The Concessionary Haiku
Today I concede
that Sleepy Joe will never
enter the White House
I also concede
that unlike the pandemic
I’m going nowhere
I concede that the
election is null and void.
GOD BLESS AMERIC!
Photo, Nick Wright Photography
exuberant collection joinedupwriting ranges from forgotten
friendships and the idiosyncrasies of family life to the
trauma of war and contemporary global politics. These poems
explore the human experience in all its shades of light and
dark but always with McGough's signature wit, irreverence and
vivacity. This is the nation's favourite poet at his finest.
own Poet Laureate' Daily Post
Roger’s show with
LiTTLe MACHiNe features a fine selection of vintage, classic
& surprising poems set to music. It’s a gala gig
that’s making waves. New album The Likes of Us.
a night. Roger and Little Machine stormed it’ Bewdley
of the best concerts we’ve ever had!' Stamford Arts Centre
terrific show’ Canterbury Festival
my great privilege to be the warm-up act for LiTTLe MACHiNe
- the most
brilliant music and poetry band I've seen in decades’
Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate
I Hear America Sighing
(after Walt Whitman)
I hear America sighing, the varied complaints I hear.
Those of mechanics each one bemoaning his as he walks away
from the shutdown factory. The carpenter bewailing his
as he boards up another broken shop window. The matron
in the hospital barking hers, harking back to the days of Kennedy.
The boatmen lamenting theirs, nets full of plastic bags and bottles.
The celebrity tweeting hers about the intrusion of privacy.
The banker howling his like the ghost of a wolf on Wall street.
The shoemaker grumbling his as his son buys another pair
of adidas trainers. The belly-aching of the blame-throwers.
The keening chorus of mothers grieving for murdered sons.
Each crying what belongs to him or her and to no one else
America, I grew up with you, you my brash elder brother,
Super hero, singing in the rain from the Halls of Montezuma
to the shores of Tripoli, from the sands of Iwo Jima to
A Coney Island of the mind. Star-spangled romantic,
laconic wise-cracker, go-getter, no sooner said than done.
Now the wisdom, has it cracked, the getting, has it gone?
The stars have dimmed, no moon ahead. Oh, say!
Can you dance by the light of the rocket’s red glare?
Flags furled, insults hurled, banners waved in anger.
In Times Square the wind moans, and all around the sound
of groaning, the earth trembling as the screen fades to black.
Stop sighing America, start singing. Time to come back.
(New Statesman, 23.1.18)
Photo, Nick Wright Photography
... the new album
cd Lively available here
'His poetry is like a supermodel who can complete a Sudoku puzzle moments before swishing down the catwalk --- easy on the eye and smart as a whip.'
Lorne Jackson, Birmingham Daily Post
patron saint of poetry' Carol Ann Duffy
O Lord, let me be a burden on my children
For long they've been a burden upon me.
May they fetch and carry, clean and scrub
And do so cheerfully.
Let them take it in turns at putting me up
Nice sunny rooms at the top of the stairs
With a walk-in bath and lift installed
At great expense.....Theirs.
Insurance against the body-blows of time
Isn't that what having children's all about?
To bring them up knowing that they owe you
And can't contract out?
What is money for but to spend on their schooling?
Designer clothes, mindless hobbies, usual stuff.
Then as soon as they're earning, off they go
Well, enough's enough.
It's been a blessing watching them develop
The parental pride we felt as each one grew.
But Lord, let me be a burden on my children
And on my children's children too.
© Roger McGough Selected Poems Penguin
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Agency Adrian Mealing and Carole Mealing +44 (0)1684