Sasha Valeri Millwood hereby asserts his right to be identified as the author, intellectual proprietor, and copyright‑holder of these poems.

Latecomers, past and present

Though scarcely stirring through the placid breeze,
The effervescent chants from homeward hosts
Of pilgrims, young and old, rouse restless ears,
Anxious to ascertain who of salvation boasts.

From those hushed hymns there is an absentee,
Whose soul the clergyman would not endorse,
Who — thus from well worn ways by law proscribed —
Now seeks to rejoin raucous decadence;
With his route obfuscated by remorse,
To neither Earth nor Venus shall his placement be ascribed.

Subverting syntax by white gloves ordained,
The sensual delectation so decried —
That spectacle of lively, supple limbs
In sequence to the endless melodies —
To well fed latecomers it was denied.

Sublime redemption finally achieved:
The fervour of the chorus now unleashed
Will stir the souls of all the solemn procession,
All else by booming verse wholly subsumed;
Proclaiming clemency through divine intervention.

The jockeys — by this piety unmoved,
Already gone a riot to incite —
At least held dear that little courtesy
To leave Act One entirely undisturbed.
Alas, on our side of the Channel, we are denied this mercy.

— August 2013

Poetry (September 2009–January 2010)

Preface (22/12/2009)

As with all creative forms of art,
In poetry, that lifelong strife betwixt
The id and ego, vying for their part,
Unleashed and into every meaning mixed

Habitually hidden otherwise
From public scrutiny so sensitive,
By dictates of decorum oft unwise
With which you British people always live

But true art never is superfluous
And though my work thereto cannot profess,
To emulation weak and very viscous
Impure and by such standards worth much less

I can but vainly strive: herein essence
Deliberations of subconscious provenance

Ode against anarchy (10–24/09/2009)

What purpose is there to authority
When those beneath do not reserve contempt
Do not adhere, no consequences dread
With anarchy indeed they are content

What purpose is there to integrity
When by all else the goal is undermined
With selfish conduct unremorsefully
Usurping greater goods that all else bind

What purpose is there to solemnity
When all around is mockery and mess
Attention quite diverted from the task
Result: no progress made, just hopelessness

What purpose is there to maturity
When all around disreputable acts
Drag down upstanding traits to just the same
And with pretence obscure deservèd facts

And just what purpose is there to my life
When daily am I to this farce condemned
Which by temerity itself sustains
Destructive spirals of decline that cannot mend

Ode against noise (12/10/2009)

What dreadful scream anon assails my ears
A voice conceited, quite unfit to sing
Deficient not in volume but in tone
To mute its onslaught there is not one thing
(Except substantial distance from its source
By fastest means of movement possible)
That can be undertaken — thus prevails
This torture intermittent yet quite full

What dreadful siren now assails my ears
Alarms for fires, thieves, emergencies
Unfailing in disturbing my repose
To fight these onslaughts that my patience squeeze
Asserteth I that I just do not care
They are inconsequential normally
Exacerbating temp’raments of those
Already frayed and quite disorderly

Ode against incompetence (14,22–23,29/10/2009)

What parasitic and inhuman fiend
Such vile and twisted carrion indeed
Doth dare to desecrate upon the dream
And thus to ineffectual ruin lead

Effectively evading punishment
By means of open shameless paltry deeds
Incompetence complete that overbears
Destroys all that which careful effort needs

Diverts all burdened blame beyond its bounds
To those that are thereto least culpable
Least capable to demonstrate the truth
And thus in this regard quite vuln’rable

Exploited and downtrodden are all those
Who brave assaults on that for which they stand
Rewards are naught but failure and disgrace
To this predicament forever damned

Ode against impersonation (30/10/2009;15/11/2009)

The act of passing off as someone else
Who in their turn thereby is misconstrued
Exposed to unfair slander and accused
Unfairly through such deeds unjust and rude

Is most deplorable yet goes unstopped
For whilst the victim’s dignity is razed
The mean manipulant may wear the mask
Of anonymity amongst the crowd unfazed

In full control of two identities
The shrewd imposter to his profit can
Offload all dubious dealings and affairs
To that which truly represents no man

But lesser intellect is capable
Of wreaking damage, be it just distress
Which draining any hope and confidence
Incites that further dread of unreached depths of mess

To careless comments crass construing that
Which consequences costly could contain
Divulgence deprecating decency
Do duly rational concerns pertain

No doubt is there that openness and truth
Much value to robust procedure hold
But dealing by deception and disguise
By such duplicity, to no good end makes bold

Ode against photography (26,30/11/2009;03,07,22/12/2009;25/01/2010)

The continuity of human life
Regardless of simplicity or size
Cannot be captured through a single sense
Which though incapable it dares surmise
For always is it quite conceivable
That situations of extremes arise
Whereby that mechanism utterly
Redundant rendered in its human guise

And even when eschewing such extremes
Inevitably is there subtlety
Significant and consequential, Such
That narrow views that narrow eyes would see
Are insufficient for to comprehend
The true and honest workings underneath —
Misunderstandings thus arise therefrom
Accusing honest man, acquitting thief

For when a frozen frame from action freed
To tell fallacious tale tarnished, Though
Devoid of all contextual credence, Is
Sufficient to seduce suspicions low
That formerly against such falsehood fought —
Incidents fortuitous inferred
As indications sinister of that
Alleged association quite absurd