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Hi Ho Hi Ho Trident’s Got to Go

On YouTube a 60’s newsreel.

A black and white Dunoon.

A smartly dressed Ban the Bomber

waves a To Hell with Polaris placard

reminding us that H stands for Hiroshima

as well as Holy Loch.

A lone folkie strums as he marches.

Ban Polaris Hallelujah,

… and send the Yankees home!

The white Ban the Bomb symbol

with arms of despair.

A young well-dressed Michael Foot

behind a well-behaved pipe band

playing Scottishy tunes.

Onlookers record on Box-Brownies.

Fifty years later

a red George Square in Glasgow

casual dressed campaigners

still marching

still protesting.

A forest of placards

pleading Gie Peace a Chance

reminding us it’s Bairns Not Bombs

reminding us it’s Teachers not Trident

just in case it’s been forgotten …

and a song from a marching choir …

It takes your left leg off

It takes your right leg off

Your eyes fall out

and the dust makes you cough!

Saltires and Lion Rampants

flutter in hopeful defiance.

A vendor sells a Freedom Flag for a fiver

as if freedom could be bought so cheaply.

From every corner of the Square

mobile phones flash for posterity.

A lone busker

standing in front of the Cenotaph

plays his out of tune electric guitar

his crackling speaker lashed to a shopping trolley.

Hi Ho Hi Ho, Trident’s got to go

Now Thatcher’s gone

Lets Ban the Bomb

Hi Ho Hi Ho Hi Ho!

We’re stuck in a timeless loop

projected from the past singing,

not knowing who,

if anyone, is listening,

or ever has listened

to a single word being said?

Brian Whittingham

Presently, Tannahill Makar for Renfrewshire. Previously Creative Writing F.E. lecturer @ City of Glasgow College. Had 9 poetry collections published, the most recent WALKING BETWEEN WORLDS, Red Squirrel Press. Other publishers, Luath Press, Mariscat Press, Taranis Press. Fellowships in France and USA. Built the QE2. Previously editor of West Coast magazine and New Writing Scotland. Generally, a good egg.

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