Forget all you’ve heard
about honour, respect;
ignore every pain but your own.
Moan a lot, whine,
break, shatter, do crime,
turn truth into lies,
shout insults, despise any thought,
any view but your own.
Breed a culture of blame,
look around, name and shame,
write lists, parrot slogans,
play the game of insulting
your elders, your parents, your peers.
Wax aggressive, yell shit in the ears
of whatever won’t fit the one
view that matters: your own.
So don’t bargain, don’t listen: demand!
You’re the Youth, you’re millennial
gone viral, bacterial –
hashtag the world into hand.
Impose and intimidate, invent and insinuate,
don’t use any brain of your own.
You don’t need to think – eat chicken
and drink, then accept this clear fact: you’re a clone.
Satisfied? Look inside –
you’ll find emptiness there,
the vacuum our species has grown.
Genetic defects of a guilty elect,
bleating choirs of delinquents
flock tame and unquestioning home
bereft of humanity, spew barefaced depravity
in the one voice that matters – their own.
Originally from Liverpool and the inaugural Poet Laureate for Cheshire in 2003, Harry Owen emigrated to South Africa from England in 2008. He has published six poetry collections, the latest of which is Small Stones for Bromley (Lapwing Publications, 2014).
He has also edited I Write Who I Am: an anthology of Upstart poetry, featuring the work of nineteen young poets from disadvantaged township schools in the Eastern Cape; and the international anthology For Rhino in a Shrinking World, in support of efforts to save this iconic animal from extinction. (http://rhinoanthology.wordpress.com).
His work is widely published in journals and anthologies throughout the world, including Magma, Orbis, The Kalahari Review, The Bastille, Stanzas, New Coin, Plume, MadHat Lit, Poems for Jeremy Corbyn and many others.
Harry Owen lives in Grahamstown, South Africa.