Getting out and about at poetry readings, I am well aware that there really isn't any subject that a poet somewhere won't tackle. It's good to know this.
After the shocking events in Norway, it was a brave Martin A. Bartels who took up the gauntlet to write about it. And his 'Epitaph' was a fitting poem, zooming in on a map from the broad sweep of global tragedies right into our own homes, where: The coffee mugs are always clean. / The muddled bedroom is empty.
Another brave poem was 'Of Somalia' by 'Anna' which powerfully denounces regimes that allow their people to starve for the sake of religious differences or political point-scoring. It reminds us of the importance of humanity amidst tragedy. The same is true of Charlene Langfur's 'Baghdad Morning in America' - the subtle rhythms and repetitions reminding us of the still-growing list of the dead: And the names are read quietly. Paced. A number. Another.
Also this week, we had some nifty wordplay from David Francis Barker in 'Debit' and further welcome 'relief' from new contributer David Bateman who took a 'wee' pop at the police in 'We Are Sorry (But...)'. We finished the week with Philip Challinor's Soldiers of Fortune which took a cynical look at politicians wanting old soldiers to 'spend a penny' too!
When choosing which poems to publish, we try where possible to get a variety of subjects and styles, light and dark - tricky sometimes when we have such a fast turnover! We want poems on the subjects everyone is talking about, and those little stories most people won't have heard of that capture the imagination.
We'd be interested to know what you think about the mix on Poetry24. Do we get the balance right?