On the State Opening of Parliament

by Damon Moore

Bolt-holes, by the Household Cavalry
Slammed shut, the British civil service
Given an entire day off,

Licence for sexual congress well nigh impossible,
Ardent couples settle in public
For that trusty, metaphor
An arm knitted within an arm,
Negotiate, improbably seditious

The dread Palace of Westminster,
Mid tourist crush, sub-machine gun, sullen
Atmosphere no fit place to halt or hover
When monarchs to their nuptials must,
Light and Heavy Brigades, queued, puce pantaloon’d
On Constitution Hill
Cannon to the right of them,
Cannon to the left of them

Pass, opposite the Barracks,
‘Promenade Plantee’s’ ethereal primula-planters
Ten minutes on, happening upon the ‘Secret Show’
Showing at the RCA, wondering
Whose were those winking, jovial skeletons, tiny satans,
Gender-swopping stripy penis bounty,
Whether 1072 was a Grayson Perry:

Track, in due course of time, an enquiry line,
Informing them Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
Keats House, newly restored
Admitted school groups only, school parties,
Till revels end at Curzon Renoir’s
Afternoon screening of ‘Bright Star’,
Two of twenty or so all told
Holding out hope no butterflies were hurt in the making of that movie.


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