Magazine article The Spectator

Competition: Trigger Point

Magazine article The Spectator

Competition: Trigger Point

Article excerpt

In Competition No. 2985 you were invited to provide a poetic preview of the day Article 50 is triggered.

There were passionate voices from both sides of the Brexit divide, with many of you recruiting distinguished poets to your cause. D.A. Prince cleverly appropriated 'Vitaï Lampada', Sir Henry Newbolt's tribute to English patriotism: 'There's a dread-filled rush in the House tonight/ With Article 50 poised to go,/ After lies black as pitch and the blind claiming sight/ And nothing to halt, now, the whole sorry show'; Jennifer Moore's entry channelled the spirit of Dr Seuss: 'The sun did not shine./ We were too sad to work,/So we cut out Farage/ And threw darts at his smirk.' And Paul Carpenter reworked Gray's 'Elegy': 'The curfew tolls the knell of lost UK...' Nice work all round.

Nigel Stuart and Jack William Ruddy earn commendations, Basil Ransome-Davies pockets £35 and his fellow winners take £30.

The Martian TV viewers were convulsed by ribald mirth;

Some fool had pulled the Brexit trigger down on Planet Earth.

They would have pissed themselves were they

designed in human fashion.

The Martian sense of humour does not entertain compassion.

The Thames was choked with suicides. The

looters stripped the shops.

The medics were as helpless as the clerics and the cops.

The dogs of fear ran in the streets, the loathing was titanic.

Not even David Attenborough could counteract the panic.

The Germans sadly shook their heads. The French shrugged 'Eh, alors?'

As Brexit raised the Devil to destroy the rule of Law

And Britain sank beneath the waves in sulphurous expiry,

Too late to mend the severed bond, too late for an Inquiry.

The Martian mind is frolicsome, the Martians'

style sardonic,

Their lowbrow taste incurable, their schadenfreude chronic.

Their idea of a hoot's the ruination of a nation.

Reality TV on Mars is quite a Revelation.

Basil Ransome-Davies

The filibustering's finished. Fog

Descends at dawn, the squabbling's done,

It's time to end the dialogue

And pull the trigger on the gun.

From Dover's cliff the bullet goes

At lightning speed to Europe's shore

Where, crying havoc, Britain's foes

Let slip, at last, the dogs of war.

Today it starts, today we wend

Our way through battles wearisome,

O, that a man might know the end

Of this day's business 'ere it come!

But come it will, and fighting back

We'll break that continental link

And know if, after all the flak,

This Sceptred Isle will float or sink. …

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