Militant Thistles

polemical poetry to prickle the politics of "permanent austerity"

atos Poor Doors Sheriff Stars spikes

thistles stretch their prickly arms afar

Black Triangle bedroom tax Disrupt and Upset

Leon Brown

Waltz of the Lobsters

(England 2019)



Lobsters have slipped the berths of their senses, 

And blithely set sail for the moon,

Dogma serenades dogma across the ballroom of winter,

To a siren's song named 'Doom.'


Now sons and daughters of random despair,

Squat beyond circles of Future.

Impaled on shards of austerity dreams; 

While casting around for a suture.


It is time, across Europe, to dust down crates,

Hoard crazy little things called 'Hope'.

They may come in handy one night in March,

When we eye up the hangman’s rope.


O England you are lost! As never before,

But then you were never really found. 

So chase opium dragons of dark past glory,

To which, like Prometheus, you are bound.


Do you remember Grandpa telling you about Dunkirk?

“The war was won on cups of tea”?

“Keep Calm and Carry On” or panic and give up,

This rock of insensibility.


"And did these feet in ancient times walk..."

Along shores of desolation?

Waifs washed by waves; teeth biting sand,

Mistaken for doorway relations.

Euroman and Woman are here but…not for much longer.

"We are better than them and their kind,"

We’ve reclaimed our country after 46 years, 

For golden lobsters gone blind.


Hurl that Empire mug against the wall! 

Turn the spoon on invaders to the castle!

Morlocks, Mordor Orcs, Uncle Tom Cobley and all, 

Pass smelling salts or pass the parcel.


And then the three deaf mice: Boris, Nigel and Jacob,

Scurry from the skirting boards. 

See how they run! See how they run!

To their hedge of delusional frauds.


And once the wrapping paper has been ripped away?

What do you find underneath?

Something wicked this way always a' coming,

In a season of endless grief.

Leon Brown was born in Dorset in 1973. After graduating from King’s College London in 1994, Brown taught English as a secondary school teacher and as an English as a Foreign Language teacher in Portugal and Greece and later at Bristol University. He retrained as an Occupational Therapist and now lives and works in Shropshire. He is also a qualified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. Brown's poems have been published in Emergency Verse - Poetry in the Defence of the Welfare State (Caparison, 2011), The Robin Hood Book - Verse Versus Austerity (Caparison, 2012) and on The Recusant. He is currently writing his second novel, The Heart and Soul Army, a dystopian political thriller spanning the years 1970 to 2070. His interests are writing, literature, politics, psychology, film, music, walking and travel.