What is Left

So a Brit wins le tour, a bit
like a Brit winning Wimbledon— not! A rare

thing and pretty unlikely, but
do I care? I’m supposed

to care about Olympics, about flames
and once in a lifetime things

but I don’t. It’s not me and like
Thatcher said, there is no society, no ‘us’

at all and certainly no UK because Scotland
is on its way and Wales isn’t far

behind. Little England is
left to carry the can, where all

the cash used to be and her castles
burn. And then, there’s me

© copyright David F. Barker



  1. claudia · July 21, 2012

    smiles..england is the place the world looks at at the moment..desperately waiting for the games to start..you can be proud i guess..and for la tour de france…nice…


  2. Pete Armetta · July 21, 2012

    Yes, then there’s you. Everything’s different now.


  3. susanjanejones · July 21, 2012

    I agree, we’re supposed to go whoopee do, I’d rather be reading a book.


  4. brian miller · July 21, 2012

    ok, i dont know enough of your poolitics to get this fully…the olympics, i can take or leave…its great to see those that have trained all their life but then the aaddition of pros kinda wrecks it for me…i like the ceremonies…eh…


  5. abichica · July 21, 2012

    beautiful poetry.. 🙂


  6. jpon · July 21, 2012

    Cheers to Bradley Wiggins!


  7. Laurie Kolp · July 21, 2012

    Powerful, effective.


  8. lscotthoughts · July 21, 2012

    True emotions well expressed, David! I also enjoyed your interview with Neelthemuse! You made some good and beneficial points, so thank you! 🙂


  9. Mama Zen · July 21, 2012



  10. ManicDdaily · July 21, 2012

    Crazy world, good poem. k.


  11. mattspotentialpoetry · July 22, 2012

    Loved the way you ended this piece, sehr groovy. Peace.


  12. Beachanny · July 22, 2012

    Well I hope what you say is not true. I don’t like the sentiments here although you say them very well. I love the UK and wish I could live there. I’ve probably studied its history more than you have, and if there is courage anywhere it is there, if there is history anywhere it is there, if there is justice anywhere I think it is strived for there. No one loves the earth more than Britons and no one loves Britain more than I do!


  13. Three Well Beings · July 22, 2012

    You continue to be the harbinger voicing that change isn’t always moving forward. I hear your concerns and perhaps as an American I may have a slightly different list of worries for my nation, I do fear that apathy is an even larger concern. You say so much in your words here…I am really drawn to your perspective. Debra


  14. lucychili · July 22, 2012

    red buses, umbrellas, chippies, pubs with flowers, pints, squirrels, museums, sun in summer, intense green countryside,


  15. dfb · July 22, 2012

    Thank you!


  16. dfb · July 22, 2012

    Debra, thank you so much!


  17. susangeckle · July 22, 2012

    I’ve always thought English culture lived on mainly through literature. You have too many centuries of literature to isolate what being UK is down to an island, a geographic space.


  18. dfb · July 22, 2012

    Thank you Susan. It’s just that the UK appears to be unravelling now, Great Britain is becoming just that, a geographic term. However, as you say, nothing can remove the centuries fine literature. The vast majority of that was English anyhow, so maybe it won’t make much difference, in the end.


  19. John (@bookdreamer) · July 22, 2012

    Bread and circuses spring to mind


  20. Russell Smith · July 22, 2012

    There’s no other nation like England.


  21. Chazinator · July 22, 2012

    I really enjoy the individuality/state play that you bring in here. How much of ourselves should we give to these events? Your poem asks that and stands up for the individual against so much hype. The political angle is especially interesting for me, as I can’t fathom why the British continue to allow the aristocrats to survive as a system. Let them get jobs, I say! 🙂


  22. rangewriter · July 22, 2012



  23. Soma Mukherjee · July 23, 2012

    lovely poem David,the celebrations huge and loud trying to suppress the unrest that lies and troubles the nations heart..every year i witness that in my country in the name of cricket..meanwhile my country burns and breaks


  24. Emma · July 23, 2012

    Wow David, this feel quite desolate…but that feeling seems appropriate for our times in some ways…feels often like it’s all unraveling. This part is quite powerful for me:

    the cash used to be and her castles
    burn. And then, there’s me

    I guess in the end we are left sitting with ourselves just trying to make sense of it all. Great to read this.


  25. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words · July 23, 2012

    I love this…
    echoes lots of silent voices I think….
    I always wonder if anyone ever notices U.S. is
    a carbon copy of England,,,,sure we don’t have a Queen
    but we have someone that is pushing to be King….the old fashion way
    by waging it’s countries people against one another…
    in the end, I wonder who be left standing…
    me, I think I will work in the gardens during the Olympics….
    I very rarely watch TV so it won’t be missing much

    Good Post beautifully stated sentiments DFB….
    I hope you are having a sunny day,
    Take Care…


  26. Julie Laing · July 23, 2012

    Great write, David. I like the contrast of the country coming apart at its seams and the popular belief that elite athletes are somehow holding it together. And how you describe what you’re not and then close with “And then, there’s me.” Thanks for putting this one up.


  27. granbee · July 23, 2012

    Congrats to all you Brits on one of your own winning the Tour de France! Love the whimsy in this poem!


  28. Betty Hayes Albright · July 24, 2012

    David, even as an American, I still say “long live the kingdom!” though things have changed (as they have here too). I’m not much into the Olympics either, but the romance and history of Great Britain will live forever so I still find fascination with all things British, with royalty (even though it’s mostly a figurehead these days). I guess no matter what nation we live in, we can all say “and then, there’s me” – hopefully avoiding the group-think, while at the same time being inseparable from all of mankind and contributing our creations to the whole. A paradox, in a way – individuality and oneness….
    Thanks for a glimpse into what is happening in the UK, and your perspective on it.


  29. dfb · July 25, 2012

    Thank you Betty! The world is changing rapidly but not necessarily for the good.


  30. dfb · July 25, 2012

    Thank you GB! It only took 109 years…!


  31. dfb · July 25, 2012

    Thank you very much!!!!!


  32. dfb · July 25, 2012

    Thank you Emma – Yes, I am quite ‘depressed’ at the moment. Hope you are ok.


  33. Francina · July 29, 2012

    Powerful statement in your poem, David! A poem for Speakers Corner, Good job and very well expressed.

    Ciao, Francina


  34. bardessdmdenton · July 31, 2012

    There is a lot of unraveling this side of the Atlantic too. But like an individual, a country must hang on to its soul. I like the honesty, the rawness of this. Wonderful ending!


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