Danny Chivers started performing poetry in 2006 and now can’t seem to
stop. Never one to shy away from controversy, his poems tackle subjects
such as climate change, the war on terror, and world domination by
militant pigeons. He believes that humour, sarcasm, dodgy rhymes and pop
culture references are all suitable weapons in the fight against global
injustice and against people who compare him to a fictional teenage
Danny became Oxford Hammer & Tongue Slam Poetry Champion in 2007 and has
since performed at festivals, comedy nights, benefit gigs, youth clubs,
conferences, campfires, Borough Council award ceremonies and in front of
lines of riot police around the UK. In 2009 he reached the semi-finals of the Radio 4 National Poetry Slam. His work appears in the anthologies
“This Poem Is Sponsored By...” (www.corporatewatch.org.uk) and “Re:Versing
The Damage: Notes From The Climate Journey” (www.the-nail.co.uk), and has
been broadcast on Radio New Internationalist (www.newint.org/radio). He has a number of poetry videos online - for an example, go to www.tennerfilms.com and click on "Completed".
He is a freelance environmental writer, researcher, and activist based in
Oxford. Various aspects of his work can be found online at
“Oxford’s witty eco-warrior” – Truck Festival
“Half master of witty banter, half eerily reasonable prophet of
environmental Armageddon” – Radio Foreplay
“A star in the making” – John Rivers, Fifth Estate
A Billion Pounds So Far, Apparently
(by Danny Chivers, February 2009)
Today I awoke into a bright, white, living nightmare.
I stared, horrified, as the fat flakes settled gently
On my driveway and lawn
Topping each gatepost with a fluffy white fez
Transforming the hedgerow into an indigestible
And I cried “Oh my God!
What about the ECONOMY?”
As I walked to the park I stared with mounting panic
At the parked cars adorning the street
Each coated three inches deep
Or with patches swept clean
Arsenals for snowball fights
I almost wept to think of the petrol not being burned
Of the mindless tasks not being performed
In offices thirty miles away.
In the park, it only got worse.
Children and adults were laughing together
Whole streets united in play
Great snowy constructions were rising from the ground
As the treacherous flakes continued to fall
Ramps, forts and igloos,
A menagerie of assorted snow-beings
Icy sculptures of ethereal beauty
Or lumpy majesty
My head went light and I struggled not to faint
At the thought of all that creativity
Hard work and productivity
Not being spent on the tedious administrative tasks
And the learning of pointless facts by rote
So vital to the functioning of a modern economy.
A newly fostered sense of community
Of shared experience and humanity
And the kind of childlike wonder
That reminds us that it’s good to be alive
Is all very well
But it’s not going to revive the flagging share index now, is it?
I went back home to get my snowplough -
They’ll thank me for this one day.
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
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