Tag Archives: bruce marsland

A green activist considers the police state – a poem by Bruce Marsland

Bruce Marsland
A green activist considers the police state

There was a spy in my bed,
but I did not know.

I read about the malware on my laptop
logging every keystroke,
tracking every website,
scanning every download
for a sign of indiscretion.

I don’t write to my friends so much these days.

I heard about the wire on my mobile
filing names of callers,
noting times of chatter,
loading lists of contacts
into algorithms of subversion.

I don’t talk to my colleagues so much these days.

I overlooked
my ring-wearer, planted,
working me undercover, double identity,
licence to rape,
on her majesty’s bedroom service.

Our children, offspring of the secret state,
lost at least one parent to the shadows
when surveillance ended
and my phantom other half, faking like mad,
pulled out.

I don’t look at my family so much these days.

The law has fingered my collar and cuffs
and every inch of my anatomy
for the crime of having an opinion,
for the treachery of being free.

There’s a spy in my bed,

a spy in my head
I do not know.

 

‘A green activist considers the police state’ by Bruce Marsland won the first prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (February 2016) judged by Roger Elkin.

Stand here to celebrate freedom – poem by Bruce Marsland

BRUCE MARSLAND

Stand here to celebrate freedom

Welcome to Free World and thank you for your purchase.
You have chosen the standard celebration of freedom.

Please now surrender all possessions for inspection.
Most items will be returned after your celebration.
This is for your safety.

Take a moment to read the lists of prohibited objects.
Persons carrying or wearing these articles will not be admitted.
This is for your safety.

Wait quietly and do not shout or push or step outside the lines.
Non-cooperation will entail immediate expulsion from freedom.
This is for your safety.

We know the queue is long. We know the children are crying.
We know the sun is hot and you have no money left for water,
but comparisons with Auschwitz are entirely inappropriate
and we will consider them legally actionable.

When the moment arrives for you to celebrate,
move to your designated spot, coloured according to your ticket.

Your hostess will provide you with a limited-edition flag
and will lead you in enjoying the song of freedom.

Waving other flags or singing other songs
will result in your removal from the chamber of freedom.

Remember, no photographs, no recording,
no smoking, no drinking, no phone calls,
no whispering, no questions, no loitering.

Your celebration will last three minutes. When your time expires,
your hostess will escort you to the quickest exit.

A CCTV video of your celebration will be available
in our gift shop, so family and friends can share your freedom.

Have a wonderful time and let our work make you free.

Stand here to celebrate freedom by Bruce Marsland was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (August 2018) judged by Roger Elkin