Broken Boys Blinded Men (2020)


Every day I experience varying degrees of horror and bewilderment about the people who are running this show, and a system that inveigles them with power.

This poem was inspired by an article I read by Nick Duffell, author of Wounded Leaders: British Elitism and the Entitlement Illusion: a Psychohistory. Being a boarder is an emotionally scarring and potentially traumatising experience. I find it disturbing to live in a society where boarding school is touted as an appropriate training ground for wielding power.

Broken Boys Blinded Men, 2021

For those sent off to board at school
Survival is the only rule
Detach form who you really are
Effect a pseudo adult mask
The vulnerable have no place here
May you never show your peer
The need to cry to have a hug
To show the price of how the rug
Has been pulled from your…
…Little feet

The cost of child abandonment
Creates confusion in the self
It kills the art of empathy
I need no-one, no-one needs me
The ‘privilege of not being loved
Creates confusion in the self
To compensate this chronic lack
Entitlement takes up the slack
In time these boys grow to men
Staking their claim in power dens
Taking their socialised self harm
Inflicting on our national karm(a)

These men are masters of duplicity
Contemptuous of fragility
Displaying outward ‘competence’
Yet run by schoolboy ignorance
Their tragic lack of empathy
Facilitates the travesty
Where ‘others’ are the enemy
Except of course their kin and creed
These ‘skills’ may once have been useful
Preparing for the Imperi-a-l
Cruelties imposed upon the world
A force unleashed the flag unfurled


These men still glory in their reign
As strong as ever it would seem
Traits once learnt as boys in crises
Feed the bonds of old boy vices
This system of divide and rule
Fails the acid test of school
Left unable to relate
Perpetuates this feudal state.