Tag Archives: rant

Damn your eyes

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I don’t miss your inane conversation,
or the way you make me wait to spit out each short sentence,
which you rarely let me finish in your impatience
to tell me the next pointless thing;
I don’t miss your inadequate wit,
which insults my ethics with its short-sighted prejudice;
I don’t miss your self-obsessed assumption that I will be interested
in your irritating and unwholesome hobbies

if you had the intelligence to pay the slightest attention
you would have wondered at my fascination for one
so limited in every way.

It’s your eyes, damn it;
I miss your eyes,
which said such different things
than those futile words which spilled from your lips.

©Jane Paterson Basil

The worm has turned

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what?
am I supposed to be grateful?
I’ve had my fill of men taking control of my life.
it usually begins with an unwanted gift;
some are ignorantly selected,
others, deliberately designed to bulldoze my ethics.
I told you I don’t buy new clothes; I don’t want them,
won’t wear them,
so I’ll donate what you gave me to Oxfam,
an while I’m browsing
I may find some donated thing that I like;
but even by proxy, I refuse to engage
with the wasteful side of the fashion trade.

what?
no doubt you think yourself generous
to have presented me with these feminine jeans,
but that rare time you allowed me a minute to speak
you didn’t listen;
or did you forget what I said?
while in certain places I curve like a woman,
I have the hips of a boy;
in no way am I a Marks and Spencer lady
and neither do I wish to be.

what?
did you think you could buy me, win me
for the price of a pair of jeans which I didn’t want
and which don’t fit?
maybe if you had listened, instead of forever waffling about
your carefully manufactured troubles and
your chosen style of emptiness,
and saying
all I want is someone who loves me for myself,
you would have had more success;
but of course, if you had to listen, for even a second,
to somebody else,
it wouldn’t have been worth the stress.

The Daily Post #Generous

©Jane Paterson Basil

Fortune of birth

Who are we to close the gates
and refuse you entry?
who are we to claim this land
we have borrowed by fortune of birth?
how can any of us say it is our inheritance?
It belongs no more to us than to the wolves
and wildcats we anihilated so long ago,
or the crow circling an abandoned pastry in the gutter,
carelessly dropped from the hand of a man
who took more than he required.
I hear him now, whining about greedy seagull antics;
wailing that he can’t afford a holiday
because he’s just had a new kitchen fitted;
whinging that immigrants are parasitic.
His indignant belly threatens to break the zip
separating the word Ever from Last,
as he grinds a sodden fag-butt beneath his Nike shod toe
and slinks to the jobcentre with his sick note,
before slipping to work where they pay cash
and no questions are asked.

You arrive, hungry and confused,
your status robbed by cruel circumstance,
in need of some human kindness.
The government knows it can make
a tidy profit from your citizenship,
but it admits you in the name of charity
and in the name of charity you are herded
into asylum seekers’ hell;
grey prisoners in grey prisons, with no rights
and often no grasp of our language,
treated like criminals;
your only crime being misfortune.

The man collects his dole
and goes home to his cosy life,
to read the lies the tabloids tell,
while you try to settle in a de-humanising cell
in a country that tells you to go.

Who am I, and who is that man,
to say we should close the gates
and refuse you entry?
Who are we to claim this land
we have borrowed by fortune of birth?

This humble offering was inspired by M. Zane McClellan’s wonderful poem Captcha ~ I Am Human

Also please check out Not Me My Friend by Gbolabo Adetunji,

©Jane Paterson Basil

Thanks for nothing Yasmin

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You tell and retell the same tired old stories
about your family’s shame and your vain past glories.
It doesn’t matter that you know I’ve heard it before
you have to tell it at least ten times more.
You’ve never been discreet and you don’t really care
about a small exaggeration here and there.
For thirty-eight years you’ve never let me speak
you cut me off almost every time I squeak.
I’ve always been polite, I always had a smile
though I’ve felt like slapping you once in a while.

Now and again your verbal domination
has been squashed by me for a short duration,
and over the years you have learned
of my hatred of drugs and how I’ve been burned
by two of my childrens’ predilections
for self medicating and picking up addictions.

My son’s in prison on the brink of release
and if he stays straight I will have some peace.
It’s his fourth time out and I’m hoping this time
he’s properly recovered and will tow the line.
As for my daughter, she’s been driven half mad
by the complex cocktail of drugs she’s had,
and even an optimistic soul such as I
has to accept that pretty soon she’ll die.

My own drug history is pretty bare;
I smoked a bit of cannabis here and there,
forty years ago for a month or two,
as it seemed like the sociable thing to do,
until I found the confidence to turn my head
and concentrate on getting on with life instead;
I turned down speed, coke and LSD;
It wasn’t the right kind of life for me.
My friends disapproved, said I wasn’t cool,
but I reckoned it was better than being a fool.

I try try to keep in a healthy state,
but I can’t help worrying about my offsprings’ fate.
I’ve fought the effects for the past ten years
while my kids’ lives were crashing around my ears.
No-one know the dark places I have travelled;
is it any wonder I’m becoming unravelled?
My doctor and psychiatrist both agree
I’m suffering from a bad case of anxiety.
As soon as I relax I fall to the ground
no matter who happens to be around.
I’m not asleep but I can hear their talk,
I’m just unable to get up and walk.

For thirty eight years I’ve called you my friend,
even though you’ve driven me around the bend.
I’ve always been loyal and I got used to it
but I no longer like you one little bit.
I could take your nonsense and your self-obsession;
I could take your ignorance of my depression;
I could take your blagging and your dirty con tricks,
but what you’ve done now has made me feel sick.
You say I’m doing drugs though you know it’s not true;
I wouldn’t take a pill if I had the flu,
I’ve even been offered opioids in the past
for raging toothache, but I stuck fast.

I don’t take drugs because it causes strife,
I don’t take drugs because I want a life.
I do all I can to look after myself,
I don’t care for money but I care for my health.
I could think of a lot of hurtful things to say
about all of your crimes, but I’ll call it a day.
I know you just couldn’t stop your yakety yak
but you’ve said it now and there’s no turning back.
I don’t take drugs Yasmin – understand this;
I’ve removed your name from my Christmas card list.

©Jane Paterson Basil

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Hypocrisy

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Vice is pouring from humankind’s pores,
we’re thieves and conmen and pimps and whores,
we’re dealers, receivers and peeping perverts
on the constant lookout for greedy perks.
Some will do anything while some specialise
but most of us use common tricks and lies.

What can you expect when the heads of the land
are crooked and immoral and underhand;
uplifting the rich and crushing the poor,
discouraging peace and glorifying war,
while the media plays games to corrupt the mind;
twisting every human story they find.

And the people look out of their windows and say
What’s gone wrong with the world today?
There’s Junkie John, he’s been stealing again
and I hear the police have arrested young Ben
for selling crack cocaine and speed;
army conscription  is what they need.

They turn from the window as the doorbell rings
and John is outside with tasty things.
They pull out cheese and a leg of  lamb,
a pack of salmon and a large chunk of ham;
fifteen quid the lot, a pretty good price
for keeping our country in a state of vice.

They freeze all the meat and they tell themselves
they couldn’t afford honest food on the shelves.
If it wasn’t for Junkie John’s rotten thieving ways
they’d sometimes be deprived of proper food for days.
Then they fire up the Mac and rest their tired feet
while they trawl the ether for a new three-piece suite.

Written for The Daily Post #Vice

©Jane Paterson Basil