All power corrupts?  Yes, but it’s fun

and I for one

enjoy the fix –

it’s got more kicks

than booze or drugs.  Forget homespun

platitudes, shun

dull country hicks

and slick sceptics

who never dared and never won –

reach for the sun.

Learn/turn the tricks;

hit out for six.


All power corrupts?  I suppose so.

Anyway, no  

one who succeeds

avoids misdeeds

of some kind or another, though

this too I know –

that what misleads

most are those greeds

for more than status, more than dough,

the sort which sow

the poisoned seeds

of ideal creeds.

All power corrupts – in politics

that’s why the pricks

who head the show

are touch and go

when measured against truth’s yardsticks.

Once that fact clicks

exclaim chapeau!

black/white’s de trop

except for saints and heretics:

in life’s grey mix

dogma has no



All power corrupts – but face it, weeds

and young Candides

(whose looks may stun)

don’t get things done.

It’s quite clear what the nation needs:

a rogue who leads,

who grasps action

can mean the gun.

So in its prayers the wise race pleads

for those top breeds

whose tainted run

saves everyone.

Of course, you claim you changed the rules,

but we’re not fools:

your sacrifice

did not suffice –

we’re wowed by shits and Widmerpools,

not Sunday schools.

Admit it, vice

was your device

to make us more than mere footstools –

with Satan’s drools

you put the spice

in Paradise.

First published in Snakeskin 244, October 2017