Sunday, 20 August 2017

Sunday 'Shorts'

New Colossus Renegotiates Predecessor’s Bad Deal

Give me your English-speaking,
Your high-skilled yearning to earn more.
Send me 50% fewer. No more sneaking
around escaping persecution, or war.
Angela, hold this light while I shut the door!

© Alina Macneal

White House policy adviser downplays Statue of Liberty's famous poem

Alina Macneal lives in Philadelphia. Her poems have appeared in Apiary Magazine, Poems for the Writing, The World to Come, and other anthologies.

Let's End the Rhetoric!

Said Mr. Trump, the Great I Am,
"If Kim Jong Un attacks Guam
I'll take him down by several pegs.
I'll shell him with infected eggs."

© Richard Fletcher

Trump warns N Korea that US military is 'locked and loaded'

Eggs containing fipronil found in 15 EU countries and Hong Kong

Over the years Richard has had poems published in "Words", "Chapman", "Written in Ink", "New Writing Scotland", "Scottish Poetry 8" and other poetry magazines.

Editor's note: Richard suggests that others might wish to add another quatrain. Please feel free to do so.


A few turtles,
far less in number
than those swam
last season,
smuggle rain eggs
in their warm bellies.

Sun crawls on top of your toenail.
Look at the flock of giggles across the azure.

© Kushal Poddar

Summer welcomes sea turtles to the shores of Puerto Vallarta

Kushal Poddar is editor of the online magazine ‘Words Surfacing’ He authored ‘The Circus Came To My Island’ (Spare Change Press, Ohio), “A Place For Your Ghost Animals” (Ripple Effect Publishing, Colorado Springs), “Understanding The Neighborhood” (BRP, Australia), “Scratches Within (Florida, USA)” and “Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems(co-authored)”

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Upended in America

All Sales are Finally

Bannon cannons

to the dollar store

no Muslims at his counter

another stool lost a leg

to the Book of Kelly’s


new White House Gospel

tied in decorative knots

of no more open house

no more divided mouths

no more lily white sails

in the fertile garden

of golden opportunity


the sign’s in the cloud

the open gate

colors are rich

in our United States.

© Lavinia Kumar

Trump gets rid of Stephen Bannon, a top proponent of his nationalist agenda

Lavinia Kumar’s new poetry book, The Celtic Fisherman’s Wife: A Druid Life, is on Amazon (US & UK). Her website is

Beautiful Walls And Statues

President Trump
tells me he is sad at the loss
of beautiful statues,
even though they are statues of people
who fought for slavery.

I remember too
how happy he was with his plan
for a beautiful wall,
a beautiful wall between the people
of next-door nations.

President Trump
is sad now, and just a little angry
there isn’t more beauty
with which to dazzle the people,
the people he so loves.

© David Bateman

Trump defends 'beautiful' Civil War statues

David Bateman’s most recent book, Shtum: The Stutter Poems (Iron Press, 2016), is available from Iron Press, Amazon and elsewhere. ‘punchy poems... told with wit and invention’ – The Crack Magazine.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Guys (For Heather Heyer)


(for Heather Heyer)

First the fat thing, let's deal with that one.
To be fat is to be human and fallible.
I was fat once. I'm not proud of that fact
but, from your point of view, at least I suffered.
Yes, I know I had choices, yes I knew what they were.
Yes, I suppose you could say that.
Like it says in the proverb, I made my bed.
I made the decision to be fat.

And then there's this 'drain on society' business.
I'm not childless - but I only have one daughter.
I was an elderly prima gravida, not quite thirty-seven.
I guess you'd have to say I wasted time.
For years, therefore, I was a 'burden'
on the state, without much use or value.
You guys would say that I chose that too -
but, hey, I was working and still in my prime.

Now you've explained and made clear to me
the extent of my lazy, selfish thinking,
I can see how I was 'a black hole vortex'
'leeching' on the work of you fine men.
I failed in my duty - as you say my only duty -
and I've wasted half my life in denial.
I guess I'd do things differently
if I had my time again.

One thing, though, I didn't do: I didn't murder my babies.
When I fell pregnant it never crossed my mind
that I actually might kill my own child.
You guys must see some hope in that, yes?
Although, of course, it's really only instinct.
It's not like ethics are something we do,
we who are stupid and fat and reviled.

But listen, you guys, although you know I'm grateful,
there are things I can't help thinking,
just details really but things I think
might help you understand if you knew.
Like the reason I got so fat that time
was because some nice man raped me,
a fine, upstanding man he was.
He talked a lot like you.

© Abigail Elizabeth Ottley

White-Supremacist Site Daily Stormer Booted by Hosting Provider

Abigail Elizabeth Ottley writes from her home in Penzance. Many things beyond her power to change continue to make her angry. Nevertheless, she tries to remember that, for all its imperfections, life is good.

Thursday, 17 August 2017


we march in silence  

we sign the petition that comes around, that is going off to the Prime Minister raging against the years of neglect that led to Grenfell

we sign the petition online, raging against the closure of Ladbroke Grove library so that a private prep-school can take its place

we read that the councillor who made that decision already had his 3-year-old child enrolled in that school

but we march in silence

we take walks in our lunch-hours around the area and see the skyline littered with cranes, that at night time look like the red-eyes of a sky-monster

the same cranes that are rebuilding this area, after it has been pulled down and evacuated, with chrome and glass balconies that have million-pound price tags attached to each flat

but we march in silence

we live in flats all of our lives; flats that our mothers and grandmothers lived in on tenancies that they owned but which now will be passed onto our children for a period of 5-years before they get reviewed out of them and moved onto the streets

but we march in silence

we see our old youth clubs being knocked down, our libraries shut, our playgrounds shut, the same playgrounds we played kiss-chase in and smoked our first cigarette in, drunk our first can of beer in, playgrounds our children cannot play in anymore because there are construction workers in them, turning them all into more blocks of luxury flats

but we march in silence
not because we aren't angry
not because we aren't raging
but because we hope that everyone else will understand
that it is because we have no voice anymore

© Martin Hayes

Silent marchers pay tribute two months after Grenfell disaster

Martin Hayes has lived in the Edgware Road/Paddington area all of his life. He previously has had a collection of poems published by Smokestack Books called "When We Were Almost Like Men".

The Judge to his Mistress

Prime Minister, first off I'd like to say
I hope your little three-week holiday
Works to restore your weary, Christian soul
And keep you from the crude, indignant prole.
I trust, besides, that you will have no fear
That I should seek to be, or to appear,
The people's enemy: a man of law
Expert in legal stuff and nothing more.
Those poor expendables, so sadly burned,
We'll bury, with the proper lessons learned;
And rest assured, I'll play no tawdry game
Of politics, by distributing blame.
I shan't presume to say where bucks should halt
If Ministers of State have been at fault.

© Philip Challinor

Grenfell Tower inquiry judge tells Theresa May his priorities

Philip Challinor posts fiction, satire and assorted grumbles at His longer fiction is available at

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Two Voices on Climate Change


I married long ago

Connell to Kumar

Adopted kitty Peyton

answers to Buddy

Oklahoma tornado

call it wind’s whim

Floods in Miami

moon’s caprice

Climate change

weather extreme

GOP human


© Lavinia Kumar

USDA Staff Were Coached Not to Say ‘Climate Change,’ Emails Show

Lavinia Kumar’s new poetry book, The Celtic Fisherman’s Wife: A Druid Life, is on Amazon (US & UK). Her website is

What have we done?

Oh God, is this revenge for what we’ve done
for It appears that we have blocked the light
everything is grey, we’ve lost the sun,
each day thick clouds and rain from morn to night
The air seems thick, unpleasant to inhale,
it’s far too hot and smells of curious fumes
pervading everywhere - metallic, stale.
Some think it is the end of all that looms.
Then suddenly appearing comes the sun
and so for days temperatures soar,
no rain appears for weeks - this isn’t fun,
I’m thinking I can’t take it anymore.
Now rain appears again in such a quantity,
perhaps this is the new reality.

© Wendy Nicholson

Anger over 'untrue' climate change claims

Wendy Nicholson has previously contributed to Poetry24. She is at present a member of a Wells Poetry Group. Wendy is retired, having been a teacher, then research scientist.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Off With Their Heads

I asked him, a vegetable gardener,
to prepare me a bed for flowers.
My newly bought blooms were tenderly
planted with compost; watered
every evening. They thrived in a sunny
aspect, next to an old stone wall.
A neighbour offered a bush. Within weeks,
its ugly spiky leaves were a profusion;
the insipid blooms overhung the bed
and sprawled untidily into the garden.
When I went to do the weeding, I found
it was suffocating the delicate plants beneath,
and pruned it back, almost to the roots.
My other plants began to thrive.

It was weeks before he noticed.
Then I saw his wrath, a spittle-spewing rage.
What was so special about this bush?
Something between him and the neighbour?
When I returned with a peace offering,
there was my bed – the entire length of it –
shorn of its desert roses, lilies and camellias.
The pain of it hit my belly, physical
as a pounding. And just for good measure,
my three-year-old spiral herb garden
had been demolished too. I wasn’t about
to escalate things further by reacting. Look
at the posturing between Trump and Kim Jong Un.

Already I’m worrying about every living thing.

© Afric McGlinchey

North Korea dismisses Trump threat, details plan to attack Guam

Afric McGlinchey’s début, The lucky star of hidden things (Salmon Poetry, 2012), was translated into Italian and published by L’Arcolaio. Her second collection, Ghost of the Fisher Cat, for which she received an Arts bursary, was nominated for the Forward Prize, Irish Times Poetry Now Award and the Piggott Prize. Afric also blogs at Poem as Totem

Monday, 14 August 2017

Mourning Double Bill

A Tale of Two Heathers

In this world we do not speak of Heather’s tears.
She was not crushed on Fourth and Water
by a Challenger in burning Fields
of white crosses emboldened
by a president who cannot assess the potency of words
on a populace of persons but not a People.

We the people have no statuary.
All parks are emancipated from bad art
and all eyes are on the global snapshot:
e pluribus unum.
Fields do not drive, but grow.
In our world, Heather lives.

© Mark Kerstetter

Mark Kerstetter lives and works in Florida. He is a Pushcart nominee and winner of the Jerry Jazz Musician New Short Fiction Award. His chapbook, "One Step: Prayers and Curses" is forthcoming from Atomic Theory Micro Press.

On a Recent Visit to Montreal

In early August, we stayed at a hotel near the Olympic Stadium,
oblivious to what was going on there. In this cosmopolitan city
we thought nothing of sharing a café with a group of Haitian men.

We walked over to the Stadium, ghost of its former authority, when
in 1976 impossibly fit athletes were cheered on by admiring crowds.
Deserted, or so we thought, until we heard Latin music piped in

from somewhere, and, a little farther on, we discovered
colorful tents erected outside the main entrance to the Stadium,
strings of lights canopied over the scene—women with strollers,

older children chasing about, men milling in clusters, a ground swell
of fear which prompted them to flee with practically nothing
from a country no longer wanting them, the color of their skin or

country of origin. While we spent the next few days enjoying the beauty
and civility of Montreal, more Haitians arrived. It came into even
sharper focus how America preferred to protect white Supremacists—

what the world will remember us by.

© Nancy Scott

Why are thousands of Haitians streaming into Canada from the U.S.?

Nancy Scott is author of nine books of poetry. Many of her poems deal with social justice issues.
She resides in New Jersey, USA,

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Intolerants Not Welcome

© Mark ‘Mr T’ Thompson

How the battle of Lewisham helped to halt the rise of Britain’s far right

Mark 'Mr T' Thompson is a South London poet, actor and educator of Anglo-Jamaican heritage. His work is focused by a desire for political and ideological change and an understanding of the importance of historical and cultural context.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Riverside Meditation

© James Schwartz

Michigan campaign aims to stop meth production also known as 'smurfing'

Schwartz's poetry has been published by various poetry journals including Poetry 24, Politiku, @7x20, Babel: The Multilingual Multicultural Online Journal, The New Verse News, Nostrovia! Poetry, piecejournal, Silver Birch Press blog, Diversity Rules Magazine, Eris Magazine, and Science of Mind magazine.

Friday, 11 August 2017

What Lucifer Said

When Lucifer was told
that in Sicily and Spain
there was a heatwave
with the temperature reaching
45 degrees centigrade,
and that the whole world
was uniting to combat
global warming,
he dismissively said:
the attempt they’re making
it’s a mere bagatelle;
I’ll believe it when hell
freezes over.

© Luigi Pagano 2017

Weather: British tourists warned to take care as 40C heatwave sweeps across Europe

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, 10 August 2017

Non Runner

The Norovirus bug
may have made
Isaac Makwala run
but it made him miss
the starting gun.

© Luigi Pagano

Isaac Makwala ruled out of 400m final after norovirus outbreak

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.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Fools Circle

I remember growing up

under the nuclear threat

first with Nixon,

with his Mutually Assured Destruction.

Then under Reagan and Thatcher

with their studied

belligerance and

half-cooked idealism.

Our teacher in Room 14

told us about the

hands of the clock

showing 5 minutes to


Told us how it showed

the state of the world.

Which quietened us down a bit

as we looked at those

skeletal fingers so close together.

And now, there's another,

seemingly mad brained man.

Full of testosterone

"look at my missiles"

and "we'll head them off at the pass".

God save us


no one here will

if this guy pulls




© Hamish Mack

Hamish Mack, a New Zealander, is a part-time microbiology technician. Aghast at the world as it careers down this very strange timeline.

Poetry24 Relaunched

Poetry24 is open once again. But it couldn't have happened without the support and enthusiasm of some notable individuals. Namely Clare, who invested an enormous amount of effort to make Poetry24 a reality in the first place. When I contacted her recently, with the news of my plans, she said, in her typically generous way, "I never thought of it as dead, but 'resting', and wish you well with it." Thanks, Clare.

Big thanks too, to Abigail and Hamish, who not only kept the whole thing afloat until 2015, but helped me, hugely, to get Poetry24 back on the rails.

I look forward to receiving your submissions (I already have at one for consideration, and that's before the relaunch!).

So, here we are. The news doesn't stop happening, and I'll bet your poetic talents haven't dried up, either. This is the place to air your news-related poems and you can submit them to me, here at Poetry24

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.


Martin (Ed)