The death of the Queen

I didn’t want to write about

the death of the Queen,

not at all, because I’m torn

between the adored sweet

old lady of 96 that fits our fairy

tale dreams and the faded

sober story of queens and

kings and this goddam system

of Oppression dressed up in

the orderly guise of pomposity.


What is there more to say about her

handshaking smile with dignatories and at

flower shows where she has gone immemorial

to become this safe haven to park all

the best we think of beaming humanity:

in parades, visits, openings, sporting events

and in all the order that we crave in a disorderly

world where disintegration waits around the bend.


But then the Irish blood moves in me and the ghosts

of slavery, cruelty and class rise up to narrate

the hidden history of royalty and its dire past.


Then my thoughts turn to First Nations peoples

ravaged and displaced in the abyss of god-ordained

superiority centred in the halls of the palace itself.


She waits in state, draped in the Imperial State Crown

that stood for Rule Britannia and the bringing of church, culture

and gun to take what was not theirs, to take it all

in the name of Albion, to take it all through death and pain.


But now it is mere fairytale and the echoing past seems faint

and not many hear its voices, just a few who are torn

like me and read and think and wonder if she knew

through her wisened smile what all this appearance really meant.