Under Deep Cover Of The PTA: a poem

I haven’t posted a poem in months. I’ve just visited Plattitude, who had one of Robert Graves’s poems up as a tribute to Adrian Mitchell on his death last month. This part struck me:

How is it a man dies
Before his natural death?
He dies from telling lies
To those who trusted him.
He dies from telling lies –
With closed ears and shut eyes.

Which, sadly describes the imploding left for the last few years. External actions are all very well and good but they can’t hide what’s rotting within because that will surface at some point and that point is now.

Bill Greenwell has an item on the importance of metre. Or not. He started me thinking about my own poetry again.

Anyhow, I thought it was time to dust off a poem and what better, considering the current state of the British left — or a certain dominant section of it — when our economies are collapsing and there’s murder in the Middle East, than one that deals with their preoccupations in the face of meltdown.

Written from experience. If only it weren’t so.


Under deep cover of the PTA
The comrades are struggling to change the world order
Under deep cover of the PTA
Chained to a system that feels like murder.

Sitting at a desk wondering should I mow the lawn?
I look a regular Joe but I’m really Stalin’s spawn
I got the power
To plant a flower
And watch it bloom with a BOOM!
In a metal petal shower.

Under deep cover of the PTA
Comrades on a mission keep the school in order
Under deep cover of the PTA
Form a delegation of the top class cadre

Foundation’s got damp, the stairs need ramps
Comrades licking stamps til their tongues get cramps
Under deep cover
of the PTA
Someone’s nicked the pencils
Pack the culprits off to camp

Under deep cover of the PTA
Memories of the glory days making me feel warm
Under deep cover of the PTA
Panting over plans to take the world by storm
Now I’m wondering if the kids are better in a uniform
I look a regular Joe but I’m really Stalin’s spawn
I had the power
Won’t see me cower
I’m your nemesis
Just what hell is this?

I got the muscle, I got the brawn,
I look a regular Joe but I’m really Stalin’s spawn
Under deep cover of the PTA
Watch out
Under deep cover of the PTA
Watch out
Under deep cover of the PTA
I look a regular Joe but I’m really Stalin’s spawn

It was based on something a friend told me, how some US revolutionaries felt so defeated that they’d taken refuge in Parent Teachers Associations, which struck me as sad, funny, pathetic, touching, a waste. Endgame. I wrote this poem because when we face the truth, what is, then we can start to build anew.

There’s also a video of me reading it here but now I’ve learnt it, I hope to get a new version recorded and up soon, especially as I was on late in the evening of the performance, consumed too much plonk, and was pissed. Not that you can tell. Hyuk!



Madam Miaow says … visit Anna Chen’s website here:


Anna’s food blog here:

4 thoughts on “Under Deep Cover Of The PTA: a poem”

  1. Both poems are very poignant – though at our local school the Parent’s Council has become a battlefield of the boring don’t rock the boats lets support the Headie because doing anything else would be uncomfortable and the proletarian revolutionaries who want to challenge everything and have taken up caucusing! Don’t want to say too much in case infiltators read this.

    Yes LIES are a terrrible thing and they spread like a malignant cancer – it is more the dishonesty I can’t bide and being unaccountable.

    Being honest and accountable is sometimes sore even humiliating. But on reflection I would rather be humiliated but be accountable and have integrity.

    The problem I think of the left is the hegenomy of men – not patriarchy or misogyny thogh that is a feature but men, women have to comply and when they don’t then they are seen as harridans. I don’t mean that in a man hating way I might have to write a poem to express what I mean – I’ll get onto that once I finish the curtains I am making (don’t have a sewing machine so it is taking a long time).

    Anyway liked your poems.

  2. The more I think about it, thanks to Lukacs, the more I see reification as the root of the left’s malaise – and from that springs the sexism, the petty authoritarianism, the pretensions to infallibility, etc. The last essay in History and Class Consciousness sets up a negative example of a revolutionary organisation in which reification has firmly taken root. Guess who fits that profile the most?

    Post on that coming soonish.

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