.

    What came to mind was

    You want to weave your world to gossamer
    so thin it’s but a veil from Paradise
    while blasting bombs the background bessemer
    that boils the Behemoth of sins and vice.

    As to Mrs May – she has many positive personal traits. You can point out how she is a woman in the traditional male-weighted public domain of politics. You can introduce her disability, type 1 diabetes, and say how courageous she is. Point out her childlessness that was/is a long grief to her. You can look up to her for her quiet belief in God.

    All note-worthy human traits but not to be brought into assessment of her leadership or her political ideas or policies. She is a public servant who has kept tenaciously to an entrenched view of the EU that no-one can move her from as this, she says, is the best deal we can get with the EU.

    She’s also repeatedly said “Brexit means Brexit” without explaining what Brexit is. People did not vote for Breixt , they voted to leave the EU. In my view, Brexit has become a third element of stay, leave, or Brexit. We are stuck in Brexit. There is no will on her side to leave without a deal with the EU, without some way of keeping as much of the laws and agreements we have with the EU as to make leaving have little independence.

    I feel leaving has slipped away already.

    Mrs May has thought more of leaving with a contract with the EU than leaving the EU. She is now trying to garner support from Labour, an avowed socialist party with a deputy head who has said he is a marxist. Do we really need Labour to help us ‘win’ like we needed Stalin’s military might to finish fascism and then find we are at cold war later. All the colleagues – ERG and DUP being the most cohesive – on her side of the House have failed to back her in the numbers she would feel legitimised by. She wont budge the deal made with the mighty EU unless a band of brothers goes with her. She may soon use Labour as a blame post for not supporting this deal and so sabotaging Brexit.

    In retrospect, she has lied in saying we would leave the EU on the 29th March and not doing it. And by not doing anything constructive about Brexit or firming up leave documents and agreements in the last two-plus years, she has scuppered the UK on the beaches and lakes of Europe.

    Here, like mollusks, we do not go,
    The birth of a nation clobbered.
    To go with the flow is moribund slow
    With the mucus the May-be’s have slobbered.

    Reply
    • Jan Darling

      Thank you Damian – you make a very clear case and I appreciate the time you have spent making it. I have greatly enjoyed the exchanges with you and Joe. At this point, I ‘wimp out’.

      Reply

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