Back in 1871*


Rushing towards the sound of gunfire

Skidding round (shells keening) a blind

Corner staying low some young fool slams

Into a dusty scholar: they pause, shake hands,

Dive for cover (shrapnel wasps) as half a row

Of too-close-for comfort tenements tumble:

“Quick,” says our fool, “Which side are you on?”

But the other replies, “How can I think of politics

Now that I’ve found” (whips out a book from

under his coat) “this ancient volume which

Conclusively proves that Isis worship

Mothered our cult of the Magdalene…”

Then tipping his hat as another street falls

He scuttles away through cordite and smoke

But will never quite disappear.




                                               Kevin Patrick McCann
                                                             Illustration Nick Victor



* In 1871, at the end of the Franco-Prussian War, the poor of Paris rose up in revolution: they were subsequently crushed and thousands were executed.

This entry was posted on in homepage and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.