Mum's the word


Edward Snowden’s in the spare room

spies are hiding in the bin

a pack of Fleet Street’s finest

are struggling to get in

there’s paparazzi in the flowerbeds

and killers in the yard

And Ed thinks he’s in Cuba

it’s going to be hard

to explain this is a terrace

in a sleepy cul-de-sac

which may be nothing like Havana

but he’ll have to watch his back

because he’s made a lot of enemies

who don’t owe him any favours

and the postman’s looking shifty

and who on earth are my new neighbours?

That couple by the lamppost

and that bloke up on the roof

and the pensioner at the bus-stop

and that surly hooded youth

are all people I don’t recognise

the street is full of strangers

and he may be getting paranoid 

but Edward thinks that we’re in danger

of extreme and sudden termination

at the hands of agents of the state

or rendition to a lonely cell

where no-one knows our fate

but for now he’s in the spare room

with Digestives and some tea

and if you get asked, remember -

you didn’t hear this news from me.



© Steve Pottinger. 26 June 2013

Edward Snowden

◄ No means... yes, Charles?

369 000 ►


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jane wilcock

Wed 3rd Jul 2013 21:42

Just seen this: its great:)

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steve pottinger

Sat 29th Jun 2013 09:40

Really glad you appreciated the humour, MC! :-)

I'd suggest the options when you bring down a corrupt president in a deeply divided body politic are - possibly - less proscribed than when you let the world in on your nation's secret intelligence gathering. Also, to draw a direct parallel between two different events in different times may not be the best route to judging what those options are/were. But I suspect we could go round and round on this.... :-)

all the best


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M.C. Newberry

Fri 28th Jun 2013 16:10

Steve - I do appreciate the good humoured even-handed response to my slightly mischievous follow-up observations. But if the Washington Post and two diligent reporters could bring down a president and his administration without fleeing the country...something I'm old enough to recall as it happened...the word "options" comes to mind.
P.S. Loved your little "opt-out" at the end of your
reply!! Wit should never go unappreciated.

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steve pottinger

Fri 28th Jun 2013 07:51

Thanks for the kind words, Steve!

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Steve Higgins

Fri 28th Jun 2013 01:09

Topical, observant, humourous -wish I'd written this -excellent work Steve

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steve pottinger

Thu 27th Jun 2013 20:31

If the US government is after you, MC, then your options are limited. So I think it's stretching the few facts we have a very great deal to suggest he's a 'sleeper'.
As for US foreign policy and 'freedom', well.... their involvement in the politics of Chile, Honduras, Argentina, Grenada, Nicaragua etc suggest they're far from always being the good guys... imho, naturally.

*note: yes, reader, this has precious little to do with poetry per se; and no, criticism of the US does not imply allegiance to any other superpower, living or dead, and any resemblance is purely coincidental. Thank you.

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M.C. Newberry

Thu 27th Jun 2013 14:19

I'm struck by the timing of Mr. Snowden's public activities. It has recently been publicised how the Chinese stand accused of hacking/copying/spying relentlessly on the activities of the USA. This certainly seems to deflect attention in that respect. It's less than a lifetime since Red China and the USSR represented a huge threat to the freedom of the world - a blink of an eye in THEIR time/history, let's not forget. And where did Mr Snowden go? No prizes for correct answers at this time. Judging a man by his friends isn't a bad guide to the man himself.
Freedom's friend? A "sleeper"? Who can say but we
should remind ourselves that with all her faults, the
USA is still the best friend world freedom has had
since WW2.

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steve pottinger

Wed 26th Jun 2013 22:03

Thank you, gentlemen! :-)

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Simon Marks

Wed 26th Jun 2013 14:21

Great stuff. Well, it would beat a dingy room in a Moscow motel, anyway.

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M.C. Newberry

Wed 26th Jun 2013 13:52

Great stuff. I'm Google-eyed at the inventive and LOL consistency!!

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