Were I not a patriot as 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 &
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.
Were 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; rather
fight those battles here, yet woe betide the hasty
son who fights on borrowed ground alone.
Were I but a paying guest I’d gripe & whine and
fuss like it would never end, bust the bulging gut
of crap expatriate disguised as fake parochial
verisimilitude open wide, swim against the tide.
That I can’t and must be quiet amuses me; we
who own the pool just are as much a cause as
case reviewed, solution placed in reach without
the tools, crisis redefined as they we’re said to
fear are Heaven sent to foist the blame upon.
That remains the near and easy explanation,
afraid to be as patriotic as we might, fear we’d
blight the egos in the crown, our thin-skinned
peers who carp and rage at trite deflections of
their petty schemes, piecemeal policies. Men
we once selected to bring change now feel
afraid of it in fear as drear as odds against
their re-election. In an aetiology of national
wealth, partisanship and politics are always
an explosive mix, harbinger of ailing health.
© 26 June 2006, I.D. Carswell