Look – just had a tip, sugar will be short,
Bread next week, take a fiver from my drawer;
Get everything you can, empty the shops,
Stack up our cupboards, fill the freezer up.
Must have our sugar, bread can`t do without,
Must have our warm clothes, smart clothes – no holes,
Thick curtains, double glaze, no cracks at all.
Keep out the cold snow, keep out the outside,
Keep the world away from our cosy nest,
From our cupboards filled with toilet rolls and
Piled with stores of superfluous linen;
And from our central heated, Wilton covered,
Feather-down filled comfort.
Don’t let them in to wear out our carpets,
Eat up our food, breathe our conditioned air.
Of course have friends: coffee, dinner parties,
Give and be friendly – but only to our set.
Put our own first: mother, cousins, children.
If it came to war, stands to reason
We would hate the enemy, foreigners,
And if our town became too mixed
Then one street against another might stand.
And food really short – nothing in the shops –
We won`t even tell next door, though our friends,
What we`ve got in our larder.
Well, even our stores could one day run dry,
Stark bare our cupboards, if things got really bad.
And we must have our bread for our children,
Sugar, loo rolls and secret tins of ham.
We can`t do without three good meals a day;
Six pairs of everything, vests and socks and pants.
As soon as it is slightly worn hide it, hide it
Quickly in the dustbin. Mustn`t even see
The holes that let the cold in and make you
Look like a beggar, and think of beggars…
Maybe it’s the first step to being one?
We have to barricade with stainless steel,
Wrought iron gates and whitewashed stone,
Three course breakfasts and six course dinners;
Our ragged hair weekly tamed at the stylist,
And our spreading bodies trapped in whalebone.
Our wandering minds, which frighten us, must be
Fixed on recipes and helping at Jumbles.
Then – This is Life, the silver spoons rattle
At Charity dinners. This must be it,
And we run all the brownies home from church.
So life is mixing a great big pudding,
Concerned with school bills ands the election,
Far too busy to think of death.
Too busy buying clothes and attending
Yoga lessons, to think one day a lump,
A clot a seizure…And our powdered skin
Will crumble and our crimped hair fall out.
So, we keep out rain, cold, the invaders,
Fill up our blood and stock up our health,
Jam pack our days to keep out our thoughts
Keep out the bogeyman with preoccupations
Keep out all bogeymen with ramifications
A clique of friends to scare off loneliness
Delicious food to forget starvation.
If someone dies, bury him privately.
We will be seen to attend the service
Of memorial in our best clothes
And the dead will not be mentioned again.
If we can`t get sugar and can`t buy bread
We feel a crack in our armourments and
Deprivation is marching in on us
A brick is loose, will our house fall down next?
The curtains won`t shut, eyes are looking in
Seeing our holey pants and hairy legs
Witnessing our rows and degradations.
The wind is howling and crying outside,
Like an orphan at our gate.
First no loo rolls, then no sugar,
Next no bread, so soon no cocktails ?
If we are uncovered, no fur or leather,
We are reminded of corruption,
Of final mortification.
The bogeyman is coming.
He is knocking at the door.
Pamela Pickton‘s novel Neverland is on sale on amazon now, and on all good ebook websites, and read about her travails and worldly challenges in her Zitebooks collection of short stories, Reasons, which is also available to download from Amazon.