No Warm Arms


When the gang vermin, thrashing hard,

had left me fit for the scrap-yard

and the guard outside Ward Three

rebuked my swearword-peppered thrum

of “Let’s just shoot the thick chav scum”,

no warm arms comforted me.


Empty-futured and stood in line,

no choice but stack a shelf or sign,

no benign help from the tree

of justice that states nothing harms

my kind, we’re all Sirs and Madames,

no warm arms comforted me.


At fifty-nine my father croaked.

He’d boozed, industrially smoked

and provoked not one degree

of my thanks, and as he transformed,

entombed, into a flaming swarm,

no warm arms comforted me.


Each year and then each year again

all my love gurgles down a drain,

disdained and serving no needs.

But I won’t hold just any hand.

I’ll be the horse to no-one’s brand.

And in my land – hatred breeds.






From “Disoccidented” by Alfie Shoyger:


critique and comments welcome.

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