If only

by | Feb 17, 2020

If only I’d had one moment, if only I’d had some time

if only I could make some still small sense of this imaginary rhyme

If only I’d not chased shadows, challenged, instead, their version of the truth

if only the world’s crazy misshapen axis hadn’t been tipped on its ancient misshapen roof


If only I’d ruffled feathers, if only I’d raised some doubt

if only the spruikers of rectitude didn’t make me believe what it was that they crowed endlessly about

If only the trails and the highways, gave me signs along the way

if only the self-righteous clowns in suits had died or gone astray


If only I’d sprung from Corona’s bench and shouted what I thought

if only the silver tongued salesmen hadn’t been allowed to sell me what I bought

If only the soporific axioms of society’s judgemental gaze

hadn’t stalked the unsuspecting, expecting us to follow all our days


If only the publicly funded rulers, proselytising till they bleed

had bothered to even realise, onto their ground fell barren, poisoned seed

If only the so-called penitents had railed and sallied forth

and stormed the gates of the sanctified, showing them all what they were worth


If only the hypocrites and messengers, the dogs who barked at every wheel

had instead turned on their masters, chased them, mauled them, so they’d somehow get to feel

the insipidness and emptiness of everything they teach

while proclaiming thoughts of greatness in the moment that they preach


If only the sanctimonious hadn’t dragged their religions near

and based their protestations on the very things they fear

If only our dreams hadn’t been burned, scarred by their Machiavellian brief

if only their imaginations, lacking, had shown them up in stark relief


If only the schools and teachers, in refusing to be changed

had realised that it’s better to be wrong than to be intellectually estranged

If only when they’d been shown up by long haired fugitives

had they admitted to themselves they did not know how the other lives


If only I’d noticed emptiness, instead of shop-worn bored consumptions

if only I’d just ignored their tunes, their well organised assumptions

If only the patriarchs on their recliners, who sat in judgement all day long

had known that making others weak did not in turn then make them strong


If only the halls of politics, where the unimaginative beat their chest

on their cloistered archipelagos, where they decide that they know best

If only they’d imagine their irrelevance, from the corner of their eye

if only they’d notice the rumblings in the streets before they craft their lie


If only the anodyne reflections of those who divide and rule

had made them pause a moment, to know there is not equality in school

If only the revolution had purged the nation’s conscience, if not the nation’s guilt

then all the longings, turned down, refused could then have it all rebuilt.

© copyright – Stephen Newman 2020