Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sunday Review

Sue Norton's Poem "Is There a Crisis in Our Prisons?" was Monday's poem as a response to the UK Minister would said that prisons are not failing. As Sue's poem most forcefully says, in fact they are.
Unless the Minister feels that the following incident is actually what prisons should be about.
I’ve seen people boil up
Cooking oil, I’ve seen people
Get that in their face. 

The UK Prime Minister also provoked a response in Tuesday's poem from Philip Johnson "smug two face the toff's butler" . His statement that parents need to turn off TV more frequently is contrasted with the amount of time that politicians spend on TV.
not so good if you want to appear on TV
as a head-u-cated honourable sort (while
ripping off blighty backwards)

Wednesday's poem by Sutapa Chaudhuri "The Moment the Camera Caught Her" 
was inspired by a photo of a chils soldier and examines that most chilling of  modern symbols, the child soldier. The last stanza powerfully contrasts the normal teenage years with the ultra-violent life of the subject.
Gunfire and guerrilla warfare         cohabit     with teenage tantrums
Adolescent dreams turn fast into                                nightmares of Reality
Thursday's poem was "Femme Fatale" by Shadwell Smith and is a tribute to the death of Lauren Bacall. It was strangely calming to read of someone who had a good life and made other people happy.
A dime store avatar for all that’s in disguise
and in your dreams.
Laura Taylor's poem "Commodities" was Friday's poem about the horrendous events in Rotherham. It looks at the attitudes that allowed this monstrosity to happen. It is a justifiably angry poem which spares no feelings and for that we should be grateful. The truth should rouse us to take action.
Not old enough to get a job, leave school,
or give consent,
but old enough to be consigned
by men to men.
Possessed.
We are still having problems with Blogger and the Hotmail account. Please send your poetry submissions to the new gmail account and be patient with what we publish. Have a good week, Spring may be breaking through in New Zealand. Already some politicians are feeling the heat, google "Judith Collins Whaleoil" to see what I mean

 

Friday, 29 August 2014

Commodities

Not old enough to vote or wed
or give consent,
but old enough to be transferred                   
by men to men;
possessed.

Not old enough to drive a car,
have overdrafts or credit cards,
but old enough to be exchanged;
expended;
property.

Not old enough to live alone or own a home,
but old enough to be deceived;
to be perceived as third and fourth class citizens,
as damaged goods and chattel;
to be consumed
and spent.

Not old enough to get a job, leave school,
or give consent,
but old enough to be consigned
by men to men.
Possessed.

©Laura Taylor

Laura Taylor has been writing and performing poetry since 2010, and loathes injustice to the core of her being. http://www.writeoutloud.net/profiles/laurataylor


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Femme Fatale

She’s over there
where the fat man and the small guy sit.
Shady lady in the nylon seams
with a bottle and the jaded look.
A dime store avatar for all that’s in disguise
and in your dreams.
The widow in the cocktail dress
trails her fur along the floor
smells of flowers but she’s a carnivore.
That’s her, and she goes by the name of Perfidia.

Listen, Jack
There’s no such thing as a free pink pussycat
in your bed. She’ll strip you clean, dance you round
and when she’s done
stamp her dainty footprint on your head.
Don’t stay to drink the coffee
just get out of there and run.
This is Shakey Town
and baby’s got a gun.


............................
Death of Lauren Bacall

© Shadwell Smith. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

'The moment/ the camera caught her'

The listless despondency                              in her eyes
Her comrade half turned                        dim eyes far into the future
The arm of support                           invisible
Fragile fingers resting                                    casually on frail shoulders
The linen shirt collar jostle                                                     for attention
Frayed and faded                                the black irises unfathomable
Clusters of brown curls                                           like unruly emotions
Frame                            an unknown nascent innocence
Bold lips silent                         taught                       only to obey commands
Gunfire and guerrilla warfare         cohabit     with teenage tantrums
Adolescent dreams turn fast into                                nightmares of Reality

© Sutapa Chaudhuri

*This poem is inspired by the photo of a 14-year-old child soldier who was photographed with the ©Farc in 2000.


A bilingual poet, translator and an academic, Sutapa Chaudhuri, PhD, teaches English at a college near Kolkata, India. She has two collections of poetry —Broken Rhapsodies (2011) and Touching Nadir (2014).

IMPORTANT NOTICE
Recently, we have been experiencing some technical problems. These appear to be related to changes introduced by Blogger. Note only has the site been behaving unpredictably but both Hamish and I have been 'locked out' for a lengthy period.  We are doing our best to get things back to normal but please be patient with us. Thank you. 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

smug two face the toff's butler


here he is look
smug two face the toff's butler

shining the toff's shoes brilliant pink

not so good if you want to appear on TV
as a head-u-cated honourable sort (while
ripping off blighty backwards)

and what of events in the world today

toff's off to the nearest fish market for a photo shoot
smacking lips wi' finnie-hadie

well gutted
Dorf Thicapn Cri
Parents need to learn  "use the off switch" to stop children spending too much time watching television, David Cameron has said.


AKA: © Philip Johnson

Previously appeared in: Poetry Super Highway, 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.  

Monday, 25 August 2014

Is There A Crisis In Our Prisons?




There’s ‘concern’ over one in five prisons.
Overcrowded jails take more inmates.
Young prisoner suicides need to fall.


No money for rehabilitation means
Four out of five youngsters
Banged up, reoffend.

Nearly a third of prisoners feel unsafe.
If you don’t fight you get terrorised.
It’s not a nice place for a kid.


I’ve seen people boil up
Cooking oil, I’ve seen people
Get that in their face.

Prison Governors say
Staff levels are too low
For decent, safe regimes.


Good remedial action is
Essential now,
or Things will only get worse.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling
Is absolutely clear: there’s no crisis.
Our prisons are not failing.

Chris Grayling says prisons not failing.

© Sue Norton

Sue lives and writes in York

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Sunday Review

It's been a trying week at Poetry24. Early on, I found myself 'locked out' of our submissions account as a result of which I have been forced to rely on Hamish to keep the show on the road. We have now resolved the problem by opening a new account for submissions so please do read our updated guidelines here.

We would like to take this opportunity of thanking all our poets for their support. Also, however, we would like to remind everyone that it helps us enormously if poets include a brief bio with every submission (even if it is the same one as last time) and make a final check to ensure that links are live. Sometimes, when we are up against the clock, it is exasperating to discover at twenty past midnight that  not only has the link been photocopied but not activated but that you have to do a search on the blog to locate the most recent bio. Formatting can be problematic too so, if at all possible, keep it simple.

Right, that said, this week we kicked off with stars and oranges in the form of Maurice Devitt's delightful 'Keppler's Conjecture'.  This was followed on Tuesday by Janice Louland's brief and pithy comment on the crisis in the Ukraine, 'Bite the hand which feeds'.  'Wouldn't it be great if we were all friends' is, I hope, a sentiment that we all can share in. 

Our poem on Wednesday was 'EYES AND TEETH' by John D. Kirwan which, Hamish tells me, appeared originally in an incorrect format.  This, it seems, may have been our fault and quite a different matter to the formatting point made above so we send out apologies.  It is worth mentioning, though, that sometimes formatting is changed 'in transit' and, if you have concerns, either send as plain text or in a document. 

Thursday's poem was Darrell Petska's touchingly titled 'In Syria, Small Beds Lie Empty' with its haunting question 'Oh Syria, where are your children?'  'You squander
the seeds of your future' is the poem's poignant warning. Sadly, it is not only in Syria that it can be applied today. 

On Friday, we concluded the week with a poem that I would love to have written. It was 'Lunch is Out (After Cole Porter and Kirsty MacColl' and, although I am more of a fan on the Ella Fitzgerald rendition, I am sure that Mr Porter would have approved since his lyrics, I believe, contain more social commentary than many people would give him credit for.  Anyway, this I think is a powerful poem written with wit and deftness.  Thank you,  Michael Gallagher.  That's all from me for now.

Abigail Wyatt

Friday, 22 August 2014

Lunch Is Out (After Cole Porter and Kirsty MacColl)



Our Momma regrets
we’re unable to lunch today
it’s wrong
our Momma regrets
we’re unable to lunch today
our quotas exceeded
ate more calories than we needed
- Or so their boffins say –
it’s wrong
Abdullah regrets
he’s unable to lunch today
he strayed onto Sahada Street
where Palestinians are not allowed to meet
detained for trespass on his own land
- yes, apartheid’s hard to understand –
it’s wrong
Fatima regrets
she’s unable to lunch today
sought shelter in a school
her mother and babies too
- no iron dome for them,
just that fatal shell –
now the last one left to tell
it’s wrong
Saladin, just sixteen
played on the beach with friends
too late they heard the coward’s drone
at least he did not die alone
just one of a throng two thousand strong
all, with regret
unable to lunch today.
It’s wrong.

Gaza

© Michael Gallaghe
Mike Gallagher's first collection 'Stick on Stone' was published by Revival Press in 2013 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

In Syria, Small Beds Lie Empty

Oh Syria, where are your children?
Do they gambol through your fields?
Do they laze in the sun while clouds drift by
or picnic beside your olive groves?

They are not learning at school.
They are not seated at your table
or dreaming in their beds.
Oh Syria, where are your children?

Did they taste the hatred of your words?
Did they tremble at the drumming in your veins
and fly, small victims of your bludgeoning arms,
into paradise, or someplace in-between?

Oh Syria, stand down! You squander
the seeds of your future. Your children
are as songs gathering voice, tender buds 
unfolding to renew torn horizons.

Without them, love cannot be.
Without them, hope is empty as their beds.
Oh Syria, embrace your innocents
or suffer forever beneath guilt's yoke.

© Darrell Petska

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

EYES AND TEETH 2014

Three hundred eyes for an eye,
Three hundred teeth for a tooth.
Why?
Where is the truth?
 
The wise and ancient retaliation law
Couldn’t just stand;
For,
Planned or unplanned,
One way or the other it moved.
 
The Messiah came with the challenge –
No eye for an eye,
No tooth for a tooth,
Leading to Peace and reconciliation.
Do cry,
But, together, face the truth.
Not easy.
 
But now the three hundred eyes and teeth
Fly in the face of humanity:
One mother is not more a mother than another,
One father is not more a father….
One child is not more a child ….
One sister, one brother …..
How can ‘leaders’ be so blind?
What has become of our common humankind?
© John D.Kirwan 
Gaza war: the emotional toll

 Wirral born (1940!) and bred. Catholic missionary, ordained 1965. Uganda 65-68; Paris 68-71; Kenya 71-73; The Netherlands 73-78;Paris 78-79; Za├»re/DRC 1980----; Interested in poetry since the 1950's. (Title to fame: Clare Kirwan's uncle!)

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Bite the hand which feeds.

Russia, today, aid into Ukraine want to send,
But no one is sure if it is pretend,
The whole situation is really a mess,
But no one wants the problem to be addressed,
For fear is the true ruler of all,
After all truth here doesn't stand tall,
Wouldn't it be great if we were all friends,
Then we wouldn't need aid to send.



Ukraine Crisis

© Janice A Louland

Monday, 18 August 2014

'Kepler’s Conjecture'


             

Today I took some time


from staring at the stars


and ambled to the market.






Nothing too fancy, mind,


just one of those stack-em-high,


sell-em-cheap brigades






that are all the rage


in Germany. Perhaps attracted


by the colour, I got to thinking






about oranges, how lonely


they look arranged in single-file


and not the most efficient.






So I took out my parchment,


scribbled some calculations


to find the Egyptians were right






all along, and that pyramids rock.


Now I sit and wait for the world


to catch up, four hundred years






and one big computer, to prove


what any self-respecting orange-stacker


could have told you if you asked.
© Maurice Devitt

Maurice is reading for an MA in Poetry Studies at Mater Dei, and has recently been short-listed for the Listowel Writers’ Week Poetry Collection Competition. He is working towards a first collection.  

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Sunday Review

Alan Johnson's poem "Later" about the centenary of the beginning of World War 1 was our poem on Monday. It is a very evocative exploration of memories of that time and how it relates to us and the sort of choices we all make.
I think on all the young men I was, but escaped from…………being.
Tuesday's poem was Mona Dash's "The Rape of Childhood" a very strong poem about child abuse. The truly heartbreaking final stanza explains the poem in a far better manner than I can.
The one shot at childhood,
that once broken,
Nothing can rebuild the
Spire of the dreams of tomorrow
Bryn Hyfrd's "For Estela" was Wednesdays poem about and Argentinian grandmother being re-united with her grandson. The poem makes the point about keeping up protests when you know that your right.
I am the madwoman who
asks too many questions
unpicking a tapestry of lies
its holes shedding light on 
the faces of the disappeared 
On Thursday Abi Wyatt's poem "12th August, 2014",  marking the death of Robin Williams made a fitting statement about the impact it had on us.
Over breakfast coffee so much
is said, written, tweeted,
posted on Facebook and yet
there is so little left to say.
A star burned out and fell today -
Joshua Baumgarten's poem "sense of it"  gave an insight into  America's firearms problem and very astutely positioned that problem in the whole society.
 wound up maniacal states
stampeding boulevards flame filled pothole dreams
 all you can devour cannabilistic buffet

open 24hrs. 
I hope each one of you has a good week. Please keep sending your poems in because this is a time when we need to hear everyone's voices.

Friday, 15 August 2014

sense of it

 whirling redwhiteblue yellow communitcation
spewing smokestack open mouths
screaming justice heads on stakes
 wound up maniacal states
stampeding boulevards flame filled pothole dreams
 all you can devour cannabilistic buffet
open 24hrs.

we are
all in the becoming.

borderline patients
 madhouses revolving doors
cause effect little relevance
fingers chewed down to knuckle

the ruins

 someone today
got got
again.


Missouri teen shooting.

©Joshua Baumgarten 
Joshua is an ex-pat New Yorker living in Holland. He organises the Irrational Library evenings - nights of poetry, rock n roll and casual chaos, and performs as a Standup Spoken Word artist. 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

'12th August, 2014'






















Tugged skyward by a swollen moon,
your closet heart crammed full of stuff
grown shabby over years, your
leaving shocks us all awake
who stumble into day,
strip off the comfort of dull sleep,
and, plodding, labour on.
Over breakfast coffee so much
is said, written, tweeted,
posted on Facebook and yet
there is so little left to say.
A star burned out and fell today -
and we are of such stuff.

Abigail Wyatt


Photograph by David Rowland


http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/aug/12/robin-williams


Based at her home at Druids Lodge in the shadow of Carn Brea, Abigail Wyatt writes poetry and short fiction. Website here

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

'For Estela'

Here on this knife-edge 
I have waited for thirty eight years
those first days were darkness
those first dreams were crimson
stains from murderous hands 

I am the madwoman who
asks too many questions
unpicking a tapestry of lies
its holes shedding light on 
the faces of the disappeared 

like stars they illuminate 
the seas the rivers the streets
re-tracing the last days of our kin  
we sisters of Plaza de Mayo 
we circle we gather in prayer   

Now that I've found you 
I step back from the edge
I can sleep easier now  
I know in you she lives on.

©Bryn Hyfrd.
Poetry Blog :Waveattheworld.blogspot.com)
Bryn writes poetry short stories and plays. Reads monthly at poetry open mic at 'Beyond Words ' Gypsy Hill Tavern ' .

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

'The rape of childhood'

To be a child,

And know that

Arms will hold, voices will comfort

When you are scared

That a mother’s love is yours to claim

That a father’s pride is yours to own.

To run into school

Little back straight, head held high

Knowing a day of wonder waits

That the teacher’s trust is yours.



And then, to be that child


Of only six, punished,

Uncomprehending perhaps of the crime

Which had to be atoned for.

Locked in a room and found by familiar faces,

Not to offer freedom, but to hurt and violate

With devil hands, perverse bodies.



Did she think this was some hide and seek, I find you game?

Did she think, this too was the teacher’s way of punishing her?


Then to return home in silent devastation,

And to see your mother bleed in sorrow

Your father break in anger.



Some of us are human still,

We too weep in anguish,

Scream in defiance.

We wilt in grief, knowing

Nothing, nothing can repair




The one shot at childhood,

That once broken,

Nothing can rebuild the

Spire of the dreams of tomorrow

That rises in every child’s eyes.
© Mona Dash


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Bangalore-school-will-be-booked-for-rape-of-6-year-old-chief-minister-Siddaramaiah-says/articleshow/38824945.cms
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/child-raped-in-bangalore-school-parents-protest/article6221227.ece
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-another-child-raped-in-bangalore-school-8-year-old-girl-sexually-assaulted-63-year-old-teacher-arrested-2008257
 
Born and brought up in India Mona Dash now lives in London and calls it home. She works as a manager in a Telecoms company and is an MBA by profession. Her short stories and poetry have been published in various magazines and anthologies in India and the U.K. Her first book of fiction is represented by Redlink Literary agency and she is currently working towards an MA in Creative Writing at the London Metropolitan University http://www.monadash.net/poetry.html


Monday, 11 August 2014

Later

By the bend in the stream I can sit and think.
Not meditate on, but gently consider where we came from.
A multihued, multitude of experiences,
smells and tastes flow through my mind.
Some rain has fallen but mostly, luckily there’s been sunshine.

We drink, you the coffee, me the tea and it makes me think
vivre la difference that is you and me.

Then later, as we sit by the garden fire,
the flames licking at our constant feeding of tree choppings and trimmings
and the almost fully formed buds are forced to ripen for a brief moment,
by the instantly heated, pressurised sap; then gone.
I think on all the young men I was, but escaped from…………being.

Later your father comes and sits along and his eyes tell,
even though seventy years or more have passed,
he still lives part of his life there.
Where the buds briefly blossomed and
I understood part of where you came from,
and me, well I guess I come from my mythology.
My grandfathers, Frederick Ernest and John Henry
and all the others who went marching, before.

Later, I realise all this reminiscing has fled four hours
and the warmth of a sunny August Sunday has slipped away.
Reluctant to move, with one of the dogs for company,
I stoke the fire and wonder how many more times I’ll be able do this.

I don’t feel it’s bleak or scary,
it’s mundane and wonderful
at the same time, to be able to be.

©Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson (aka AiJ) is a poet and engineer, living and writing in the beautiful Cheshire countryside.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Sunday Review

This week we kicked off with a Neil Fullwood's 'They News, Allegedly'which draws our attention to the question of bias in the mainstream media in general and in BBC coverage in particular. Some readers may see this as a controversial piece but it seems to me that, whatever your views on what is going on in Gaza, the last two lines of the poem are pertinent and powerful:
      'Join us live for half the story.
      Question everything you see.'

Tuesday's poem was 'Commemoration: August 1914/August 2014' by Sue Norton who was responding to a story about Brazilian sculptor Nele Azevedo who has recently presented her work in England for the first time. I love this piece almost as much as the art work that inspired it and this poem, too, has a very strong conclusion:
       'Ice catches light, fires, wears thin,

      shatters. And, in the distance, the din of war today, continuing.'

On Wednesday, we were back with the news as our topic with 'The News of Today' by Kristina England. This was a piece constructed by the poet out of newspaper headlines and so there was no single link that could be published. An interesting approach,, Kristina, and thank your for submitting.

On Thursday we came to what, for me at least, was the poem of the week. It was Niall O'Connor's  'Rites of Passage' and I do not feel I can add anything to the many comments already made.  If you missed it, I can only urge you to click on the link immediately.  What a privilege to have such a piece appear here first. Thank you, Niall. 

Finally, on Friday, our poem was 'Four Balls Playing Football on the Beach' by Francisco Rebollo, another very powerful and moving piece with its heart-rending concluding image of:
      'Four boys,
      lying like
      broken toys.'
In this poem, the reader is made to feel the vitality of these young victims and their optimism for the future. It is hard to read the closing lines:
      'Will the world now make us household names?
      Ahed, Ismail, Zakariya and Mohammad Bakr.'

Well, once again, out thanks to all our wonderful poets. Keep those submissions coming.

Abigail Wyatt

Photograph shows the lighthouse at Godrevy  on the occasion of an art installation called 'Peace Camp'

Friday, 8 August 2014

Four Boys Playing Football on the Beach

I’m Messi!

No, I’m Messi; don’t you start!
Okay, I’m Neymar; beforehe got hurt.
Neymar? You’re crazy, I’ll be Van Persie

My brothers and I,
sun, sand and blue sky.
Who knows? Maybe one day
we will be household names.

For our ball,
a small buoy
My dad said it’s got holes
so now it’s our toy.

The match starts,
we kick with bare feet;
and singing hearts.

I try to do a trick,
but it goes wide off the sticks,
no goal… but boy; what a strike!

We run and pass;
we kick some more,
We’re all getting tired,
I get lucky, and score!

Like a real star I kiss my shirt,
try to glide on my knees,
and point up to the sky.

As we’re catching our breath,
loudest thing ever heard:
Swooosh! Bam!
And we’re down in the sand.

My eyes cannot see,
I can’t feel my feet.
I think of mama and pray.

Before too long
they hit us again
ending my pain.

Four boys,
lying like
broken toys.

Will the world now make us household names?
Ahed, Ismail, Zakariya and Mohammad Bakr.


Bio: Francisco Rebollo  (aka flycisco)  http://flycisco.blogspot.ie/ @flycisco
Writer, poet, pilot, surfer and father of a young boy. A Mexican living in Ireland
writes poetry and is currently working on his first novel working title: 'Propdogs'

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Rights of Passage

You flowers of El
who live in this ancient passageway,
in a wilderness through which every man has passed,
spreading like a plague across the face of a naive earth,
forging new religions and theocracies;
chains to restrain
what otherwise blossoms free.


Navigation is by night skies here,
both on land and sea,
and you willingly share of the stars,
but not the dirt shaken from your feet.
Christian beware!
The land of Christ is not yours.

Moses parted seas and nations to come here,
leading his tribe into the promised land;
promised by G-d
to His chosen ones . . . to the exclusion of all others?
Jew beware!
The promised land is yours, only to share.

Formed from the same star dust,
believers in the same imaginary friend,
how can dust rule dust I cry!
But when my tears fall,
they fall on lives that are hate-baked,
forming religions from otherwise seamless lives.
Muslim beware!
You too must share.


This is a land that can be possessed, only
as a night sky can widen your mind, only
as an idea can show you the way, only
as love can illuminate and guide us through.

In this land 
we can only have rights of passage.

©Copyright Niall OConnor 2012

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The News of Today

August 3, 2014

BBC:
Deadly strike 'at UN school in Rafah'
China gives Xinjiang death toll
Lethal flood hits Italy festival

The New York Times:
U.S. nuclear deal with Russia derailed as tensions rise
Hospitals in Gaza overwhelmed as attacks continue
Hope dwindles for Hondurans living in peril

CNN:
U.S. official: Spy plane evaded Russians
U.S. Ebola patient at Atlanta hospital
U.S. doctor quarantines himself at home

My Report:
Massachusetts skies overcast in mourning
Writer spends more time with family in wake of headlines
Local bike trails offer refuge from the world
Google News of the World  

Kristina says "This poem is a little different as it takes from the top headlines of BBC, CNN, and the New York Times, so there is no one article in mind."

©Kristina England
Bio:  Kristina England resides in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Her writing is published or forthcoming at Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, New Verse News, Poetry24, Radius, and other magazines.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Commemoration: August 1914/August 2014

Their name liveth for evermore
It was the war to end all war and it started
a century ago. That unsuspecting generation.

Their name liveth for evermore
on monument and cenotaph. Shrieking
shells, gas, guns dispatched them to hell. Sure

Their name liveth for evermore
but downpour of rain and wind abrade,
hallowed names become decayed; memory falters.

Their name liveth for evermore.
Azevedo ponders perishability.  She sculpts, creates
Minimum Monument, an anonymous army of fragility,

tiers of tiny figures carved from ice. They sit, briefly, and
buckle, lose their heads, drip tears that evaporate like lives
we would commemorate. Ice catches light, fires, wears thin,

shatters. And, in the distance, the din of war today, continuing.



© Sue Norton














Sue Norton lives and writes in York.

Monday, 4 August 2014

'The News, Allegedly'

The news today is Israel’s stoic
refusal to yield to vastly lower
numbers. You’d think it was heroic,
the tireless bombing, the apartheid.
You’d think Gaza was impregnable,
that not a single Palestinian had died.
You’d think that if you listened
to the BBC or got your dose
of current affairs from any of Britain’s
daily papers. You’d be used to vague
reportage lacking in context, you’d
be used to such headlines as HAGUE:
HAMAS TO BLAME FOR ESCALATING TENSION
IN GAZA AND ISRAEL, as if
the prognosis of a Tory politician
with interests in arms manufacture
was the acceptable moral face
of the UK’s flagship broadcaster.
You’d be used to ISRAEL HITS SECURITY
HQ AND ROCKET SITE and you might not
think to question why subjectivity
is prevalent, why an editorial bias
has outweighed the simple business
of accurately, neutrally, relaying facts.
Here’s what they’re not reporting,
the BBC, CNN, Reuters, gutter press
and broadsheet op-eds: suffering,
casualties, overwhelming bombardment.
Here’s what they’re not discussing:
children dying, disenfranchisement.
Today’s news is Israel. This is the BBC.
Join us live for half the story.
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Sunday, 3 August 2014

Sunday Review

John Saunders' poem "An Explosion of Sadness" talked about the sort of uncertainty we live with in relation to the plane crash in Ukraine. It is summed up very concisely and accurately in the two last lines
Who knows next week, where,
what will fall from the air?

"Escape" by Sutanuka Banerjee was our next poem and had as its subject an issue that has slipped out of the world's mind: child brides. I like the way the poem looks at the issue in context of the wider society.
Stories are given birth
In those rustic gardens
Embracing atom and universe 

Thursday's poem was "New York Morning" by Maurice Devitt which is about a protest that involved raising white flags on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.  There is some delicate imagery in this poem before the question it asks.
is it to surrender
or first flutterings
of peace?

No Place To Hide by Sue Norton told the stories of children caught up the stupid and deadly games adults play. In a time of great uncertainty and suffering this poem seeks to tell the stories of children maimed by war. It is the sort of thing that our political leaders need to be reminded off every day.
Daad is 11. Her dreams are nightmares, too many faces 
 of dead friends. I hate the future so much, she says.
  
Have a good and safe week everyone and keep on sending your poems to us. It can be very helpful to get something down about how you feel.

 
 

Friday, 1 August 2014

No Place to Hide.



Viewers may find some images distressing. We hope you

keep watching. We hope. Will our film make a difference?



Berah is 8. Displaced. Out of school she learns about

weapons, the different names of bullets and tracers.



Ezadine is 9 but says he only looks like a child.

Now, at 12 years, you must go for jihad.



Izzeddin is 10. He dreams of fighting. Claims friends

who’ve been martyred. Already he is the enemy of



Jalal,14, who will fight for the other side. Now children understand politics. We will die for our country.



Forever on the edge of the playground, Mariam,9,

grips her crutches, stands on her remaining leg.



Daad is 11. Her dreams are nightmares, too many faces

of dead friends.  I hate the future so much, she says.




© Sue Norton
Sue lives and writes in York