on Ukraine xxvi

there is only so long left
of this public examination
all is organised to this end
our youth bent double
drowning in academic gas
interpreting Dulce et Decorum est
while the RAF shake the building
practising manoeuvres,
virtue signalling overhead


CLP 08/06/2022


in England
exam halls full
biros scribbling
humidity and heat
someone decreed the tie must be worn

they will hear nothing of the lark
catch not the cuckoo calling
cannot simmer in the slow burn to Solstice
the ticking clock
ninety minutes of mathematics

a pair of blackbirds flush out the jay
heron stalking by the weir
deep dwellers snapping at surface midges
reeds revelling with rainbow trout
two hundred children sat in rows

stretched out under the sun
barley feathering the fields
the school year runs
in laps that tighten the adult grip
on childhood


CLP 07/06/2022