Neil Fulwood – Two Poems

Of all the submissions I’ve received for The Stare’s Nest there have been very few about individual politicians. With the exception of this man. A few I have declined as they were just seething pits of ad hominem vitriol. However, I am now bowing to popular opinion and publishing some Govian poetry. – Ed.
.

The Minister for Justice

The minister who would bring back hanging,
the minister who was a hatchet man
in his previous incarnation,
the minister who hates every blogger and free thinker
and hates the ease with which his face
puffballs into lampoonery. The minister

who for all we know has draped every mirror
in home and office with the shrouds
he imagines neatly folded and pristine
awaiting the day the gallows are used again,
the day the trap-door drops and the rope
snaps tight. The minister whose face

is its own accusation. The minister whose jowls
are the soft flesh before it decomposes.
The minister whose white fingers would baulk
from the trigger or the lever or the button.
The minister who will delegate, avert
his eyes, let someone else dirty their hands.

 .
 .
 

A Snake in the Grass

(after Brian Patten)

I give you a poem about the state of things
You say it’s cynical and pessimistic
You ask for something positive
You ask for a nice poem

I show you a newspaper headline
You say you don’t follow current affairs
You say politics is boring
You ask for a nostalgic poem

I give you a poem about the miner’s strike
I give you a poem about race riots
I give you a poem about the Sex Pistols
You ask for a poem about childhood

I give you a poem about bullies and victims
I show you a newspaper headline
I tell you I recognise those bullies
Masquerading under different names and faces

You say we can’t change things, you or I
You advocate making the best of it
You say politics is boring
I dip a nib in blood and bile and battery acid

And I give you a poem about unelected governments
I give you a poem about acts of parliament
About the sons of Eton making the rules
About freedom of speech and the flame held under it

I give you a poem about zero hour contracts
And the death of unionism
I give you a poem about business models
And the auction of healthcare

I give you a poem that uses the metaphors
Of a wrecking ball, a scrapyard
And a demolition site
I use these metaphors to talk about liberty

You say you don’t follow current affairs
You say politics is boring
You say we can’t change things, you or I
You ask for a poem about nature

I give you a snake in the grass

.
.
Neil Fulwood says: I’n such times it’s either howl dementedly or write poems with a pen dipped in battery acid. I opted for the latter.’

Neil Fulwood – Midnight is like midday

Midnight is like midday

Midnight was like midday as illumination flares
were dropped to light up the city.

– Rania Elhilou, ‘Crisis in Gaza’, Anera.org

The ceasefire was brief. Now the shelling
has resumed. The streets are silent
as if even the buildings are holding their breath,
tensing themselves for impact
or aftershock. Midnight is like midday.

A fuel dump goes up. The power station falters.
Windows drained of light are like eyes
squeezed shut to keep from seeing. Silhouettes
of apartments merge with an older
deeper darkness. Midnight is like midday.

Illumination flares scream over like mortars,
plugging the sky into a split-second
treachery of sheet lightning, making an x-ray
of the city. A photograph in negative
writing its own headline. Midnight is like midday.

Neil Fulwood was born in Nottingham in 1972. He is the author of three film studies books, including ‘The Films of Sam Peckinpah’. His poetry has been published in The Black Light Engine Room, Butcher’s Dog, Lunar Poetry, Monkey Kettle, The Writers’ Hub and Ink Sweat & Tears, and he has work forthcoming in Domestic Cherry and Art Decades.

Neil Fulwood – Mass in B-Minor

Mass in B-Minor
The only word that suggests itself
is solemnity. There is perhaps
a measure of joy – the rarefied kind,
joy in the certainty of God
and the promise of salvation –

but it is solemnity that unfurls from the music
and draws the clamour of the estate
into a cone of stillness.
Alarms cease,
sirens are embarrassed into silence.

Belief is only a part of it.

Neil Fulwood was born in Nottingham in 1972. He is the author of three film studies books, including ‘The Films of Sam Peckinpah’. His poetry has been published in The Black Light Engine Room, Butcher’s Dog, Lunar Poetry, Monkey Kettle, The Writers’ Hub and Ink Sweat & Tears, and he has work forthcoming in Domestic Cherry and Art Decades.