Marcus Aurelius ‘Cockaigne’ Overture/Impermanent


Where four-wheel drives with combat jeeps
Joust and bully by your plate-glass shops
Where coffee-parlour prices hike to meet smart eateries’
Money frowns disdainfully and contemplates your high-street  
This real-estate of ‘Londongrad’ is not a deal to sniff at

Canny money haggles for the high life
One birthday cake so easily becomes
A binge with charming chums in a private flat
Above ‘the shop’   –   so what?
Lightweights tie themselves in knots
Sticking bygone labels onto libertine new bottles

Statesmen of the world stand firm
Statesmen are a ‘Firm’ of worldwide dealers
World-wide wheeler-dealer leaders
All affirm no fire exists without due confirmation
A flagrant conflagration?
History prefers its smoke machine

Would some wag suggest ‘cocaine’ is present
Inhibition bent by vintage ‘wine’
Muscle-bound emasculating paranoiac ‘steroids’
Disturbing moral compass of the brain   –
Others claim imaginary ‘cocaine’
As ‘tonic’ sets them ‘sober’ after ‘wine’

The very reverse is true   –
Coca-ethanol corrupts sound judgement
Impulsive action seems a safe resource   –
This is not inspired by any god
But tangled wiring stuffed in ailing brains
Pressing keys of macho mis-education
Rendering its bearers obsolete

Grandiose plans then fumble for a number
Chums prepare to hunker in a bunker
(“Let the bodies pile up in the street”)

‘Cockaigne’ of Elgar’s London may persist
Where ‘politics’ continues to translate
As predatory mania for possession
Where acquisition check-mates moral ethics
Negotiable notions of evil
Prevail where the ‘great and the good’
Are utterly convinced of their own ‘good’




If now your ears are ringing
Ring-doves ceased from singing
Old cold war once more insists
Impermanent the peace you dreamt exists



Bernard Saint
Illustration: Claire Palmer




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