Wednesday, 14 October 2015

There's always a new way...

PC: British Library
When Ben Okri, the Booker prize-winning writer was called a genius by Jeremy Corbyn, (in his Labour Party conference speech), Okri responds with a wonderful poem. I loved reading it. Worth reading a hundred times over!

They say there is only one way for politics
That it looks with hard eyes at the hard world
And shapes it with a rulers edge,
Measuring what is possible against
Acclaim, support, and votes.

They say there is only one way to dream
For the people, to give them not what they need
But food for their fears.
We measure the deeds of politicians
By their time in power.

But in ancient times they had another way.
They measured greatness by the gold
Of contentment, by the enduring arts,
The laughter at the hearths,
The length of silence when the bards
Told of what was done by those who
Had the courage to make their lands
Happy, away from war, spreading justice
And fostering health,
The most precious of the arts
Of governance.

But we live in times that have lost
This tough art of dreaming
The best for its people,
Or so we are told by cynics
And doomsdayers who see the end
Of time in blood-red moons.

Always when least expected and unexpected
Figure rises when dreams here have
Become like ashes.  But when the light
Is woken in our hearts after the long
Sleep, they wonder if it is a fable.

Can we still seek the lost angels
Of our better natures?
Can we still wish and will
For povertys death and a newer way
To undo war, and find peace in the labyrinth
Of the Middle East, and prosperity
In Africa as the true way
To end the feared tide of immigration?

We dream of a new politics
That will renew the world
Under their weary suspicious gaze.
Theres always a new way,

A better way thats not been tried before.

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