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       Pam Crane
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Lifescapes
LIFESCAPES
Poems by Pam Crane



Copyright 2017 Pam Crane


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MATURITY


IRON

In the crust of a thousand islands,
In the rocks and the dust of Mars,
In the core of a whirling planet,
In the breath of a billion stars

The metal of Man was waiting
For a brain and a thumb and fire.
An age of history-making
Began with naked desire;

Firing, hammering, honing,
Ready for food and foe,
Blade and spear in the forest
To swing, to thrust, to throw.

Mankind has harvested iron,
Harnessed its weight for war,
Hard in the mouths of horses,
Strong on the fortress door;

Melting, moulding and casting
Cauldron, helmet and chain,
Armour against the weapon,
Shield to carry the slain.

Hoops for the cooper’s barrel,
Rim for the carter’s wheel -
And then the gun. And the girder.
Man has discovered steel.

With steel he plunders the planet.
With steel he murders the trees.
With steel he conquers his neighbour ...
But loses to Heart disease.

The crust of the whirling planet
Is left with the rust of war,
Waiting for souls to ripen
Just as it was before.


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MY CAMPAIGN

Roll up! Roll up! And vote for me,
This rare day of democracy!
Your Independent candidate
Is up for vigorous debate
On any issue - you may pick it;
I shall add it to my ticket.
Join me! Wear my fine rosette!
I found these on the internet,
The symbolism quite apparent -
Frills and ribbons all transparent.
My platform? I am anti-greed.
‘To each according to his need.’

So - nurses’ wages? They must rise;
That should come as no surprise.
I am also on the ball
With soccer - salaries must fall
To where they were back in the day
When games were televised in grey;
The pricey foreigners must go
So local lads can run the show.
Then we can all afford to cheer
Our teams three dozen times a year!

The beating heart of my campaign
Is second homes. Let me explain,
That only for a licence fee
In this corrupt economy
Should anyone at all be given
More than a single house to live in.
After somewhere nice to stay
With kids or friends on holiday?
You’ll have to rough it like the rest
Of us, and be a hotel guest.
Open the villages again
To local folk and working men!
My logo is a garden gnome:
“Make every house a proper home.”

Still on the theme of rural life,
One phrase that cuts me like a knife
Is “National Park.” A park’s for play.
We’re throwing peace and space away,
Granting the ignorant permission
To tramp the wild into submission.

I’ll curb the greedy National Trust,
Stop all the farms from going bust,
Punish the waste of food, and pull
Strings to revive the trade in wool.
(... Remember the verses on the bus
And tube that once delighted us?
When Brummel Beau, the swell of swells
Electrified the Brighton Belles,
The Prince would hover in the offing,
Killing romance with fits of coughing.
‘Another cold, Sire? Listen do!
To be well-dressed be wool-dressed too!
In elegance it is the rule,
There is no substitute for Wool!’)

We must control our lust for oil,
Return the plough-horse to the soil.
Spread the forests, marsh and heath,
Meadow and moor, till we can breathe.
I can see progress here and there,
But people need another scare -
We’re seeing fewer plastic-trees
Yet micro-beads are in the seas
And particles lodged in the brain
May drive us secretly insane.
Is our poisoned air why we
Deny the world’s divinity?...

I’ll fight the rising tide of noise
From shrieking girls and fighting boys;
The clubs and bars will close at ten,
And we can get some sleep again...
Under a blazing Milky Way
Once light is limited to day.
No fireworks may be lit before
November 5th; I’m waging war
On every huge exploding shell
That turns an evening into hell
For those with post-traumatic stress,
And trembling pets. The friendliness
Of toffee-apples round the fire,
Sooty potatoes, rockets higher
Than stars, and flowers of coloured light
Are joys enough on Fireworks Night.

And those who wind their windows down
To blast their ‘music’ through the town
And all who leave their engines running
For ages at the kerb, I’m gunning
For you! You shake the old, the ill,
The tired - I’ll force you to keep still.

Many end up on a ward,
Sick or broken, stressed and bored.
On my watch, to help us heal
We shall feast at every meal.
Morale will soar - and if we get a
Smile as well, we’ll soon be better!
Prevention always trumps a cure;
In Whitehall thrift has great allure:
I’ll save the NHS a packet,
Ruining Big Pharma’s racket.
Garlic scrips at fifty pee,
Will keep the country virus-free.
(You take it raw, with lots of food.
It does your blood and body good.)
And when you go to see the Doc
He won’t be looking at the clock
And neither will your daily carer -
Pay and practice must be fairer.
Nobody should lie all day
Unloved until they waste away.

Roll up! Roll up and vote for me!
I’ll do my best as your MP
To purge pollution, waste and lies;
Let’s save the world before it dies.


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