Blog thirteen: A poem – White riot

Bank holiday Monday, the sun ain’t shining. Around the country there will be fetes and fairs, festivals and carnivals. I got up this morning and listened to the Clash. I won’t write anything about the Clash – what is there to write that hasn’t already been said? ‘Nuff said…

Anyhow, I was inspired to finish a poem that I started about two months ago (well I had written 4 lines, the start of an idea) –


White riot

Sat at the back of the literature classroom

feeling that the problem is a lack of

creativity that clashes with being a bit thick.

Trying not to sound too crass, while

protesting with the pompous teacher of English

that poetry and reality, really isn’t that black and white.

Too scared to shout that academic power

shouldn’t be poached from the poor.

Stored and controlled in remote ivory towers.



in a flash, an idea arcs across the mind’s eye

from nowhere, like a Molotov cocktail

hurled by an anarchist’s angry arm, huddled and

hidden amongst a heated mob.


The spark of inspiration, ignites as the petrol filled bottle

hits the troubled streets of a riot torn imagination.

Exploding with a spray of glass slivers,

showering the surrounds with the shrapnel of a story.

Combustion is unstructured, slowly spontaneous

as the flaming rag of inventiveness is impregnated by gasoline.

The blaze bursts though the ordinary, fanning the flames of unrefined fancy,

chasing the refined chemical liquid, spreading

a viscous vision that can be traced across a street map

drawn from arteries and veins.


Thoughts spread like a bush fire, teasing and taunting.

Daring authority to try to take control.

Growing and rising, resulting in an ivory inferno

towering above Hades.

Internal combustion creates high levels of white-hot noise,

fuelled by adrenaline that leaves a chemical bitter-sweet after taste,

only experienced when syphoning gas from the tank

of your rich neighbours urban 4X4.


The insolent idea gains momentum

with the speed of a marauding crowd of roaring mutineers,

tearing up the back-street escapes of the

garage land city.

Tearing through the mind, leaving a calling card of

wilful, wanton, wanted vandalism, writing a scorched page to

blow free from the wreckage.


In the hushed aftermath of the two-minute anti-demonstration,

as the energy is contained and the furnace is harnessed.

Capital is gained from the burning. There is a calling,

a revolution may be written in belligerent black ink on

docile white paper.


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