Anthem

What does town do?
With its ashes dug well–
conscience-burning rot
Clocked its cutout tongues

Sucked off the years
And fluked into fate
With grit and shovel
Anthem’s flamed holler.

Don’t mouth concern, star.
You pushed them over
The edge of the drum
Into red and blue despair

Stoked your rafters lined
With acres of pink bluff-
So thick the snow won’t melt.
And see, dusk’s turned its last eye.

We will evaluate

We will evaluate,

We will evaluate.

Calculate the decile,

Into obscurity,

Your score,

Your means.

The long and the short

Of your poverty,

Your dreams.

Invest in our teams:

Medical assessors,

Educational directors,

Accountants, all,

And their guards,

Protected by the law,

To reveal, bit by tiny bit,

The luck of your hapless draw.

Should you query

The results,

The theory,

We will evaluate,

We will evaluate,

We will evaluate.

Gathering

The place where I married
Now 87,000 people gather

Amongst the clatter of statues
And fountains and trees

13 years later photographers
Capture the mood and the colour

Of freedom and life for me
Industrious bees and white shoes

A union of speakers and symphony
Christmas trees, markets and bows.