Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Climb Back On Board

The grandmother

She had a choice

To choose exemption or resistance

The idea of rest

Enjoy the last years in tranquility



Why should she fight for the future of her granddaughter

Isn't that responsibility her daughter now

She fought for her daughter's future

Did she not



To choose exemption or resistance



But nothing changed for the daughter

Maybe it is time for the grandmother

Put her shoulder to her daughter’s

And fight for the grand daughter

© Grant Guy

More than a hashtag: 'Me Too' founder Tarana Burke speaks at MU

Grant Guy is a Canadian poet and writer. His poems and stories have appeared in Canada and Internationally. Has three books published. Winner: Manitoba Arts Council’s 2004 Award of Distinction.

'I fix umbrellas to save the world' - Thierry Millet

                                              It's
                                     uncommon
                                what I do, people
                           think I only repair very
                          expensive umbrellas, but
                      I repair any kind. To be able to
                  repair something is very useful. We
                make things to throw away; umbrellas
             we throw away have enough metal in them
         to build 10 Eiffel Towers every year, that’s 500
      million broken umbrellas, and where do they all go?
   Mending saves money and helps stop pollution. I say it
 humbly, I recycle umbrellas. It is my gift to you, and to our
children. It’s a really small thing, but if we all make an effort,
                                             we
                                             can
                                             start
                                            trying
                                             to
                                             save
                                             the
                                           world.
                                           Think           about
                                             this             next
                                             time          a gust
                                             of wind    snaps
                                              your umbrella

© Sue Norton

'I fix umbrellas to save the world'

Sue Norton has had poems published in various magazines. She was a prizewinner in the 2017 Rialto/RSPB Nature Poetry competition.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Head of State

Look at them!
That’s what I call a Head of State.
Can we have one please?
Instead of a King or Queen.

Michael D Higgins –
representing the Republic of Ireland
and, in the Greek corner,
Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

Silver-haired, photogenic, academics.
Elected by the people, or their Parliament,
for a fixed term. Then they go
and someone else is chosen.

When they meet, they have an intelligent,
civilised conversation
on behalf of their nations
and nothing but good can come of it.

© Richard Devereux

Irish president in Athens for talks on EU, prospects

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.

A Little Less Trouble For The State














One less little Lithuanian,
a little less trouble for the state.
No need to bother with interpreters,
it doesn't really matter what he says.

Locked away, stuck in isolation,
for the major crime of pilfering sweets.
Found five times in a suicidal way
but at least he's not free to roam the streets.

37 minutes ticked by,
the bell was rung, ignored, and rung again.
An accidental death is "appalling",
but a little less trouble for the state.

Prison is a "challenging experience",
said the minister for prisons, afterwards;
"it is clear there were failings in the management"
and valuable lessons have been learned.

Were the 37 minutes accidental?
Was ignoring all the cries for help a fluke?
Did they think his suicide was unintentional?
A coincidental hanging by the neck?

The investigation's over now, it's "tragic",
and they'll never make the same "mistake" again.
But there's one less little Lithuanian,
and a little less trouble for the state.

© Laura Taylor


Laura Taylor has been obsessed with words and language since her early childhood, and believes in the power of poetry as a means by which silent voices speak and hidden ears listen.
https://www.writeoutloud.net/profiles/laurataylor

Monday, 26 February 2018

Them v Us

Them

Kill the children,
but don’t take my gun.
I want my rights,
when the day is done.

Shoot at their school,
it will not be mine.
I don’t have to worry,
I will be perfectly fine.

Tragedy actors crying,
should have shot them.
Their liberal rhetoric,
I’ll do nothing but condemn.

Put guns in teachers' hands,
then they will be secure.
That’s their job anyways,
to be grown up and mature.

Take my gun away,
and then I am not free.
Don’t think I will listen,
to the left's desperate plea.

They want to take my guns,
and all of my rights too.
'Protecting' the 'little' children,
nothing they say is true.

Kill the children,
but don’t take my gun.
I will fight for freedom,
the war has just begun.


Us

The children keep dying,
quicker than you can blink.
Anywhere could be next,
even places you wouldn't think.

You think it is distant,
it could never be you or me.
But what’s the cost of freedom?
Reflect on reality.

They want to arm our teachers,
putting more guns within schools.
But that isn’t what we want,
we just want better rules.

The right calls victims 'actors',
when we fight for the unchanged.
The children are our future,
but now remain feeling estranged.

You laugh in our faces,
showing off guns high and proud.
Why does this have to be political?
We're screaming for help out loud.

We should all be against massacres,
and care about our lives.
These deaths should be remembered,
and not pushed into the archives.

The children keep dying,
quicker than you can blink.
All we ask is for a moment,
for you to please rethink.

© Annika Brown

After Parkland, Students Across the U.S. Are Holding Protest Walkouts Over Gun Violence

Annika Brown, is 16 years old. She attends junior high school in Upstate New York. Annika has been writing poetry for about a year and has felt inspired by politics and current events as most of her work somehow relates to items in the news.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

In Training

In a pressurised suit
That weighs eight stone
I sweat like someone
Tortured
In a desert prison;
Around me
All seems unreal,
A mirage
Or some other vision.

An astronaut
In a Sultanate,
Preparing for space;
I place one foot
Before the other,
Moving forward
With difficulty,
Raising one arm
My face to cover.

We care not whether
There is life on Mars,
For we will advance
Regardless;
This is our mission,
That trained in a cauldron
They call Oman,
We will be ready
To conquer
All opposition.

© David Subacchi

The barren desert preparing astronauts for life on Mars

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, 24 February 2018

Stray Ket Strut - The Ballad of Katie Hopkins

(to the tune of 'Stray Cat Strut')

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh

White and orange I'm not sittin' on a fence
got more than enough dough to pay the rent
There's loads flat broke but I don't care
I strut right by with my tail in the air

Stray Ket strut, I'm a Katie on Ket
I'm a feline Mussolini, hey man that's that
Get a bone thrown at me from Lord Sugar man
Get my views from a garbage can

Don't go crossing my path

I'm too busy chasing publicity around
I slink down the alleyway looking for a fight
Howling to the moonlight just like the far right
Had my passport taken off me and I've been detained
for spreading race hate in South Africa - they think that I'm deranged
I wish I could be seen as carefree and wild
But I got no class and I got no style

I'm too busy chasing publicity around
I slink down the alleyway looking for a fight
Howling to the moonlight just like the far right
Had my passport taken off me and I've been detained
for spreading race hate in South Africa - they think that I'm deranged
I wish I could be seen as carefree and wild
But I got no class and I got no style

© Des Mannay


Des Mannay has won prizes and been shortlisted in 6 competitions, performed at 8 festivals, published in 8 magazines/blogs. His work has appeared in 15 poetry anthologies. Catch him on Facebook as "The stuff wot I wrote' Des Mannay - hooligan Poet". Twitter: @hooliganpoet

Friday, 23 February 2018

Diary of a Tear-Cutter: After “Protections for Religious Freedom”

An image lived inside the sphere
Of the tear-cutter.
Her profession taught
This could not be so
Since image stands
Alone as image.

Then I am quite mad,
She sang. I believe
In the micro-dot Magus
And tears spearing
All untruths
Beneath the bed-clothes.

Besides, the tear – oblique
To science – will not
Dissolve in water.
Nor will it suffocate
Within the lands...

“I’ve seen it melt
The most hardened diamond,”
She moaned.
“And explode when told
How useless it is.”

Hand over hand equals the tear
Which is the image
Grossly misconstrued...
“I must,”
She pledged,
                  “Commence a school
Founded on failure – that any
Tear-image can pay
Homage to.”

© Stefanie Bennett


Change.org 20th February 2018 Review into “Protections for
Religious Freedom” with media reporting potential on impacts
for the LGBTQI Community. [Australia]

Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry – worked with Arts Action
For Peace, & ‘Equality’ [Human rights]. Of mixed ancestry – Italian, Irish Paugussett
-Shawnee, she was born in Queensland, Australia.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Thoughts and Prayers and Other Bullshit

Takes a millisecond
to reflect on it
The content dumped
from the horned, bovine's rectum
Smells of roses
When compared
to the spectrum
of trite platitudes
Expressions of grief and gratitude
lavished upon
the friends and families
of these
children
and their teachers
“He died a hero”
No
He died
He’s dead
Leaden hearted
Whilst at the heart of self interest
The clap, trap, trap, cliches and rhetoric
Continue to
beat,
beat,
beat,
loudly
Drowning out and droning on
“Sheltered by the arms of God”
Good god!
“Making America great again!”

© Bex Tate


Bex Tate is passionate about pottering, young childrens' literature and black cats. She lived in the Basque country for two decades before moving to Mallorca. She is currently tinkering around with words in English and Spanish and growing the odd cauliflower.

Plus ça change

Friends, Britons, plebs! Please calm your fears.
This greatest change in fifty years,
This liberation from the lock
Of Earth's most evil trading bloc,
This glorious raising of our station,
This breaking of our island nation
From all that stops us standing tall -
Will not change anything at all.
There will be no excess of tax
On squillionaires whose humble shacks
And spikes point out, for all to feel,
That vagrancy has scant appeal.
We'll still be stable, strong and free
To jail the ghastly refugee
As hordes from overseas confess
The foaming wonders of our Press,
While students take their happy route
Into the Army to pick fruit
And shirkers choose if they should heat
Their homes, or let the children eat.
Our values will remain the same
(If not, we'll all know who to blame):
Keep calm, continue without fuss,
Be proud that you are One of Us;
Go forward, let the future come -
Just like the first day at the Somme.

© Philip Challinor


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

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The Lobster’s Question

What makes you think we lobsters can’t feel pain?
You plunge us headfirst in your cooking pot -
Isn’t it time you tried to be humane?

We’re not vocal, we can’t scream as we’re slain,
heated from cold or tipped in boiling hot.
What makes you think we lobsters can’t feel pain?

You bind our claws. We wave, to make it plain
we’re in distress, but we’re in your blind spot.
Isn’t it time you tried to be humane?

Cooks slice us alive, stab us in the brain,
rip our limbs off. This hurts an awful lot.
What makes you think we lobsters can’t feel pain?

Don’t you think such cruelty is a stain
on your humanity? Be kind. Why not?
Isn’t it time you tried to be humane?

We’re tasty, give you pleasure. Have a grain
of pity for our suffering; just a jot.
What makes you think we lobsters can’t feel pain?
Isn’t it time you tried to be humane?

© Sue Norton


Sue Norton has had poems published in various magazines. She was a prizewinner in the 2017 Rialto/RSPB Nature Poetry competition.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

A Familiar Truth

For so long as the NRA
controls Congress

With its pumping



Mutant

Pecuniary

Poison

Lifeblood

Corrupting souls
Buying silence

Innocents will

continue to die

From high-powered
Weapons of War

Bought in America

like a bag of groceries

from a grocery store



While Wayne LaPierre

Scribbles his want list

for Republican



Bought and sold

baby-kissers counting

their bankroll gore.



If Congress had lead balls

in its hearts, brains

pelves



If images of dead

school children grew

so palpable, so intimate



That their fever

opened a passageway



To eternity and back

Would the madness

Stop then?


Would lone wolves

Still sing their rancid

Noteless songs

A Witch’s Brew of shrill
staccato tempo



Tentwentythirtyfortyfifty

Pigeons intheblinkofaneye

That numbed ears
don’t see anymore

That tastes forgotten

and too familiar

anyway.

© 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.

Voices inside the madhouse

They send people here who have no future.
Heroin addiction. Depression. PTSD.
Some patients are picked up from the streets.
Others are brought here by their families.
Many have no families. They fled the country.

This is a place for people who are a threat to society.
They need love and attention on a daily basis.
You can find yourself inside these walls.
Outside the walls you can’t find yourself.
I dreamt you took me away from here.

The volunteer counsellor suffers from PTSD.
His teenage brother was killed in a gun attack.
It was just across the road from his shop.
He is one of the lucky ones. He has a family.
They send people here who have no future.

We used to watch the executions in the stadium.
The stadium was always full. Once a week
we would say, ‘Let’s go down to the stadium.’
People climbed trees for a good view.
It was normal.

They shot a woman in the head for adultery.
Once they brought a thief and chopped off his hand.
They threw it in the air. It kept moving
after it fell. In the dust. Like this.
I can’t get the image out of my head.

Hundreds of executions. I was seventeen or eighteen.
It was normal. We feel safe here.
I dreamt you took me away from here.
Drug-induced schizophrenia. Depression. PTSD.
They send people here who have no future.

© David Urwin

Our World - The Trauma of War

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

Monday, 19 February 2018

Students of the American Educational System

Students of the American Educational System
get up out of your chairs and walk out of your classrooms.
Stop being sitting ducks for these stuffed shirts with all the big bucks.
Walk out of your schools
and revolt
against the amendment that keeps you in its crosshairs.
For there is
No
Rational
Argument
any more.
Children of the American Educational System
you have been failed and are being taught to live in fear.
Your peers, soldiers of misfortune
your blood bought and sold like buckshot.
Why have your elected civil servants taken
No
Reasonable
Action
against these corrosive elements that
plague your playgrounds.
Teachers of the American Educational System
how long will you tolerate being bodyguards
and human shields for unformed minds.

This is not even close to being covered
in your pay scale.
Overseers of the American Educational System,
what you have done to stop all of this insanity is
as if
No
Reaction
At all
will make all the pain
go away.

© Joshua Baumgarten


Joshua Baumgarten is an ex-pat New Yorker living in Holland. He organises the Irrational Library evenings - nights of poetry, rock n roll and casual chaos, and performs as a Standup Spoken Word artist.

On the Murder of Seventeen in Florida

In falling darkness,
thousands gather grief-stricken,
some secretly grateful their children
will sleep in their own beds tonight.
What of the anguish of the mother
whose daughter, that morning, kissed her
goodbye, now lying dead in the place
where she fell, a matter for the police.
A statistic.
How bravely some died, placing themselves
between bullet and child, the unspeakable,
unbearable end of so many lives.
The brush of wind on this chilly night,
flickering candles and prayers,
seventeen who exist only in memory.

© Nancy Scott


Nancy Scott, poet and short story writer, is author of ten books and also managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets in New Jersey, USA. Her most recent book is Marriage by Fire. www.nancyscott.net

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Seismic Sunday

Earthquake in South Wales!

Earthquake in South Wales, social networking reported,
'Don't contact us' begged the authorities,
'Unless you have something to report,
Nobody's hurt so chill out;
It's the weekend after all
So nobody's in the office,
Order another of what you fancy
Before you were rudely interrupted'.

Earthquake in South Wales, just a few plaster cracks
According to the early news,
No need to reach for insurance policies,
Pointless to evacuate;
'I felt it up here' posted Billy from Liverpool,
Yeah OK right,
I felt nothing in Aberystwyth
But I'd had a few you know.

© 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).



Earth wave

Sat on a bench the first warm day of the year
Teens cuddle a phone mangling songs
A car parked, windows right down
the Swan's game fast and loud on the radio
two men talk diesel and body work
A couple, he's always borrowing
never paying, she's always late, only saying
A girl whining pleasepleaseplease!

immense weight like a small town
being dragged deep under the ground
shuddering up through my soles, my seat

closer, louder, deeper
like next door's crashing through all around
but I'm out in the park, there's not even a wall

some forgotten old thing turns right under our feet
reminding us all of its uneasy sleep
then just in a moment, the earth snaps back
all quiet and still

but the waitress in the café doorway still chanting I'm too young to die
dragged by the scruff from our long dream of safety
everyone asking What was that?

Later the stories of
rattling doors and shaking floors
dancing pipes, jiggling panes
glasses dancing, cups in saucers, forks on tables
and stock scrambling off shelves in the convenience store

© Phil Coleman


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.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Waste items

She wakes in the disused doorway

of what used to be BHS, eyes slumped

like sleeping bags. A laminated sign

is tacked to the small mound

of everything she has left

courtesy of Bristol Waste, stating

that these items will be discarded

if they are not removed

within twenty four hours. She places it

on the pavement,

next to her board selling dreamcatchers

to passers-by, picks up

the two pounds forty in coppers

lining her damp guitar case

and with gloved but shaking hands

begins her accusing song.

© Penny Shutt


Dr Penny Shutt is a poet and psychiatrist from Cornwall. She writes about mental health, medicine and motherhood after recently becoming a foster mum to her nephew. Some of her poems can be found at www.pennyshutt.weebly.com and she tweets @drpennyshutt

Friday, 16 February 2018

Skin Trade





















The poor… always in the sidelines
with their shadow eyes and hands extended

The poor… susceptible in submission kneel in a kind of humility
brought low by sorrows you have learned to rise above

The poor… need you to be strong
to rescue them from fate and themselves

The poor… need the comfort of hands
not raw embraces flesh to flesh as the price of compliance

How long has help been a business a transaction
where the powerless have no voice
no choice but to sell their worthless skin?

How long have their hoarse whispers died in the throat
while ill-fitting help made in no-one’s shape
is laid over the bones of their need?

Too long in the marketplace of relief
the vulnerable are bought and sold
their helplessness a commodity assessed and valued
the coin of human frailty ransomed for moral profit

Too long in high-rise boardrooms have you traded
poverty and its palliatives across mahogany desks
products and assets - shoddy goods for sale

Too long now have you sat beside the masters
learning their ways

Too long have you depended on the weak
for your strength

Too long

© Brian Hill


Brian Hill. 50 years a poet. One-time designer and film-maker; long ago, the rhyme-slinger, cartoon cowboy, and planetarium poet; now feverishly stringing words together in the hope of making sense.
Brian blogs as Scumdadio (don’t ask).

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Care

Most stretched afternoons we are sat
(don’t judge my grammar erroneous
because I mean someone sits us)
in front of Flog It, Homes under the Hammer,
and, particularly cruel for those of us
with months, not years, Countdown.

Tepid tea is served from a trolley
forgotten in a corridor while Elsie Brown
was rescued, trembling, from the lift.
A woman with a headmistress bark
speeds us through Bingo and crosswords
as though afraid she left her iron on.

Today, Prudence says, ‘Is that a baby’s cry?’
and the headmistress is left with 3 Down,
14 Across, and an ego like crushed fruit.
Double buggies arrive as if cavalry.
Dennis sings Old Macdonald to a toddler
in a rich bass unused since he buried Eileen.

© Fran Hill


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

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

In search of a mate...or not.

Nigel the lonely gannet

New Zealand conservationists mourn loss of celebrated bird that was lured by replica gannets in the hope of establishing a breeding colony.

It’s a tale that’s sad, and a bit absurd,
and wasn’t meant to end at all like this.
Nigel, ‘no mates’ gannet, unlucky bird

swooped on Mana island, thought he heard
a colony calling. But something was amiss.
It’s a tale that’s sad, and a bit absurd.

Loud-speakers broadcast the calls that stirred
poor Nigel’s heart. He landed in hope of bliss -
Nigel, ‘no mates’ gannet, unlucky bird.

Of eighty concrete, painted gannets, one spurred
Nigel to stroke her cold wings, give her a kiss.
It’s a tale that’s sad and a bit absurd.

He built her a nest, sang her a song. No word
or look for five long years. A frosty Miss.
Nigel, ‘no mates’ gannet, such an unlucky bird.

Three real gannets came. He should have transferred
affection, but clung instead to the abyss.
It’s a tale that’s sad, and a bit absurd;
faithful to his fake love, Nigel died. Unlucky bird.

© Sue Norton


Sue Norton has had poems published in various magazines. She was a prizewinner in the 2017 Rialto/RSPB Nature Poetry competition.



The female is the species
(Procambarus virginalis)

She looked at all the others
From her German pet shop tank
Wondering why they bothered
It all seemed a waste of time
The courting and the game play
Just to choose a pointless mate
But with her extra chromosome
She’d made the male redundant
From that beginning, of only one
This ten legged pest mutation
Has spawned across the globe
A brand new species, all from her
The self-cloning marbled crayfish
All sisters with no need of fathers

Maybe she was simply the first
Are males obsolete?

© Peter Wright


Peter was born and grew up in Kent and now lives in Dorset. He started writing poetry just over a year ago and tries to write something every day.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

The undertaker at seventeen

She's learning to tend
the dead,unafraid
of their bloodless skin
restless as silk
beneath her touch.

She can't warm them
back to life
with a flame held close
against the wick
of their inner being

but blushes colour
into arctic cheeks,
smooths crimson polish
over women's nails:
waits for it to dry,

is careful not to smudge
though these fingers
won't flex again,
reach for a diamond ring,
a matching bracelet.

© Sheila Jacob


Sheila Jacob was born and raised in Birmingham and lives on the North Wales border with her Husband. She's had poems published in various U.K.magazines and webzines

Monday, 12 February 2018

‘Fiona’

I saw you in court
tried to imagine how you may be feeling
putting yourself out there
a victim

and then he turned up
a few yards away
you weren’t expecting that

how would that feel?

‘He’s been in my head for 15 years,’ you said
and there he is again
in front of you

he’s behind glass
but there was glass between you
before
in that cab

they said you were not
a credible witness
‘A black cab driver 
just wouldn’t do that.’

But he did
and you have lived with him
in your head
for 15 years

believing that you let all the others down
those hundreds
who went through that
after you

because someone decided
you were not believable

© Jackie Biggs

'They said a black cab driver wouldn't do that'

Why was John Worboys granted parole? His victims need answers.

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


Sunday, 11 February 2018

Cloud's Silver Lining

Microsoft beat Wall Street’s profit
helped by growth in its Azure cloud
but a one-time tax bill was incurred
so the celebration wasn’t too loud.

Stock of the company initially fell
but later moved into positive territory
the reason being, as far as we can tell,
the choice for which customers opted.

Better to have two providers than one
is the philosophy that’s been adopted
by Amazon’s users who hope to avoid
being locked into a single service.

It can be seen from financial results
that the two businesses are thriving
so we can say with absolute certainty
that both clouds have a silver lining.

© Luigi Pagano

Microsoft's cloud computing business grows, stock edges up

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, 10 February 2018

There ain’t no travel ban on the dance floor

The poisoned populist perspectives
the peepholes in our collective consciousness
the underdogs being denied coverage
the delusions of grandeur of the gloryhole demi-gods
and the claim that some cop in Arkansas actually saw a pig fly
but there still ain’t no travel ban on the dance floor.

Cultures being gutted by greed
the chaos of choice spread from an angry voice
blind conviction leading the redefinition
the patriot caught with his pants down
and well, hell might be freezing over
but there still ain’t no travel ban on the dance floor.

The disasterous diplomatic decision making
Mother Nature leaning back and waiting
in the end it will be the people quaking
the panic room propaganda
has got us all shaking
once in a blue moon orange faced political faking
but there still ain’t no travel ban on the dance floor.

Religion in retrogradation
the spectre salivating over a smorgasbord of imaginary salvation
humanity held in a head lock
the hindsight that will haunt us in the all
too late hours
and maybe just maybe one day the sun will rise in the west
but for now, boys and girls
there still ain’t no travel ban on the dance floor.

© Joshua Baumgarten

Elephants in the room: 7 things Trump didn't talk about

Joshua Baumgarten is an ex-pat New Yorker living in Holland. He organises the Irrational Library evenings - nights of poetry, rock n roll and casual chaos, and performs as a Standup Spoken Word artist.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Mine, mine, mine

Hip hip hooray,
A bright and sunny day!
The bell’s gone, school’s out,
the boys go out to play.

They fiddle with their zippers,
they fiddle with their buttons,
‘My, my, my’ says Donald,
my one’s bigger than yours!’

Then they play toy soldiers,
little Vlad and Donald,
they line them up in long straight lines
‘Mine, mine, MINE’s the longest line!’

© 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.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Two Slices of Cheddar

Cheddar Man

I know patience is a virtue, but, man,
they took their time.

In 1903, I thought, yay, here we go.
They’d got my hopes up,
as well as my waiting bones.

Earth feels the rumblings, you know,
of the pale menwomen and their
heavy stomp of prejudice.

No wonder my knee bone was dis-
connected from my thigh bone,
my thigh bone disconnected you know the rest.

Dig me, guys, my heart but not a heart
beat out as I lay hidden,
the ultimate housebound, shut-in.

Come have a face-to-face
with Jack-in-the-box, black-in-the-box
and race each other to a rethink.

Oh, and there’s Sinatra, thinking
he’s got the monopoly on
old blue eyes. Ha.Ha. Ha.

© Fran Hill


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


Cheddar Man Speaks

This country is not what it used to be.
These white folks just walk across
that damn landbridge from Europe.
They take all our best caves
And they decorate them with them
Horrible hand paintings.
They eat our Mammoths
And they even have the blasted cheek
To be eaten our Saber-toothed tigers!
I tell you I have had a enough!
I am joining the UPIP; the
The Prehistoric Inpendenance Party,
That will sort them lot out.
Just you see.

© Phil Knight

Cheddar Man: DNA shows early Briton had dark skin

Phil Knight is poet from Neath in South Wales. His poetry collection 'You Are Welcome To Wales" was published in 2015 by The Red Poets.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Fourth Grade Valentines

Red hearts made of paper
collected by teacher
delivered to addressee

I got none

I tried to smile
ignore the void
but it hurt that

I got none

and that blonde Billy

said I was too fat to be

anyone’s valentine.

When I went home
Mom asked
what was new

I whispered, "nothing."

© Judy Shepps Battle


Judy Shepps Battle has been writing essays and poems long before retiring from being a psychotherapist and sociology professor. She is a New Jersey resident, addictions specialist, and freelance writer.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

World of Greed and Waste

I'm young and hopeful, healthy too,
Eyes firmly focussed on the future,
Studying hard, know what it's all about
And I dine on food
The supermarkets throw out.

I'm not a druggie or a criminal,
Wouldn't hurt a fly,
Non violent beyond doubt,
Still I dine on food
The supermarkets throw out.

I open the bins at dead of night,
There's no dirt here,
'Come and get it' I shout,
Let's all dine on food
The supermarkets throw out.

In a world of greed and waste
Nothing is what it seems,
Still fresh fruit and shrink wrapped trout,
I'm proud to dine on food
The supermarkets throw out.

©David Subacchi

Dumpster divers: Birmingham students raid bins for food

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, 5 February 2018

Understanding the New Prevent Strategy

Henceforth under the terms of our new guidelines
Your big brother will remain your Big Brother
But your little brother will now be your Big Brother
Your big sister will be your Big Brother
Your little sister will also be your Big Brother
Your mum and dad will both be your Big Brother
Your auntie and uncle will also be your Big Brother
Your newphew and niece will be your Big Brother
All of your cousins will be your Big Brother
Any living grand or great grandparents will also be your
Big Brother.
You will remain Big Brother to your little brother
But you will become Big Brother to your big brother
You will be Big Brother to your little sister and your big sister
You will be Big Brother to your children and their children
You will be Big Brother to your newphew and niece
You will be Big Brother to your auntie and uncle
You will also be Big Brother to all of your cousins
No matter how many times they are removed
You will be Big Brother to your mum and dad
And you will be Big Brother to any living grand or great grandparents
These are the implications of our New Prevent Strategy in part only
A fuller brief wil be forthcoming
I hope everything is clear.

© Phil Knight

Finsbury Park attack: Curbing radical views online 'difficult'

Phil Knight is poet from Neath in South Wales. His poetry collection 'You Are Welcome To Wales" was published in 2015 by The Red Poets.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Of Snakes and Stags

Tiny

People can be attracted to the exotic-
The unusual, the dangerous.
I knew an art student with a pink Mohican
Who sat on her own in the Art Hall
She kept white rats
I thought she was intriguing
I felt especially chosen.

The friendship ended one night
Involving boyfriend swapping;
A Ouija board
Followed by a plate thrown at me
And attempted knife attack
The boyfriend barred her way.

The man who owned the snake
Was asphixiated by ‘Tiny’
Befriend the ones others steer clear of
And you’ll find out why.

© Amanda Derry

Snake enthusiast killed by 8-foot python he had owned since it 'fitted in the palm of his hand'

Amanda Derry joined a Creative Writing class, following a breakdown, which played a significant role in her recovery. She now embeds literacy skills into classes that she teaches. Amanda also runs the Facebook Group, I Love Writing.


Monarch of the Glen

The Monarch – my dears! – of the Glen
is touring the country again.
They propose Stag Weekends –
what’s the message that sends?
Quite frankly, it should be a hen.

© Mandy Macdonald

Monarch of the Glen painting tour locations revealed

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.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Demigogarism

He may not be viewed as a force for good
but the man in the white house is simply misunderstood
or at least the reactions, to all that he does
should be seen as positive, think about it, if you would

while republicans are silent, burying their heads in hands
and their supporters examine navels, where's the line in the sand?
the democrats have started to get off of the fence
and minorities are discovering, their voice is existent

so every tweet he makes, each wave of his hands
his attacks on small countries, they're all spiteful stands
the response, the double take, the he-didn't, did he?
is making us all examine, what we each do each day

now people all around are starting to talk today
the Korea's are Winter Olympicking, he caused this I say
they realise there's a bigger danger to the status quo now
in place from the 50's, to today, let's talk, some how!

as America recants all of Obama's balanced deeds,
Trumpy is shredding them to the bone 'til they bleed
environmental protection, goodwill gestures and world wide pacts
are spitefully stopped, cut down, dead in their tracks

its not that they were bad but they were already in place
put there by someone Trump knows is a better person, with better grace
so every item and act he can find will with glee be erased
gleefully unpicked, that's narcissism, he must know his place!

and western leaders paddle in the soup of home made cold broth
spouting empty rhetoric and meaninglessness froth
so social media carries all the meaningful anger and public thrust
will civilisation survive, or is it near to being bust?

So the world looks for change as China sails on a fifty year cruise
lots of eyes start to look eastward, for leadership they can use
and they stop looking to westward, as for so long they did
hoping now the orange glow is a complexion, not the burning of the id

but here and there is a shred of just seen light
where people have moved away from demigodarism, as a right!
little actions are happening that may help improve the world
will Trumpy last for ever, no, he's a speck on a turd

but the turd has forced lots of stances to be carefully reviewed
arguments to be settled and maybe the end of a feud
some enemies look at each other and say he's madder over there
lets go have a coffee, watch twitter, laugh, and not care!

© Andrew Minhinnick

Winter Olympics 2018: North Korea will send 22 athletes to Pyeongchang

Andrew Minhinnick is a fifty year old, unpublished scribbler. Work prevents him from dedicating as much time as he would like, to his writing. Nevertheless, he tries to pen something every day. His four unfinished novels and hundreds of poems tell the tale.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Another One Gone

(For Richard Murphy)

Brigid’s Day, again.
The day I have decreed the first
of my New Year.

January’s too austere
for new beginnings,
even with the solstice done to dust

the light is low,
the air is chill and damp
and I am curled and simply static.

-

Far away, the air
is humid with the notes of birds, patterned
beneath fabrics of the sun

yet there too is a room
like this one, darkened, cooled and still,
there you lie.

Gone, like the cowl
of frost that rimed the blazing dawn
this Brigid’s Day, again.

© Padhraig Nolan
 
(Author's note: Brigid’s Day refers to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbolc)


Padhraig Nolan is an Irish writer and native of Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, who now lives near Dún Laoghaire, where he works as a graphic designer, illustrator and visual artist. His poems have been published in a range of journals in Ireland and abroad. Padhraig exhibits his illustrations and paintings regularly, and was the featured artist in The Pickled Body - Issue 2.2: Loaded/Unloaded. Read a recent interview with him, at Studies in Arts and Humanities.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Graham Says It’s OK

Graham says he always
knew this would be
the next big thing.

People might criticise
the concept
he smiles

but many of my
customers are
women

and for as little as £100
it is possible to
try before you buy.

Graham who
is forty and gives
no other name

runs his manufacturing business
from an industrial estate
in Felling in Gateshead.

He believes these things
have now been
‘normalised’

A lot of the time he says with
disarming modesty it’s more
fantasy than reality.

Most customers will invent
a personality similar
to the customer’s own.

Men are falling in love
with themselves and paying me
for the privilege.

Of course some of them
sell the dolls back but others
go on to get married.

It’s ok, though.This is
after all a celebration of
womanhood.

© Abigail Elizabeth Ottley

UK Opens Its First Sex Doll Brothel And It’s As Weird As You’d Expect

Abigail Elizabeth Ottley writes poetry and short fiction from her home in Penzance where the sea air and beautiful scenery keep her mostly on the right side of sanity.