Remember, Poetry24 welcomes submissions for both its main page and the In Brief... section. Poems inspired by news stories from the past will also be considered for publication in the occasional 'That Was the MUSE That Was' series.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Double New Year's Eve Bill

Making My 2018 New Year's Resolutions Early

If I make enough money, I just might get
A tax break. If I join the 1% and belong
to the right club.

Then, I can schmooze with the right
fancy folk, forget the middle class
joke, nothing more than a pig
in a poke.

Or, maybe, I’ll just become a Pass-Through
Corporation.

And when I do, I’ll make sure
all that extra cash

   t
    r
     i
      c
       k
        l
         e
          s


d
o
w
n.

© Gil Hoy


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.



Winter Lacerations

Feeling paper cuts,
Add tax cuts for the wealthy,
Thinking cut and run.

© Kay Weeks

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.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Degree of Support

The Ambassadors to the UN
were called upon today to cast their votes
for or against the Motion
condemning Trump’s decision
to capitalise JERUSALEM.

Israel, of course, voted with America.

As did Guatemala and Honduras.
Togo went along with it too.
The Federated States of Micronesia
lead the way and in their wake followed
the Marshall Islands, Nauru and Palau.
Let’s call them ‘The Seven Dwarves’.

The Dwarves account for 0.5%
of the seven billion.

© Richard Devereux

Jerusalem: UN resolution rejects Trump's declaration

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.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Passports, please!

Blue is the Colour

Give out cigars, pass round the port;
we have some news of your passport.
In two years time the document’s hue
from old burgundy will change to blue.
The leavers hailing the move as iconic
said that this gesture is also symbolic
but the remainers, being melancholic,
view the situation as utterly shambolic.
Over and over they were heard to say:
“Time will come when we rue the day
because we have left the EU’s support
for the sake of the tint of the passport”.
Yet the government decision to reissue
that legal instrument is not the issue;
let’s try to get an objective perspective
as it was not the Eurocrats’ directive.

© Luigi Pagano

'Iconic' blue British passport to return after Brexit

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.



My Father's Passport

I have it still my father’s Italian passport
Worn and green, showing a thin man
That had spent too long
At war in desert heat
And in a broken homeland.

Soon after emigrating
To the victor’s country,
A new blue British passport
Was provided, followed later
By the EU’s crimson document.

He smiled: ‘All the same now,
You and me
And me and you’
We shook our heads
It was nothing to us

But perhaps for him
Much more meaningful;
What would he say now?
The old passport in his hands,
Flicking through its pages.

© David Subacchi

'Iconic' blue British passport to return after Brexit

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).

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Miami Beach Christmas When We Got Snow

Christmas is 83° and light shows
turning stucco bungalows rainbow colors,
winking Santa hugging a fake chimney.

Christmas is dwarf palmettos draped
with twinkling lights, bougainvillea
and red hibiscus stuck with plastic holly.

Christmas is terrazzo patios
with aluminum trees, grass littered
with inflatable elves, pipe-smoking

snowmen and cherry-nosed reindeer.
Cardboard cutouts of snow-laden firs
with Mickey Mouse in a Santa outfit.

Christmas is singing
Jingle Bells in flip-flops and bikinis,
until some guy with a refrigerated

truck dumped piles of the white stuff
in the Winn-Dixie parking lot. It cost
$3 a head to jump around in it.

Cousin Pam got all excited because
she’d never seen snow before,
but it melted pretty fast, so we snuck
into the Deauville and went swimming.

© Nancy Scott

Poet's note: Nancy Scott remembers one earlier Christmas when snow was trucked from Orlando to Miami Beach. Having grown up in Chicago, she knew hardpack snow from November until late March.

Florida flurries: Sunshine State gets a sprinkling of snow

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

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Statistics of hope

Count to three: one two three, there’s another
one two three, and another displaced person,

one every three seconds, somewhere in the world.
One two three. In Chad a woman travels in a cart

30km to a mobile clinic, collapses 300m short.
A doctor checks Bless, a seven month old girl,

suspected malaria. One two three
In Tripoli: women are detained, 30 in a small room,

one blanket each, they’ve been there months,
it may become years, no access to law, no medical care.

Fifty-eight refugees adrift in the Med in one small boat.
412 rescued from the water, escaping

Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh.
One two three: one little boy sits alone

on a floor in a corridor in a former resort in Greece,
now used for refugees needing mental health care.

In Nairobi 400 people each month arrive at one clinic.
In Nigeria 45,000 refugees pack one camp

for displaced people from Cameroon.
One two three. Gloria, aged 11 years,

displaced in Malawi, HIV and TB positive.
8,000 in a camp near Raqqa, Syria,

there for months, years.
Hundreds of thousands from Myanmar

seek shelter from the monsoon in rice fields in Bangladesh.
Drowning in hope, they wait for permission to move.

One in every 113 people on the planet is a refugee
in 2017

Someone is displaced every three seconds
One two three. 65million displaced people

in the world, now, one two three
Debora Njala, 18, HIV and TB positive, in Malawi, says:

“I will achieve my dreams and the future is bright.”
One two three. A man, a woman, two children

in a camp in Lesvos, not allowed
to leave for mainland Europe.

The father, Karon says:
“It is my true dream that my children will live

in a country without war, without bloodshed.
This is the only thing I wish for.”

All it takes is the will of the developed world …
one two three …


*
In the time it takes to read this poem 100 people in the world will become displaced.

© Jackie Biggs

A Year in Pictures 2017

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

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Christmas sonnet, 2017

I saw no Christmas in September
when adverts appeared in the shops.
I saw no Christmas in Lapland
with the snow and the ice in retreat.
I saw no Christmas in the White House
where goodwill to all is fake news.
I saw no Christmas in the ocean
where three ships sailed by made of plastic.
I saw no Christmas in Yemen
where innocents are slain by a king.
I saw no Christmas in Bethlehem
where the star that means peace slowly dies.
I feared I would see no Christmas at all
till it shone in my granddaughters' eyes.

© Charlie Lambert



Charlie Lambert is a former journalist and sports broadcaster who turned to a different form of media in 2016 when he started writing poetry. He lives in Liverpool.

Monday, 25 December 2017

The Trump Days of Christmas

Christmas hasn’t been great for years. So sad. I’m going to make Christmas great again.


On the first day of Christmas my Trump-love sent to me:
a violently grabbed pussy.

On the second day of Christmas my Trump-love sent to me:
dreams of brick-wall borders, and
a violently grabbed pussy.

On the third day of Christmas my Trump-love sent to me:
murky Russian rumours,
dreams of brick-wall borders, and
a violently grabbed pussy.

On the fourth day of Christmas my Trump-love sent to me:
Obama Care dismantling,
murky Russian rumours,
dreams of brick-wall borders, and
a violently grabbed pussy.

On the fifth day of Christmas my Trump-love sent to me:
FIVE GOOOOLDEN WIGS…
Obama Care dismantling,
murky Russian rumours,
dreams of brick-wall borders, and
a violently grabbed pussy.

On the sixth day of Christmas my Trump-love sent to me:
abortion-funds withdrawal,
FIVE GOOOOLDEN WIGS…
Obama Care dismantling,
murky Russian rumours,
dreams of brick-wall borders, and
a violently grabbed pussy.

On the seventh day of Christmas my Trump-love sent to me:
climate change denial,
abortion-funds withdrawal,
FIVE GOOOOLDEN WIGS…
Obama Care dismantling,
murky Russian rumours,
dreams of brick-wall borders, and
a violently grabbed pussy.

On the eighth day of Christmas my Trump-love sent to me:
a travel-ban on Muslims,
climate change denial,
abortion-funds withdrawal,
FIVE GOOOOLDEN WIGS…
Obama Care dismantling,
murky Russian rumours,
dreams of brick-wall borders, and
a violently grabbed pussy.

On the ninth day of Christmas my Trump-love sent to me:
fake news aplenty,
a travel-ban on Muslims,
climate change denial,
abortion-funds withdrawal,
FIVE GOOOOLDEN WIGS…
Obama Care dismantling,
murky Russian rumours,
dreams of brick-wall borders, and
a violently grabbed pussy.

On the tenth day of Christmas my Trump-love sent to me:
renewed mistrust of Cuba,
fake news aplenty,
a travel-ban on Muslims,
climate change denial,
abortion-funds withdrawal,
FIVE GOOOOLDEN WIGS…
Obama Care dismantling,
murky Russian rumours,
dreams of brick-wall borders, and
a violently grabbed pussy.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my Trump-love sent to me:
a North Korean tweet-war,
renewed mistrust of Cuba,
fake news aplenty,
a travel-ban on Muslims,
climate change denial,
abortion-funds withdrawal,
FIVE GOOOOLDEN WIGS…
Obama Care dismantling,
murky Russian rumours,
dreams of brick-wall borders, and
a violently grabbed pussy.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my Trump-love sent to me:
tax-breaks for the richest,
a North Korean tweet-war,
renewed mistrust of Cuba,
fake news aplenty,
a travel-ban on Muslims,
climate change denial,
abortion-funds withdrawal,
FIVE GOOOOLDEN WIGS…
Obama Care dismantling,
murky Russian rumours,
dreams of brick-wall borders, and
a violently grabbed pussy.

© Sarah Doyle

Trump Says 'Fake News' Won't Show Crowd Size As CNN Shows Crowd Size

Sarah Doyle is the Pre-Raphaelite Society’s Poet-in-Residence. She has been widely placed and published, and is co-author of Dreaming Spheres: Poems of the Solar System (PS Publishing, 2014). More at www.sarahdoyle.co.uk

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Two For Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

I am a boy of four or five –
Father Christmas is real and alive!
By bed-time on Christmas Eve
he’s loaded the presents onto the sleigh,
he’s taken off from the cold North Pole,
he’s flying fast through darkened skies,
reindeer straining at the reins,
jingle bells ringing, he is bringing
presents for all good girls and boys.

He’s bringing me my Big Present.
I want it more than anything else;
he’ll leave it under the Christmas Tree,
I know I’ll find it waiting for me.
He’s coming to fill the empty stocking
I’ve just hung up at the end of my bed.
He only comes if you’re asleep.

But I am awake and I can’t sleep
and the more I try, the more I can’t sleep
and I’m becoming crosser with me.
Perhaps – he came already, saw I was awake
and flew on by without stopping;
and now he’s gone and won’t come back,
and I’ll be getting no presents at all!

Sob, sob, sobbing, I go downstairs
to Mum and Dad, who say ‘Don’t worry,
Father Christmas hasn’t come yet.
Go back to bed. You’ll soon fall asleep
if you don’t try too hard.’
I hope they’re right and before I know it
I’ve slid down the slide to the Land of Nod.

When I wake up,
there’s something heavy
at the end of my bed and,
though my room is still
more dark than light,
I can see well enough to see
it’s my stocking!
Father Christmas has been!
There’s a cracker sticking out of the top,
the stocking’s all lumpy and bumpy
and it’s full of lots
of I-can’t-guess-whats!

Underneath the Christmas Tree
my Big Present is waiting for me.

© Richard Devereux

NORAD Santa Tracker 2017 LIVE: Find Father Christmas' location on Christmas Eve as his reindeers fly over UK

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.


Holy Office

Silent night, holy night!
Bright and calm with jets in flight,
As the servants of our lords
Cleanse us of the migrant hordes,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night!
Sky a passport-blue delight!
Cherubim in white Kevlar
Unto hells conveniently far,
Hustle the migrants away;
Hustle the sinners away.

Silent night, holy night!
True Brits quiver at the sight
While the lesser, alien breeds,
With their dark un-Christian creeds,
Wait on this holiest morn,
Wait for the knocking at dawn.

© Philip Challinor

UK to deport Afghan torture survivor on Christmas Day

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

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Conundrum

Well,
it depends
on the size of the angel
and the size of the pin.

The In-Pin,* now,
could very possibly accommodate
legions of mountaineering
minor divinities,
clustering and crying
like guillemots.

With an ordinary pin, though,
of the hat or
haberdashery variety,
the dance would have to be such
that only one angel

had its foot on the pinhead
at any one moment:
a kind of vertical sword dance,
if you will, requiring such skill
that only angels
could execute it.

Imagine
an infinite corps de ballet angélique
circling, dipping, alighting
and springing away again in
an eternal 
celestial liftoff –
every one of them
forever
en pointe


*the Inaccessible Pinnacle, crowning glory of the Cuillin ridge on the Isle of Skye

© Mandy Macdonald

Britain’s problem is not with Europe, but with England

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.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Yet another thorough review

(in memoriam Bijan Ebrahimi, Iranian refugee murdered in 2013)


Yet another report concludes
that a man is guilty
until he is proved innocent
especially if he does not have white skin
but they are extremely sorry yet again
and will carry out
yet another thorough review.

Yet another report concludes
that the police ignore complaints
from a man who is disabled and an immigrant
but they are extremely sorry yet again
and will carry out
yet another thorough review.

Yet another report concludes
that a man can be kicked into unconsciousness
battered into lifelessness
dragged out of his home on to the street
have fuel poured into his face
over his clothes and set on fire
and that this is quite normal
but the culprits have been detained
and they are extremely sorry yet again
and will carry out
yet another thorough review.

Yet another report concludes
that hatred is the barbed wire
lodged in and around the human brain
anger and resentment the electric charge
that surges through it
disrespect the stinking stain
but they’re extremely sorry yet again
and will carry out
yet another thorough review.

Yet another report concludes
that we’re extremely sorry for our failings
yet again
and will carry out
yet another thorough review
but owing to circumstances beyond our control
some changes cannot be made.

© Dave Urwin


Dave Urwin lives in west Wales and performs his poetry live regularly. 'Towards Humanity' was published in 2015 (Pinewood Press, Swansea). He also publishes on his blog, jadedmountain.wordpress.com.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

The air crumbles

as he closes the office door.

Turning, he pins you
like a butterfly to velvet.

His voice the only soft thing about him;
his cologne a sharp sting of spice.

If he were your husband, it would be no worse;
you are the target, the trophy, a conquest too easy.

Helpless, your voice to protest lost
in his power, his very destruction of the air.

Slow spider approach; he draws near.
Strokes, strokes your hair, then holds you there.

The kiss, lingering as chilled honey, just as thick.
A whisper, then a murmur; a promise, then the thrust.

You are his today, and you will be again, again,
until you become

                                                                                     unpinned.

© Michael Griffith

Creative Coalition urges victims of sexual assault and harassment to #KeepTellingPeople

Michael Griffith teaches and resides near Princeton, NJ. He writes poetry, non-fiction, and the occasional shopping list.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Searching for Inspiring Presidential Biographies Christmas Coming

Looking for a Christmas present

for my son.


He wants to be a politician.


Not the merriest of Christmases

nor the happiest of New Years

in American politics.


Abraham Lincoln is neatly

stacked next to Teddy Roosevelt

at our local bookstore


With award-winning volumes

of FDR and Washington

sitting comfortably nearby.


With another somewhat dusty

book standing far to the right


On a shelf in the non-fiction

biography section titled

"Donald Trump: America’s

Failing President."


Sitting next to a few dull

panned volumes excoriating

Richard Nixon.


My son is a passionate


progressive Democrat.

He, like the rest of us,

is wondering how a racist,


With money as his God,

occupies the White House

in America?


As billionaires get tax

cuts, beggared sick lay

ill in their beds


Those in government spew

anti-Muslim venom, gay pride

flags are burned, the NRA

controls Congress.


Did our commander in chief

really just tweet that a US

Senator is a whore?


Did he really say that Rocket Man

will be met with fire and fury like

the world has never seen before?


I want to set off the world's

loudest alarm. I want to bang

a hammer on the world's

noisiest can.


Looking for a Christmas present

for my son. Not an easy gift

choice to make. Perhaps FDR,

but he seems so far way.


My son wants to be a politician.

I can't imagine why.

© Gil Hoy

All the times Donald Trump has been called the worst president: a list

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.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

A Taxing Question

An EU commissioner said all firms
big or small, multinational or not,
should pay their fair share of tax.
She believes it is not a good idea
to let tax agreements be very lax.
And the Commission has concerns
regarding the Dutch-based Ikea
alleged to have reduced their gains
by shifting revenue to Luxembourg
where untaxed the money remains.
Also more profits of that franchise
went on the way to Liechtenstein
thus diminishing the tax bill’s size.
It may require a substantial fine
to make this company fall into line.

© Luigi Pagano


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.

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