Monday, 10 March 2014


Stiff upper lip,
Stiff dancing,
Stiff rigor mortis;

There's more to being English
Than looking grim as a tortoise.

Country day-tripper,
Pub-goer - forever chancing.
Being loose in the bedroom,
Loose on the floor.

Those who came before us
Stiffened in love, left the rising
To the pudding - put the coldness
In the glove.

Stiff dreams,
Stiff politics;
All damage and coyness;

There's more to being English
Than living thoughtless and joyless.

There's more than fusty living rooms
Full of long-dead conversation,
And sterile-white lounges
Full of the TV's static vibration.

Whatever happened to the Eccentric,
The Romantic - the Madman?
Sod all your mores and ideals:
I'll be myself; I'll be a glad man.

Loose lipped, silver-tongued,
Loose moved and free;
Only stiffened in death's cast.

There's more to life than worry,
for what will be will be.

There's more to being English
Than resignation to the past;
There's so much more to being English:
Hands, and lips, and hearts.

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