Mad Parade

A collection of white-hot political satirical poems taking the piss out of some of the knaves and fools who parade their poisonous egos across the stage – Tony Blair, Teresa May, Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Tommy Robinson, Keir Starmer and Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Shelley, Burns, Coolio and Tom Lehrer help Neil Fulwood put the boot in on sycophantic royalists, blue passports, Margaret Thatcher’s monument and the immortal heroes of Change UK. Funny, furious and profane, it’s a book of hit-and-run poems, take-no prisoners, drive-by attacks in verse on the Ancient Regime.

Cover image: George Cruickshank, c1821 Author photo: Dennis Apple

Sample Poems

Tommeh

after Rudyard Kipling


He picketed a courthouse to politicise a trial,
a bargain basement bigot whose ways and means were vile.
He played the lone reporter with some breaking news to probe
but the truth is Tommeh Robinson’s a sad Islamophobe.
O it’s Tommeh this and Tommeh that and Tommeh Robbo’s tops
but he’s Stephen Yaxley-Lennon to his mum and to the cops.
To his mum and to the cops, boys, to his mum and to the cops,
O he’s Stephen Yaxley-Lennon to his mum and to the cops.

He toured the streets of Warrington, preaching words of hate,
when a milkshake left its paper cup to spatter on his face.
He lunged for his attacker, fists swinging Billy-O
while looking like an outtake from a dodgy video.
O it’s Tommeh this and Tommeh that and Tommeh does the biz
but it’s Stephen Yaxley-Lennon wiping off the lactose jizz.
Wiping off the lactose jizz, boys, wiping off the lactose jizz,
O it’s Stephen Yaxley-Lennon wiping off the lactose jizz.

He went into a polling booth to see his name writ down,
dead sure the other candidates were all a bunch of clowns.
He swaggered like a brash young man out sowing wild oats
but his lower lip was trembling when they counted up the votes.
O it’s Tommeh this and Tommeh that and vote vote vote for Tommeh
but it’s Stephen Yaxley-Lennon whose deposit’s up the Swanee.
His five grand’s up the Swanee, boys, his five grand’s up the Swanee,
it’s Stephen Yaxley-Lennon whose deposit’s up the Swanee.

May 2019

The Day May Resigned

after Frank O’Hara


It’s 2pm in England, Friday, a bank
holiday weekend looming and the weather
unEnglishly glorious. I’ve pulled an early swerve
after a debrief on my professional competence
and I’m thinking of getting a pint, maybe at Langtry’s
or Yarn, and watching the pretty young things
strut their studied indifference. There are good days
and bad days, you roll with the punches. There’s a cliche
for every occasion. I could go somewhere with a juke,
feed it a quid and blast some Chumbawumba,
see who joins in with I get knocked down but I get up again.

I could take my afternoon off, buy it a bucket of popcorn
and watch a movie. But is three hours of deus ex machina
enough to sway me from the simple pleasure of a pint
and wasted time? Oh, wasted time: a wanker sign
angled in the direction of clock face, calendar, the human construct
of time itself. A birdie flipped at every prison-yard second
ticking away from here to retirement. I could waste my time
in so many ways this afternoon. But I end up
sticking my hand out for a bus and going home.

I haul washing out of the machine, peg it on the line.
Lob cans and bottles in the recycle bin. Iron shirts for work
next week. I throw mozzarella and vine tomatoes
in a ciabatta, break out the pesto. There’s a beer in the fridge.
While I’m eating, I noodle on the iPhone; check the news.

You’re gone and it’s not like things will get better.

May 2019

Sonnet in the Time of Meh

The news is in re: Labour leadership
(strangely enough, the Murdoch press seems calmer):
ladies and gents – no martial brass lets rip –
let’s hear it for, ahem, Sir Keir Starmer.
There was a time when this would be my cue
to write an epic poem, take the piss,
but though locked-down there’s better things to do;
it’s a bind just to sit here writing this.
Could it be my fighting spirit’s dead
or Covid-19’s left me feeling blighted?
FFS, the people’s party led
by a lawyer who’s (shoot me now) been knighted
and all I want’s to shrug and turn the page
when I ought to be consumed with fucking rage.

April 2020

Canticle for a Racist

After he died
they all but renamed the pub
The Hagiographers’ Arms.

That corner seat
which to hear him talk
was the last true seat

of untainted Englishness
has now the feel of a shrine
where a candle flickers against

but never quite burns
a list of nationalities
he’d not have had sit there.

That torrent of unfounded hate
the first pint unleashed –
you’d have thought he’d held forth

with the moral purpose
of St Thomas Aquinas or
Mother Theresa.

The way the regulars
speak of him now
he might have been royalty.

April 2021

‘When I Went out into that Garden’

When I went out into that garden
I saw plants and trees and grass
and a bunch of civil servants
of good breeding, stock and class;
and as I took a few more steps
‘neath the sunlit firmament,
I looked at the lack of work being done
and thought ‘this is a work event’.

When I went out into that garden
to glad-hand and to schmooze,
I carefully ignored the makeshift bar
and the suitcase full of booze;
and if a glass was in my hand,
then it wasn’t for me it was meant
because I was only there as their leader
to look in on a work event.

When I went out into that garden
no-one told me I shouldn’t be there
so I walked around and pressed the flesh
and languidly took the air;
I’d issued some guidance earlier,
urged the police force not to relent
in curtailing illegal gatherings
(free pass for a work event).

When I went out into that garden
where people were milling around,
glasses and bottles amassing,
fag ends strewn on the ground,
I never thought I’d be sowing
the seeds of such vicious dissent
or that an investigation
would look into this work event.

So here’s what I know of the garden:
it was an office annex of sorts;
nobody told me not to be there
or how much booze had been bought.
I apologise quite profoundly
for the rules I deny that I bent,
I was barely even there, you know,
at the garden par – ... uh, event.

January 2022

They Will All Take Us with Them in the End

after Tom Lehrer


When you click into your news app
it’s not comforting that what’s hap-
pening out there is global brinkmanship.
Europe’s status quo’s been ballsed up
by a goon who wants to call up
every missile that he’s got and let them rip.

But don’t you worry.

No more Tory lockdown scandals,
no more guff about Prince Andrew,
or price hikes, NHS, or student debt;
if BoJo, Biden and Vlad P
push this shit past DefCon 3,
you won’t care about bent coppers in the Met.

‘Cause they will all take us with them in the end,
when diplomacy’s been fucked off round the bend
and a jab of that red button
vends total world destruction –
you’d be ‘MAD’ not to know how this one ends.

They will all take us with them in the end,
loudly claiming they had something to defend.
Was it a patch of foreign soil
or the current price of oil?
Did the Footsie close ahead right at the end?

Oh they will all take us with them to the grave,
telling lies about the lives they tried to save.
There’ll be no more cant and spin
with the planet all done in
and no world leaders left to rant and rave.

Down by the old maelstrom,
Liz Truss is wondering what went wrong.

And they will all drag us down with them in flames,
with no scapegoat left behind to take the blame.
We’ll finally be united
when that fireball’s ignited,
nearly eight billion unrecorded names.

They will all drag us down to dust and ash,
the victims of an act both cruel and rash,
dead as some assassin’s mark
care of a pissed off oligarch
deprived of his wads of laundered cash.

Of course they’ll take us with them in the end,
they’d do the same if they had their time again,
so hum a Missa Solemnis
just before that Yellow Sun hits
and the farewell bash concludes at Number Ten.

You will all go directly to your version of heaven.
There will be no hero to save the day, no 007.

For they will all take us with them in the end,
every man, woman, child, foe and friend.
When history overtakes us
and we all turn slightly vaporous,
yes they all will take us with them,
oh they all will take us with them,
yes they all will take us with them in the end.

February 2022

Reviews

‘A wonderfully gruff writer of Minimalist urban landscapes – witty and scathing about work, politics, traffic, weather and the inanities of contemporary life.’

Morning Star

‘Places work and class at its very core, echoing sentiments of Alan Sillitoe’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.’

Left Lion

‘Fulwood undoubtedly cultivates a curmudgeonly image but his judgements seem usually to be accurate and measured and his poetic craft and rhetorical skills are well developed.’

London Grip