THE GREAT ESCAPE. BREXIT POEMS

Honest democracy



Us folk on the Isle of Man

We enjoy being between Éire and Britain

It gives us a place of in between

There is nothing like waking up on an island with the sea around you

Waking up to the sound of seagulls laughing and feeling the breeze, rain and sunshine filter through the closed or open windows and into the living room

I work in the local store in my village and I feel happy as I place the rice beside the sugar

It is thanks to me that everyone is well-fed and that the democracy of food and drink even exists in this honest village

When Mrs. Cornwall asks for eggs I can provide her and it is her smile that gives me hope as she receives them, still warm, in her wrinkled hands

When Mr. Williams desires a glass of sherry who am I stop him for doesn't a man deserve the choice of drink?

I am good with numbers and it is my daily exercise to calculate how much we have and how much we exactly need

The town needs bananas and oranges, flour, milk, all the glory of nutrition and diet and health and comfort and well-being

I am the unseen hero for how else would little Tommy or old Benster otherwise receive his daily supply of honey or lactose-free milk?

I am the provider of democratic information as I gather the newspapers form all over the nation, too

I need no fame, I need not my name to printed on some dusty encyclopedia or intangible Wikipedia article

I need no confirmation that what I do is valuable

I am a person of value unlike the big shots in London who call themselves persons of government

I believe in the democracy of stores which is honest

The democracy that voted Brexit was not honest

It was a pack of filths getting together to manipulate half a country into voting something which was not good for them

Boris should have run a store before became PM, a small humble store would have him taught him well

But Brexit isn't going to break my democracy

The virus is here too but I will continue to provide bread and butter

And if that runs out then potatoes and garlic

A Woman muses


I am a woman born in the dusk of the Second World War

I was born in a shed to a mother who had lost her first son in the coast of France and I was born to a father whose brother disappeared somewhere in the Wild West Pacific Ocean

It took me 36 hours for me get out of the womb and my dad would often joke later that I had never wanted to leave mother in the first place

Mother died when I was two but I can still remember the feel of her hands on my auburn head and her scent: daffodils

My father died a year later and my only surviving sibling left to become a priest in Kenya and I never heard back from him ever again


I married a man when I was 28 whose mother was always involved in our lives and I think that was a big reason why I married him

Not that I didn't love him dearly

We would make love everyday and every night and when he died two years later he left me his mum, a son and a small cottage

So I raised my child with my mother-in-law and we got a Shepperd, too

I remember this phase of my life dearly.


Now I'm in a nursing home in Essex

My son is a good man but he lives with his wife and two kids in Shanghai and I can't imagine myself eating dumplings everyday or picking up a new language at my old age

So I put myself in a nursing home and I have been treated well here

I play poker with my new friends

I go to mass every morning too even though I don't care for religion but it's the social aspect of it that I enjoy

The food is alright, too


I hear the UK is getting ready to leave the EU

What do I think of that?

Well, I don't think much about the future consequences in our already dire economy

But I do think about my mother who grew up in Vienna

And I think about my older brother lost somewhere in the French coast

And I think about my uncle lost in the Pacific

And I think about my husband who died of a heart attack and about my son with his new family in Shanghai

And I think things have become isolated enough as it is

And with this virus out there

We've become even more isolated

Pip down people I often say to the young ones when they get excited

But I hear Brexit is a thing mainly favoured by the elderly

So I've got to tell you all Mr. Farrages and Mr. Johnsons and Mrs. Mays

Pip down you old skunks!

My God, you're all making a horrible noise there, like teeth-bashing!

And stay in the EU, for crying out loud!

I've never heard such ridiculous nonsense in my life.

Whatever is needed to keep my town alive

For I am a hero in the dark

I am the Manx Shopkeeper.