A villanelle for certain villains

I have something on Dante to post soon, but so much intervenes. Meanwhile, until I can post “Meeting Dante”, and since the great Florentine was not averse to some sharp political poetry himself I’ll post this little piece I wrote as I watched the Chilcot enquiry, but it will stand too for all those politicians who shrug off the ‘collateral damage’ done by their folly

Advice to a politician

Bury the truth and lie down with a lie,
Dismiss the losers with a winning smile,
The dead are dead and cannot testify.

Hire a good brief to help you ‘clarify’
You’ve no regrets; regrets are not your style.
Bury the truth and lie down with a lie.

A few more headline grabs will get you by,
Always appear to go the extra mile,
The dead are dead and cannot testify.

Concede the odd ‘mistake’, contrive a sigh,
But wrap yourself in virtue all the while.
Bury the truth and lie down with a lie.

Most witnesses are dead, some you can buy,
Some can be lost in a ‘deleted file,’
The dead are dead and cannot testify.

The dreams may come, the screams that terrify…
They can be blocked with Prozac for a while.
Bury the truth, and lie down with a lie,
Until the dead arise and testify.


Filed under Current affairs, literature, Poems

2 responses to “A villanelle for certain villains

  1. To show the lie, leaves the truth. I liked it and in fact it reminds me of Hid the Dead by 1markt in summing up the sentiment. check out 1markt.wordpress.com and let me know what you think

  2. Perhaps instead of ‘cannot testify’, ‘do not testify’, the alliterating subliminally denying the ‘habeas corpi’? Powerful. Particularly when the villanelle form is traditionally about innocent shepherds and shepherdesses. Reminds me of a chilling moment when a Trust Administrator said ‘The dead schoolchildren are dead and we can’t do anything about it’, the Lawyer and I replying that with murder there is no statute of limitations.

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