A farewell to the UK, 31 Jan 2020

White swans, black swans

Farewell oh England, my Lionheart.
Hail Celtic bards, Saxon soaks.
Jokers, scientists, philosophers.
Shakespeare and Turner, Newton and Darwin,
Thomas Tallis and Kate Bush.
Travellers from pole to pole, liberators of the Netherlands,
for centuries the yardstick
of everything that was good and witty
on my mother’s tiny telly.

Who saw this coming? Quite honestly,
you always had it in you:
hooligans, Margaret Thatcher, lukewarm beer,
cold chips, see-through nylon blouses with gold thread.

The island rows groggily off, with Benny Hill at the oars.
I hear that snatch of music playing.
It began with King Arthur and ends with Nigel Farage.
England’s shut shop, the key is kaputt.
It grieves me to see you like this.

Alexis de Roode

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