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.