In Poland, refugees find welcome from their land,
their blackened homes are shells where lives once met
and grew together. Thousands have come.
This neighbour does not shell or bomb.
Their greeting Is an open door. Schools open
rooms and classes form, laughter heals the air.

In Britain, families stand by open doors as well.
They register their love and pledge their trust.
Ukrainians see hands that reach to touch
and gather in. But dodging missiles, rockets, are the
visas, declarations, and red tape designed to trap
the foreigner and his wily knives and i.e.ds.
Hundreds lose their way in online sink holes,
Or cannot find the documents they need.

In London, Government has sunk behind its
overweight P.M. His entourage of servants,
sycophants and hacks look forward to their
Covid fines, and breed inaction as the crowds
of victims clamour to come in. They seize
a yacht that Putin’s pal has hidden here,
amongst the other tainted wealth that spread
as party gifts, while families perish in their tents
and cellars, hungry, waiting, empty, cold.

2 thoughts on “BRING A BOTTLE

  1. Thank you, John. “Bring a Bottle” captures something of the desperation of current events. There are some well-crafted lines, such as “ Hundreds lose their way in online sink holes,” and the resonant mood of “seize”, “ sunk” and “spread” which feels to grow richer at each reading. You’ve risen to one of the most difficult tasks for a poet, the challenge of writing about other people’s suffering, with all the traps and landmines it presents.


  2. Splendid title! A good, strong polemical and moving piece. I echo John’s praise wholeheartedly. (PS Not for publication: there are a number a typos – namely capital letters where there should be lower class. Happy to act as a proof reader prior to publication).


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