A Changing of the Guard
by David Betteridge
I came, I conquered, and I left,
helped on my way by the enmity
I saw a job requiring to be done,
that of sabotage.
The urge to destroy, Bakunin said,
is also a creative urge.
I, of the Right,
agreed with what that agent
of the Left so rightly said.
My dynamite and wrecking ball
had bureaucracies in sight to take apart,
as also mind-sets hostile to my plans;
and so, with glee, aggression, speed,
and guile, I set to work, to win.
Like Sun Tzu, I like the sound
of rolling heads – dead heads are best,
that jeopardise essential victories –
and, like him, I hate the sight of serried ranks
that figure-march towards defeat.
Long live the unthinkable, the weird,
the wrong, provided that it works!
Job done – a coup achieved,
old norms and values left behind,
the Left left bleeding –
so, successful in my own esteem,
I now move on.
David Betteridge is the author of a collection of poems celebrating Glasgow and its radical traditions, 'Granny Albyn's Complaint', published by Smokestack Books in 2008. He is also the editor of a compilation of poems, songs, prose memoirs, photographs and cartoons celebrating the 1971-2 UCS work-in on Clydeside. This book, called 'A Rose Loupt Oot', was published by Smokestack Books in 2011.