Sunday, 30 June 2013

Sunday Review

This week began with Flooded Memoriesby Himani Rawat Nayal. This was about the Kedarnath Temple in India that survived a flash flood. It is a very poignant poem written as memories, remembering how it looked beforehand. ‘Now, all that is washed away, / Only the Shrine sits the surge.’

On Tuesday we had Young Butterflies by Amy Barry. This was a serious topic about 23 children who were sold for sex and labour in Ireland over the course of a year. We had many comments from our readers for this poem saying ‘heart-wrenching,’ ‘painful,’ and ‘evocative.’ I particularly liked the last line of the poem, ‘their minds flew on imagined wings.’

We changed the tone and went something more humorous on Wednesday with Hairy Stockings by Heather Wastie. This was about hairy stockings in China for women aimed at deflecting unwanted male attention. The main point of the poem was the lines, ‘Is it worth such drastic measures?
Does a look do any harm?’

On Thursday was Bleep Bleep by Philip Johnson. This was about the accusations of British GCHQ using surveillance on international electronic communications, labelled a catastrophe by German politicians. There was anger with this story, sounding like something from a George Orwell novel. I liked the line, ‘my crime is what to corrupt our national security’

On Friday we had The Offer by Luigi Pagano. This was an obituary poem for actor James Gandofini who died aged 51 of a heart attack.

Hope you all had a good week.


Friday, 28 June 2013

The Offer

“Make him an offer that he can’t refuse”
is a phrase from ‘The Godfather’ films
that’s become a cinematographic cliché.
For the actor James Gandolfini it meant
the opportunity of a lifetime when given
the lead role in ‘The Sopranos’ TV play.
It was a novel way to portray a mobster:
the Mafia capo risen through the ranks
who goes on to be the leader of the pack.
The character was full of contradictions:
a devoted father, a cold-blooded killer,
a tough guy but prone to anxiety attacks.
This prompts him to go into therapy
and he unburdens his soul to Dr. Melfi
revealing a situation that is intricate.
The female psychiatrist helps Soprano
with sessions full of sexual tensions
but she’s too professional to be profligate.
The pilot of the series was so successful
that episodes after episodes ensued
and in each James Gandolfini shone.
There won’t be, alas, any more shows
with this brilliant actor, a true genius,
who has sadly, and prematurely, gone.

© Luigi Pagano 2013

Luigi Pagano is a contributor to Poetry24 and other websites. Author of three poetry collections, his work has appeared in various anthologies.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Bleep Bleep

this is not a true extension

says the auto-voice
when I pick up the phone

three times now

this is not a true extension
please hang up

this is not a true extension

I have the news on tv
GCHQ the government spy centre

tapping all data in the name of national security

not a true extension
says the voice

my crime is what to corrupt our national security
what I ask isn't it the politicians tearing England from Wales
Scotland from Wales and England


GCHQ interested in me (please hang up) not a true
why interested in me what have I done but

rough draft a poem may be crap yet

obviously they are keen on crap rough draft poets poems
so keen so (the phone now rings again) what for more

the bottom line is my claim for expenses or simply cash
for the questions (please hang up), Dave?

© Philip Johnson

GCHQ monitoring described as a 'catastrophe' by German politicians

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.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Hairy Stockings

Anti-pervert hairy stockings,
could they be a summer hit?
The latest practical fashion item
in a woman's survival kit. 

Women tired of endless staring 
at their legs can now deflect 
all unwanted male attention 
and command instant respect. 

“Super sexy, anti-pervert 
leg-hair stockings are the trend,
essential in a woman's wardrobe,”
say the ads, “So tell your friends!

Ladder proof and snuggly fitting,
perfect for the summertime,
bushy stockings are the answer
to the growth in pervy crime.”

They're going down a bomb in China,
where millions now avert their eyes,
hear the sound of leg hair scraping
rhythmically on ladies' thighs. 

But before you rush to buy them,
think about the 'handsome guys'
put off by such gruesome leg wear. 
Is this method really wise?

Wearers say they feel disgusting,
annihilate all female charm. 
Is it worth such drastic measures?
Does a look do any harm?

I think I'll stick to baggy trousers -
always does the trick for me,
and if I want some hairy legs 
I'll use the ones I've got, for free. 

© Heather Wastie
June 2013

Hairy stockings aimed at deflecting unwanted male attention

Heather Wastie is a poet and musician based in Kidderminster where she is Writer in Residence at the Museum of Carpet. See Wastie's Space to find out more.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Young Butterflies

The fear
that had always been,
they lifted their skirts
for a few euros,
gazing at the faces
of strangers-
the rendering of lust,
an urgent urge.
Images that went
in a few fevered seconds
of moaning
and slimy discharge,
one body into
the next,
their eyes rolled
in childish response,

the fear
they would suffocate
or drown,

their minds flew
on imagined wings.

© Amy Barry

23 children sold for sex and labour in Ireland last year

Amy Barry writes poems and short stories. She has been a regular contributor to Poetry 24. Her poems have been published in Ireland and abroad such as Mad Swirl, EDP, The New Ulster, First Cut, Misty Mountain Review, The Plum tree kindle. Trips to India, Nepal, China, Bali, Paris, Berlin, have all inspired her work.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Flooded Memories

We were there,
Eight and half years back;
Trekking the beaten path,
Sipping tea by the shack. 

Shivering under the sheath,
Awestruck by the June wonder;
Only a day before-
The shrine had been snowed under.

I remember it serene,
Though, it had been bustling.   
Breathing in the vastness,
Our lungs were tingling.

A snip glances at the deity
And a nudge to move the line;
A captured memory by the steps,
In a picture treasured so fine.

We had come down running,
Ditching the bends in-between,
Securing steps on brushwood,
Zigzag trek we’d already been.

Now, all that is washed away,
Only the Shrine sits the surge;
While many lives lost,
And prayers submerged 

©Himani Rawat Nayal

Kedarnath Temple survives flash floods

Himani Rawat Nayal blogs here.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Sunday Review

Hamish ended the week last week with a plea for submissions and our thanks go to those kindly and creative folk who responded to his call. We began on Monday with Caroline Hurely's 'The Dove Returns to Derry', a poem which not only brought the past into relationship with the present but which was also full of business and bustle and sharp observation, not to mention some gentle humour. I particularly enjoyed the lines describing the 'grand festive funk'.
    On Tuesday, we turned to another regular contributor, Luigii Pagano, who gave us his thoughts on the 'Secret Lives' of our feline companions. I enjoyed this piece for its insight into the cats and people function. It's so true that a missing pet can take precedence over all other concerns and also that we can never quite be sure what our absent kitties are up to. I once had a marmalade tomcat who was so intent on seeing the world he made regular and repeated attempts to board the the village bus. On at least two occasions the driver was obliged to stop the vehicle and walk back along the road carrying my Tiger in his arms.
    On Wednesday, we went with Carolyn Cornthwaite and 'Blue Sky Thinking', a marvellous poem about 'the man who fell to earth' and so very aptly suggestive of the Icarus and Daedalus myth. Here, because I love it, is the opening stanza:
       'No one saw you fall from grace,
       halfway to heaven, head lost in clouds.
       No one heard your cry for freedom
       or the sound of dreams dashed upon
       desolate concrete.'
If you haven't already seen the rest, do click on the link. Thanks, Carolyn for choosing to submit to Poetry24.
    We are grateful, of course, to all our contributors for their generous support and sometimes, as with Gwen Seabourne's 'Deeds Not Words' less is most definitely more. This powerful and pithy little piece not only pays tribute to the courage and conviction of Emily Wilding Davison but also reminds all of us of the need to get up off our butts. We are all, I suspect, guilty of inertia to some extent or another. (I know that I am.) It is arguable that, in the face of such injustice  as we see every day, we should all make an effort to talk less and do more. 
    On Friday, submissions being low, we slipped in my own response to Vice magazine's themed fashion shoot 'the Last Word', a mock up of celebrity suicides, all female, all 'arty', some quite recent, in which all the models appeared in clothes supposed to impress us as to 'to die for'. I don't think you can see these images on line now but I saw looked at them on the day the story first broke. At first I was angry but soon I just wanted to cry. Later that day, when I had  managed to calm down, I wrote 'Drop Dead Gorgeous'
    It seems to me that what is interesting about this he spread was not that it offended against 'good taste' but that, in order for it to have reached the public, not just one person but a number of people must have decided that a) it was a good idea and b) that the social climate was now such that they would be able to get away with it. This, I believe, it symptomatic of the way that the gains made by women over the past fives decades are being systematically eroded.  It wasn't just a miscalculation or a failure of journalistic etiquette but an aspect of sometime much nastier and much more insidious. It is something, I would venture to suggest, that needs to be stopped.
    Finally, on Saturday, we closed the week with Siobhán Mc Laughlin's  'The Standing Man', another powerful and 'thoughtful and well-crafted poem'.  Our thanks go to 'Little Nell' for taking the time to comment on this piece - and , indeed, on many other poems. We know from our mailbox that our contributors greatly appreciate such  expressions of support.
    Well, that's all for this week, folks. Here in Cornwall, we celebrated the solstice against a background of grey skies and rain. I hope the weather has been kinder where you are.

Abigail Wyatt

Saturday, 22 June 2013

The Standing Man

The standing man
fills the square
with his silence

as a prayer, a plea,
a peaceful affront
to the violent protest

The standing man
still and regal
as a statue,

his quiet vigil
a solemn salute
to the truth.

The standing man
without scream or siren
is dangerous

like a sword in a sheath,
powerful as a punch
pummelling the gut.

The standing man
a picture with the force
of a thousand words,
a no that can’t
be quelled
with shouts or shots.

The standing man
no longer one,
a priest to pilgrims
he has become
their silent stand
the loudest sound,
the most moving act of all.

Erdem Gunduz’s protest

©Siobhán Mc Laughlin

Friday, 21 June 2013

The Last Word or Drop Dead Gorgeous

What is there to say about this
except to ask who missed the beat,
who thought the time was right,
that no one who mattered much would care?
This is only what happens when capital is king
and his handmaids are dressed up for their destruction.
There is nothing new or tasteless here;
only someone goes, too quickly, too far.  

Vice magazine suicide themed photoshoot

©Abigail Wyatt

Abigail Wyatt lives near Redruth in Cornwall where she writes poetry and short fiction and clings to the last shred of her sanity.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Deeds Not Words

Confronted with injustice, I unleash
some tightly reasoned, strongly worded letter,

and know you dreadnought athletes of the Cause,
were higher, faster, stronger, braver,

©Gwen Seabourne

My hero: Emily Wilding Davison

Hebog Tramor is a Professor at a UK University, researching medieval legal history and writing the odd poem.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Blue Sky Thinking

No one saw you fall from grace,
halfway to heaven, head lost in clouds.
No one heard your cry for freedom
or the sound of dreams dashed upon
desolate concrete.

Your furtive run for freedom filmed
by hidden cameras no one manned.
Your head awash with hallowed dreams –
face furrowed in
wondrous joy.

And, five minutes into your final
flight, wings spread, soaring
to your promised land – hopes rupture,
fray – fragile figments of

Cocooned in fumes and thinning air,
stars spinning behind closing lids,
knuckles whiten, clutch
at hopes and thoughts that twist and turn as
tortured as the

space inside your mile-high crow’s nest.
And later, when the undercarriage moans
in protest at your excess baggage,
as doors shift and daylight once again intrudes,
you wonder – briefly –

at what remains of hope? And, as you fall,
unseen, unheard, unknown, you spy her
arms agape, eyes dulled, tears wetting flooded plains,
raining havoc upon failed crops and wasted
dreams that prompted you – her son –

to find hope within the wheel-arch of a plane.

©Carolyn Cornthwaite

Carolyn writes poetry, flash fiction, short stories and has almost completed the first draft of a novel. She dreams of Booker prizes and a life in France and blogs at

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Secret Lives

The problems of this planet
are as bad as they can get
and yet my preoccupation
is for my missing pet.
It’s not that I’ve forgotten
the protests in Istanbul
or the situation in Syria
which we know to be pitiful
nor we must overlook
what happens in Kabul
but our only course of action
is waiting and remain hopeful.
Now I’m thinking of Phoebe
my wandering feline;
she’s gone AWOL before
so there is no need to pine.
It is nearly a month
since she exited the cat-flap
and I can’t help thinking
she’s fallen into a trap.
But she always comes home
whenever she needs food.
In fact here she approaches
in the company… of her brood.

© Luigi Pagano 2013

Luigi Pagano is a contributor to Poetry24 and other websites. My HomePage:

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The Dove Returns To Derry

In a currach they row with their treasure trove
to the peace bridge that’s loved so well.
Summoned sun rays brighten the brand-new day.
At the church-dove’s prayer, here comes the summer.
Patron saint, Colmcille, was descended from kings,
one of Finnian’s twelve apostles of Ireland.
When he stepped out of line he was faced with exile
or a curse, so Iona he chose.

The return of the monk invites grand festive funk.
Costumes, props and trucks presage processions.
On the streets of Derry, from the old shirt factory,
girls and gymnasts join punks and monastics.
Dopey Dick, céilí players float past. Footballers
run with hounds, clowns and oversized babies.
Stewards, fitters and first-aid crews herd swelling crowds
pulled from far and wide, game to unite  ̶  

worlds away from cruel war, by which Colmcille marred
his record of unselfish wisdom.
After copying a book, he came back, when ‘twas took,
with rebellion that butchered battalions.
Over land rights and flags and religious tags,
the Ulster folk have too long suffered,
till civic and church leaders yielded, conceded,
and high-fived the Good Friday agreement.

As Nessie was charmed by kind outstretched arms,
so is malice and prejudice banished.
A model for peace on earth to make hate cease
incarnates at this hot mid-June féte.
To the serpent, the Dove bade, “go back with all speed!”
which his flock chants to foul-play and violence;
as one, across walls, oaks, the Foyle and town halls,
they sing, “now you are entering free Derry.”

  © Caroline Hurley

Sunday Reveiw

We had the usual high standard of poetry here this week but, sadly not enough. We did not have a submission to put up on Saturday. If you've got something to say about what's happening in the poor, battered world, now would be a good time.
On Monday though we had Patrick Toland's 'And the Rain is Falling' which made an interesting point about changes in language reflecting changes in the tangible world and in our perceptions of it.
Luigi Pagano, on Tuesday, in "Doctor, Doctor" wrote about the changes afoot in the TV series "Doctor Who"  some of which have been discussed by younger folks in my own household. Luigi's point of view was a great deal more nuanced than the views expressed here, however. I like the last line in the poem having the ambiguous "lies" in it. Personally I hope the next Dr. is played by Sue Perkins.
'Song of the Vote' by Gwen Seabourne was Wednesday's poem  and I liked the image of the The Vote having a say about history and love the line "the word forced through resisting air" which sum up the immensity of the struggle.
Peter Flint's 'The Crown' was Thursday's poem and noted the Queen of England's 61 year on the throne and compared the actuality of the crown to the history embodied by it. I like the way that the crown is shown as being pretty useless as headgear. A nice reminder.
Abigail Wyatt contributed, 'Coming Soon' Friday's poem about the callous treatment of the elderly by "three shiny presenters, glib, well-fed," and by society in general and then made the transition to thinking of it personally. The sort of thing we all do though not quite as skilfully as Abi, in my case, at least. A very good, thought provoking poem.
Winter is getting all bitey on us in New Zealand, I hope you are all warm and safe and writing and sending your poems in. Have a good week.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Coming Soon...

Late night TV on the BBC,
more scary than the latest horror movie:
three shiny presenters, glib, well-fed,
none of them much over thirty,
exchange smart remarks
and laugh and laugh
to think that people might die.

But wait. It's ok.
These are not real people.
They are only, after all, 'the elderly';
they are not, what is more,
the elderly well-off
but the sad and shambling poor.
'If they die,' goes the argument,
'that's a good thing, isn't it?
It will help us solve the problem
of their pensions.'
'There are too many of them.'
More high-pitched laughter.
Laugh? I could have
laughed till I cried.

I did cry this morning.
It weighed all through the night,
this wondering what end might await me:
to be 'passed over', not to be treated
in favour of the fit and the young;
of course, lightly sedated,
I might just slip away,
a tender kiss in the pale crook of my elbow;
no pain, perhaps, but not to be mourned;
no evil-smelling, difficult good-byes.

You are never old inside,
so my grandmother said;
and she lived to be cosseted and wept for.
Surely, I have given as much
and yet  -
                     it's all
                                              such a laugh.

Abigail Wyatt

Baby-boomers must take less from society

Abigail Wyatt writes poetry and short fiction and hopes for the best. She does not watch much television. This is is one reason why.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Crown

It’s a hat…a party hat!
An exquisite designer hat
A unique, priceless gem of a hat
Not really a very practical hat
No protection against Nature’s petulance
Neither a warm, woolly hat
Nor a windproof, waterproof hat
Nevertheless, it is a hat…
What then is its purpose?
Symbol of simultaneous belonging
Also proclamation of exclusivity
Requiring the ritual of conformity
The metaphoric sizzle of branding
Or testing trial of tattooing…
Football shirts…old school ties
Medals, badges, fluttering flags
Emblazoned with macho images…
Creatures of ferocity or fairytale
Lions, bears, dragons, griffins
Creations of brush, pen, furnace, chisel
All silently saluting segregation…
What of the hat’s traditional wearers?
Leaders chosen by chance or choice
Or created by courage, cruelty, cunning
Now merely a nation’s treasured token
A poster-girl of dated communication
A pin-up of patriotism, power and privilege…
Display of regal pomp and pageantry
Centre of the nation’s sound and light show
Gleaming still but flickering…faltering
Connection with its ancient power source
Becoming steadily more tenuous…
This remains a very special hat
Woven threads of history and legend
But let us not forget…
It is merely a hat!

Queen's 61st year on throne 

        ©Peter Flint

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Song of the vote

I dangled, teasing, out of reach
a longed-for but forbidden peach,
guarded close with jealous care
to starve their worth and stem their speech;

The prize to win, the flag to bear,
the ticket to a better fair;
no woman’s land, possessed and mined,
the word forced through resisting air;

The cause which roused and intertwined
the distaff side of humankind
which spun lives ells and years apart
into a thread which won’t unwind.

Won messily, by bit and part,
by cool head and by raging heart.
No cure-all magic treasure chart:
I am the vote. I am a start.

© Gwen Seabourne

Emily Wilding Davison 

Hebog Tramor is a Professor at a UK University, researching medieval legal history and writing the odd poem.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Doctor, Doctor..

My goodness, gracious me,
it cannot possibly be:
the Doctor’s new shipmate
was actually seen to osculate
the Time Lord in the Tardis.
But was it an innocent kiss?
In the light of that episode
I feel spurred to write an ode
to record the mixed reactions,
with some advocating sanctions
whilst others, giving approval,
speak of the series’ renewal.
Purists are known to profess
they’re sure the Doctor is sexless
and a notion that they try to flog
is that he doesn’t need to snog.
As for me, I am not at all wise
where progress eventually lies.

© Luigi Pagano 2013

Luigi Pagano is a contributor to Poetry24. He has been featured in several anthologies and has published three poetry collections.

Monday, 10 June 2013

And the Rain is Raining

Germany drops its longest word for labelling

Cattle after changes in the law

First the word

Then the object of the word itself.

Field evaporates, fences fade

And the bucket swinging in the hand

Of the farmer’s daughter melts

On the way to the milking shed.

Soon, all is still and unbearable

And what remains unnamed resumes

Its call for naming – like a beast

That wails until its easing.

I wonder, if again, we’d call

These things the word we put from mind?

Or instead, we’d simply let

Them stagger on their new-born

Legs, out from the yard buildings

And in to the brief unknown?

The sun is coming down.

The town is coming home.

The field begins once more to grow

And the fences deepen.

Patrick Toland is a graduate of the new Masters of Creative Writing in Oxford University. He was shortlisted for the Lightship Poetry Prize 2011 and was a winner of the Bodleian Science Library Poetry Competition 2011 and the Edward Stanley Prize. He was selected as an emerging writer by Windows Publication in 2010 and for the 2012 Poetry Ireland Introductions. In 2013 he was nominated for the Hennessy Literary Award.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Sunday Review

Beware, Beware by Luigi Pagano started the week off by reminding us that wild animals remain wild at heart. There's some interesting images in this poem to do with how we react to nature and how wrong we usually are.
We had two poems on Tuesday because they are both short pieces. That's the length, only. They both say quite a lot. 'Buried Alive' and 'For the Carcross Grizzly' by Susan Burch and Kate Prudchenko respectively showed us the power that short poetry can wield as our minds fill in the details.
Lest We Forget  by Carolyn Cornthwaite  on Wednesday gave us the victim's view of a terrible crime mixing strong imagery and sharp observation into a poem that is tough at the same time as tender.
On Thursday David Mellor gave us It's not a Turkish Delight!
which showed the very special attribute that Poetry24 has of intelligent, informed poetry of topicality. I liked the way that the vision of the sweet gave way to the reality of the situation.
Friday's Dog Barbara Boyd-Anderson gave us a look into the harshness of modern day life but showed that if we actually listen we can find solutions. I like the lines 
The stale smell of need lingers on,
in dogs and men in their show of rage;
Fridays poem Someone had this Gr8t idea..came from editorial colleague Abi Wyatt and showed that the economics of daily life are not easing any.
We've been a bit short of submissions this week so I'm asking you all to get busy and getting emailing.
But whatever you do have a good week.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Someone had this Gr8t idea...

Those who must pass this route 
are the great and the good,
who by their conference
would give shape to our future, 
who have pledged themselves
by their drudgery and toil
to make good the stains 
and botches of the past;
but, since they are our gods,
we must pay them what is due:
their eyes shall not be 
sullied by our hunger.
While they dine like Croesus
we may look - but not eat - 
until our bellies, 
shrinking small,
will cease to growl. 

© Abigail Wyatt

Abigail Wyatt lives near Redruth in Cornwall where she writes poetry and short fiction and tries not to give way to anger and despair.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Dog Days...

It's a golden dreamy gift of a day, 
light winking in the slanting sunlight,
mums and babes in a scrap of playground,
me with my little dog safe on-lead,
walking the park, our rhythms gentle.

I see them coming, closing in, 
a black mutt, thick-necked, roaming free,
his master, taut in his tight-ass jeans.

And I softly ask if his dog is safe?
It's a trigger for a mouthful of ripe abuse,
spitting contempt as he moves towards me -
a privileged stranger with her poncy dog,
an alien in his tribal world.

Paranoia rises, a default position
with my heartbeat surging,
emotions swirling, 
fogging the brain
as they always have done
with my long-held memories of
brawls and bullies,
a chemistry of anger in the rugged Port.

And true to his breed, this man smells fear.
He threatens. I counter. 
But it's still just words -
till he pulls a knife,
and I lose my cool.

Ghosts of the past dumped, dissolved.
I face him, reckless, unafraid, 
fully complicit with my own anger flaring, 
a boiling brew of scars not healed,
volatile, bold, my street cred rising,
bursting with the old expletives.
'Old' he taunts me, taken aback.
But he knows this code, and I don't care.
It's my dog I fight for,
and his eyes are softening
as I fire off volleys of savage stories,
where dogs like his lunge, attack.
I've seen them rip throats 
in wild abandon.
I've heard piercing screams
from careless owners,
men and dogs going down quick
in a final, ferocious, bloody mess.

And he backs off, slowly understanding.
as I follow him, defiant, 'cos I'm not done yet.
And he slows down, listens.

Now we can talk.

It's no Jane Austen novel
in these grizzled streets.
The stale smell of need lingers on,
in dogs and men in their show of rage;
mine too, perhaps, as I walk our park.

© Barbara Boyd-Anderson

Barbara Boyd-Anderson is an Australian poet.   Formerly a teacher, then a film-maker, she focuses now on poetry and the rich, varied world of 

Thursday, 6 June 2013

It's not a Turkish Delight!

Don’t drink
Don’t smoke
Don’t show public affection
It’s no joke

Put down tolerance
With a baton charge

Turn protesters
Into tears
With gas

Don’t drink
Don’t smoke
Don’t show public affection
It’s no joke

But you won’t last
As the stinging eyes will clear

Because sooner or later
Your intolerant regime will go
Because you can’t tell people what to do

Don’t drink
Don’t smoke
Don’t show public affection
It’s no joke

And each and every one
standing up in a fearful street
your country will one day thank you ………..for your pride

© David R Mellor 2013

Turkey protest: anti-government clashes spread

David was born in Liverpool in 1964. He left school with nothing, rummaged around various dead end jobs, then back to college and uni. In his 20's he first discovered poetry, starting writing and performing and has done so ever since. I has lived on the Wirral for the past 8 years.

The Moning Star Award for Potest Poetry: Nominate here

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Lest We Forget

You gave me flowers, plucked
from a bed of rose
You picked well – that time –
fresh, young, vulnerable.
Your princess

plied with missing
pieces – filled a
I was not loved,
not wanted,
until you.

You filled me with your
alcohol, cocaine. Injected
against my…
love… my four
letter word.

I tried to talk, to run,
couldn’t form the words, so
inappropriate –
this love,
amongst the gravestones.
Terrorised, tortured – I trusted

you. Inhuman –
soul departed – that day you plucked
flowers, for young girls,
between the tombstones
of abuse.

©Carolyn Cornthwaite

Carolyn writes poetry, flash fiction, short stories and has almost completed the first draft of a novel. She dreams of Booker prizes and a life in France and blogs at

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

'Buried Alive' and 'For the Carcross Grizzly'

buried alive

buried alive
in a collasped factory
for 17 days
she prayed
to be saved

©Susan Burch

Susan Burch resides in Hagerstown, MD and loves trying to capture a moment in just 5 lines.

For the Carcross Grizzly

Bear, let me kiss 
your dusty tired feet, 
begging forgiveness 
for the ugliness of humanity. 

©Kate Prudchenko

Kate Prudchenko’s poems and fiction have appeared in journals, magazines and anthologies in the US, UK and Canada. She lives in Los Angeles and tweets @kprudchenko.

Morning Star Award for Protest in Poetry: Click here to nominate

Monday, 3 June 2013

Beware, Beware

Beware, beware.
The tiger prowls
inside his cage,
full of frustration  .
and pent up rage.
It pads around,
round and about,
and his menacing look
tells us to keep out.

Take care, take care.
The tiger growls
and his guttural sound
deep from its throat
keeps us spellbound;
it leaves no doubt
that it is the last warning:
keep out,
keep out.

Please watch him carefully,
See how he scowls.
To unlatch the gate
and invade his domain
is tempting fate.
Before you act
be sure to scout
but your wisest move
is to keep out.

© Luigi Pagan

Female zoo worker killed in tiger attack

Luigi Pagano is a contributor to Poetry24 and other websites. Author of various poetry collections and e-books.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Sunday Review

Well, another week has gone by and, for me, it was a very busy one. Here in Cornwall, however, it was, at least, dry and bright. As we, the people of the Duchy, go about our business, a new lightness can be seen in out step. After a long, dark, dreary winter unrelieved by either the excitement or the transient beauty of real snow, we are being reminded how delightful it is to be here in 'God's country' when the hedgerows are in full flower, the breezes are warm, and there isn't a cloud in the sky. If any of you city-dwellers are tempted to feel envious, by the way, my excuse for such gloating is this: reminding myself of my good fortune at home is the best comfort I can find when yet another year passes by without any prospect of the long holiday in Italy that David and I so desperately want and need. Neither of us have ever been there. There is so much we want to do and see. Sadly, our circumstances are such that it is impossible for us to get away.

But enough of this whinging. Let's get on with business.  We began on Monday with 'The Uprising' by Kelly Creighton,a poem inspired by the recent protests by young Belfast loyalists who feel, according to the article by The Observer's Henry McDonald, 'let down by the peace process'. Personally, I found both the poem and the news report thought-provoking. I read somewhere recently - and I cannot recollect where - that, more and more, poetry is coming to be seen as a means of registering political disagreement. Now, here at Poetry 24, of course, there is a definite political 'edge' to much of the work published but I am not sure how true this is elsewhere. Indeed, many journals and magazines seem not to care much at all for what they see as 'politicized writing' - although, it seems to me that everything is political in one way or another, whether directly or indirectly. After all, even the attempt to eschew politics is, at bottom, a political act and no lesser practitioner than George Orwell goes out of his way to impress upon us the importance of considering 'The Politics of the English Language'. 

Tuesday took us to Africa with Amy Barry's 'Africa's Sahel' a powerful poem which provoked much comment: it was 'a strong write', 'moving', 'heart-wrenching'; it painted 'a gripping and detailed picture'. (Our thanks go, by the way, to all the commentators. It is great for us and for out poets to get some feedback.) I was especially struck by Amy's use of the phrase 'nearly certain' which spoke to me so very strongly and yet was so brutally concise.

Wednesday's poem was 'The Summer TV Schedule' by Luigi Pagano, another 'political' piece prompted by the bombings in Baghdad and Nasiriya. Opinion on this one appears to have been divided. Where one of our  contributors, Carolyn Cornthwaite found  'a macabre take on what has become an (almost) daily dose of grim  news', another contributor, Thomas Martin saw something that read 'like a Letter to the Editor'. Well, here at Poetry24 we like to encourage a degree of openness to many different approaches to poetry and we are pretty sure, therefore, that our poets don't even try to please all of the people all of the time. 

Thursday saw us back on our travels with my own It's Like That in China. When I wrote this piece, more than anything else, I wanted to celebrate the miracle of the survival of this infant, this tiny scrap of humanity.  I  wouldn't want to - couldn't, anyway - defend the brutal policies and practices of the Chinese Government but, just for a moment, all over the world, the story of this single child, clinging to life, warmed us and heartened us. As I have tried to suggest in the poem, it allowed us to experience some hope.

Friday we missed, I am afraid but we got back on track on Saturday with Quick Bucks (Open to All Traffic 24/7) by Philip Johnson which offers a wry comment on the news that minor traffic offences are to be heard by new courts in England and Wales. Now this may seem to eminently reasonable: quicker and and cheaper, surely? Perhaps so but is it just me or does the poem hint at the possibility of a new kind of 'unequal' justice, that has one reality for 'the man in the street' and quite another for those who are privileged by wealth or political position. Instant justice, secret courts: where, I wonder, will it end?

Well, that's all from me. Have a peaceful and productive week and may the sun continue to shine. 

Abigail Wyatt