Monday, 30 September 2013

Then and Now

How fitting that, as times get tough,
it's Manchester that cuts up rough

for there it was that once before
the people met inside the law

and peaceably to state their case
as Hunger stared in Plenty's face;

and it was at St Peter's Field
they stood their ground and would not yield

but rather stayed and met with words
and faith those men who came with swords:

who came with swords and did not care
whole families had assembled there,

all dressed up in their 'Sunday best'
as though they came to play or feast.

They came in peace. That much was clear.
It was not they who looked for war.

And yet men fell and women cried,
and Little Billy Fildes died;

and not just he but many more
who looked for justice, not for war.

And now, again, two centuries on,
the people see what must be done;

the lessons of the past are clear:
oppression thrives and prospers - here.

© Abigail Wyatt

Peterloo Massacre

Abigail Wyatt writes poetry and short fiction and lives in hope. 

Pest Control


̶  5 million human beings

in 8,000 B.C. leavened at leisure to
200m by 1 A.D., in thrall to animals,
imbued with the elements, intense
ephemera enmeshed in the rest,

until the Industrial Revolution, like a steam engine
accelerator, blasted the census figure up to 1,000m by 1818.
Peasants were snatched from pastoral bonds into orchards
of hard knowledge to subordinate everything, sentient and dead,
pumping pistons, pulleys and pollution: dominion in full swing.

We are legion now, a plague upon the earth. 7,000m, a nuclear cloud of us
in 2011, increasingly alienated from organic origins and otherwise calibrated.
Ghettoes and refugee camps heave beside the chronic rash of ubiquitous developments.
We scapegoat comrade species for getting in the way and encroaching on our space
while spraying them with pesticides, sludge and garbage gunk,
razing hedgerows and habitats, culling,
drilling, clearing,
Waste metastasises, wrapping the planet in a carcinogenic smog.
Frantic fingers seed G.M. crops and tweak livestock without a clue about
consequences except that capital keeps accruing away to the wealthy elite
armed to the atomic zenith, sedating us with neon logo glows and terrorist woes
until they change their minds, or nature gets there first and, calling our bluff, stamps us out.
What are we to do? Our population has multiplied thousands-fold over the same surface area.
Are we pride or are we pest? Or something in between, primate and homo sapiens in one
and one for all, able to drop competition and meet in the global commons outside and in?
Can we come to our senses, stop running amok and start travelling light? Can we down-skill
to stewardship, calm the wildfire blaze of us and nurse harmony back into last-gasp
ecosystems without adding catastrophe to catastrophe? And, if we can do it, will we?  
Caroline Hurley
Caroline's poems have previously appeared in Poetry24, as well as in The Electric and in ESOF's 3nd Science Meets Poetry anthology. featured a chapter from her novel and some of her flash fiction. Her current focus is on young adult fiction and screenwriting. She lives near an Irish bird reserve.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sunday Review

On Monday we posted  "Jesus Was A Home Birth"  by Caroline Hurley which talked about the problems and travails of having babies in Ireland. The splendid title showed up the intense irony of the situation.
Clare McCotter's "The Slate Greyhound" followed up on Tuesday with a poem about live horse exports to China from Ireland. There is some striking imagery in this poem and it illustrates a great love for horses.
Carolyn Cornthwaite's "Clutching" was Wednesday's poem which very movingly talked about the ironies involed in Afghanistan and Britain. The last two lines are very telling
Three rings herald the hope of death
Three shots mark the death of hope
We get some angry poems here but David R Mellor's F.U.CK GOD would have to be one of the angriest, just in relation to the size of the topic. But it is controlled anger and highlights the sort of anger we all feel about hypocrisy.
Danny P. Barbare's 24 Seconds To Live, Is That A Sport? was as short and punchy as the bout it described and so worked very well.
Keep on sending in your poems, it is by your efforts, mainly, that Poetry24 survives.  

Friday, 27 September 2013

24 Seconds To Live, Is That A Sport?







© Danny Barbare

Female cage-fighter lands 24-second knockout, breaks hand

Danny P. Barbare resides in the US. He has been writing poetry off and on for several years.

Thursday, 26 September 2013


He put the Tories in
Let you die
Let countless lovers walk on by
Don’t throw knees down to Allah
He just walked into a Kenyan mall
Just dropped a few bombs on Christians
Wailing in hell


 I’m allowed to blaspheme
You never created
Us to rip anyone in two
But so
“We do it for you”
© David R Mellor
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 20s 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.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


At bed clothes.
Stark remains
of hope, life,
What once was upright, beautiful –
pillar of society –
reduced, defeated upon her
pillow of death.

            Amidst her laboured rise to the
            pinnacle of career, perhaps she
            paused, lamented the
            passing of routine to
            uphold the greater good?

They say they called –
a distant ring –   
dull echoes to mark her
piss-soaked passing.
Shadows creep,
envelop tears and
frail fingers

            at straws,
            ignore their threats and
            soldier on – steadfast, strong-willed –
            perhaps she’ll change

Three rings herald the hope of death.
Three shots mark the death of hope.

©Carolyn Cornthwaite

Carolyn writes poetry and fiction and blogs at She has just finished the first draft of a novel and is slowly recovering. Next time she will write an uplifting tale with a joyous ending.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Slate Greyhound

Like a Jesus on some blue moon-drenched planet
or Vincent in a starry night
he is wandering the craggy lands under Wolf Hill
alone in a world full of knives
slashing cartilage and a number tattoo
sound waves turned stone
grinding two pink desert roses blossoming on skull.

In a shelter for his kind he will cower under hands
anointing wounds with ointment
bringing healing to petals of ragged flesh
discussed from country’s end to end
in papers screeching brutalscumbaginhuman
falling silent as a dancer
on high wastes of northern snow
now the first herd of horses raise strained heads
to taste dark ruby skies
in a country where great stallions fight
and crescent bears bleed bile
touching down on that utterly measureless ground.

©Clare McCotter.


Clare McCotter’s haiku, tanka and haibun have been published in many parts of the world. She won the IHS Dóchas Ireland Haiku Award 2010 and 2011. In 2013 she won The British Tanka Award. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles on Belfast born Beatrice Grimshaw’s travel writing and fiction. Her poetry has appeared in Abridged, Boyne Berries, Crannóg, Cyphers, Decanto (forthcoming), Iota (forthcoming), Irish Feminist Review, Poetry24, Revival, Reflexion, The Cannon’s Mouth, The Moth Magazine, The SHOp and The StingingFlyBlack Horse Running, her first collection of haiku, tanka and haibun, was published in 2012. Home is Kilrea, County Derry.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Jesus Was A Home Birth

When Mary imposed on the hospitality of a full house, she was shooed
down to the domestic quarters, where servants and oxen dwelt,
to bear her child, enfolded in the peace and love that would be his trademark.
A wrathful tyrant terrified of being usurped hunted them into Egypt,
taking out infants wholesale, like the first male physicians whose callous
unclean hands ripped new-borns from the womb a century ago.

            Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
            Do you observe the calving of the deer?

Having long shunned human generation, dodging the maternity bed, now
the masculine penetrates silent holy nights with gadgets and egos, all bull
in china-shop, closing ranks around the damage done by strict procedures,
hysterically shrieking blue murder at common complications caught under
the midwife’s flexible watch, micro-monitoring her every move, zooming in
for the smoking gun, judge and jury at their beck and call and in their pocket. 

Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
            Do you observe the calving of the deer?

Until Ternovsky, with child, stood up, like David with Goliath, to The Man.
She won the right, in theory, for women to tender preferred terms during
nativity, in this era when the instinct to seek out dark quiet spaces away
from ward-like mayhem is blinded and numbed by emergency flurries, when
the impulse to relax in a private place, only a mothering presence
nearby for an exultant welcome, has almost been driven extinct. 

Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
            Do you observe the calving of the deer?

For safe home birth, women still take flight, politically-motivated pillars
Of society hot on their heels barking out doctored books of evidence,
the pro-life posse nowhere to be found in their defence, the crux of trained
attendants ignored, a public panicking to make sense of a power struggle
raging at the threshold of life. Time is money. Wham! Bang! Thank you, Mam!
As for the rest, don’t ask if refusal offends; there’s room at the infirmary only. 

©Caroline Hurley 
Aja Teehan's story
Irish midwives suffer setback
Midwives response

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Sunday Review

Hello everyone. We’ve finally reached Autumn once again. I bought my first car a few weeks ago. The back windscreen washer doesn’t work and the air conditioning starts on number three, but it runs just fine. I’ve been terrified of driving in traffic, but now I’m used to it and I love driving in the Autumn weather. I was going to drive to certain places to get me writing again since I’ve not written much in a while since I went back to college to do a maths course before I can do a teacher training course. (I want to teach English but I need maths for some reason).

So after all that I’m still here at Poetry24. We published one of Poetry24’s editors, Abigail Wyatt on Monday with No Peace. This is a strong poem on the difference between the rich and the poor and the perception and treatment of them. The repetition of ‘It’s true I mismanage things,’ give the point of view of a person struggling to cope. We’re shown a stereotype of the poor at first and are shown painful sadness in their struggle, only to hear a sort of ridicule from the government from when Michael Gove said poor people have only themselves to blame. I found interesting the headline from one of the articles used: ‘Rich people sleep better then poor people.’

On Tuesday we had Voyager One by David Subacchi. This was about the spacecraft, Voyager One, which had left the solar system. Since the 1970s, with its 1970s technology, it has reached interstellar space so the gravity of the sun no longer influences its movements. The poem begins in a positive tone, full of nostalgia of by-gone days.

On Thursday we published Janner Bird Goes East by Jane Slavin. This was an unusual story of a woman, Sarah Colwill from Plymouth, who suffered from a migraine and woke up with a Chinese accent. It is called Foreign Accent Syndrome. The poem is a metaphor of a ‘Janner bird’ flying away. ‘Janner’ meaning the common regional accent for people from Plymouth.

We published Carolyn Cornthwaite’s poem, The Unheard, on Friday. This was a particularly strong piece on the subject of abuse of young Asian girls in the UK is often missed. Young Muslim girls do not want to bring shame on their families and the focus is mainly on white victims. The poem invokes philosophical questions: If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? The question is obviously about the abused girls and the poem used brackets to show hidden concepts of abuse, not overtly clear to the general public, but still existing. The last stanza was very interesting: ‘If a girl falls / in a silent land / does anybody listen?’

Yesterday we published Now The Playing Fields Are Level by Philip Johnson. This is about how the love of money has corrupted our idea of the public service. It highlights how ideals have changed over time and that more often than not, the idea of money is more important to people than other things. I liked the satire of the bankers: ‘The man from the bank had a good night / hand over fist / nobody won.’

That's another week over with. Thank you for your submissions. Please keep sending them in to us at


Saturday, 21 September 2013

now the playing fields are level‏

the man in the bank offered cash
hand over fist

crisp notes

spend he said live and enjoy then pay us back
when you're feeling straight

up went the rent
in come a car
a new garage

new house aside which to put the garage
the new car

out went the rent

in come the mortgage
out went the laundry

never had it

the man from the bank had a good night
hand over fist

nobody won

at the end of the day the casino closed
mortgage turned to rent car to bicycle
house to bed-space

trick o' the light it appears

the tax payer mugged the banker
mugged the tax payer

nobody won

but today the tax payer walks to work
whereas the banker traded the old porsche
for the latest model and the politician

the politician traded expenses for a higher salary
and greater allowances (longer holidays)
new apartments for themselves
their offspring
their aunties
and uncles
the wife
the lover
the mistress abroad
the banker's ass

while we endure
we must thank god
at least:

“we are all in this together.”

© Philip Johnson

 Philip has had work published in: Poetry 24, The Ugly Tree; Poetry Scotland, Emergency Verse, Write Away, Caught In The Net, Red Pencil, Writer's Hood, Transparent Words; Emergency Verse and The Robin Hood Book.

Friday, 20 September 2013

The Unheard

If a tree falls
in a deserted forest
does it make a sound?

If you heard her murmur
her whispered call
would you answer?
If she spoke of honour (shame)
marriage (forced)
Would you care?

Behind the door of her attic lair
(bruised and bleeding, filthy hair)
lurks such evil
(frail and scared)
she’ll tempt and tease and sully all
who tread within.

If a tree falls
in Neverland
does anyone believe

the girl who trembles
at footsteps
on the stair,
hands wringing, knuckles white
as twisted truths
ring out the night?

Still they play
their glory card –
honour and family,
marriage vows,
dirty girls who mess around.
And silence reigns, supreme.

If a girl falls
in a silent land
does anybody listen?

© Carolyn Cornthwaite

Carolyn writes poetry and fiction and blogs at . She has just finished the first draft of a novel and is slowly recovering. Next time she will write an uplifting tale with a joyous ending.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Janner Bird Goes East

Janner-bird woke one morning
to find it had all gone Pete Wong.

Her burr-buttery vowels had melted,
she’d lost her seagull song.

No more squawking ‘where’s that to’
Nor ‘all reet me lover’ calls.

Janner-bird’s mouth had headed east,
she didn’t like it at all.

East, further than even Exeter!
Way, way up the line.

Her tongue had gone all oriental. 
It wasn’t a very good sign.

One helluva headache was all it took
to make this maid Mandarin

She didn’t like Chinese when eating out,
now it was what made her stay in.

Heads scratched science over
her flat-lined sentences and vowels.

They knew what the condition was
but a cure, they didn’t know how.

Her friends dive-bomb the Sundial as always,
plunging beaks into burgers and fries
Janner-bird sits at a distance, watching,
a look of regret in her eyes.

Big, bosomy gull-gals still screech
Check wags in the mags for the looks.

Mistake inane for fame and fortune, while
Heat has become their style book

But these wannabees are still grounded
And janner-bird’s had the last laugh.

Her new voice has got her on TV
and the pages of the Telegraph. 

© Jane Slavin

The woman from Plymouth who woke up with a Chinese accent

Jane lives in Plymouth. She likes playing around with words and recently started performing them through Apples and Snakes. Scary but good fun. Her Twitter is @janieslavin

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


They launched you in happier days

Of wide lapels, long shirt collars

And baggy trousers

The year Elvis died

And Hotel California was a hit

Your mission to enter

Inter stellar space

Bearing gifts

An eight track tape recorder

A computer

With 240,000 times

Less memory

Than a mobile phone

Also a nuclear reactor

Just a small one

Nothing nasty

You took your time

We nearly lost interest

But today the news

Is that you have left

The solar system

Apparently you are moving

At eleven miles per second

Not so slow

After all

Soon we will lose all contact

As your journey continues

Into infinity

Perhaps we will never know
How our gifts were received

Those recordings of birdsong

The President’s message

The music of Beethoven,

Mozart, Blind Willie Johnson

And Chuck Berry

All presents from a small

Distant world

But at least we can answer confidently

The annoying question every child asks

“Are we there yet?”

Yes we are!
©David Subacchi

Monday, 16 September 2013

No Peace

It's true that I mismanage things;
I have no one to blame but myself:
those columns of figures never did add up
because their digits, refusing to stand still,
choose to reel about and fight like dogs,
disturbing the neighbours and my peace;
they are doused in cheap cider,
incited to violence by the games
on their super-sized TVs;
ill-informed, without ambition,
lacking in proper respect.

It's true that I mismanage things.
Sometimes, I struggle to cope;
though, often, I swear, I outstare the dark
and count, on my fingers and my toes,
this week's rent, the leccy,
and the months since my last 'big shop'.
I have numbered all my blessings, too,
and counted whole flocks of scrawny sheep.
(That sleep is not a country the poor know well
the poor have always known
but it's proven now by new research
which makes uswant to weep.)

It's true that I mismanage things,
not least my dreams and my hopes.
I kept them for a time but then
I sold them for a song.
September came, and uniforms;
and Christmas costs a lot;
so now let those who would tell us how
be hunger's bedtime hosts;
let them see how the odds are stacked
and let them find their peace.

© Abigail Wyatt

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sunday Review

Well, here in Cornwall, at least, it looks as if summer is over. In the last week we have seen torrential rain, flash flooding in the streets of Falmouth and Portreath, and a fall of hail so thick and white it looked like three inches of snow. Now, for tomorrow morning, we are promised gale force winds although we are hope these will quickly subside. The St Ives Festival begins today with a wonderful programme of events. What is more, the Penzance Peace Picnic, at which I will be reading, will take place next Saturday afternoon. I f you are thinking of spending a few days in the Duchy then do it. It's a great time to come.

Our first poem on this current week. however, was 'A Race cut to shreds' by Simon Marks. This is a poem about the then steadily mounting pressure on disgraced SMP Bill Walker to resign following his conviction for domestic abuse offences. Since we published this poem, Simon has added a comment to the effect that Mr Walker has now bowed to the strength of public opinion and vacated his seat. We can't claim any credit here, of course, but it's nice to be on the winning side, especially in a case like this one.

On Tuesday, we went with Damien Healey's '2020 Vision', a poem inspired by Tokyo's winning bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games. Like our commentators, I loved the dark humour in this piece as well as a title so sharp it must have slept in the knife drawer. I agree with regular contributor, Carolyn Cornthwaite in that it isn't just Japan that that is guilty of this kind of thing. For me, at least, the ideals behind the Olympics have been too much tainted by money and politics.

On Wednesday, we hit a musical note with Luigi Pagano's 'Keeping One's Nerve'. Actually, of course, this was very serious story about Syrian President Bashae al-Assad's warning that the US will 'pay the price' for any strike against Syria. In this poem, however, Luigi gives it a quirky and sardonic treatment that I am sure was much appreciated by our readers.

On Thursday, in the wake of the anniversary of the 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre, we were proud to publish Mari Maxwell's 'We Don't Forget'. 'A stunning write,' one commentator said; 'evocative and emotional,' said another. (Actually, it was Carolyn Cornthwaite who is herself no slouch when it comes to a powerful piece.)  If for some reason you missed this poem, then I urge you to click immediately on the link in order to make good that omission.  This is a poem not to be over

On Friday, it was Carolyn herself with 'That Sacred Vow', a poem rooted in the horror of Nigeria's child brides.  We received her submission on the same day that I wrote 'Baby, Baby' in response to the story of the eight year-old Yemini girl who died as a result of injuries inflicted on her wedding night.  As Luigi Pagano pointed out, this barbaric practice is more widespread than many people realise. That being the case, it is no longer good enough, I think, to plead 'cultural differences'. There is a battle to be fought but it is not, as some would like to suggest, against one country, one culture or one religion; rather, it challenges all those who would threaten the safety and innocence of children.  In the west we may not marry off our eight year-old children but we know that there are men - and, I fear. some women, too - who are happy to use them as sexual playthings.  We need, all of us, to to address this problem and to keep the world's children safe.

On Saturday, we ended the week with Caroline Hurley's Vorsprung durch Technik, another hard-hitting piece that reminded me, at least, that in politics the unvarnished truth is never quite what it seems. Last night I watched a a news report in which Angela Merkel's management of the German economy was held up as some kind of a model 'tough love'. The truth; however, is that there, as here,  that the weak are being sacrificed in the name of 'recovery', 'market forces' and 'economic growth'. 

Well, that's all from me at the end of a weak in which I 'grasped the nettle', 'took the bull by the horns' and 'stepped up to the plate' by making the decision to resign from my 'day job' in order to have more time to write. It isn't, of course, that I am expecting to make money from my writing - although the odd cheque is always very welcome - but rather that I am beginning to hear Marvell's 'winged chariot' not just as distant rumble but thundering at my heels. To those of you who are younger than I am, one day you will know what I mean. In the meantime, have a productive week and keep well and safe. 

Abigail Wyatt

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Vorsprung durch Technik

Without a welfare top-up, the pittance paid to Aufstockers,
German contract workers, a million plus, leaves them short.
A dwindling dole reduces their compatriots to skip-searches and roadkill.

Decrepit wraiths are stretchered out of nursing home cells
to face court charges, on account of their employment long ago
as lowly camp attendants, of colluding in The Holocaust
(mainstreamed as a unique event, nothing like it happening since).

A mile walked in worn-out shoes soon shows the wisdom of conformity
gurus like Goffman. Nobody wants to lose face for the sake of it.
Group trends overwhelm. Zimbardo, Milgram, Bion, Asch, Foucault
and others reported truths to set us free, whyfew would follow Socrates.
The stinging fly is a endangered species. We do what we must
for survival in the herd, brute survival, civilised by a serial number.

The other half harvest cooked credit ratings, guilt absolved by the dogma
That the crucified poor, exposed for easy aim, are socially weak.
The earnings gap globally widens. There’s loadsa money in war.
We surf on byproducts making us high and fiddle as our home burns.

We are always catching up with a panic of justice that persecutes
inconvenient proofs of our rank conspiracy, induced
by the logs in our eyes and the bars on our hearts

Germany's working poor.
Trials for camp guards

©Caroline Hurley

Friday, 13 September 2013

That Sacred Vow

Did you see the shadow
shield my eyes
when you named your price,
sealed my fate?
Did your heart lurch
(as mine did)
when the Devil danced on your back?

Did you feel the fear
grip my guts
as you chased my chariot through
cornflower blue
corridors – freewheeling on the
brink of death?
My nine-year-old loins

ripped apart at the hands of
your marriage –
my dowry for your
drought dried fields.
Did Satan sing as you heard my
screams and pain
penetrated the dusk of my wedding night?

Did your mind reel
(as mine did)
when they pulled the babe from my
ravaged womb
and pressed her
to my weeping breast?

And cattle bellowed and cockerels cried
in savage union,
as my childhood died.
And you sold my soul
for a field of corn –
one less mouth to feed
in this forsaken land.

© Carolyn Cornthwaite

Carolyn writes poetry and fiction and blogs at She has just finished the first draft of a novel and is slowly recovering. Next time she will write an uplifting tale with a joyous ending.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

We Don't Forget

The planes hit.
Obliterating child.
Mother. Father.
Sister. Brother.
Uncle. Aunt.
Floating on the morning breeze,
down the skyscrapers like human helicopters
making a landing.

And the grief rose like tsunami,
volcano, tremors of shattering earthquake.
All of it muffled in the dust of lovers, friends.
And then the rains they came. -
God’s tears.
Cooling the fires of hell and death.
Cleansing. Washing, cadaver, bone fragments,
lives and loves.
To where they collected in the
avenues, subways and underground.
Swirling masses.
black, white, Jew, Italian.
One in that moment.

8:45 a.m.
9:03 a.m.


And the tough talking native New Yorkers
took their tired, their broken, their rich, their poor.
And the world looked on and wept.
And wept.

Then the sun arose.
And the wind it lifted.
Particles. Essence. Soul.
Scattering, sifting, seeding.
From north, to south, east to west.
Across the plains, the fields, the mountains.
City-wide. Nationwide. Worldwide.

We carry them on wings of hopes
and dreams.

And, we will remember.

© Mari Maxwell

US marks 9/11 attacks anniversary

Mari's was longlisted in the 2013 Over The Edge Writing contest as well as previously featured in Poetry 24, Crannog, Revival and numerous other online and print publications in the USA and Ireland.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Keeping One's Nerve

You ask me how I knew
that you had WMDs.
I reply with ease:
I sold them to you.
The nerve gas that you hide
cannot be denied
but you swear blind
that it isn’t true
that the deadly release
was done by you.
We say we will find
the evidence we need
but we have to concede
we haven’t any proof
and certain objectors
are hitting the roof
at the thought we might
intervene in the fight.
All combatants think
that they are in the right
but they must realize
that gas gets in your eyes
(and the body and the lung)
like the smoke in the song
that’s often been sung.

© Luigi Pagano 2013

Luigi Pagano is a contributor to Poetry 24 and other websites. Two of his poems will be included in the Anthology ‘Voices from the Web’ - 2014 - shortly to be published by UKA Press.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

2020 vision

Domo arigato gozaimasu
We look forward to welcoming the nations of the world to the cleanest, most peaceful and economically sound Olympics ever held.
What about the little problem of all that radiation?
What radiation? Just always take air samples when the wind is blowing from the South.
The foreigners won't notice that.
How are we going to communicate with the influx of non-Japanese speakers?
Don't worry, just say YES most of the time and the odd NO, that always works.
The outsiders won't realize you can't understand English.
How do we explain the noisy motorbike gangs and the drunk salary men at night?
We'll tell the aliens the motorbike gangs are Chinese, and the drunk salary men are Korean.
They won't see through the lies.
Finally, the slight problem of not having enough money?
Our devious economic contortions famously known as 'Abenomics' will keep us in the black.
And hopefully the barbarians in the dark.
Let's hope the visitors don't have 20/20 vision.

© Damien Healy
Tokyo wins race for Olympic Games. 

Damien Healy is from Dublin in Ireland but has lived in Osaka, Japan for the past twenty years. He has been published in Poetry 24, Spinozablue and The Ofipress to name a few.