Our own poet laureate Jasan shares with us another gem. Entitled S(t)inking Empire he reflects on Britain’s fall from grandeur…
It hurts even to contemplate writing a poem about a country I have acquired as my second home, though I am proud to be a “Brown Britain”.
Yet as a social commentator, I cannot let the current state of affairs within this nation go unrecorded. Hence the title S(t)inking Empire. From what it was once in its glory-filled days an empire (though this itself is a point for contention among historians and critiques); the speed at which this nation is sinking into a banana republic is shocking to the pride of every citizen of this country. So that is the background to the poem. Something needs to be done.
I live in Switzerland – a country with far less historical, traditional, financial and economic clout yet it manages its’ affairs much more efficiently with a much higher level of social and public services offered to the people. No matter how heavy the snow was, still the streets get cleared of snow, holidays or no holidays. Household rubbish is removed as per weekly schedule, however bad the weather, still trains’ pull into stations as scheduled! Potholes hard to find on roads – even in the remotest streets and so on; I can go on and on. No annual rise of train fares compared to what we hear every year in the UK. Even public buses run on time.
So something must be done but I am only an ardent observer and my observation is this poem.
Hope you all enjoy it and perhaps think where we are going wrong in the UK?
With warm regards
Shakespeare, Shelley and Burns,
Keats, Elizabeth and Byron;
Verse and words wizards of pens,
Rose to paint British empire as heaven.
Risen sun never set in empire horizons,
Proclaimed once the proud rulers of Britain.
Oh what a turn around?
A century yet to be done,
Since the flag of the Union
From colonies came down,
Being empire to descend to clown
Of Europe and indeed to the world.
Potholes in streets prosper,
Without maintenance proper.
Rats and foxes roam freer,
On pavements and street corner,
While bin bags mount heavier;
And surplus excuses make people to shiver.
Roads, rails and airports
Grind all to halt – no transport,
In or out of this tin pot state.
Oh what a new lower status
This nation has sung to,
To sing praise now, no one dare to.
Long abandoned infrastructure,
Beg of the rulers to raise stature
Of core projects and public services
To new heights of quality with resources.
Yet no one within Westminster nor boroughs
Possess the answers to reawaken this s(t)inking empire
Jay A. Jasan
© All rights reserved. Requests for permission to reproduce or translate-whether for sale or non-commercial distribution, should be addressed to Jay A. Jasan, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: January 11, 2011