Saturday, 18 November 2017

Even Ink Freezes

This may be the coldest village,
Verkhoyansk, where temperatures
Drop to minus sixty seven Celsius;
Still we have 3G so we can observe
Another world through Instagram.

A world where water flows from taps
And is not delivered in ice blocks
To be melted indoors
And where car engines are not
Left running all winter.

This is our delicacy, Stroganina,
Frozen fish slices eaten raw;
There is no fast food here;
What is the point
We have plenty time.

Our numbers are falling,
Many long for the nearest city
Hundreds of miles away,
For escape from a place where
Even ink freezes before writing.

© David Subacchi

Growing up in -60C

David Subacchi lives in Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and has 4 published collections of his English Language poetry: First Cut (2012), Hiding in Shadows (2014), Not Really a Stranger (2016) and A Terrible Beauty (2016) as well as a collection in Welsh: Eglwys Yng Nghremona (2016).

Friday, 17 November 2017

Homeless

Last night I was so tired

I slept in my shoes,

was reminded

of the weightless abandon

of my bedroom after school,

where, slumped

fully-clothed on the bed,

I listened for your step

on the stair, your warm voice

calling me to dinner.


But here, as the hostel

coughs up another day,

I wake to the jagged sounds

of morning,

the too-loud details

of invisible lives

and the sticky voice

in my head, wondering

where I will sleep tonight.

© Maurice Devitt

"You get up in the morning and the first thing you say to yourself is 'where am I going to sleep tonight'?"

Maurice Devitt was the runner-up in The Interpreter’s House Poetry Competition in 2017, winner of the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition in 2015 and has been placed or shortlisted in many competitions including the Patrick Kavanagh Award, Listowel Collection Competition, Over the Edge New Writer Competition and Cuirt New Writing Award. With 200 poems published in Ireland and internationally, he has a debut collection upcoming from Doire Press in 2018. He is also the curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site and a founder member of the Hibernian Writers’ Group.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Scales of Injustice

Pick up the leaflet
pick up a pen
Rate on a scale of nil to ten
how broken is your heart
how much your life is rent apart
Rate your mental state
Is it three or six or eight?

Rate on a scale of nil to ten
Where nil is
I don't give a toss about them'
And ten is
'I'll never feel intact again'

Rate on a scale of one to one hundred
How many died
and how many live
How many flying ones you give

Rate on a scale of one to twenty-four
how many floors
how many storeys
What is the score
you'll give to the Tories?
How much do they care?
How much more can you bear?
How much are they willing
to foot the bill?
Rate on a scale
from zero to nil.

© Janine Booth

Backlash over Kensington Tories' Grenfell Tower leaflet

Janine Booth lives in Hackney, East London. She writes and performs poetry, and has had three slim volumes of poetry published. Janine posts poems and political polemics at www.janinebooth.com