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