(With apologies to Mick Farren & The Deviants, and Armando Iannucci)

come gather round people, gather round friends

today is the day civilisation ends,

get together for recession’s dance,

& loot the shopping mall while we still have chance

outside my gate i watch the mailman weep, actual blood,

outside the school i watch lecturers conspire with parents

to construct a giant wicker turd, urging feral children

to hurl coins at its eyes, slouching into town i watch

100,000 protesters parading torches the other way

their bones forming long shadows on the street,

cast by the pyre of ‘Hello’ & ‘OK’ magazines

on which the burning equity trader shrieks

‘this really is going a little too far’

while carrying a pink ceramic pig,

come gather round people, gather round friends

with your pension-fund plundered, loot the shopping mall

with your factories closed and income sundered

eat bankers, they’re rich in protein,

drizzled in the extract of toxic corrosion,

fattened on unearned wealth,

basted on bonuses, matured in greed…

i hear the tempest-tossed street-sleeper,

listen to his spare change cry in a recurring loop,

he ups his pitch, and ups his ante, the hedge-fund

manager who wears his tie like a hangman’s noose

raises his brolly and aims it at his brain, weighs his options

i weigh mine, he taps me on the right temple three times,

but the only thing connecting is the wall street spark

arcing from one abyss to the other, dow jones,

FTSE 100, hang seng index, the square mile,

the bourse, heart-attacks up, General Chaos up,

ulcers up, the future devalued indefinitely,

come gather round people, gather round friends

when your children’s eyes are wide with hunger,

let them eat bankers, they’re nutritious and tasty,

if the ethics of sweet cannibalism causes concern,

don’t worry, the banker is a parasitic organism,

its DNA more closely related to fungus, trust me, it’s OK

so come gather round people, gather round friends

today is the day civilisation ends,

get together for recession’s dance,

& eat bankers while we still have chance

as i crawl home eye-less through blood-red twilight

i see the family across the way crouch

on their knees in the conservatory wailing torment,

more cower beneath the empty breakfast bar,

one child screams ‘damn you all to hell’ at the TV,

at midnight the father shoots his four children

all in time to the news-chimes, during the sixth

he turns the shotgun on himself,  come on friends,

we might be nearing the end of all things

our time on the planet might have run its course,

some say we must conserve, while i’m thinking the opposite

if this is the day civilisation ends, & we’re counting-down the

end of history, let’s have fun destroying the things we do have

and gorge ourselves on the corpses of the tax-dodging

bonus-guzzling pension-pinching financial system…

come give me your tired, your poor

your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

the wretched refuse of your teeming shore

send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me

and let them all eat bankers…





Andrew Darlington





By Andrew Darlington

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