If We Shadows Have Offended Ian Smith Poetry

local_library If We Shadows Have Offended

by Ian Smith

Published in Issue No. 241 ~ June, 2017

England, July 2016


Donald J. Trump just promised to build a wall across America

Casting a long shadow

And stepping into a deep void

To un-mend true love.


A ripple across the land of star-crossed lovers becomes a wave at Border Control,

Where Trump in his Duke of Athens crown rolls out bad news:

His wall, his country, his living space besieged by Old World plinths,

Clocks that cannot be fixed, marble halls ─ lovers need not apply.


Yet the alien child he does not rate cannot be unborn,

Bettering all that Trump makes sweet with skill:

Cluster bombs, lines drawn in sand, a shit storm.


Through a wall, WH Auden still loves Erika Mann.

Peggy Guggenheim still loves Max Ernst.

Kerouac still debauches Mexico.

Pyramus and Thisbe still roars.


Take heed, America,

The human race will survive Donald Trump’s wall ─

But walls make new worlds old.



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I’m a full time, un-agented, debut English socialist political writer, suspended by the UK Labour Party for supporting Jeremy Corbyn. One self-published novel, Tony Blair: The Wilderness Years (Createspace, 2003), set in Scotland where I once lived. Booker prize winning Scottish author James Kelman (Dirt Road, How Late It Was, How Late) inspired me with a lecture on vernacularism at Goldsmith’s, University of London (2002). Peel Moat State Comprehensive School (Craig Cash, BAFTA award-winning writer and producer, Royle Family), Stockport Technical College, Sheffield Polytechnic, GlosCAT, and Goldsmith’s. Short stories: at Mondays Are Murder (Akashic Books). Poems in the North, Seam, and Iota.