Two Poems From ‘Psychopomp & Polis’


So you broke faith?
Melted down in the crucible
of Hampton Court’s
maze? Saw Daedalus

rise as a comet over the
English Channel again?
Lost Ariadne’s thread
when paparazzi pursued

to regal carnage within
a Parisian subterrane
underpass? And for the
rest: to be lost only in

fable of Albion’s fiddled
almanacs, paybacks from
manipulating the Raj’s
principalities; prejudices

surfacing still like apocalypse
from beaches of Dunkirk
with Churchillian grandiosity:
a black smoke-column still

unfurling like vast behemoth,
pages of an inextinguishable




Triumphal forced entry into
Londinium: calvalcade upon
cavalcade of the lockjaws;

arms implicitly sold to Saudi,
poppy upon impregnable poppy:
moat around Tower Hill foams
its gobbets of innocuous bloodlust.

Two billion more for Britannia’s
nuclear hoop-skirt, as she sashays
with her trident-on-credit:

a skirling maiden-hoplite within
mordant Leviathan’s mortally
coiled slow dance, uncoiling

ever more slowly…

Mark Wilson

Art: Walter Nessler, ‘Premonition’ (1937)

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