I Am The Affluent Society

Written in 1972, this shows how long have been writing verse and how long I have been a political animal. I still despair of the human inertia that I write about here.

Tell me why, when I see so much beauty,
Do I feel such despair for mankind?
When the Summer blooms forth
And the swallows fly North,
Why does Winter’s gloom prey on my mind?

Why, when I look at my full-filled meal plate,
Am I haunted by Kwashiokor?
Why, when I sit in peace,
Does my sadness increase
And my thoughts fill with horror and war?

When I look at sweet, yellow laburnum,
Why do I see a suffering child?
When my enchanted eyes
Gaze at azure blue skies,
Why are they shedding tears for the blind?

Tell me why, when I’ve had entertainment,
Don’t I dwell on the joy I’ve derived,
But instead fill my head
With the poor and the dead
And the lonely, the sick and deprived?

Do the pictures that advertise Oxfam
Have to blind me to beauty and art?
Why don’t pictures I see
Make me joyful and free
From the pain that I feel in my heart?

Though my thoughts of injustice and hunger
Make me grow sad and ponder and weep,
Still I think, never act,
Leave my lifestyle in tact,
Eat my fill and fall soundly asleep!

© Lynne Joyce, 16/6/1972.

Council A.G.M. –

Enrobed in scarlet, tricorn hatted,
Wearing a lace jabot and chain,
This the parting Lord Mayor’s Swan Song,
Drawn out fond farewells whilst wearing
Regalia for one last time,
Then the hard part, handing over,
Retreating to oblivion.

Now the new Lord Mayor is honoured,
With loud and lavish words of praise,
Uttered as if they really meant it,
By friends and enemies alike.
Then a short break for enrobing,
Photographs and interviews,
While guests and members take a break.

We in our finery, competing,
In our most expensive outfits,
Shoes shone bright, some heads be-hatted,
Meticulous and picture perfect,
Mundane people turned to peacocks,
Rising to this strange occasion,
Gracing it with dignity.

The new Lord Mayor, enrobed and tricorned,
Makes a long and measured speech,
Political in style and content,
One more rule shot down in flames,
Now the farewells to the departing
Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress,
Yet more fine words and fond farewells.

Luminaries, louts and luddites,
Beurocrats, Politicos,
Husbands and wives, children and partners,
Past Mayors, Lord Bishops, Dignitaries,
High ranking, uniformed armed forces,
Senior Policemen, men in wigs,
Preside over a short-term truce.

Later at the self-same meeting,
Re-convened without the guests,
Battle boundaries re-esatblished,
The bitter War of words resumed,
Unkind words, unending conflict,
Motions, amendments, speeches, votes,
The Boys Club game of politics.

Egoists clash with status sabres,
Cut-and-thrusting, fight for power,
Back-room moves rehearsed in secret,
Wheeling, dealing, making bets,
Ever changing plans & plotting,
Feed the fight to steal the limelight,
At the Council’s AGM.

© Lynne Joyce May 2002.