Ray Miller – Rationalisation


We’ll begin at the top –
send someone to the loft
to shed light on the dark and spooky,
seek out the machines
that have captured our dreams
and other instruments of cruelty.
Let’s excise and expose
what lies under clothes
and strip the whole joint naked,
so that nothing’s intact,
let’s be ruthless, in fact,
and if it ain’t broke then break it!

Go dismantle the beds
where the uneasy heads
will no longer lie amending
and then eradicate
everything that lies straight
until the infrastructure is bending.
Bring out the wrecking ball,
it’s unprofessional
and against all we ought hold sacred;
I want to take a knife
to this dying life
and if it ain’t broke then break it!

Come, shatter the screens
that reflect on the scenes
where we spent our time in quarters;
and when the cops discover
that we’ve killed Big Brother
then the camera won’t have caught us.
We’ll ransack the clinic
of all that is in it:
if it says Do Not Shake, we’ll shake it.
Let’s call time on the calm,
raise a general alarm
and if it ain’t broke then break it!

Go trade the sedatives
for any drug that lives
and the potions which disinhibit.
Spend the spare cash
on a superstore dash
through the zone marked wine and spirits.
When there’s no money left
we’ll pursue petty theft,
whatever we want we’ll take it.
If the weather is nice
we’ll have drinks with ice
and if the ice ain’t broke then we’ll break it!

Excavate the files
where the treason trials
were dramatised and documented.
Overwhelm the shredder
with each word and letter
that was wrung from the tormented.
Start the final fire,
build a funeral pyre
just as tall as we can make it.
To the flames consign
each Thou Shalt Not sign
and if it ain’t broken break it!

Let us run amok
before they stop the clock;
there’s no points for good behaviour.
Let me be the man
who will fling the flan
in the face of last year’s saviour.
As the days approach
that we fear most,
when we’re cast into the snake-pit,
pause a while and reflect,
pay your last respects
and if it ain’t broke then break it!

Ray Miller’s work has appeared in many magazines. He won the Inter Board Poetry Competition in September 2013 and finished 3rd in the 100m sprint at Trescott Junior School in 1965.

Ray Miller – Contact


Bad families are coloured red;
to discover what’s above their heads,
take the northbound carriageway
and exit any junction that you like.
First left and on until the rain begins,
the rooftops blink through yellow fog
and for fuck’s sake is the only form of prayer.
You’re there. Where drug dealing, phone stealing
bandits on benefits are having it large
on stolen premises; the ones we left
for dead, for photos, for memories.
Red is for arousal, red for arrears.
Red are the shamefaced burning ears.
They’re always skint, they smoke and drink.
We can’t accept the proffered cup,
it’s chipped and stained for months and months.
We’re coloured blue, a sober hue, sadness due
to shakes and frowns, to looking down
on kids who don’t talk proper grammar,
on parents speaking even badder.
There ought to be a thesaurus
thrown in to help us fosterers.
They come with shits and nits and worms
and soon they’re itching to return.
We’re Sunday best, a trip to church,
a teacher’s words scratched white on black
and I have come to hate my class.

Ray Miller has 1 wife and 8 children. How he wishes those numbers were reversed.