Sunday, September 18, 2011


There’s an article in “The Independent on Sunday” about Martin Bell, the former BBC war correspondent who took up a career in politics for a while. He has now turned his hand to writing poetry.

He has published a poetry collection, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. At the launch of his book he shared a few of his poems, one of which was prompted by the war in Iraq.

“Other subjects he covered,” reads one of the paragraphs in the article, “included MP’s expenses, the Kindle, Marmite and the wedding of President Idi Amin of Uganda.” I like the variety of things that inspire him!

Later on he is quoted as saying, “I feel very deeply about things and it’s a wonderful way to express yourself.”

I also feel deeply about things but it doesn’t often translate into poetry. I complain – usually to the wrong people. I seem to remember from an exhibition focussed on the poetry of Robert Burns that he commented on the world around him through poetry.

Here’s my offering. Last week while putting money into our savings account this happened.

One morning I stood in a very long queue
To say it moved quickly would be quite untrue
I fretted, observing the clock on the wall
For ten solid minutes I moved not at all
All of a sudden a man from the back
Strode past the queue to the front of the pack
He walked to a window his business to do
Ignoring conventions that governed the queue
On mass we all whispered, we snorted and sniffed
Making it clear we were nettled and miffed
Where was the hero to take up our fight?
A queue without backbone – a pitiful sight!

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