Two poems by Neil Laurenson

We say thank you and goodbye to our guest editor Kinsman with their final selection of two comedic pieces by Neil Laurenson. For the first poem, they say “I enjoyed this poem because of its humour. As well as satirizing those that want to privatise the NHS, it is also an affectionate parody of the William Carlos Williams poem of the same name. I have always read the original poem as a somewhat odd love poem, so this piece reads to me as a love poem to the NHS.”

This Is Just To Say

I have taken
the NHS
that was in
public ownership

and which
you were probably
for future generations

Forgive me
it was so profitable
so good
and so rich

And for Neil’s second poem, Kinsman says “As much as this is a comedic piece leading into a wickedly good punchline, this is also a reminder that issues come both great and small and sometimes that smallest actions are the most important. Engaging with your council, as well as your MP is incredibly important and whilst you may not be able to move the cabinet on Brexit, for example, you might just be able to move your local council on gritting the street.”

Alan Hansen speaks out at a council budget meeting

It had been the coldest winter in years
And the council had confirmed Alan’s fears.
He listened to the speeches about cutting spending
And he knew it was absolutely shocking defending.
Yes, cuts to the central government grant
Mean some things can be done and some things can’t,
But roads and pavements were like an ice rink –
Surely the council had to re-think?
Alan spoke for the city, he spoke for the nation
When he called for more grit
And determination.

Neil Laurenson photo_Celebrating Change.jpgNeil used to dress up as Tony Blair and assumed that people would interpret this habit as a protest rather than a tribute. He has since become a parent and a councillor and has resisted the urge to wear a latex mask to make a point. His children are grateful for this.

He has read at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Worcester Lit Fest & Fringe and in several other places. He will do more poetry readings in exchange for sporadic applause.

His debut poetry book Exclamation Marx! was published by Silhouette Press in 2016.

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