Stop the Clocks!

A blog post by Albert Semple

15 Sep 2022

Composed in anticipation of the Queen's funeral on Monday, reflecting reports of a protestor being arrested for confronting Prince Andrew for his alleged involvement in sex trafficing, or another threatened with arrest for holding an empty sign, and the initial reaction of Center Parks to evict their paying guests for 24 hours of their pre-paid holidays without recompense (they subsequently reversed this decision).

So stop the clocks, and hush the dog.
 The curtains should be drawn.
We'll cover mirrors with a veil
 but keep the telly on.
We'll close the food banks for the day,
 The poor will go without.
And cancer treatments are postponed,
 The sick can wait throughout.
Eject the guests from Centre Parcs
 to join the mourning lines.
We'll silence any protests,
 confiscating empty signs.
The wealthy in the capital,
 their anguish on display,
Their iPhones raised up in salute
 recording while they pray.
Accessible version

We also have foodbanks closed for the day, as well as cancelled hospital appointments for patients, and mourners waiting in a line from Westminster along the south bank all the way onto Tower Bridge for the chance to file past the Queen's coffin.

So for Monday's funeral I have mixed emotions, which I've tried to capture in this poem.

The title and opening of this poem are references to W. H. Auden's "Funeral Blues (Stop All the Clocks)"