Theresa’s Way – With apologies to Paul Anka, and to be sung to tune by Jacques Revaux and Claude François ….

And now, the end is nigh
And so I face the final showdown
My friends, I’ll give a sigh
I’ll persevere, until my climbdown.

I’ve had a full career.
I’ve followed my determined pathway
But more, above all else
I did it my way

Regrets, of late I’ve felt,
But can’t reverse my past misjudgement;
I made what to me spelt
A sane decision for appeasement.

I formed each bungled plan,
Each careful step whilst making headway,
But more, above all else,
I did it my way.

Yes, you can tell, from how I stood,
That I intended to make good,
But through it all, when I could wilt,
I remained steadfast to the hilt;
I faced the crowds despite the clouds,
And did it my way.

I’ve fought, I’ve won and lost,
I’ve had my day, my share of grumbling
And now, as tears subside
I find my ratings are a-tumbling.

To think I faced the vote
And may I say – not in a sly way
Oh no, oh no, not me
I did it my way.

For what is a dame, what does she own
If not the seeds which she has sown;
The right to say what’s on her chest
And not what matters for the best?
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way.

Yes, it was my way

© Helen Kalliope
June 2017

Theresa’s Impossible Dream – with apologies to Joe Darion (to be sung to Mitch Leigh’s composition from ‘Man of La Mancha’)

To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unwinnable fight,
To bear the shame of not winning,
To run in the gloom of the night,
To calm the uncalmable throng,
To rule cold and strong from afar,
To try when my army’s too weary,
To wage the unwageable war;
This is my quest, to follow that course,
No matter how hurtful, no matter the force,
To link with the right, without thought or regard,
To be willing to reach the Abyss, for a Brexit so hard …
And I know if I’ll only fulfil this magnificent goal,
That my conscience will always be clear,
When I’m stuck in a hole,
And my realm will be poorer for this:
That one woman, devoid of her heart,
Still strove, in her last days of power,
To play the unplayable part.

© Helen Kalliope
June 2017

Guide me, O Thou Great Theresa – with apologies to William Williams and Peter Williams (to be sung to ‘Cwm Rhondda’)

Guide me, O thou great Theresa,
Voter through this complex maze;
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
Help me with thy heart ablaze:
Resilient, resilient,
Give me hope for evermore,
Give me hope for evermore.

Open thou thy doors of wisdom
Whence the verbal stream shall flow;
Let thy fiery flow of language
Give me succour as I grow:
Strong and stable, strong and stable
Be thou still my guiding hand.
Be thou still my guiding hand.

When I hear of deathly happ’nings,
Be my rock so fears subside;
No more deaths, no more destruction,
Safe from zealots’ homicide:
Veneration, veneration
I shall always give to thee.
I shall always give to thee.




© Helen Kalliope

June 2017

Rhodri Morgan (1939-2017)

Teyrnged deilwng – A worthy tribute

Dicmortimer's Blog

Everybody knew him as Rhodri. You couldn’t help but like him. For me it was his quick mind, suffering fools gladly with amused exasperation; his silver-tongued articulacy, galloping ahead regardless, goading the baffled to keep up; his authentic polymath’s panoramic cultural and intellectual range that meant he could only ever be a man of the left; and, above all, his utterly unselfconscious, unapologetic, undemonstrative and unalloyed Welshness.

All his best qualities flowed from that Welsh wellspring. Wales doesn’t have a ruling class as such, simply because we are ruled by others, but a uniquely Welsh version of an ‘elite’ has nevertheless developed over the centuries. Without the power structures of realpolitik, our vanguard has had to emerge in alternative ways. In the vacuum of a nation without nationhood it was down to the intelligentsia to rise to the surface and take what initiatives were possible, congregating around the liberal arts…

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To Flee or Not To Flee – with apologies to William Shakespeare

To flee, or not to flee: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler to stay put and last out
The slings and arrows of crazy government,
Or to take flight against a sea of troubles,
And by retreat deny them? To go: to move;
No more; and by a move, to say we end
The heart-ache and the voluminous earthquakes
That we are heirs to, ’tis a relocation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To flow, to run;
To scram: perchance to hope: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that fleshly fugue, what dreams may come
When we have travelled off this narrow state,
Must let us think: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of such a scene;
For who would bear the harsh misgovernment,
The oppressor’s wrong, the insults of the smug,
The pangs of shock and gloom, the legal wool,
The insolence of ministers, their pride
That serves to downtread all who may dissent,
When they themselves might contemplate escape
O’er land and air? Who would assume the chore,
Of surviving under a weary life,
But that the thought of something after fugue,
The journey’s terminus from where perhaps
Few emigrants return, exerts the mind
And makes us bear political unease
Rather than fly to lands as yet unknown?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
So that the will inborn in us to endure
Is coloured by the urge to run away,
And plans on which we had placed much importance
With this regard suddenly go askew,
As their objectives pale. Let us see you,
Fair Europe, and hear all your entreaties,
Remember us, despite our wrongs.

© Helen Kalliope
March 2017

And did those fools in modern time – with apologies to William Blake

And did those fools in modern time
Build walls ’round Britain’s open ground?
And was the unholy devil’s hand
on Britain’s diverse landscapes found?
And did the xenophobic mood
extend its clout upon our lands?
And was our doomstruck state created here
with zest by those satanic hands?

Bring me the strength to take a stance!
Bring me the will to oppose the death!
Bring me resolve to help advance
The cause of Europe and her breath!
I will not cease to back the cause,
nor shall I waver in my quest,
Till we rebuild our bridges firm
between our isles and Europe’s nest.

© Helen Kalliope
January 2017

Do not go gentle into that black hole – with apologies to Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that black hole,
Europe should burn and rave at the close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of its soul.

Though the wise at the end see no firm goal,
Because their words have had no impact, they
Do not go gentle into that black hole.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how droll
Their frail words appeared as they campaigned to stay,
Rage, rage against the dying of its soul.

Wild men who were lured by promises before the poll,
And learn, too late; they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that black hole.

Grave men, near death, with vestigial eyes like a mole
Numb minds could sense despair and fears allay,
Rage, rage against the dying of its soul.

And you, my Europe, who have ceased to be whole,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that black hole.
Rage, rage against the dying of your soul.

© Helen Kalliope
December 2016

I Wandered Through the Ethereal Cloud – with apologies to William Wordsworth

I wandered through the ethereal cloud
Reading the news amid shouts and rants,
When, suddenly, I observed a crowd,
A host of mainland immigrants;
On farms, in cafés, shops and schools,
Working, and all within the rules.

Continuous as the scene that moves
And beckons on the office screen,
They were seen in never-ending droves
Along the streets and on fields green:
Many thousands saw I at a glance,
From Poland, Rumania, Greece and France.

Their colleagues welcomed them and they
Were keen to prove their worth with glee:
A migrant would have loved to stay,
In such a happy company:
I viewed—and viewed—but little thought
Of the battle which would soon be fought.

For oft, when on my chair I sit
And browse the web for news and views,
They reappear and test my wit,
Giving me opportunity to muse;
And then my heart with sadness wants,
To ache for the fate of immigrants.

© Helen Kalliope
January 2017

Westminster Bridge, 17 January, 2017 – with apologies to William Wordsworth

Earth has not anything to show more glum:
Dull would they be of soul who could ignore
A sight so woeful in its quest to score:
This City now will, like a lamb, succumb
To the madness of the ignorant; narrow and loud,
Boats, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie
Open unto the sprawl, and to the sky;
All dull and matt in the carbonic cloud.
Never did pea-soup more earnestly steep
In his first dullness, basin, mount, or field;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, despair so deep!
The river flows, with all to be revealed:
Dear God! the wakeful people seem asleep;
As much that we once had we are to yield!

© Helen Kalliope
January 2017