My Country

My country
says she hates her face
she hates herself, though she won’t admit it
she’s starved herself
of mercy and pity
thinks her hard edge will
do for positivity

My country
says she’s not creative, creativity
is for the toffs and ponces
she’d like to be like them
but it’s not for her, and anyway
someone has to sort the expenses

My country
says it’s better to stay in a pack
there’s laughter and strength in the herd
everyone keeping their head down
she’d kill a leader rather
than let him break cover

My country
says she’s the least important
of all countries
and if I say the opposite
she’ll hang me up
expose me to public ridicule

My country
says anyone who wants to stay in her
must be weak in the head
she’ll happily give passes out
to sunshine and ease of living

My country
does not take kindly to initiative
or authorship, that mug’s game
if initiative’s about
there’s some foreigner behind it
– she’ll always take kindly to him

My country
is empty except
where she’s knotted into conurbations
there the lights
keep out the stars, she never lies
now, contemplating the moon

My country
has thrown out all her mythologies
where she puts her feet down, that’s
where it’s all at
the only spirit she recognises
comes from a condensing worm

My country
is a stubborn old goat
I’ve pictures that tell me
I liked her when we were young and fresh
but now I’m too weary to remember
if she was really ever dear to me
– and ever dear is saying a lot.

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