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21ST-CENTURY POETRY The ageing process of Tony Blair

In the lines of your ageing face, I see clearly now
how old silk roads to Baghdad are full of sweatshop cotton
of women ululating for sons carbuncled in a dropped fog
you made these roads with phantasms and charisma.

In your eye bags are you carrying the weight of widows?
Do voices in Farsi and Arabic awake you in Egyptian cotton?
I watched three drone-black shapes escape a house in Fallujah,
after the five second blast all that remained was a burning Real Madrid top.

In your long white-hair I see a waterfall cascading over a rock
it is you and Cherie in paradise before one of your speeches.
Tomorrow one hundred thousand dollars will land in your account.
Tonight, one million widows will try to land on your conscience.

Antony Owen has written six collections of poetry and was one of the winners of the 2020 Bread and Roses Award for working-class poetry. His most recent book is Cov Kids. 21st-century Poetry is edited by Andy Croft, email


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