Nick Wayte


As we all know
Inspector Morse is dead
(& Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as well)
and whatever it is in Iraq its not
John Waynes Alamo

the phrase The British People
tires me out            yet

I have done the State some service and they know it

land of my fathers & mothers but
where exactly         home is where the heart is
but how to return to go

I come from a long line of peasants
descended (I’ld like to think)
from Brueghel
(which unfortunately he wasn’t)

on the streets of Europe
men with shaven heads like prisoners
in imitation combat fatigues
and army boots        though
the war is far away
reported on a channel of the
how do you feel after
the murder/death/accident/war variety

a slight
tremor in the stomach
the fragile envelope of the skin

and the cold bright star of fascism
as Donald Rumsfeld said
death gives war a bad reputation
American Christians on the web
when in doubt           reload

can I be bothered with this
low level attention deficit?

but I forget

old men forget but all shall be forgot
never in a month of chapel Sundays

after the spicy cous-cous
and pigeons pirouetting on the pavement
heads down pursuing pieces of bread
between the lustred fragments of sunlight
plane-tree cast in diamonds

driving wind over Wrington
hurling the hail against the panes

the magpie and nomadic self
from electric light cider and bonhomie
steps lightly out into the enormous dark

still trying to remember Brueghels paintings
red-clad Spanish soldiers building an Empire
and the discursive meaning of choice

but I’m in the picture now