I began writing this poem in 1996 in response to the election of a BNP councillor in Tower Hamlets, the first of its kind in England. I was not happy with the poem and shelved it, quietly. I picked it up again in 2001, when it was published by Third Way magazine, under a different title. Still not completely happy with the poem, I shelved it a second time.

I reproduce the poem in its final draft here for the first time, some fiteeen years since its inception.

Not Cricket



Oddly I am in love with your rain

and on Fridays my favourite food

is pizza. My father is charming

and my mother beautiful.

In spare time they are human.


I also state without lying

when Southgate missed against Germany

I wept.  (Weeping

can sometimes be laughing  

as leather cracks Smith on the helmet.)


When shit falls from the letterbox

cricket is not in it when I smell it.

Freedom has brought fair play

into the home so now it is war

in the pleasant land.


If you see me teaching blood

like a language in the street

do not worry.  Tomorrow  

we go to the ballot box

to cast our votes, our stones.