In These Toxic Times – a poem about these days.

In These Toxic Times


It’s all change in these toxic times

Where the ghosts of days that never were,

Like phantom fairy castles

Glimpsed in mists among the clouds,

Loom large on a pedestal of nostalgic lies.


The new guard, regaled in fascist clothing,

Unleash waves of fear and hatred

As purity is threatened by change.

But life is change and always has been

And the past was always badly stained.


The storm breaks upon the shore

As rollers pound the beaches,

Cities and people.

As the waves of ingress

Wash away compassion,

Wash away hope, care and love.

As the wind howls and ushers in

Gales of callous cruelty, despair and anger.


It’s all change in these toxic times

As the hate is channeled and directed.

There is no room for empathy, tolerance and welcome.

For the waves of threat are crashing against the cliffs

Bringing down the whole continent

As the hurricane blows away all we once stood for.


This country, built on compassion and a friendly smile,

Now a bastion of defiant fury

That puts children in the dog pound

Walls between us

And bombs amongst the crowd.


For centuries an island of hope,

A beacon to the oppressed,

A refuge from terror.


For it is all change in these toxic times

Where every stranger is the enemy.

The beacon has gone out.

The hope has been extinguished.

And the refuge become the prison.


The welcoming smile is now a snarl

The helping hand a fist

The door is built of razor wire.

The nostalgia for those pleasant times

Ironically based on fake memories.


Opher – 22.6.2018



I’m becoming nostalgic for those pleasant times before Brexit and Trump.

It seems to me that these two events have unleashed a great wave of division, fear and hatred. The politicians stir up the emotions for their own ends. Immigration and terrorism are used to promote their own political careers.

Immigration has been used as a tool. There has been too much but the fears are exaggerated in order to create fury as Islamophobia is deployed as a weapon.

Looking back through rose-tinted glasses to those olden days, (ignoring the racism, poverty, hardship, misogyny, disease and gross inequality) we are led to believe that things have got worse.

They haven’t.

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