Browsing Category Satirical Poetry

A poem about an altar ego

I feel that one aspect of the sacrifice of Isaac has received insufficient attention…  

The Sacrifice of Isaac

god’s command

a tortured father
an eternal journey
a loyal son

an expectant altar
a readied pyre
a flashing knife

a sudden angel
a last minute reprieve
a father’s relief

an unlucky sheep


  • Sacrifice of Isaac by Caravaggio. Note the unlucky sheep:

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An acronymic poem about an oil spill

This is one of the my first poems to feature on on the BBC World Service, about the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in 2010. At the time, the oil spill seemed unstoppable; in the end it took three months to plug it – while BP’s reputation also steadily drained away.      

BP

OMG

SOS, SOS
MIA, DOA

AM, FM
CNN, BBC

PR, PR
FAQ, Q&A
OK, OK
FYI, DIY
ASAP, ASAP

AM, PM
AM, PM

WWF
RSPA
RSPB

AM, PM
AM, PM

PR, PR
BS, BS

AM, PM
AM, PM

NB, VIP
CEO, USA
AF1

O

IOU, IOU

SOS, SOS

KO

PS
BP
RIP


  • Audio broadcast of the poem read by the poet on the The World Today (now Weekend) on the BBC World Service on 16 May 2010:    

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A poem about diplomatic dithering

This poem was inspired by a Sunday morning UK/US press conference during the Libya uprising in 2011. Below is an audio of the poem as broadcast on the BBC World Service.  

The Secretaries for Stating

We’re the Secretaries for Stating
in our Sunday morning sweaters.
Now, we’re issuing a call
for an orderly transition
to a newly held position:
We no longer back the sinners.

Let us dare to meet the winners.
We’ll send in our foreign legion
but there’ll be misunderstandings.
Hmm, perhaps it would be better
not to travel to the region.

We propose a no-die zone
and a roadmap to restraint.
We do not condone dictators.
Some last minute modulations
to that closely-scripted statement
will be circulated later.

Yes, we’re the pros at promulgating
with our monumental utterings,
our syncopated mutterings,
our calibrated flutterings,
our finely-crafted splutterings,
our tut tut tut tut tutterings.

The kings of indignating.

We’re the Secretaries for Stating.


  • Audio broadcast of the poem being read on the The World Today (now Weekend) on the BBC World Service on 12 March 2011:    

 


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A Latin papal poem

The following poem was broadcast to mark Pope Benedict’s trip to Britain in 2010, a time when dogmaticism was still a pope’s best friend. 

Of all of my poems that went out on the BBC World Service, this one probably garnered the biggest reaction. See some of the comments on the feedback page.  

I felt that the poem had to be in “Latin”.  I hoped it would be comprehensible, at least to people who, like me, possessed a vague smattering of school Latin. Here’s what I came up with – after much editing down at the behest of the producer. Below you’ll find an audio of a BBC newsreader reading the poem.   

Encyclica Britannica

Saluto populi.
Orbi et urbi.
Disturbi et perturbi.

Et tu Britannia.
Tua culpa.
Quo vadis?
Ad hoc?
Ad liberalismus?
Ad secularismus?
Ad egalitismus aggressivemus?

Habemus Papam,
Pontifex Maximus,
Capo di Tutti
Cardinales.

Pontifico,
dogmatico

contra homosexualismus
et matrimonia samesexismus,

contra contraceptum
et condominium
in Africanium,

pro status quo.
contra quid pro quo,

pro chastitum
et celibatum.

Et paedophilio?
Mortificato
et discombobulato.
Convocato et censura
in camera obscura.

Et ultimato, declarato:
Anglicanis Prodigalis,
reverto ad Papa,
ad paterfamilias.
Ego Benedict.
Ego veritas.
Papa Benny
est infallibus.


  • Audio broadcast of the poem on the The World Today (now Weekend) on the BBC World Service on 18 September 2010:    

  • A video version of the BBC broadcast with subtitles:

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A poem about confession

In Judaism, a key Yom Kippur prayer known as “Ashamnu” encourages us to confess to great swathes of sin.

Poem of Atonement

we have slandered
we have robbed
we have bribed
we have wrought wickedness
we have lied
we have provoked
we have trespassed
we have transgressed
we have oppressed
we have rebelled
we have abominated
we have wallowed in evil

but otherwise we think
we’ve done quite well



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