Two Poems

By Roy Bainton

VIRAL

What took this world like a rabid dog
To sink its teeth into our limbs
And shake them like a rag?
Contented in our ignorance
We never saw the beast approach
But those in power who did
Through their foetid mist of greed
Paid no heed to knowledge
snubbing all plans of action
They concluded we could die, and let
pestilence belch across our land
And now it feeds upon the innocent,
On softened brains of gelatin
The incredulous undead, nurtured by lies.
And yet the Great Protectors,
Beneficiaries of our votes,
Have played their cynic’s game
A match of numbers, ersatz science
Until across the graveyard of inertia
They saw that all their city lights still shone
And all the hedge funds verdant, tall
With siren Cayman Virgin calls
Whilst we, in jobless masks
Await the mad dog’s fall.

Against Those Gods

What gods whose shoulders heave
beneath blue distant, calm horizons
can comprehend the far effects
spontaneous spasms wreak
upon unsuspecting men?

Out there with sailors sailing
through centuries of trade
the sea has dialogue, with
warning in its winds
so men and ships become equipped
to ride impulsive hurricanes

Yet at land’s hopeful sandy edge,
craving the ocean’s sustenance
our hungry children stand,
gamblers against those gods
whose stance is that our life ashore
be washed away forever more.

Unlike beneath the sun-kissed waves
No matter how badly oceanic gods behave
Beyond the beach, behind the trees
They will not bring man to his knees
Where waves may crush or fire may burn,
The spirits of plain men return.

ROY BAINTON is a freelance writer. He has published 19 books. He worked with the award-winning poet and playwright KEVIN FEGAN co-authoring Iron in the Blood.

Writing friends such as poet Brian Iles of Hull, Artists Mark Chamberlain of Lincoln and Peter Jackson of Hull, the Mansfield poet Clive Brookes and history researcher Alan Curtis of Scunthorpe are among the many people who I know have sought to make lockdown more bearable by doubling up on our creative outputs. For example, I am in the final stages of completing a new collection of verses, The Thing With Feathers which deals with the death of dreams, the new world of Trumpism and mendacity. Lockdown has pressed in heavily and sharpened our focus.

Against Those Gods was actually written in response to the Asian Tsunami in 2006. However, like COVID, its theme represents man’s FLAILING resistance to what seem like unsurmountable challenges.

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Andrea Hill
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Andrea Hill
2 months ago

Hugely powerful. I am heartened by the upward turn in the closing lines of Against Those Gods.

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