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Poetry on the Picketline Nursery Rhyme in La La Land by Peter Raynard

I grew up when I was ten
I grew up more after then
I grew up to be a man
I grew up because I can

She grew up as a pockmarked purse
She grew up as a smock-marked nurse
He grew up as a shiny penny
He grew up as ten-a-penny

We grew up in shopping aisles
We grew up with stealer’s smiles
We grew up without screaming
We grew up without feeling

They grew up on their heels
They grew up before the wheel
They grew up back of the bus
They grew up just to adjust

It grew up during the war
It grew up on the shop floor
It grew up on withering wine
It grew up just in time

Time grew at an ever pace
Money grew into a race
People grew into every space
People grew without a trace

People knew that when they grew
there’ll always be someone after you

Today’s world feels like it’s growing into a fairy tale/horror story — a place where there’s an answer for everything, as long as you spin, cheat and lie. For those of us not in that 1 per cent state of delusion, there is no growing, not in a positive sense of improved wellbeing, wealth, security, acceptance or optimism. So I felt that only a bastardised nursery rhyme could best reflect the sheer fantasy La La Land the world has become and continues to grow into.

Poetry on the Picket Line is a squad of like-minded poets putting themselves about to read their work on picket lines, in the spirit of solidarity. Invitations to rallies etc. welcome, contact facebook.com/pg/PicketLinePoets. The new Poetry on the Picketline anthology is available at culturematters.org.uk.

 

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