There’s a War On

Today being poetry day, I have a poem and an announcement.  First, the announcement: there’s a new book emporium opening up in the High St.  It actually gives away books, asking only for a donation; books which have been rescued from landfill.  It sounds like a great project and I will probably be volunteering there at some point, but I also asked them if they would be interested in hosting an open mic poetry event.  They were very enthusiastic about the idea, so if you are a poet and would be interested in performing, please get in touch via this blog.  All comments here go straight to my email, so I’ll pick them up pretty quickly and get back to you.

And so to the poem.  On Saturday we had a theoretical and a practical demonstration of what the arts can bring to debate: we had a short talk, a song and a poem.  The atmosphere changed palpably during these moments, and several people came up to me afterwards to say how much they had appreciated our contribution.  So here’s the full text of the poem:

There’s a War On

(for all those suffering with the Bedroom Tax)

There’s a war on, they say

we must all make sacrifices

tighten our belts

there’s not enough money to go round

so we must

tighten the public purse-strings

there’s a war on

– I thought that was all over and done.

We are all in this war together, they say,

we are fighting this war

but I am on the losing side

morale has plummeted

the troops are ill-equipped

our rations are low.

The Captain says,

he says it won’t last long

he says we’re all winning the war

but we don’t see him here on the front line

not here

And now we must all be evacuated

we must move

we’ve got too much space, they say,

too much living-room

an extra bedroom

we must evacuate



This is our home, we’ve lived here for years

but there’s a war on, now.

We tell them we need that room

but they say we cost too much

they want our money back

but they keep all theirs

their second homes

yes, there’s a war on, now.

And so they come with their long knives

and they slice up our benefits

and we don’t know what to do

we used to manage

but we can’t now.

We have to move

we have to cut back

we have to

put that light out

put that light out

put that light out

– don’t you know there’s a war on?

One thought on “There’s a War On

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