Blithe Spirits

BBC India reports
The Universe has summoned
Keeley and Kyle
From Nottingham
To The Great Temple of Om
In central India
Where they will truly
Discover themselves
The Universe thinks
this is unlikely to happen
in Nottingham)
‘Hell on Earth’
Snaps Keeley
To our reporter
Close to the ground
‘God knows
When the tailor
Will be able
To return my saris
And I can’t even tell you
When I last sipped a latte
And does our government care?’
In the background
Of the shot
Another elderly Indian
Kneels in the dust
Sips water from a puddle
(the sleeve of his kaftan
frayed by anxious chewing)
‘How can 
Consciousness expand
When a dude’s been abandoned?
And does our government care?’
(he’s always been
a bit of a lingam)
Then one or the other bleats
‘All we want
Is enlightenment
Then to drift down
For a few days
On the beach’
(nearest beach
837 miles)
Just out of shot
To the stranded throngs
A child kneels in the dust
Playing solitaire
She can never win the game
Because there are
Cards missing
Marquee farewell party
In Mummy and Daddy’s pile
Bucks Fizz
Outside caterers
And so on
‘Long Island in the Bahamas’
Mummy snorts
‘It sounds just like a cocktail’
Tosses back her mane
Did Daddy marry his horse?
Rose-petal speech
‘We’re off to Paradise
But how could we possibly forget you
And we’ll always be on Skype
Of course’
Cue polite applause 
Twelve months later
Rips the roof off Eden
In the sea
‘Our boss has done nothing
Though he’s so big in pineapple
London doesn’t care
Although we used to pay our taxes
How could these peasants
To fix the signal
For the Internet?’
Maybe this poet
Has a chip of ice
On each shoulder
He’s never shaken
Or stirred
With the smart set
But I hope I’m not the type
To pleasure in asking
When you moved into
A cyclone zone
What the fuck
Did you expect?
Did you think
You’d been born
To sleep soundly
Swaddled in the eye
Of every storm?
Yes, there’s a plane overhead
No, it won’t be landing
Be thankful
You’re the chosen
With a bit of your house
Still standing

It would be wrong
To add insult
Stick the boot in
But what on earth
Possesses people
To splash thousands on a trip
Scrimp a hundred on insurance?
A drunken dive
A scooter ride
Family bereft
‘We might have
To sell the house
The government
Has left us
Hospital cares for nothing
But who’s going
To pay the bills’
I’m truly truly sorry
Nothing is so cheap
As human life itself
Why should they
Make sacrifices
For a complacent
When every single day
Hundreds of
Lie down in their shacks
Of preventable illness?
I don’t wear a halo
But I’m touched
By midday sun
When the attitude
Rising to the surface
Is that for all
We should have learned
Countries and their natives
Exist purely for our service
Please do me a favour
Stick to Blackpool
Send me your passport
I’ll refund the postage
Take care of the recycling

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