“The Castle” (For Occupy LSX): poem by Musa Okwonga

I used to work in the castle;
I thought I was in it for the long and hard haul,
But it turns out I was only a visitor.
I used to be a solicitor,
Three-piece-suited, Eton, Oxford –
After two years, the guards cried “impostor”.
So off I was sent; off I went
To make my way outside its gates;
Taking this path with nothing more than faith.
What else could there be?
I’d already turned my back on the familiar portrait,
You know, the one when I’m forty, with two kids, six figures
And winning a court-case;
And I’ve been turning from it ever since.
And now the movement is to occupy,
And I’m thinking again of the castle
Which is now ostracised.
You see, the castle is a strange conundrum.
You’ll often find less natural light there than a dungeon,
And it’s the only place where kings are also slaves.
They are the one per cent,
And the ninety-nine stand outside,
And I don’t feel that comfortable in either guise.
All I know is that, looking at that portrait,
That there is something wrong with this picture
When the greatest creative minds I knew
Are now merely making the rich richer.
Hard times. I’m getting my P45 this Christmas,
It’s six years since I could afford a mortgage
And city rent is getting pulled up like a drawbridge.
I’ve nothing against many of the people inside the castle,
But I think the building itself is an illness.
I just think it’s harmful
That the mark of who you are
Is whether or not you went for the palmful.

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About Charlotte Morgan Nwokenna

Editor and Public Relations Officer
This entry was posted in Poetry, Politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “The Castle” (For Occupy LSX): poem by Musa Okwonga

  1. Ken T M says:

    Love it.

  2. nat213 says:

    Enjoyed this one! Great structure/progression of ideas, good extended metaphor… I will return for more of that totally topical taste :-)

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