Freeborn Dom

 Is John Dom departed, and is Lilburne Cummings gone!
  Farewell to Lilburne Cummings, and farewell to John Dom...
  But lay John Dom here, lay Lilburne Cummings here about,
  For if they ever meet they will fall out. 

Durham: 21st Century

 He reads his greats reclining in his den.
 He dreams of government by better men.
 Gell Man sings hymns of Odyssean ways.
 Sun Tzu describes the strategies in play.
 He loathes the wheel that crushes freeborn folk
 And yearns to save them from their heavy yoke.
 The Mays, the SPADS, the Blob his frequent plaint:
 Those oafs! They’re blind to all elitist taint.
 His library the bleeding edge on them.
 His hideaway, a rural outpost kind,
 And near to pubs and common wat’ring holes
 Where freeborn folk express their heartfelt yen
 To leave the union, leave it far behind,
 And in so leaving salve their aching souls. 

Durham: 20th Century

 From the perspective of the booth he sees
 the flower of Durham’s youth,
 mildewed and black-flied
 and only rarely mixed with slugs and leches.
 They hand over to him hard-earned,
 deriving from parents or weekend jobs.
 They range from the cocksure to the
 surly but they calm at the booth,
 by-and-large, as they give up their spond:
 they all want in.
 Phil is free to roam and survey
 the bar upstairs, the dancefloor down;
 he keeps an eye on the lads on the door.
 In late '87, it nearly killed the place,
 a proper charver, Spennymoor lad,
 kicking off, was forcibly ejected,
 put on his head instead of his arse,
 and cobbles not noted for being forgiving
 the calls of “night-night son”
 took on a darker hue
 when said lad’s death was pronounced
 in the Journal.
 He likes the count at the end of the night
 and the sense of being in the control centre.
 He’s watched the film, Phil urged it on him,
 Jane Fonda won an Oscar for playing
 a prostitute. Wonders which was the inspiration
 for the image, hard-boiled noir or slappers?
 This being Durham, land of the Prince Bishops,
 final home of Cuthbert’s travelling corpse,
 gown spilling from the Castle and Cathedral,
 town cabbing in from pit villages,
 some of them Cat 4, black-lung places,
 some of them named for the Normans who built
 the vast edifice on the hill,
 Petit Me (little sea), Chester-le-Street,
 and the Saxons who named Consett, 
 (Phileas Fogg crisps, remember them?)
 and the Danes, who sent Cuthbert on the run,
 but only made homes in Raby and Ulnaby
 well to the south – this being Durham
 the latter seems the more likely. This stuff sticks,
 ancient history, perhaps, a classical education,
 to get him out and beyond, to the south,
 where he plans to modernise his learning. 


 The door to Stone’s room must be kept open,
 his teaching no longer covert,
 a dossier compiled by women’s officers
 has recorded his reputed acts:
 his extra-curricular tutelage brooks no further encryption.
 This is the compromise that Exeter accepts.
 For now, at least. Dom coughs and is told to enter
 (“Don’t lurk, I hate lurkers”) and takes his seat
 Alongside Pet on the sofa, ready for the ding-dong.
 Stone likes to argue, Dom too,
 Advocating for the devil or whichever side
 Takes the fancy of each: morality
 Is for bores when there is cut-and-thrust to be had. 


Freeborn Dom came out to play,
 Alas, alack, alack-a-day,
 He had a lot too much to say,
 On education.
 His bold and brave statement
 That race and attainment
 Were in close alignment
 Had... implications.
 Dom’s “truth” was a challenge to liberal cant.
 His tome ragged; it became a rant
 Co-opting experts to supplant
 Meek right-think.
 But Dom had read only certain books,
 Not everything; and where he looked
 Defined his thought, which brooked
 No contest.
 Disqualified science lurks beneath
 Reason’s camouflage of racist belief
 (intake of breath and sucking of teeth -
 I’ll put it out there:
 It all depends on the sources you use
 The same as if reporting news
 You can cut your cloth to support your views
 If you’re a  "maverick" ). 
Fuck Lacan and fuck the Blob,
Fuck the Beeb - Turbo, shut your gob!
Don't peer under the bonnet
Coz what you'll find
is NO oedipal shit -
are you out of your mind?
Read popular science and biographies
Of great men and their great strategies.
Fuck Princess Nutnut, and fuck your views,
Up with Caino! Fuck the rest of you.

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