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Friday, 10 May 2013

2am (Universal Credit Begins)

no luck on the jobs front
I don’t know where it’ll all end up
but …

with that Ian Duncan Smith stealing all the string
from my straight jacket …

there may not be a cord with which to hang
but my arms are free …

and able enough to cast a vote

© Philip Johnson

Welfare reform: 'taking money from the poorest in society is a sick exercise'

Philip has previously appeared in Poetry 24, The Ugly Tree; Poetry Scotland, Emergency Verse, Write Away, Caught In The Net, Red Pencil, Writer's Hood, Transparent Words. He works in elder care.


  1. Dear Philip: "my arms are free … and able enough to cast a vote" tells the truth! Regrds, SK.

  2. I love the simplicity of your words culminating in this vivid image and strong message.

  3. Thank you SK and Carolyn.

    always appreciate how pieces appearing simple are actually anything but in process? I am humbled. How many times do i read poetry and lyrics and say the same - so simple why can't I write like that? It's not really so easy. In fact, it hurts so much I have a tendency to make em too personal. My thanks, therefore, also to Michael and poetry 24 for the encouragement.

  4. Hi Philip - I didn't mean the process was simple - I hope I didn't offend; rather I am in awe of people who can get across such a complex message in shorter space. I feel it is something that my own work lacks - I am very wordy and, even after ruthless editing and despite usually decimating my words (and I mean that in the mathematical sense, I still end up with lengthy poems.

  5. Not offended, Carolyn, quite the opposite! I've always been in awe of those who make it look easy to write and so am quite touched by your comment. I'm not offended at all. Finding the words / formula to make a piece look easy is an art in itself and I am so pleased by your comment. I'm chuffed!!