Monday, 18 December 2017

A Christmas Card

arrives at an empty house,

slips through the letter-box

and waits in the stripey stillness

of the draughty hall.


Face-down, the return address -

a woman in an apartment across town.

Only the card knows what she has written

and how long it took to write.


© Maurice Devitt

Have you sent your Christmas cards yet? Here are the last dates for posting this season

Maurice Devitt was runner-up in The Interpreter’s House Poetry Competition in 2017, he has had poems published in Ireland, England, Scotland, the US, Mexico, Romania, India and Australia, runs the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site and is a founder member of the Hibernian Writers’ Group.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Sonnet for Young Hackers

School heating systems via the internet,
Controlled from afar but prone to hacking,
At risk of the power disconnecting
Caused by some geek that teachers have upset;
Modern technology’s not ready yet
To deal with those whose good sense is lacking
And who love to feel temperature dropping
Because of some immature dare or bet.
Police being unlikely to take action,
Head teachers must rely on common sense
And move to protect the comfort of schools
By pulling out cables, the best option
To defend against such interference
From hostile pupils and mischievous fools.

© David Subacchi

Schools warned over hackable heating systems

David Subacchi lives in Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and has 4 published collections of his English Language poetry: First Cut (2012), Hiding in Shadows (2014), Not Really a Stranger (2016) and A Terrible Beauty (2016) as well as a collection in Welsh: Eglwys Yng Nghremona (2016).

Saturday, 16 December 2017

I Had A Nightmare Last Night

I had a nightmare last night,

A nightmare deeply rooted
in an American nightmare.

Where churches and schools,
theaters and city streets
were dying.

Where military weapons
were firing into unsuspecting
innocent crowds

Tentwentythirtyfortyfifty
pigeons intheblinkofaneye.

I awoke in a terrified sweat
as bleeding children wailed
and cried and screamed.

While those to protect us tasked
slept soundly in their beds.

A nightmare deeply rooted
in an American nightmare,

I had a nightmare last night.

© Gil Hoy

House passes concealed carry gun bill in win for GOP and NRA

Gil Hoy is a Boston poet and trial lawyer who is studying poetry at Boston University through its Evergreen program. Hoy’s poetry has appeared, most recently, in Ariel Chart, Poetry24, Social Justice Poetry, The Penmen Review, Right Hand Pointing/One Sentence Poems, The New Verse News and Clark Street Review.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Deal or no Deal

French President Emmanuel Macron
believes that the U.S. will soon return
to the Paris climate change agreement
which was torpedoed by Donald Trump
but he has stated that he will say‘ Non’
to the demands of the American chump
to re-negotiate the terms of the deal.
Monsieur Macron is in no doubt
he must pursue his objective with zeal
to counteract the United States’ pullout,
the consequences of which were plain:
their withdrawal would hurt the world.
America's difficulty is China's opportunity
as they are in favour of the Paris accord.
Business leaders have shown their unity
in condemning the recantation as insane.
The U.S.’ emissions would still fall but
they will fall by half as much as planned.
To be successful co-operation is the key;
without progress our planet is doomed,
if everything fails there won’t be a Planet B.

© Luigi Pagano

Climate change: Trump will bring US back into Paris deal - Macron

Luigi Pagano has published three collections of poems: ‘Idle Thoughts’, ’Reflections’ and ‘Poetry On Tap’. His work has been featured in ABCTales’ magazines,UKAuthors’ anthologies, Poetry24 and several other publications.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The Pope's Prayer

Oppressed people
Who art in Myanmar
Rohingya be thy name
The soldiers come
And killing is done
Of Muslims
As it is of Hindus
Give them this day the right to live
And forgive them their namelessness
As we forgive those who ethnically cleanse them
Lead us not into silent assent
But deliver them from genocide
For thine is the military
The state and the power
To destroy forever
Their name

© Janine Booth

Pope Francis Suggests Changing The Words To The 'Lord's Prayer'

Janine Booth lives in Hackney, East London. She writes and performs poetry, and has had three slim volumes of poetry published. Janine posts poems and political polemics at www.janinebooth.com

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Sound and Silence

He was unwantedly
   
   relentless


in his impetuous prolix

pronouncements


Could bend even

  the most patient


  sturdy ear to

the breaking point


with his crooked

                     rivers of words.


Did the President really just tweet


    That the FBI’s reputation is

In tatters,


That the FBI’s reputation

   is the worst in history?


As they close in on him.


I wish, instead,


That he’d strode confidently

  into a garden

                           of roses


Winked on top of a dry

        wry smile,


Opened his mouth, and said


   nothing at all---like a stone---


As inquisitive listening flies gathered


      in his suddenly silent mouth


   While fluttering flocking pigeons

flitted


on suddenly scarecrow arms.


As squirrels around the man’s

     stone cold feet


squirreled away

  just enough acorns


for a suddenly warmer winter


While the felicitous sun

     rose and set every day


After day


After day


After day.


And the man never spoke again.

© Gil Hoy

FBI chief Chris Wray defends bureau after Trump says its reputation is 'in tatters'

Gil Hoy is a Boston poet and trial lawyer who is studying poetry at Boston University through its Evergreen program. Hoy’s poetry has appeared, most recently, in Ariel Chart, Poetry24, Social Justice Poetry, The Penmen Review, Right Hand Pointing/One Sentence Poems, The New Verse News and Clark Street Review.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

That ****!!

I must admit that although I enjoy attention
Cementing my head into a microwave, never
Really crossed my mind as an option, just not clever,
Rather demonstrating a lack of comprehension
Of the importance of emergency attention,
When the lives of poor people are really in danger
As the result of some accident or disaster;
Not the daft actions of some idiotic chancer.

But I take into account that you are still youthful,
For who amongst us has not behaved as dumb as that,
When in our salad days we sought to appear skillful
In the art of pulling rabbits from out of a hat;
Away with you, repeat not an action so awful,
Lest forever your name results in cries of 'That ****!'

© David Subacchi


David Subacchi lives in Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and has 4 published collections of his English Language poetry: First Cut (2012), Hiding in Shadows (2014), Not Really a Stranger (2016) and A Terrible Beauty (2016) as well as a collection in Welsh: Eglwys Yng Nghremona (2016).

Monday, 11 December 2017

La Bella Confusione, or The Trump Administration as a Fellini Movie

            Making sense has been declared a capital crime

for the next eight years, punishable by hanging. Wall Street

CEOs impersonate priests in order to rob the peasantry, who

are given red hats in exchange for their food stamps.



            Salvador Dali paints Trump’s portrait. Trump’s face

is hard to make out, blending in as it does with the orange

color wall in the Oval Office. Clocks melt behind him and run

only backwards. Outside



            at a press conference, men dressed in clown suits

ride unicycles while juggling golf balls. Some of the golf balls

fly off, knocking out reporters who ask impertinent questions.

The reporters are officially declared to be “collateral damage”

in the war on fake news.



            Tired of sitting for his portrait, Trump raises Marilyn

Monroe from the dead, rushes a bill through Congress making

polygamy legal and takes her as his second wife.



            Melania, bored with her anti-bullying campaign, offers

workshops on comportment to high school girls. Those scoring

in the top 1 percent will advance to apprenticeships as Handmaids.



            Over-stimulated by THE BEST SEX EVER IN HISTORY

with Marilyn, Trump consumes all of the bandwidth in the Twitter

universe. The tweets normally carried by small blue birds are

delivered –in repeating refrains—by pterodactyls wearing

long red ties. Citizens flee for underground shelters to escape

the unusual amount of excrement falling from the sky, and begin

to pray.



© Debbie Hall


Debbie Hall is a psychologist and writer whose poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals. She is the author of the poetry collection, "What Light I Have" (2017, Main Street Rag Books).

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Ship-Wrecked Scrappers

All those
American citizens

With no food
No water,

On an island
Surrounded by
Big water

Ocean water,

Are getting
rowdy and unruly.

Let the wild winds howl,

Let the flooding rains run.

© Gil Hoy

Puerto Rico's Death Toll May Be 1,052, New York Times Analysis Finds

Gil Hoy is a Boston poet and trial lawyer who is studying poetry at Boston University through its Evergreen program. Hoy’s poetry has appeared, most recently, in Ariel Chart, Poetry24, Social Justice Poetry, The Penmen Review, Right Hand Pointing/One Sentence Poems, The New Verse News and Clark Street Review.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Leave it aht!

Transport for London – Leave it aht!
Electric taxis can do eighty?
Eighty miles per hour?
Leave it aht!
That’s illegal and anyway
I’ve never got her above twenty
Especially in rush hour!

Panoramic views?
Leave it aht!
They’ll need them
While we’re stuck
In traffic,
Or being shunted
Out of the way

By the gas guzzlers!
And charging points
Are you kiddin’ ?
Leave it aht!
We’ll get booked
On a thirty minute
Dawdle for power

And who’s going
To pay for that eh?
Transport for London?
Electric taxis?
Leave it aht!
I say
Just leave it aht!

© David Subacchi

London's black cabs go electric

David Subacchi lives in Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and has 4 published collections of his English Language poetry: First Cut (2012), Hiding in Shadows (2014), Not Really a Stranger (2016) and A Terrible Beauty (2016) as well as a collection in Welsh: Eglwys Yng Nghremona (2016).

Friday, 8 December 2017

Memories

Their homes, cone-shaped wooden
poles covered with buffalo hides.
Set up to break down quickly
to move to a safer place.

She sits inside of one of them,
adorning her dresses, her family’s
shirts, with beads and quills.
Watches over her children, skins
cuts and cooks the buffalo meat, pounds
clothes clean with smooth wet river rocks.

When she sees the blue cavalry coming,
she starts to run again.
Is that what made America great,
back then?

African families working hard
on hot cotton farms. Sunrise to sunset,
six days a week. Monotony broken only
by their daily beatings, by their singing
of sad soulful songs. Like factories in fields,
dependent solely upon the demands
of cotton and cloth.

You could buy a man for a song, back then.
Is that what made America great,
once again?

There are swastikas in our schools today,
gay pride flags being burned. Whitelash.
While those in government spew anti-Muslim
venom, rant of white power.
As the old new man at the top
solemnly swears, he’ll make America
great again.

They say the full moon was bigger and brighter
last year than it’s been in 69 years.
Than it’s been since Jackie Robinson
played his first big league baseball game.

© Gil Hoy

Supreme Court allows full enforcement of Trump travel ban

Gil Hoy is a Boston poet and trial lawyer who is studying poetry at Boston University through its Evergreen program. Hoy received a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as a Brookline, Massachusetts Selectman for four terms. Hoy’s poetry has appeared, most recently, in Ariel Chart, The Penmen Review, Right Hand Pointing/One Sentence Poems, The New Verse News and Clark Street Review.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Dilemmas

It’s eight o’clock, reminds Chris Evans.
Katie’s teeth are unbrushed
and she can’t find legal school shoes
but there are other priorities.
She tugs Geography from her rucksack -
deadline the day before yesterday.
The last paragraph now,
then check for mistakes on the school bus?
‘Katie, Katie.’ Her mother’s voice,
thin with effort and gratefulness.

The last detention for late homework –
an hour in a classroom
cold under the glare of Mrs Cartwright -
meant finding Mum spread-eagled,
still clutching a saucepan handle,
her palm and fingers blistered.
Katie mopped up chicken soup,
tears, and adult dignity
while her friends’ eager Snapchats
stayed futile monologues.

She persuades her pyjama-clad mother
back into the rumpled downstairs bed
where she’ll be still and safe
while Katie learns the algebra,
coastal erosion and social care policy
her teachers say are essentials.
Out of the window, she watches
the school bus rumble past,
her classmates pressing gurn-faces
to its steamed-up winter windows.

Her mother’s expression is guilt-grey
as Katie tucks and smooths sheets,
says, ‘Spit the toothpaste into this glass,’
and lays pills in a row by the lamp.
On the doormat, a curt envelope
with the school’s frowning logo.
Katie slips it into her blazer pocket
and shoulders her rucksack
feeling its weight as she calls goodbye
and waits for an answer she’s happy with.

© Fran Hill

Young carers: 'I was tired when I was at school'

Fran Hill is a writer and English teacher based in Warwickshire, UK.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Much More Fun

Here comes the bed
Back in Margate,
All two million pounds worth
Maybe even more today,
Yet poor Tracy
Still has a little moan,
She doesn't drink now
So the vodka bottle
And a few other things
Are no longer
Err...contemporary.

But I still love the bed,
It makes me smile
And I've seen it
At different times,
In different places,
During different stages
Of my life;
It really hooked me
From the very start;
Much more fun
Than those bloody bricks!

© David Subacchi

Tracey Emin brings 'My Bed' to the Turner Contemporary

David Subacchi lives in Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and has 4 published collections of his English Language poetry: First Cut (2012), Hiding in Shadows (2014), Not Really a Stranger (2016) and A Terrible Beauty (2016) as well as a collection in Welsh: Eglwys Yng Nghremona (2016).

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Dr Elsie Inglis

When eventually her grave was found
Somewhere in Edinburgh,
The headstone was covered
In green algae. This patriot
Who on volunteering
For medical service
Was told to go home
And sit still.

Now her medals are displayed
Behind spotless glass,
Mounted and framed
With polished wood;
For Elsie paid no heed
To the advice given,
But went to war instead
Saving countless lives,

Treating wounded and dying,
Comforting the bereaved,
Setting up field hospitals
And raising the necessary funds;
Captured by the Germans,
Detained only a short while
Until allowed home in 1917;
They had 'had enough'.

Crippled by fatal illness
She was carried from ship to hotel
In Newcastle, dying only
A short while later;
Dr Elsie Inglis a supporter
Of female suffrage,
Who refused to sit still
Until she'd done her duty.

© David Subacchi

The female war medic who refused to 'go home and sit still'

David Subacchi lives in Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and has 4 published collections of his English Language poetry: First Cut (2012), Hiding in Shadows (2014), Not Really a Stranger (2016) and A Terrible Beauty (2016) as well as a collection in Welsh: Eglwys Yng Nghremona (2016).

Monday, 4 December 2017

Conversation with a rival

Did you come in pieces by special delivery
with instructions for easy assembly?
Or laid out like a bride on a bed of polystyrene
with DO NOT BEND emblazoned on the box?

How was he about that? Scissors or knife?
Was he careful when he opened your packaging?
Were there instructions? Did he follow the instructions?
How many times did he swear?

Ok, so then what? So he put you on charge.
Did he hold your plastic hand and wait with you?
Or did he take a snack to the TV room
and stay there for the whole of the game?

How was he with you, would you say?
Was he in a hurry to get started?
What does he call you? Did he get to choose?
Or are you all pre-programmed with a name?

He used to call me nice things once.
I was his bunny-wunny-boo-boo.
That was years ago, of course.
Things have changed since then.

But it’s not my fault. He’s told me that
And he’s told me he still loves me.
It’s just a man has certain needs.
And a man, unlike a woman, can’t pretend.

So you and I must rub along.
Mostly I keep to the kitchen.
I’ve made up the bed in the small back room
but I’ve put you in with him.

He’s not the man he thinks he is.
It's sad to see it really.
Best to grit your teeth and try
to bear it with a grin.

© Abigail Elizabeth Ottley

The Sex Robots Are Coming: seedy, sordid – but mainly just sad

Abigail Elizabeth Ottley writes poetry and short fiction from her home in Penzance in Cornwall.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Iceberg

Listen
hear me
as I break apart

Early morning

My massive frozen body
begins to soften
hard edges smooth away

waters around me are warming
my surface dissolves around the waterline
ablation takes my top layer

as I vapourise
drop by drop
into whispers of air over cold ocean

Melt ponds form in my centre
drip by drip
water seeps, murmurs and bubbles

Fissures form
among my crags, wider and deeper
until a gulch widens

pulling a crazy crevasse

chasm becomes abyss
my central ridge
fractures

I am breaking apart

my groans echo through the seas
mix with the songs of whales
as I am riven

my disruption makes waves
ice chunks break off
float away

I am splitting
sinking, rising again
and suddenly

crack crack crack
a battalion fires a million barrels
into fine clear sky

ack ack ack
the roar of planes
one after another

after another
after another
air rushing rushing rushing

whoosh whoosh whoosh
shells explode and smash
mortars rumble

water sucks gushes
as I rupture
as I break and breach...

         These are the sounds of the Earth

© Jackie Biggs

Large iceberg breaks off from Grey glacier in southern Chile

Jackie Biggs has had poetry published in many magazines and anthologies, both print and online. Her first collection is The Spaces in Between (2015). She blogs at: The Spaces in Between. Twitter: @JackieNews

Saturday, 2 December 2017

When Meghan Met Harry

Edward Lear in a poem said
"O let us be married!
Too long we have tarried!"
but we cannot say that
of young Prince Harry.
The people now know
that he marrying a gal
by the name of Meghan.
We have been told
that she is a divorcee
(and older than he)
but they haven’t disclosed
if she is a vegan.
This royal is
as sharp as a razor
and is proving to be
a trailblazer.
He succeeded in doing
what Edward VIII
clearly failed to do.
Some say it is a rum do
how he managed to fix it
and think it’s a ploy
to soften the effect of Brexit.
The royalists feel joy
that the event will take place
but young Turks maintain
that all the opulence
is a slap in the face
of the working class.

© Luigi Pagano

Prince Harry Casts Aside Ghosts of Royal Marriages Past

Luigi Pagano has published three collections of poems: ‘Idle Thoughts’, ’Reflections’ and ‘Poetry On Tap’. His work has been featured in ABCTales’ magazines,UKAuthors’ anthologies, Poetry24 and several other publications.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Dream Team

(with apologies to Will Shakespeare)


Double, double toil and trouble,

Gove and Johnson in a huddle!

Israel or Tehran – wha’ever --

Mike and Boris, back together,



Boil up their hard-Brexit magic!

Should be comic, but it’s tragic

How they hover here and there

Through the fog and filthy air.



Each no more the other’s rival

all they want’s their own survival.

Let that woman Nazanin --

Only half a Brit, it seems --



Rot in jail, and as for Priti,

Well, of course, it is a pity,

But her fall’s a handy veil

To mask our Bojo’s latest fail.



Daft woman! How was he to know

That journalism in Iran’s no-go?

We do love him -- the rascal – but

That mouth should sometimes be taped shut!



Lies, damned lies and obfuscation

They think will still deceive the nation,

And so the dream team reconvenes

To stir the pot, e’en if it means



Scuppering their lovechild, Brexit –

Gods! What will they ruin nexit?


© Mandy Macdonald

Brexit’s real string-pullers are operating behind the scenes

Mandy Macdonald lives in Aberdeen, trying to make sense of the 21st century. Music, poetry and gardening keep her sane. Her poems appear here and there in print and online.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

When You Just Can't Help Yourself

If you've an aerosol can
and a stairwell wall
You've a ready-made canvas
for a spray-on cock and balls

If you're sitting at your desk
and the lesson's getting boring
Then you whip out your ballpoint
and you do a bit of drawing

The bus window's steamed up?
You can't fight the temptation
to add some decoration
to the condensation

If you're poised on the khazi
and the door's looking bare
And you've got a felt tip
then you'll do it if you dare

If you're serving up dinner
and it's meat and two veg
Arrange them rather tastefully
with sauce around the edge

But if you are a pilot
then what else can you do
But fly a contrail cock
and balls against the blue?


Janine Booth lives in Hackney, East London. She writes and performs poetry, and has had three slim volumes of poetry published. Janine posts poems and political polemics at www.janinebooth.com

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Jesuit Diplomacy

Your civil conflict's been so long
That some would almost say it's wrong.
There can be room, nevertheless
For some divergent godliness.
The road to peace is arduous,
So I'm not here to make a fuss:
My Church has not lived to these times
By telling Power of its crimes.
Some platitudes, and then I'll run -
For that's what my Christ would have done.

© Philip Challinor

Pope Francis fails to mention Rohingya in Myanmar speech

Philip Challinor posts fiction, satire and assorted grumbles on his blog: The Curmudgeon. His longer fiction is available here.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

What shall we tell the kids?

If we tell you about the wild blue oceans
and all the beautiful seas,
miles of deserted beaches,
of dolphins, whales and seals;
must we tell you about melting glaciers,
plastic debris, choking pollution,
rising sea-levels,
acidification and bleaching of coral reefs.

If we tell you about huge tropical rainforests,
and wonderful temperate woodlands
of beech, oak and birch, elm and ash;
must we tell you about deforestation,
raging fires, unrestricted destruction.

If we tell you about the joy of tumbling streams
and rambling valleys,
the peace of wide slow rivers;
must we tell you about toxic run-off,
dying fish, increased rainfall,
extreme flooding.

If we tell you about magnificent mountains
and rolling hills,
how it is to breathe the freshest air
in all the big wide world;
must we tell you about benzene, xylene,
cfc, carbon and sulphur dioxide.

If we tell you about wildness
of badgers, otters and ospreys,
swallows, swifts,
hedgehogs and hares;
must we tell you about missing butterflies,
and dying bees, the BSE and bTB.

We will tell you of all
                     the lovely things,
but must we tell you
must we tell you

how we have wrecked
how we have wasted,

this Earth?

© Jackie Biggs

My granddaughter will be 35 in 2050. I grieve that she will know silent and empty places

Jackie Biggs has had poetry published in many magazines and anthologies, both print and online. Her first collection is The Spaces in Between (2015). She blogs at: The Spaces in Between. Twitter: @JackieNews

Monday, 27 November 2017

Forty Years On

I was accused of a heinous crime
and told I’d have to serve my time.
I shouted my innocence to the wind
and waited for the judge to rescind
the verdict that was certainly wrong.
It was said the evidence was strong
as witnesses had sworn they had seen
a man acting suspiciously at the scene
who looked the spitting image of me;
that was the reason I lost my liberty.
Because I did not have a valid alibi
I had to wave my freedom goodbye.
The thought that I’d be behind bars
and that I would suffer mental scars
for a long time, filled me with dread;
it was tantamount to being dead.
My barrister argued points of law
and then they found a serious flaw:
it looks as if the specialist didn’t latch
on the fact that there was no match
between DNA found on the deceased
and my genetic code. I was so pleased
that the charges had been dismissed
but furious that I had been so dissed.
It is true I shall have the consolation
of quite a substantial compensation
but I shan’t forget my bitters tears
and I won’t get back the lost years .

© Luigi Pagano

Jerry Brown Pardons Man Imprisoned for Decades for Murders He Didn’t Commit

Luigi Pagano has published three collections of poems: ‘Idle Thoughts’, ’Reflections’ and ‘Poetry On Tap’. His work has been featured in ABCTales’ magazines,UKAuthors’ anthologies, Poetry24 and several other publications.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Sunday 'Shorts'

Cricket bread

Though Mother’s Pride is so last year
and granary bread a stale idea,
we can go far too far, I fear,
and Finland’s brand-new loaf is
a veritable insect feast
which adds in crickets with the yeast.
They’re on a roll with mini-beasts.
Mind if I stick with Hovis?

© Fran Hill

Finland rolls out bread made from crushed crickets

Fran Hill is a writer and English teacher based in Warwickshire, UK.


Sonnet for a Swastika

Digging foundations for a changing room
To be enjoyed for sporting purposes,
A German excavator exposes
A concrete swastika, symbol of doom;
More evil than a witches hat or broom,
Half a metre below calm surfaces,
That for several decades showed no traces
Of a twisted cross buried in the gloom.

Now in Hamburg hammers are assembled
To break up this great abomination,
And as in days when the Third Reich crumbled,
Tracked vehicles advance from their station
Crushing defences, enemies humbled,
Destroying all sign of opposition.

© David Subacchi

Giant swastika unearthed under Germany sports field

David Subacchi lives in Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and has 4 published collections of his English Language poetry: First Cut (2012), Hiding in Shadows (2014), Not Really a Stranger (2016) and A Terrible Beauty (2016) as well as a collection in Welsh: Eglwys Yng Nghremona (2016).

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Tons of Toys

If life in the evening is boring

(Your partner incessantly snoring),

It’s time for a holiday cheer,

More potent than whiskey or beer.



You order online from the Joy Store,

The country’s most primitive toy store

A calendar filled with surprise—

The hottest of Christmas supplies.



The need for this stuff appears dire,

For interest is spreading like fire.

A ton ain’t enough; we need four.

The shipment will soon come to shore.



The product increases attraction.

We do guarantee satisfaction

(A bonus you cannot ignore).

We trust they will be twenty-four.

© Vala Hafstað



Vala Hafstað is the author of News Muse: Humorous Poems Inspired by Strange News. She lives in Iceland, where she has worked as a journalist and managing editor, and keeps her eyes open for any inspiring news.
    


Friday, 24 November 2017

All Consuming

Plenty makes us poor – Dryden



We travel heavy, weighted down with stuff

Acquiring more and more as time goes on

Not seeing that a little is enough



Those calling for restraint meet with rebuff

As we buy happiness and put it on

And travel heavy, weighted down with stuff



In thrall to fashion and the adman's guff

We buy, and by and by, what's bought is gone

We don't see that a little is enough



And scarcity can hardly be more tough

Than carrying a heavy load upon

Your back when you're indentured to your stuff



I have, therefore I am - I am my stuff,

My hoarding habit my sine qua non

I've got a lot but still it's not enough



This rutted track somehow becomes less rough

As we cast off the burden we took on

And travel light with just essential stuff,

Believing that a little is enough


© Peter Duff

Black Friday deals ‘not all they seem,’ shoppers warned

Peter Duff was runner-up in the Poetry on the Lake competition for formal poetry in 2013. He publishes a short weekly podcast, Discursive Poetry, which is available on iTunes Podcasts.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Wolf and I

I know he's watching, he knows I know,

Keeping his distance but on my trail,

Has been for over a week nearly two

Following wherever I go, his instincts are strong

He knows I have water, he knows of my food,

Does he trust me enough to ask?

Waiting patiently to make his move,

Pacing up and down with anxiety, starving, thirsty, on edge,

It all gets too much as I cook up a meal.

He makes himself known, slowly he walks towards me,

Crouching low and moving slow as too not scare me.

Still wary he gets closer, head bowed, tail down,

I reach out with some scraps. Stretching his neck he takes,

He wolfs down the offerings, backing away slightly, nervously.

I offer water from a bottle from which he devours, and doesn't spill a drop.

Our eyes connect, we have trust, understanding, and respect.

A friendship of unconditional trust brought by necessity.

I don't fear him, nor him me, we are one with the wilds,

A relationship so natural, a friendship, a companionship of convenience.

We are there for each other in support, he's watching my back,

I pack up and continue my journey, my new friend follows, closely.

He follows with hope.

I'm humbled to call him my friend.

© Robin Welsh

The Tories have voted that animals can't feel pain as part of the EU bill, marking the beginning of our anti-science Brexit

Robin Welsh writes poems and rhymes daily about all life in general...but mainly politics, human rights and world affairs. Performing at every opportunity he can get, not yet published because of procrastination.


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Villanelle: Eyes On the Prize

The Pfizer guys are haggling with the NICE
And while they talk, the cancer spreads again
You’ll get your pills when they’ve agreed a price

You’ll get your answer when they’ve rolled their dice
And dealt your hand out in their counting den
The Pfizer guys are haggling with the NICE

So just be patient, please heed our advice
At some point, they will tell the patients when
You’ll get your pills, when they’ve agreed a price

Shareholders and Execs must get their slice
Your longer life lies with the money men
The Pfizer guys are haggling with the NICE

It’s hard for them to make this sacrifice
Each penny off’s a penny less for them
You’ll get your pills when they’ve agreed a price

Nine months of talks to get the charge precise
Let’s hope that you can stay alive till then
The Pfizer guys are haggling with the NICE
You’ll get your pills when they’ve agreed a price

© Janine Booth

NICE backs funding for Pfizer, Novartis breast cancer drugs

Janine Booth lives in Hackney, East London. She writes and performs poetry, and has had three slim volumes of poetry published. Janine posts poems and political polemics at www.janinebooth.com

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The International Buffoon Contest

One Signor Berlusconi

the Italian judges sent

was somewhat understandably

cocky and confident,

but he became indignant

when upon arrival there

He saw Mr. Mugabe

and he sotto voce sweared

“Scusami Roberto,”

said the haughty Senor B

“I don’t think you should be here,

I know Donald will agree;

this isn’t for just amateurish

clowns and wannabes,

but undisputed idiots

like Mr Trump and me.”

© Peter Duff


Peter Duff was runner-up in the Poetry on the Lake competition for formal poetry in 2013. He publishes a short weekly podcast, Discursive Poetry, which is available on iTunes Podcasts.

Monday, 20 November 2017

An Election Misread

a year later,
the election of Donald Trump,
still not understood by the ruling elite,
Donald Trump,
a living, breathing bomb,
thrown by the people of America,
at their government,
we want and expect structural damage to be done,
the parties and ruling classes have nothing to offer,
let them become casualities,
the war of ideology,
now an armed conflict,
while morons argue about Russia,
the ignorance of history,
profound,
elections are events,
begging to be influenced,
in 2012 the IRS did its part for the party in power,
the ignorant, naive illusion,
elections never influenced,
and virgin pure,
a mistake causing this election to be misread,
we the people are on the verge of revolt,
Trump was only the first grenade lobbed.

© Douglas Polk

One year later: For Trump, the 2016 election is ever-present

Douglas Polk is a poet living in the wilds of central Nebraska with his wife and son, two dogs and three cats. Polk has had over 1000 poems published in hundreds of publications.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Sunday 'Shorts'

A Stile of Leaks


There was a crooked man who had a crooked smile

who found a crooked partner filled with crooked wiles

they made a crooked pact to build their crooked scheme

and they both fibbed together: Brexit’s no crooked gleam.

© Lavinia Kumar

UK government tensions rise after leak of Johnson-Gove letter to May

Lavinia Kumar has a new poetry book, The Celtic Fisherman’s Wife: A Druid Life, it can be found on Amazon (US & UK).



Apocalypse Now

Alas, the end of the world is nigh.
Italian expectations were high
of qualification for the world cup
but it seems they were sold a pup.
It is apocalypse, said the headlines:
the azzurri will be on the sidelines
as the finals get under way in June.
The fans will sing a mournful tune
instead of a joyous, uplifting song;
the national anthem seems wrong.
Football fans blamed the coach
and he was not beyond reproach.
Everyone thinks that the solution
can only be achieved by revolution.

© Luigi Pagano

World Cup shock: Sweden beats Italy 1-0 on aggregate to dump four-time champs out of Russia 2018

Luigi Pagano has published three collections of poems: ‘Idle Thoughts’, ’Reflections’ and ‘Poetry On Tap’. His work has been featured in ABCTales’ magazines,UKAuthors’ anthologies, Poetry24 and several other publications.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Even Ink Freezes

This may be the coldest village,
Verkhoyansk, where temperatures
Drop to minus sixty seven Celsius;
Still we have 3G so we can observe
Another world through Instagram.

A world where water flows from taps
And is not delivered in ice blocks
To be melted indoors
And where car engines are not
Left running all winter.

This is our delicacy, Stroganina,
Frozen fish slices eaten raw;
There is no fast food here;
What is the point
We have plenty time.

Our numbers are falling,
Many long for the nearest city
Hundreds of miles away,
For escape from a place where
Even ink freezes before writing.

© David Subacchi

Growing up in -60C

David Subacchi lives in Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and has 4 published collections of his English Language poetry: First Cut (2012), Hiding in Shadows (2014), Not Really a Stranger (2016) and A Terrible Beauty (2016) as well as a collection in Welsh: Eglwys Yng Nghremona (2016).

Friday, 17 November 2017

Homeless

Last night I was so tired

I slept in my shoes,

was reminded

of the weightless abandon

of my bedroom after school,

where, slumped

fully-clothed on the bed,

I listened for your step

on the stair, your warm voice

calling me to dinner.


But here, as the hostel

coughs up another day,

I wake to the jagged sounds

of morning,

the too-loud details

of invisible lives

and the sticky voice

in my head, wondering

where I will sleep tonight.

© Maurice Devitt

"You get up in the morning and the first thing you say to yourself is 'where am I going to sleep tonight'?"

Maurice Devitt was the runner-up in The Interpreter’s House Poetry Competition in 2017, winner of the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition in 2015 and has been placed or shortlisted in many competitions including the Patrick Kavanagh Award, Listowel Collection Competition, Over the Edge New Writer Competition and Cuirt New Writing Award. With 200 poems published in Ireland and internationally, he has a debut collection upcoming from Doire Press in 2018. He is also the curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site and a founder member of the Hibernian Writers’ Group.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Scales of Injustice

Pick up the leaflet
pick up a pen
Rate on a scale of nil to ten
how broken is your heart
how much your life is rent apart
Rate your mental state
Is it three or six or eight?

Rate on a scale of nil to ten
Where nil is
I don't give a toss about them'
And ten is
'I'll never feel intact again'

Rate on a scale of one to one hundred
How many died
and how many live
How many flying ones you give

Rate on a scale of one to twenty-four
how many floors
how many storeys
What is the score
you'll give to the Tories?
How much do they care?
How much more can you bear?
How much are they willing
to foot the bill?
Rate on a scale
from zero to nil.

© Janine Booth

Backlash over Kensington Tories' Grenfell Tower leaflet

Janine Booth lives in Hackney, East London. She writes and performs poetry, and has had three slim volumes of poetry published. Janine posts poems and political polemics at www.janinebooth.com

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

No News

On Monday, I posted the following message on the Poetry24 Facebook page:

Hi All.

After tomorrow, Poetry24 will be publishing poems as and when.

It's been at least one per day for a little over three months, and I have to finally concede that maintaining such a rate is unrealistic. So please continue to send me your news inspired poems, 'as and when' the muse dictates.

I look forward to hearing from you, as ever.

Cheers

Martin (Ed)

This is Richard Devereux's response.



The news is there is no news
to depress the poet’s keys
or set his roller-ball rolling.

Words have lost their charm:
Brexit means Brexit. Ambiguity,
the poet’s coin, has rolled away …
down the drain.

The Tories are ‘at it’ again.
How will the NHS cope with a winter
epidemic of Tory-fatigue?

And who is shocked by another
natural disaster, by another storm
or earthquake? They happen.
Get over it. Some have to.

Stories about the ebb and flow
of the dead in the water –
are dead in the water.

There hasn’t been a terrorist attack
this week. When it comes –
we will all have been expecting it.

For a while, Trump trumped
all other news, fake or not, but now
we all play patience.

© Richard Devereux

Richard Devereux is a member of Lansdown Poets and Bristol Stanza. His collection Bill tells the story of his grandfather, a soldier of World War One who fought on the Balkan front in northern Greece. Richard taught English in Athens and his knowledge of Greece inspires and informs much of his writing. His poems have appeared in several anthologies and on-line magazines.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Negotiator

sex a negotiation,
nothing more,
nothing less,
women displaying assets,
in the way they dress,
walk,
and speak,
nothing more than bargaining techniques,
sexual advances,
represent negotiating positions,
short and sweet,
hotel rooms,
part of the negotiation strategy,
going to a room,
implies certain concepts with which you agree,
Weinstein as a negotiator,
overplayed his hand,
time after time,
with women in numbers too big to ignore,
now these ladies negotiate from a position of strength,
holding all the cards.

© Douglas polk

After Weinstein: A List of Men Accused of Sexual Misconduct and the Fallout for Each

Douglas Polk is a poet living in the wilds of central Nebraska with his wife and son, two dogs and three cats. Polk has had over 1000 poems published in hundreds of publications.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Overcoming Our Divisions Is Going To Take Some Time

(After driving past a white supremacists’ gathering in a farm field.)


The pear tree is hardly taller than I am,

branches bent with ripe fruit

mottled gold and brown.

Each pear plucked

is a welcome

weight in the hand,

in the basket. Even

rotting fruit at my feet

is a celebration of hornets.

I think of these pears

in the mouths of children I love.

I squint at my neighbors’ homes,

recently shadowed by Trump signs,

want to offer this sweetness to them all,

want to ask blessings to cover every one of us.

Instead I carry the pears inside. This division is on me, too.


© Laura Grace Weldon

Trump Supporters Remain Loyal Despite GOP Abandonment

Laura Grace Weldon authored two books. She lives on Bit of Earth Farm where she spends too much time reading, cooking weird things, & singing to livestock. Connect at lauragraceweldon.com or @earnestdrollery

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Magnet Fishing

Magnet fishing a new activity
Lift something to sell in the car boot sales
From the many waterways of North Wales;
Cable once used for electricity,
Old tools or coins or anything pretty,
Discarded cans of Wrexham Lager Ales,
Those twisted metal hooks for lifting bales
And every kind of curiosity.

But a young lady from Bala went wrong
Causing the army a dangerous task,
When hauling out an unexploded bomb
She thought looked like an attractive hip flask;
So you magnet anglers a warning take
And mind what you fish out of river or lake!

© David Subacchi

'Magnet' fishing hobby hooks WW2 bomb on canal

David Subacchi lives in Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and has 4 published collections of his English Language poetry: First Cut (2012), Hiding in Shadows (2014), Not Really a Stranger (2016) and A Terrible Beauty (2016) as well as a collection in Welsh: Eglwys Yng Nghremona (2016).

Saturday, 11 November 2017

views from an off worlder

it felt strange to awaken
to an artificial voice
after years
of chemically induced sleep

unable to grasp one thought
tightly enough
instead
permitting free-form
until something clicked

meliorism

trapped
strapped
without
ever looking back
trained but pained
our sacrifice
heralded a new dawn
to live in perpetuity
within
the archeology of knowledge

now we has become I
pilot
pioneer
pinioned
for research recidivism restitution

one dog barked at nothing
10,000 others also strayed
into etheric
fields
where dreams
are made of bones

© Shaun Parrin

Laika at 60: What happens to all the dogs, monkeys and mice sent into space?

Shaun Parrin had been writing, over many years, and been published in different genres, although he is not a professional writer outside his day job. He has previously been published in Poetry24 and continues to try this genre.

Friday, 10 November 2017

It's a Gun Situation, Mr President

Mr. President
You are wrong once again.
You said that the tragic events in Texas
And Las Vegas were not “gun situations”
But rather, were mental health problems

And that in Texas if there had been gun controls
Perhaps fewer people would have died

Mr. President
I know you a smart man,
The smartest man in the world
According to you

So please contemplate this fact:
According to the latest findings,
It is a gun situation

In fact, the reason the U.S.
Has so many gun deaths
Is because we have so many guns,
45% of the worlds guns in fact

And 33 percent of the world’s shooters
Are Americans killing other Americans

And most of them, the majority of them,
Are White People killing other people

Not murdering terrorists.
Most are in fact,
Out-of-control citizens.

So Mr. President
When will you come to your senses

And do what 90 percent of the public wants,
Enact nation wide effective gun controls?

And tell the NRA
they can take their blood money elsewhere

When, Mr. President
When will you act
When will you take charge

And become a President of the people
Instead of the President of the NRA?

© Jake Aller


John (“Jake”) Cosmos Aller is a novelist, poet and former Foreign Service officer. He served 27 years with the U.S. State Department, in ten countries. An aspiring novelist for several years, he has completed four novels, and has published his poetry and fiction in over 25 literary journals. Jake grew up in Berkeley, California.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Day of Reckoning

I watched the sun go down

from a beach strewn with driftwood.

A chap with a tripod

fixed his camera and

prayed that no-one would

walk into his shot. It was

that kind of sunset.


People began to appear from

walkways and sidestreets,

like folk assembling for a

firework do, or New Year’s Eve

in Liverpool as the clock

counts down; forty or fifty waiting

for the sun to go down.


But the sun doesn’t go down,

it never does, it simply

moves on. Moves on from here,

New Zealand’s western shore, first place

each day to show its hand,

moves on to check what gives

around the corner.


I followed the dip of the disc

and as darkness lapped the edge

of the beach and the man with the

camera packed up his kit, I felt

the sun steel itself for its

American shift: difficult task,

but someone has to do it.


And I wondered what the sun

would light on this time around,

and how the coming day would be

recorded in the log:

stars aligned, stripes formed up?

Dawn lighting early?

Banner yet waving?


Or must we pluck up courage

to inspect this poll to say

who’ll lead the human tribe? Like

turning up for the specialist’s verdict:

malignant, or not? Either way

self-inflicted, too late to

live again now.


Darkness on the beach. No golden postscript

tonight, and the waves

hammer grimly on the unlit shingle.

Driftwood sculptures stand stark and grotesque,

fear infiltrates the senses, and

cold winds whisper through the sands:

Prognosis uncertain, it’s out of our hands.

© Charlie Lambert

Election anniversary: Captain Trump steers nation into turbulence

Charlie Lambert is a former sports journalist who began writing poetry in 2016. He is among a group of poets who have contributed to the anthology in support of human rights, 'Write to be Counted', published in October by the Book Mill. He lives in Liverpool, England.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Once upon a time

Once upon a time, all she could do
was drift her hands along each silent spine
or turn hieroglyph pages like a visitor
lost in the streets of a foreign land,
her forehead a frown of lines –
a message of bewilderment she hoped
others could not read.

Then, like whispers, or baby footsteps,
or leaves dropping like scraps of tissue
kissed by an infitesimal breeze,
shapes on pages birthed sounds on her lips -
each day a new one, a tiny gift –
and in her mind, dragons, heroines,
castles, pirates, the sighs of reunited lovers.

© Fran Hill

Ursula Shepherd: The 88-year-old who has just learnt to read

Fran Hill is a writer and English teacher based in Warwickshire, UK.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Transnational Anthem

God save one's gracious tax
Long live one's noble sacks
God save one's tax
Send it on holiday
Make sure the proles all pay
I own the islands anyway
God save one's tax

One has to be much shrewder
Deposit some in Bermuda
And some offshore
Take all the dosh one's got
Fill up one's golden pot
And stash it on the Royal Yacht
Then get some more

Those frightful reds are touchy
I flippin' own the Duchy
Long may one reign
Who is the cheque payee?
It's H. M. Treasury
One pays the tax from me to me
Your loss, one's gain

This is the wealth one's seized
Plundered through centuries
By sword and suit
Why's this a scandal? We
Handle cash cannily
We keep it in the family
God save one's loot

© Janine Booth


Janine Booth is a Poet on the Picket Line, ranting, rhyming and revolting at a gig, demo or reading near you. www.janinebooth.com

Monday, 6 November 2017

Storm Fruit

Today, the radio says we've killed one third of insects,
but we'd hardly guessed the total
before we really started burning the trees.

Behind copper clouds of Saharan sands
the sun is red with Portugal's wild fire.

It's rained fruit in the street.
I pick up a Disney red apple and a Tango'd satsuma.
Is this our next plague: falling fruit
so cheap that once dropped it's rubbish,
trashed because it's touched tarmac,
not even soiled with some dirty earth?
Maybe it's a joke?
Someone's injected laxative, or drugs, or mercury
and they're nearby, sniggering,
filming, itching to share my greed or stupidity.
Dare I eat?

But perfect as they look,
(and why wouldn’t bait look this good?)
they're reassuringly tasteless.
No hint of pesticide residue, rainforest slash-and-burn,
or stolen village stream
that is the global brand of mass food production.
So bland and sweet only to the eye!

Three plagues already this Tuesday.
Then from the west the hurricane howls.
Each year it's the storm of the century.
Waves taller than churches no longer shock.
No bigger brag than your online boast:
yeah, I was there, at the end of the world.

© Phil Coleman

A giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans. It's a catastrophe.

Phil Coleman lives near Swansea and tries to balance work and the need to write. At the age of 50 he's still a complete tyro at everything except juggling words.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Cold Comfort

Lawyers shuffled papers
But in the end, what remained
Was burnt at night
Without ceremony
Or public access,
And the furnace
Industrially cleaned.

Ashes contained
In a soluble urn of salt
Were flung
Into the sea
At a location
Unrecorded,
Impossible to find.

Authorities breathed
A sigh of relief,
But those grieving
For the victims
Continued to do so,
Deriving cold comfort
From this procedure.

© David Subacchi

Moors Murders: Ian Brady's ashes disposed of at sea

David Subacchi lives in Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and has 4 published collections of his English Language poetry: First Cut (2012), Hiding in Shadows (2014), Not Really a Stranger (2016) and A Terrible Beauty (2016) as well as a collection in Welsh: Eglwys Yng Nghremona (2016).

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Suffer The Little Children

(a poem for Penzance)

In the co-op on Sunday just after five o'clock
three not-quite-children steal beer.

On the pavement outside they are casing the joint.
He a little older takes the lead.

She is blonde and pretty, so obviously
besotted she will do whatever he wants.

The younger boy is younger,
underfed, not at all good-looking.

He knows no matter how much alcohol he steals
she will never look that way at him.

They saunter in together. She goes first.
To her left and right they make a screen.

She shoves the bottle between her small breasts
and zips up her jacket in flash.

Now they turn smartly and exit the store.
They do not attempt to make a purchase.

On the pavement again their eyes meet mine.
An afternoon drunk stirs in his sleep.

© Abigail Elizabeth Rowland

Anti-social behaviour crackdown in Penzance

Abigail Elizabeth Rowland lives in Redruth in Cornwall where she writes poetry and short fiction and does her best to remain positive.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Wanted

I want you for reasons you are not.
For the cynicism from a tongue
well papered
accompanying
a vision borne from the freeze
intent on imprisoning sarcasm
nuance or inflection
before it can become
betrothed
on the altar of silent sentence.

Were it not for earthly possessives
that linger on the senses -
my truth silence in between words -
nothing but my words
would be understood.
A global comprehension
like that feeling not feeling
when you get got not
not here here not.
Beyond misanthropic mastery
closer to misplaced mistrust
and myopic melancholia.

Never was one once, never will be again.
Enthralled by fear and vanity,
wistful of emotion, religion and morality.
An ever changing scape -
sky, sea, land, urban -
manipulated physical space
ever in between
replete with metaphor and simile
duality and dualism
diversion, distrust, discontent.
Dreams dense with economic denudation

"WANTED! - Dry feet and a comforting bed"

© Shaun Parrin

Intelligent people more at risk of mental illness, study finds

Shaun had been writing, over many years, and been published in different genres, although he is not a professional writer outside his day job. He has previously been published in Poetry24 and continues to try this genre.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

A killer on the loose

There's a killer on the loose and it's heading your way,

Temperature hits -11

Be prepared you'd better be prepared,

No care on who goes to heaven

Jumpers, gloves and scarves are a life saver,

Don't spend too long outside

Roads and streets become impassable,

Time to hibernate or just wrap up and hide


There's a killer on the loose and it's heading your way,

Taking the old and the young

Everything glistens innocently,

With the power to freeze the heart or the lung

Such awesome beauty with a death touch,

No one can deny its wonder

Always respect the strength of mother nature,

Or you will end up six feet under


There's a killer on the loose and it's heading your way,

We must protect the vulnerable and needy

Don't forget those living outside,

Homeless because of the greedy

They will struggle more than most,

In these harshest of times

I'll leave a thought for them or even a blanket

As I want no more victims of these wintery murderous crimes

© Robin Welsh

UK weather: Worst winter for 5 years on the way with temperatures set to plummet to MINUS 11

Robin Welsh writes poems and rhymes daily about all life in general...but mainly politics, human rights and world affairs. Performing at every opportunity he can get, not yet published because of procrastination.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Temporary stay

Tactless poppies, there were, on the bed curtains in the ward.
At least, here, I thought, the walls are yellow-daisied
and a fresh vase of healthy freesias hopes on the windowsill.
One needs a sliver of joy when ninety-three and nomadic.

I thought of home: my flat and its three steps up
that hadn’t yet been assessed for Health and Safety;
its cooker with the knob dodgy since nineteen ninety-six;
and the TV I don’t remember turning off before I fell.

‘I hope you’ll be comfortable,’ she said, pointing to the basin.
‘Can I not sleep in the bed?’ I said. It took a while;
no one expects the recently-cancerous to lob in a laugh.
Her smile was nervous, as though she were the stranger.

I sat on the bed, polite while she blubbed about her own pains:
the shitty husband, payday loans, grandkids in New Zealand.
‘I hope they’re paying you well,’ I said, ‘for hosting a near-corpse,
rotting under your pink eiderdown and sloughing onto feather pillows.’

She laughed. Her face cracked like my cancerous hip last February,
unusual activity resulting in a surprise separation, an ‘oh’ of the lips.

© Fran Hill

NHS Airbnb-style scheme 'not ruled out' by minister

Fran Hill is a writer and English teacher based in Warwickshire, UK.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Paper Cuts

Small wounds that tip my fingers, dirt on snow,
while color ads for clothes this spring prevail.
My morning cuts, like flowers in a row,
scant outerwear for skin resembling kale!

Each year this happens and I’m not sure why
unless the paper that I use takes on new life:
Typing, photo, greeting cards--I’m shy
revealing cuts that make one think of strife.

Bandages go limp in dish-pans, showers.
Since I am loathe to re-apply them twice,
I go about my chores, while joy goes sour,
yet keeping spring in mind because it’s nice.

Buffer me from winter woes, not words,
then push me smartly south right now with birds.

© Kay Weeks

Limit on 401(k) Savings? It’s About Paying for Tax Cuts

Kay Weeks worked for 30 years for the US National Parks Service in the area of National Historic Preservation, retiring in 2005. She writes and publishes poetry in the US and the UK.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Normal People

A foreign world, nothing I could imagine

People, real people doing different things

They're weird and unusual but it seems,...well...just normal

Normal people, normal people...

No extremism, no radicals, no IS


A foreign world I don't understand, I must brown my face

Who's ever seen a white Muslim?...I must brown my face

Lots of people doing the same thing, in a mosque

It looks normal, normal like a church congregation

No radicals, no IS


Hijabs and skull caps, a foreign world I don't understand

I must brown my face, wear a hijab and see for myself

Why do I fear them?

They're different because I'm white

So, I will fit in...I'll brown my face and wear a hijab

I'm the same now, normal people, normal...


No IS

© Robin Welsh

My Week as a Muslim might be 2017's most divisive show

Robin Welsh writes poems and rhymes daily about all life in general...but mainly politics, human rights and world affairs. Performing at every opportunity he can get, not yet published because of procrastination.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Pay to Pollute

C-charge
T-charge
Why is it OK

to congest
and pollute
London

So long as you pay?

© Janine Booth

T-Charge: New London traffic charge comes into force

Janine Booth lives in Hackney, East London. She writes and performs poetry, and has had three slim volumes of poetry published. Janine posts poems and political polemics at www.janinebooth.com

Saturday, 28 October 2017

He's Never Done That Before!

O sacré bleu and zut allors!
That wretched beast that walks on paws,
During high level discussions complicated
Into an Élysée fireplace urinated.

What a place to make a show!
A rescued black Labrador called Nemo,
Ungrateful to Monsieur Macron and his wife
For providing him with a luxurious lease of life.

Yet still the president of France
Seems ready to take another chance,
Greeting world leaders intent on deals
With the insolent mutt about his heels

And when they rush for the exit door
Avoiding a steaming pool upon the floor,
Our Emmanuel smiles and with a roar
Declares ‘He’s never done that before!’

© David Subacchi

French President Emmanuel Macron's dog Nemo interrupts meeting, pees on fireplace

David Subacchi lives in Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and has 4 published collections of his English Language poetry: First Cut (2012), Hiding in Shadows (2014), Not Really a Stranger (2016) and A Terrible Beauty (2016) as well as a collection in Welsh: Eglwys Yng Nghremona (2016).

Friday, 27 October 2017

Top Cat

The Kiwis have got a new dream team:
a female PM by the name of Jacinda
who after winning can’t stop grinning
- just like the cat that got the cream -
and Paddles, a polydactyl cute kitten,
who, though she has multiple thumbs,
will be the premier’s right paw feline.
It was fairly recent they became chums
but it is the pussy with ginger/white fur
who will keep the new leader in line.
She may purr docilely but she’ll demur
if the laws of the land become asinine.
Jacinda is First Lady but she knows that
she is always subservient to the First Cat.

© Luigi Pagano

New Zealand's 'first cat' and other political pets

Luigi Pagano has published three collections of poems: ‘Idle Thoughts’, ’Reflections’ and ‘Poetry On Tap’. His work has been featured in ABCTales’ magazines,UKAuthors’ anthologies, Poetry24 and several other publications.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Of the overmorrow

brilliance of summer flowers
bow down to
placated autumnal hews
as most say their goodbyes
until the lightness of
the queens of spring

only the stoically hardy few
remain aware
frightened by apnoea
seduced by the grandiloquence
of sedition -
fight or flight against
the ravages of time
solipsistic adventures
betwixt the avenues
of ice and heat
light and dark
collectivism and solitude

the few that emerge onto
late winters sparse bounty
revive scent trails
towards the renewal
and the cycle
that ever was
until now

where once every exit
was an entrance
of labyrinthine proportions
only closed signs hang taut
alchemical approbation
abandonment atoned
in the underworld
of the overmorrow’s

want

© Shaun Parrin

Scientists warn of 'ecological Armageddon' after study shows flying insect numbers plummeting 75%

Shaun had been writing, over many years, and been published in different genres, although he is not a professional writer outside his day job. He has previously been published in Poetry24 and continues to try this genre.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

A Letter to Sgt. Bergdahl on the Matter of His Recent Confession

When I was in my late teens, around the age

you were when you enlisted and deployed,

I watched reruns of the 1965 TV drama Branded,

alongside my father, a WWII Vet.

Every week during the opening credits,

army cavalry captain Jason McCord, accused

of cowardice, is publicly humiliated, dishonorably

dismissed from the military, epaulets torn

from his uniform, saber broken.

A snare drum palpitates, the theme song swells,

… they said he ran away.


Turns out General James Reed, McCord’s superior,

took leave of his senses when confronted in battle.

Men died. In a last ditch effort, McCord takes action

meant to sway the commander but ends up

severely beaten, bloodied, nearly dead.

But hey, somebody had to take the fall

for the whole debacle, you feel me?

A few episodes in, a reporter gets wind of others

who had questioned the General’s mental state,

igniting debate over motivations of higher ups.

For the sake of really great journalism, I will add

the self-aggrandized politician who calls

for McCord’s execution from the stump.


My father would curse, yell at the television.

McCord’s barely more then a boy he’d say,

having been so himself when he returned

from the Philippines, a metal plate in his head,

admitting to have shit himself more then once.

He wore dark circles under his eyes

and plead guilty every single day.


© Kari Gunter-Seymour

Bowe Bergdahl, Called a ‘Traitor’ by President Trump, Pleads Guilty

Kari Gunter-Seymour is the mother of a Middle East Vet and twice a pushcart nominee. Her poems can be found in Rattle, Crab Orchard Review, Stirring and on her website.