nothing to see

by Oakley Flanagan

ravens will shun withered branches, flock to the boardrooms
observe the final act in the farce of the human
zoom in, watch as we fall to the sea
caw at one another as the city drops
to its knees

and the ocean
like a swollen womb
grown heavy with the miscarriage of our days
will bleed
how did this happen?
the people will utter
weeping in the gutter
as the hospitals
bolted and shuttered
close their doors
to all with poor credit scores

underfed, nauseous, following orders
the patriots will sing Rule, Britannia
between mouthfuls of garbled salt water
we need stronger borders
they will say
as the tide rolls in
washes them away

closed eyed to the omens
                                             listening to the moneymen
the earth lies reeling
                                             democracy: a shallow dream
ignore what you’ve broken
                                             forget what was stolen
for this City to rise
                                            and poison the sky
close your eyes
                                            ignore it

               tell yourself

               there is nothing to see

because they never thought it would come to their town
carried on, kept their heads bowed from the sky
they when it ripped like a wounded animal
there was no denying
thick black liquid-like ink
rolled in fast
in the blink of an eye

the sky blackened like a dead laptop screen
matched the furious water’s rage
destroyed whole towns as it came
gushing from the shore
and still the politicians
played their war-games

the people didn’t care until it was their kids, their home
washed clean from the earth in the last of the landslides
carried off in the mouth of an unkind tide

a foreigner now in some distant place
where the people don’t seem so nice
just fodder for a cheap headline

no time for refugees
they will say
the boat gets spun round
you’re pushed away

sharks in the water
                wolves at the door
                                              turning your gaze
                                                                             from a full-force
                                                                             gale and the rising tides
fast
               avert your eyes

these are the end times
nothing left
but magpie eyed men
with corporate sponsors
scouring the earth for the last coin
the one patch of unclaimed soil
to re-develop
and sell on again

frack                                bleed
                        oil oil
Syria weeping                in drone-struck rubble
capitalist terrorism
                             frack, privatise
burn burn baby
              develop
                            colonise

strong and stable

the latest jingle rings like a tired download

strong and stable
weak and unconvincing

Britain just a clod
apart from the continent
sinking