Tony Dickens, Blair Peach



Another poem for Blair Peach, this time from Rank & File. the paper of the old teachers’ left. What I love about it is the way it conveys the atmosphere of union conferences, and the great deal of utopianism which is sometimes embodied in modest-seeming resolutions… As always with the image on this blog, you can doubl-click on them to enlarge them to full size.

I hardly knew him really
Tall, lean-framed, gentle as his name.
For six brief conference days our
paths were one.
Dreams of societies free from hate.
Plans of small victories through resolutions.
His name radioed through my
sleepy morning offices preparing
for ‘back to school’
His teaching all posthumous now.
Frail head broken by anonymous
blows in defence of racist filth.
Jack-booted England is one death
nearer now.
Fathers and uncles died for nothing
in the war of my childhood
How will we face our children tomorrow?


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