Walking towards a people’s vote: October Saturday 20th 2018
At the very cusp of true change, the witheld breath still surprises
As those who walked waiting for a turn in the wind might expect.
The middle class in revolt, pacing a relatively short walk through London,
As it seemed to symbolically lengthen due to restrictions unseen
And time’s test. A fast hand on the future is all that those who came
Held together. As the days of hope flicker, there was a spectacular warmth
On the street; Community, of a sort, but with a form of solidarity shining,
Reflected back from bright windows, and the smooth shimmer of smiles,
Gracing heat. Perhaps we walked to no purpose as those who we elect
To select the known future have no real regard for what happens
Behind the shudders and shape of our walls. A racist reaction propelled
Britain’s leaking boat through the rapids, while blonde and insincere sailors
Promptly regained their own shore. But now the whirlwind resumes,
Threatening all we thought of as solid, as the Island unbalanced, desperate to swim,
Still implored. A quarter of a million they say, when the news feed was finally forced
To report it, and the dancing helicopters above us performed their sly cencus
And their censoring of the free. Who were greeted with shop and pavement support
Apart from five louts near Whitehall, surrounded by Police and protected,
Their ‘Leave Means Leave’ banner revealed the true distance between
The common sense owner and the rabid dog eager to bite its owners hand
Through its lead. There were worthy banners and jokes, and on the side
Of the street a fat Elvis.His ‘Eu Are Always on My Mind’ raising spirits,
Along with children held on their parents shoulders like banners bearing slogans and puns
Like BREXSHIT. And one man whose card made facebook chuckle; ‘My Mother in Law
Lives in Spain, please don’t make them send her back here’ was worthy
Of the camaraderie that can’t quit. The songs and chants were the glue that kept
The ground partly sacred, and that sense of hope worship in walking was for today,
Multiplied, but what happens next when four hours walk is castrated,
And the ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ transplanted, the underpants placed over sweat,
The hands tied? When supply is withered and health, as defined by the NHS
Becomes threatened and Orwell’s grandchildren are exiled into some form of
Totalitarian state? When knee jerk reactions goosestep and trample
The dreams of those fallen and the crypto celebrity mongers for power
And fame dominate? Will a day like today be in vain? And when will we see
That true figure whose rhetoric captures where and how we might rise?
Yards from Parliament Square we were stopped by the sheer number of people
Who received simple speeches from those too simply versed for the screen.
Delia Smith is not Harold Pinter, who would have coarsed through and tarried
In his dark eyed rage all he’d seen. The walk became a pop concert then,
Or an edition perhaps of ‘The One Show’. It was not revolution as the lack of Anarchist
Response made quite plain. A polite protest. But made from the care and concerns
Of the many who were the point and the presence and the power to take
And the light. But could and can they win through, when the interest of those
Who would govern are unconcerned beyond power as would be despots
Like Johnson and Mogg seal the Right? The Left clears its throat and prepares
Its words in reaction, but a true socialism was echoed today by the feet,
Of those who stumbled or strode, or manipulated their wheelchairs
To restore rhyme and reason to the increasingly troubled line.of free speech.
We were each of us Armies of one, each of the nearly a million, who did not walk
To watch television as the walk ended up around screens. We were there to protest.
But we did not break any windows. There were no barricades to storm over,
As the manner and means appeared tame. There was no conquest. No claim.
No other cause but for reason, and the hope that politics (now its over)
Can reconfigure itself from the flames that did not temper or rage in a visible way
Through these hours, but which could still be felt by the anger of those
Who refuse to be defined by an age, in which the disenfranchised remain lost
And the truly criminal go unpunished; the undeserved celebrated and the personal
Fears stay unmarked. We were walking in hope, priviliged as we are, fearing hardship,
If not to retain our own comfort, then to in some spiritual way, stall the dark.
Personal armies conjoined in an ongoing battle across a great divide
That now stretches from October’s end to next March.
We were marching for that and for what may still happen
And because of what May is doing, with her ever weakening grip.
We were walking to rise above the storm of shit coming from us;
On a perfect day we were shining with the sweat of the hopeful
And with kisses of calm on our lips. People walk to transform.
We want to believe we think simply. Yet when we are faced with real problems
The minds we’d restore fizz and burn. A day like today steps through tears
That hope to unite everybody.
Apart from the particular those who were absent.
Those who crest, then slide.
May you learn.
David Erdos 20th October 2018