Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

Death Powder Grunts

by James Newman

Your hypocrisy’s pissing me off,
Neurological dystrophy,
Chalking the minds of the limited.
Bankers, politicians, journalists, freaks;
Moral fibres of our ethicless society,
Inhaling coke at 4am on a Brixton street.
You don’t give a Farc about that you don’t see,
But you’re still snorting the blood
Of a Colombian man’s dreams.
Did you think that dust came straight from the fairies?
Ah, no.
It’s corrupted and destroyed entire countries.
You send money to Africa,
Then quaff some coke.
Well that’s like giving a child Lemsip,
Then slitting their throat.
As you stamp on the peasants of Guinea-Bissau,
And elect bomb-wielding drug-lords to total power.
Before you next march about this horrible war,
Or bore me,
With the tragedy of Robert Mugabe.
The evil of oil companies,
Or those fox hunting cunts,
Please remember the cost
Of your death powder grunts.
And the next time you snort on that blood-soaked coke,
Think about the Awa Indian family you choked.
How you smashed them,
Slashed them,
Riddled led through their throats,
Slaughtered four little kids,
And bullet-holed their baby till she croaked.
What did that baby do to you from her bed,
To deserve a bullet right through her head?
And why are her innards plastered across the hall?
Is it really so you can snort coke off that Brixton wall?
Well they’re the precious lives you destroyed,
With that shit up your nose.
Oh well,
In a world of hypocrisy,
That’s how it goes.
(In memory of 12 Awa Indians who were slaughtered, defenceless in the line of the coca trade, including two girls, two boys, and a baby girl. All from the same family. May they find peace)

Added: 13.04.2010

Judges' comments on this poem


Powerful theme; strong voice. I liked its energy. Perhaps last 3 lines should be a separate stanza to emphasise tone change?


Intense, and correct. I don't like the four-letter word but I can see why it's used.


Admirable sentiments, but comes across as a rant, rather than a poem.


i love this. the rhyming, analogy etc. just brilliant :)