06 August 2008

Partisanship And Politics (rev)


Were I not a patriot which of course I am, I would explain
just how the term remains a sticking point within my craw,
how it contains a core of prudish mockery, dissembles
jingoistic claims. But I am and not ashamed.

I love the land, the people and the open places, can’t condone
the crowded spaces, feel concern for those who cannot leave,
grieve for children trapped within regimes that stunt
their growth and drain their youth in cruel hegemony.

Was I just a visitor and open passed to wander where I might,
free to censure as I please, light the fires, feed the flames and
duly leave, I would explain. But I’m here to stay. It’s not the way
that I was born to bear – condemn and sneer and run away.

I’d rather taste the venomed jeers of ultra right-wing cavaliers
whose skins are thin; I’d rather fight those battles here. Yet woe
betide the hasty son who fights alone on borrowed ground – it
is unsound to make a stand without a constituted plan.

Was I but a paying guest I’d gripe and whine and make a fuss
you’d think would never end, I would distend the bulging gut
of shit expatriate disguised and bust it open wide, expose
provincial heresy and swim in it against the tide.

That I can’t – that I must be quiet amuses me and those like me
who own the pool; we’re just as much a cause as case reviewed,
solution placed in reach without the tools, crisis redefined
as such that those we’re said to fear are foist the blame.

And that remains the near and easy explanation; we’re afraid
to be as patriotic as we might, afraid we’d blight the egos in the
crown, our thin-skinned peers who cant and carp and rage at
trite deflections of their petty schemes and piecemeal policies.

The men we once selected to bring change are now afraid of
change with fears as drear as odds against their re-election.
In the aetiology of national wealth, partisanship and politics
are an explosive mix, seen as a harbinger of a failing health.
© 26 June 2006, I.D. Carswell