Alive not living


Another day I awaken here
but I don’t feel so alive
witnessing a country’s downward spiral
doesn’t persuade me to try.
A nation so burnt out
we can’t consider another being
and we pretend that we aren’t noticing
the shit that no one’s giving,
the disaster we are sleepwalking towards
masquerading as progression,
a slow meandering procession
towards a life not worth living.

So let’s close the doors
lock down the borders
in the name of national pride
and delight in solitude
when our last hope was to unite.
After all the pride of Britain
rests on all the stolen land
rests on all the battles won
so yes, trap us on this island
so justice can be done.
Another replica government
takes the little power left in our hands
distracts us
while they push through a new kind of democracy
in which a vote is a facade
and not civil liberty.
And they fly the flag of freedom
as they cement our demise
they watch their power growing
for the sake of some extra wealth in pockets already overflowing
and hopeless puppets sell us more lies
from the mouths of the giants with the oil glazed eyes.

And we clamber over each other to point the blame
to take from those empty hands
because
they’re not the same.
A different colour, a different belief
somehow equates to entitlement over liberty,
but what’s killing us isn’t kindness
it’s Tory austerity.
Of course it’s hard to see someone else existing
when you perceive it’s at the expense of your family
of the last few pennies in your pocket
because you work really hard,
and it still amounts to nothing
it still amounts to counting coins
as you await the next pay cheque
as you wait to find out if your zero hours contract
will be good enough to offer you a shift next week,
as you wait to find out if at your wit’s end
you can make ends meet.
And it’s no surprise
those on the edge of the cliff
are running low on compassion,
when they asked for help
and “scrounger scum” was the overwhelming reaction.
So we’ll all draw our curtains
turn up our tv
because experiencing life through a flickering picture
is all the comfort we can gleam.

And when we step out of our front doors
we see unattainable riches
and deep, deep poverty
so we look past, walk fast
tunnel vision our own survival
because someone losing so hard
doesn’t look so pretty.
And now they say the streets aren’t so pristine
those sleeping bags and cardboard beds
don’t compliment that fancy coffee house colour scheme,
doesn’t fit with celebrations for our precious royalty
someone struggling to live might distract from their special day
may be a blight on their double page spread in Hello magazine
and we couldn’t have something as trivial as reality getting in the way.
So we draw a line around them, in the shape of progress
cut out the ground from beneath their feet, because poverty is tasteless
make it a crime to be a product of this wasteland
make it a crime to be trampled on,
to be lost, alone and grieving
make it a crime to ask for help to keep on breathing.
We scoop them up,
lock them up,
and now this street once home to people
is replaced by another faceless, tasteless,
delicious plastic corporate gleaming
carbon copy street
in every town
another way to brainwash us into forgetting
we’re alive but we aren’t living.