Occupying France


Lac Leman

Sometimes feels like

everyone’s saying it’s

Nazi Germany

But in fact we’re in

the Weimar Republic

with the internet

and superfast broadband

and actually no wars

in living memory … almost


And I read about

the wartime occupation of France

on holiday in France

And my brain only

forms German words

and I live in that neutral land

between the two countries

and it hasn’t even been 100 years.

And I wonder what it all means

Are we

cursed to live in interesting times?

or are they so dull

we’ve overlaid reality

with Pokémon cartoons

and Trump and Brexit and terrorism and guns and refugees are just…

flotsam of news

jetsam of state control

And politics.

This sordid mess

still looks beautiful

from Lake Geneva

And I just don’t know

what to make of it all


  1. There is nothing to make out of it. Beauty, joy, sadness, horror are all present at the same time. We can always enjoy something while the world falls apart. We can always feel the pain of others and act on it. We are free and complete.

  2. I may be a bit of that monkey that covers their eyes (for a lack of better expression) so I say enjoy the little things that make you happy.
    Even though it is important to learn from the past and not to repeat mistakes, it is also important to let go of the past and use our time and energy to make the present and the future bright.

  3. I have a feeling every generation has these dark things that seem to shake the world and we all grow and change. Thanks for sharing your poetry.

  4. Funny, isn’t it, to notice when German words just tend to appear of their own volition… I’d love to read a bit of a Denglish poem from you.

  5. I go in waves, being very informed and hiding my head in the sand. Which is much easier in a country where you don’t understand the local news.

    This poem sums things up quite succinctly.

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