31 January 2011

Tuesday Poem: 1917

A hard day's plotting gives a man a thirst.
For Lenin, it's something dark and strong,
a Black Mac for his blackest moods.
Trotsky can't decide: maybe an Export
maybe something brewed with ice.

"V. I. -"
"Wait on, Leon, just the dregs to go." A pause,
the glug and swish of beer. "Aaah. That's better.
You were saying?"

Trotsky looks up, face serious
above a thin moustache of foam. "V. I.,
why don't we just take over?
The Tsar could never stop us. He's
still chugging Lion Red from cans."

It's settled. Trotsky will inspire the workers.
Lenin will fuel the revolution
with crates of Lowenbrau
smuggled in from Zurich by sealed train.

Drink deep, Leon. Bottoms up, Vladimir Illyich.
Life will never look this simple or this clear again.

Tim says: This poem from my first collection, Boat People, seemed like either a good, or a completely inappropriate, choice after a week of revolt and revolution in Tunisia and Egypt.

Check out all the Tuesday Poems on the Tuesday Poem blog.


AJ Ponder said...

I really enjoyed it. Maybe precisely because it is so thoroughly inappropriate :) ever.

Great fun.

Tim Jones said...

Thanks, AJ! The Soviet-era version of the Tui billboards would have been an interesting read...

Catherine said...

I can't help thinking the revolution might never have happened if they had all sat around drinking beer :)

My son is supposed to be going to Egypt in a couple of weeks for an international computer competition. somehow I can't quite see it happening.

Tim Jones said...

I'm no expert on Egypt, but from what I can see, the Egyptian people would be well rid of their present rulers. The difficulty with revolutions tends to be - what comes next?

Madeleine Marie Slavick said...

hi, just to say that there's a website of poetry in the arab world: www.arabicnadwah.com, run by sayed gouda, an egyptian poet based in hong kong -- i have some poems there too, including 'a cairo song' which i wrote after poetry performances + a photography exhibition there in 2005

Tim Jones said...

Thanks, Madeleine - that's an excellent and timely link.

Helen Lowe said...

I like the humour in this poem, Tim, and the juxtaposition of a Kiwi raison d'etre (ie beer!) with the Bolshevik revolution.

Tim Jones said...

Thanks, Helen. Here, in Soviet Union, we have *dozens* of beers!