Weapons of the Weak

A classic anthropology book which really spoke to me was James C. Scott’s ‘Weapons of the Weak’, about the everyday, often hidden resistance by people who are forced to be subordinate, meek, obedient.  They may – on the face of it – collude in their oppression, but they find ways to sabotage the powerful, to criticize and laugh at them.  Whether rage expressed as sullen temper and foot-shuffling can work long-term is another question…

It was never gonna be like this:

the buzzing round households,

the map of the buzzards with areas shaded off by gratitude:

a thanksgiving imposed, demanded, not felt.

How I rage in futility then shush to keep safe

that cart full of apple-cheeked treasures.

The bat in blindness aghast swerves clear of the blame-traps.

The toxic scurry of newt back to the slimy pond

of self-pity:

there was a time when


or droopy flowers across the hedge

would have smoothed the harsh ping of reality.



nothing else than full parity will do.