Monday, 30 April 2018

Thames Tide

Thames
tide
tows
a legacy
upstream,
draws
decades
into focus.

Tilbury’s
compass
charts
a course of
seventy years,
Windrush wake
tracking to Westminster bridge.

Mother of parliaments,
home of democracy,
hypocrisy,
assaults
its
own
people:
Douma without chemicals,
Gaza without bullets,
Myanmar with no arson:
attacks
its
own
people.

Tilbury
tide tows
truth
upstream,
silt and slime
washed clean
exposes
decay.

© Charlie Lambert

Amber Rudd resigns hours after Guardian publishes deportation targets letter

Charlie Lambert is a former sports journalst and broadcaster who began writing poetry in 2016. He is a member of the Liverpool Dead Good Poets Society and can usually be found at their metings on the first Wednesday of the month at Blackburne House in Liverpool.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Summer BBQ – July 13th

Summer Bbq – July 13th
Flame grilled
Trump Steak
With Mayo sauce -
Two for the price of
an air con
rictus smile -
Shaking on shady,
sweaty palmed
deals,
secured with
the spike of
a shish kebab skewer,
under the
plastic
fantastic
chequer covered
picnic
table –
Ribs
spare
picked clean and
thrown to the dogs
to gnaw
and chew over-
The fall out
to be
bagged up
in black sacks
and dumped -
Land fill
for our green and pleasant.

© Bex Tate

US President Donald Trump to visit the UK in July

Bex Tate, frustrated with the data driven education system, recently left behind her job as a Kindergarten teacher to spend time writing and pondering life. Writing poetry helps her to try and make sense of the world...as well as giving her the chance to rant a bit!!

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Just The One














Fifty seven accusations.
Fifty seven lies.
Fifty seven secret pleasures.
Fifty seven stolen lives.

Fifty seven invitations.
Fifty seven spiders waiting.
Fifty seven true intentions.
Fifty seven parlours entered.

Fifty seven aggravations.
Fifty seven silent gains.
Fifty seven violations.
Fifty seven acts of shame.

Fifty seven allegations.
Fifty seven sick occasions.
Fifty seven vindications.
Just the one conviction
of the living definition of misogyny.

© Laura Taylor

Bill Cosby found guilty in sexual assault trial in milestone for #MeToo era 

Laura Taylor is a regular festival and open-mic night guest performer throughout the North West of England. She has been writing and performing poetry for six years, and has been widely published. Obsessed with words and language since her early childhood, Laura believes in the power of poetry as a means by which silent voices speak and hidden ears listen.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Monkeying Around

Roll out the barrel,
said the chief baboon.
The senior primate,
who wasn't a fool,
realised the container
was a useful tool.
He and three others
could stand on it
and jump to freedom
over the wall.
But one of the four
didn't answer the call
because he was yellow;
he returned to his pen
and refused to follow.
“We are free at last”
is what they thought
but within half an hour
they were all caught.
It seems that it was
a truly unique incident.
We can say they are safe
to a certain extent.
We are told the monkeys
were not infected,
so we can assume
they are fit once again
to be dissected.

© 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.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Alfie

How shall he live
when breathing isn’t enough?

When the curl of his cheek
is apple-blush and beautiful,
his hair brown and lustrous,
his features perfectly formed.

When he wears red and blue p.j.’s,
looks as though he’ll wake
any moment, rub his eyes,
gaze up at his mum and smile.

When his lips turn blue
and she pours her own breath
into him, mouth on mouth
though breathing isn’t enough.

His brain is mostly water
that won’t replenish, water
isn’t enough, water isn’t life,
life isn’t the way it seems.

Alfie is dying
breath by breath.

© Sheila Jacob

Alfie Evans parents appeal against Italy travel ban ruling

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.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Medicine Horse

(for the claimant)

Quietly unzipping her skin
she leaves it
crumpled on the bed
and from the shadows
hears their crooked groans
try to reach
each other
in a nameless garland of bones.
Sobbing on the shoulder
of a ghost
she travels home
in a moon full of worms
bruised and bloody
but not bloodied enough for some.

Down windy streets, the wolves
slinking silkily in black
take turns
to nose her crotch
her blood
her words
an impersonal ‘you’
staring straight through
the smoke
curling from their eyes.
Their say said
in a month
daffodils refuse to gold
they billow
from the building’s front
she slips
out the back.
But crossing night
wild with snow
margins are left behind:
white geraniums and stars
gleaming the horse. That walks
by her side.

© Clare McCotter

What does the Belfast rape trial tell women? Make a complaint and you'll be vilified

The Belfast rape trial is damning indictment of lad culture

Clare McCotter has had poetry published in numerous journals including Abridged, Algebra of Owls, Boyne Berries, Crannóg, Cyphers, Envoi, The Galway Review, The Honest Ulsterman, Iota, Moth Magazine, A New Ulster, Revival, The SHOp, The Stinging Fly and The Stony Thursday Book. Black Horse Running, her first short form collection, was published in 2012. Revenant, her first collection of ‘longer’ poems will be published by Salmon Press in 2019. Home is Kilrea, County Derry.



Tuesday, 24 April 2018

dog’s dinner: a recipe for the Windrush generation.

Take a child, 9.
Nurture through 6 school years,
add sprinkling of jobs
1 generous tbsp. of love
one dozen rented homes (sequential)
2 daughters, grandchildren
friends to taste.

Allow to mature for 5 decades or more.

Move into hostile environment.
Discard love, jobs, generosity.
Cut all visible benefits from bone.
Apply as often as required
and leave to simmer.

In case of burned fingers
offer 1 mealy-mouthed apology.

And fail to serve.

© Steve Pottinger

'I feel disgusted': how Windrush scandal shattered two brothers' lives

Steve Pottinger writes and performs poetry whenever and wherever he can. He can be found on twitter at @BigStevePoet

Monday, 23 April 2018

Thanks Padre

(For Guy Mayfield)

Young airmen at war,
So fresh childhood
Still clung,
In the folds
Of blue uniforms
And between the threads
Of hurriedly
Sewn on wings.

One told you
He could smell death,
Asked how best
To live with it,
You wanted
To tell him
You didn’t know,
But didn’t.

Night after night
Into the blackness,
Those that returned
White faced
And weary;
‘Don’t let them
Drink too much'
An officer implored

But you joined
Them in the bar,
Shoulder
To shoulder,
Bought a few
Moderate rounds;
Thanks Padre
They whispered.

© 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).

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Ravens

I push everything I know off to the side.
For a moment I watch these two predators,
fiddling and flapping, bracing on thick branches; letting go

in the stiffening foliage of my ash tree.
It’s November. They are black as Syrian oil.
I listen to their dialog, caw resonates deep in the gullet.

Like the ruffle of shuffling playing cards, it starts slow,
punctuated by the final fan-slap as the last card folds the deck,
then the quiet roulette of dealer’s hands.

“Caw,” is the end of a sentence.
I do not speak raven, or bird.
But in this aging moment, I wish I did.

I imagine what they might’ve said: Passion, a bargain?
Scolding or rolled eyes over chores - the day’s divvying seed collection,
Fluffing the nest? Who was wrong: who was right?

One to the other, over the fussing,
and how significant or not,
it would all mean, in the end.

I wonder if I could speak raven,
a dialect of Bird, one of thousands,
perhaps, tens or hundreds of thousands.

No. Millions. And if I could begin –
even just begin nothing more for now
– to understand, what new worlds?

© Melinda Rizzo

Syria air strikes: Trump defends claiming 'mission accomplished'

Melinda Rizzo lives, works, cooks, gardens and writes poems in a 200-year-old farmhouse in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA. She has been a freelance reporter for more than 20 years.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Support Your NHS!

Wake up, smell the coffee,
sip it while its hot, quench your thirst,
drink it while you can.

Wake up, eyes wide open
read the news, see (the spin) between the lines,
see the lies and think on it, really think on it.

Wake up; stop your selfish crying,
stop moaning whilst the NHS is dying, if non-urgent
you might wait two weeks to see your doctor -
do you ever stop to think to wonder why?

Wake up, think & learn,
half of GP practices short of staff,
lots more work, less time to give to you,
stressed out they are, burn-out rising,
minimal pay rises, indemnity fees rises,
this & inflation all deplete their earnings
and steal their me-time too.
Would you want to be a doctor?

Wake up, think & learn,
two-thirds of hospitals short of doctors,
gaping holes in nursing too,
nurses working unpaid overtime,
never getting back their day owed in lieu,
both working their best in unbearable pressure,
what else do you suggest they can do?
Would you like to be a doctor or nurse?

Wake up, surely you’ve heard
of the gross underfunding
leading to trusts effectively bankrupt,
thus inadequate performance,
non-delivery of services,
excessive waiting of patients
and even preventable deaths &
winter crisis’s now expected to last into summer?
You haven’t? Well you’re reading the wrong paper –
do something please do something
before our NHS floundering & dying,
turns in its cradle as it draws its last breath.

Wake up – think!
Don’t turn up at your doctors demanding antibiotics
for a sniffle, as nearly all now think a cold is a flu.
Don’t turn up at your doctors for meds
you can buy over the counter
and extend this courtesy to A&E too.
Don’t turn up there for splinters in fingers,
toothache & backache, sniffles & sore throats
or just cos your pissed. Think of the folk
back-logged in the ambulances, true accidents and emergencies
whose immediate care might miss critical moments in timelines
(by your unnecessary presence) as you moan and groan as you wait
with your sore throat, wanting unneeded *AB’s…

But most of all be proactive, just do something,
raise your voice loud, write letters to newspapers,
the government and to your local MP,
join movements backing our doctors and nurses,
and importantly make no unnecessary visits
to accident & emergency or to your lovely GP.

Wake up – support our NHS,
for you really won’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone!

*AB’s = antibiotics

© Mags Fairlie


Mags Fairle is passionate about her world and writes about her feelings in both poetry and prose. She lives in the UK and likes putting her fingers in pies.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Friday News

Flood waters in Bolivia,
Tens of thousands of animals at risk,
Won’t you help?

Trump denies,
Sends troops to defend the wall,
Dashes DACA; trade war with China.
I can’t help.

Help! I scour the morning news
for some small piece of humanity
to temper news aggression.

Last sip of coffee, find Spring Blooms
– an Orchid show in the Bronx –
and gingerly pick carnivorous flowers,
as my weekend escape to joy.

© 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.

Windrush

Ships and prisons, the long sea, in such damp dungeons,
We lived, if the sun shone, or where it did not, skulked,
Shackled and weary, weary, o.

What kind of nakedness strips the soul to the bone?

Our futures were coin in another’s pocket, spun for hazard
And our lives upon it, glinting faces in a shaft of light,
Flashing in the dripping bulwarks of our outward voyage.

Stripped, we were, worked to sleep, made to toil and reap,
Ours was the effort of sweet empire, but never its reward.

But when we came to this place of cold shores and rain
We took hard-won freedom wrapped in black forgiveness;
At last we thought we had welcome and honour instead of chains.

Once again, we gave our hours and days to labour;
We put our backs into work and the profit of work
Seldom for ourselves for we had learned to be unselfish.

In half-a-hundred years, as before, the families we grew
Sundered, some remaining, some returning to other homes
And places too long lost in time to matter.

In half-a-hundred years, we thought the wounds had healed,
And belonging seemed a possibility, when we could wash away
The scars of shame and the sweat of ownership still clinging
To our skin like prejudice, our indelible mark of Cain.

We are the children of your slaves and their children’s children;
After generations in thrall, we paid the hard currency of endeavour
To wipe away the sins of the past and in time we came
To you of our own free will.

In the rain, on these cold shores, we wore the garments
Of our former masters and thought we too were acceptable.

Ships and prisons, and now planes, in such dungeons,
Life is systematically obscured like the sun behind a cloud,
And we are stripped back to bone again, the flesh of our becoming
Flensed along with whatever honour and respect we had.

We are as naked now as we always were in their eyes;
Those who saw us as goods for sale in that brutish past
Simply swept its brutality aside under the sham of repentance.

We have been stripped again, taken on ships and planes,
Home to where our fathers and mothers were first oppressed;
They did not belong and nor, it seems, do we.

So many homes, so much denied;
Behind the official, old-colonial faces
Nothing much is changed, least of all
The cold-hearted deceit and gall.

© 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, 19 April 2018

Trees in Sheffield

Initially put forward by the Council
As a road improvement project and
Opportunity to remove trees,
Dead or dangerous to the neighborhood.

Residents went along with it until
Healthy or beloved trees were cut-
Just left bloody stumps
Which were painted red.

The Council witholding plans,
Contracted tree felling to a company
Which had aims other
Than being environmentally friendly.

Residents had enough-
Forming networks to detect
When Fellers had their greasy chainsaws
Directed on a target.

A 57 year old woman was arrested
For blowing a pink trumpet,
A retired couple questioned by the CIA
On giving a poisoned cuppa to a tree cutter.

Police formed circles around the trees
To barricade protestors,
Until Sheffield Council succumbed
And halted the tree massacre.

© Amanda Derry


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.

Bird-Woman – Book-Keeper & Chemical Grief

O! Geese of the marshlands
They will spoon you to their
Audacious mouths, gnash you
And suck the sweetness away.

This I saw. I too am called
By the Hunting-horn. Curiously
Enough the skies
Were not made escape hatches.

It – the killer blue, rolls
Like fly-paper.
Like a pliable moment.
Like the diner’s dream...

I’ll say my begotten prayer for
All caught things.
I’ll spy and endorse findings
To set the records straight – then

Put the oven where my mouth is.
Toast black my succulence.
Let them – then – try spooning me
From their throats!

© Stefanie Bennett


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.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Environmental Issue

Take a while
to consider
the word -
hostile
and it’s vile
implications

Synonymous with
bellicose
belligerent
bitter
catty
cold
malicious
malignant
sour
spiteful
surly
vitriolic
virulent
warlike ....

Defined as
“Difficult - not suitable for living or growing”

Not suitable for
the seed,
the grand-baby girls and boys
of Caribbean cannon fodder
to grow up
in peace

So gift them
a free ticket
and send them back;
throw in a few extra nights
at Yarls Wood to boot

Set them afloat on
rivers of blood,
echoes of the past
chiming loudly in their ears
and send them back

on the rush of an ice-cold wind
to where they no longer belong

© Bex Tate


Bex Tate, frustrated with the data driven education system, recently left behind her job as a Kindergarten teacher to spend time writing and pondering life. Writing poetry helps her to try and make sense of the world...as well as giving her the chance to rant a bit!!


The Windrush Generation

In 1948 you came

And joined the mass migration.

Your heads were filled with hopes and dreams:

The Windrush generation.


You settled down, found homes and schools,

Worked hard at integration.

You paid your taxes, raised your kids:

The Windrush generation.


Around the land, we found you room –

An asset to our nation –

And offered you security:

The Windrush generation.


You’re part of us, yet now you face

The threat of deportation.

It’s to our shame we treat you so:

The Windrush generation.


© Fiona Lloyd


Fiona Lloyd is a writer and music teacher living in Leeds, and has loved playing with words for as long as she can remember. Twitter: @FionaJLloyd

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Disney's Dead Inside

Mickey's eyes have lost their sparkle
Minnie's stalking Meghan Markle

Donald Duck's schizophrenic
Frenzied, fiery, fricking frenetic

Snow White's on the special cola
Elsa's not of sound mind.

Belle's bipolar-
Such a bind.

Winnie The Pooh's having a wobble
Cinderella's got the Collywobbles

Ariel's at breaking point,
Why-hard to pinpoint.

Princess Jasmine feels just fine
Or so you'd think, from looking online.

Olaf's OCD is off the chart
Channeling pain into snowy art.

Rapunzel's on a cocktail of drugs
When she all she needs is a massive hug.

Pluto's on Prozac
So watch your back.

Goofy's got PTSD
Gaston's got the blues

Cinderella's lost her sparkly shoes
Anna's anorexia -what's it to you?

Sugarcoated hopes and dreams
Cute fluffy kittens
And motivational memes

It's time make-believe died.
When Disney is dead inside.

© Katy Konrad


Katy Konrad lives in the North West. She has performed at Callander Poetry Festival in Scotland twice. Her poem ‘Totality’ was published by Silver Birch Press in 2017.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Out of sight out of mind

No one will know
They'll just forget
For his own good
I have no regret
Out of sight
Out of mind
Out of society
Soul confined
He's mentally ill
Pain to be around
Messing about
You'll not hear a sound
Not very bright
Not for his age
I'll lock him away
Kept in a cage
For 20 years
More if I can
No bother to you
This is Japan
Violent tantrums
Uncontrollable strops
Bad behaviour
Imprisoned till it stops
In the garden
In a small hut
He'll just exist
With the door shut
Don't worry for him
He's watered and fed
He'll be ok
Well at least not dead
He's looked after
Has no need
Knew nothing else
Until he was freed
Finally released
Released from his cell
Given freedom
From his living hell

© Robin Welsh


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.

We Push Buttons

My President
and the President of that President
have a clear message
unprecedented
in its clarity and pyrotechnic
imagery, for you tyrants elsewhere:

We Push Buttons,
not you. Not your little pinkies on
those plasticine maps
rebranded terrains
where our names, our voices rain from blank skies
the powerful blue of widened eyes.

We Make Choices,
hard ones. Make them on everyone’s behalf
even when faced with
no consequences
with a carte as blanche as zeroing cheques,
the hollowmouthed viewfinder of graphs.

We Take Action,
fast. Faster than you can say Election
fraud. As decisive
as empty filing
cabinets; empty as a Cabinet;
clear as a scorpion in this sandstorm.

© Caleb Parkin


Caleb Parkin is a poet, performer, facilitator & filmmaker, based in Bristol. He works with schools, museums, universities and others & is completing an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. Winner, Winchester Poetry Prize 2017  National Poetry Competition 2016 - 2nd Prize  The Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition 2016 - Shortlist  Watch filmpoem 'Bony Orbit' on Atticus Review  I was on Poetry Please here Twitter: @CalebParkin

Sunday, 15 April 2018

That Was the MUSE That Was

Letter to Bertolucci


Sitting here in an airless, blindingly

lit hospital room, waiting for

the nurse to come back with the doctor.

I’ve always wanted to ask you, how

you conceived the idea of filming

The Last Emperor and how long it

really took to get permission from

the Chinese government.


The hospital gown is paper thin and

affords even less protection than

the clothing I wore, for the date he took

me on. The news broke yesterday,

about that young actress in your film.


Would you have called an ambulance for

her, to have a real siren wail in your movie?

Like the boy did when

I wouldn’t stop screaming.


P.S. I’d have sent you a glitter

bomb, except they don’t make

glitter in Paris anymore.


© Barbara O'Donnell


Barbara O'Donnell was born in West Cork and works full time in the NHS in London. Her poetry has been published in Black Sheep Journal, Ink, Sweat & Tears and Skylight 47.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

The Bomb App

Bombs are “smart “

They only target foreign skin


I’m sure it will break just a few limbs

And not see an apartment cave in


It will whistle past the Russians,

Saying hi along the way

Give reverence to the Iranians

“Get out of my way “


Bombs are “smart”

They only pinpoint the “exact foreign skin “


But when the families are laid out on a cold hard floor

The breath of life beating no more


Well


“We will have to do better next time

Start those fighter planes”

Let it begin

Again

And again

And again

And again


© David R Mellor


David Mellor is from Liverpool, England. He found understanding and belief through words, and his work has been aired widely, at the BBC, The Tate, galleries and pubs and everything in between. Discover more about David on his Facebook Page YouTubeTwitter: @olunikat

Friday, 13 April 2018

Subjects of Denial














My hair is clean and brushed and smart.
Hers is drenched and dirty.
I am wearing cosy clothes.
She is bare and purple.
I'm inhaling bluebell air.
She is breathing fire.
I am watching pixellated subjects of denial.

I am strong and tall, unbowed.
She is weak and wailing.
I am fifty years of age.
She is but a baby.
I have biscuits on my lips.
She has froth and horror.
I am watching pixellated subjects of atrocity.

I have eyes that blur and leak
but I am speaking freely.
She has eyes that cannot see.
She is wheezing frantically.
I am hearing grown men lie.
She is hearing people die.
I am watching pixellated subjects of denial.

© Laura Taylor


Laura Taylor has been obsessed with words and language since her early childhood. She believes in the power of poetry as a means by which silent voices speak and hidden ears listen.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

National Health Service

Just take your meds

It’s all in your head.


A ten minute slot

Is all you’ve got.


Need my checks, feeling week

How’s Thursday, this time next week?


And they tell you it’s all in your head

Just take your meds.


You’re the third call in the queue

But when you get through

Do you really get through?


And they tell you

It’s all in your head

Just take your meds.


Full waiting room

Gloom and Doom.


Worst winter ever

But no-one lives forever.


And they tell you

It’s all in your head

Just take your meds.


Out of hours, call 999

Why did you phone-you look just fine.


All you want is a face that’s kind

But still they tell you

It’s all in your mind.


RIP NHS Born 1948

A tragic fate


Once found, now lost

Far, far too late.

© Katy Konrad



Katy Konrad lives in the North West. She has performed at Callander Poetry Festival in Scotland twice. Her poem ‘Totality’ was published by Silver Birch Press in 2017.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Close to Me

Togetherness disappears.

We are lost while leaving ourselves.

It's too late for finding symbols.

The expression is a form of research

at the entrance of voice ventricles.

We sacrifice slow reasons to the quick words.

Parting is a chronicler with no chronicles.

Interpretations are hinted in the meanings of values.

Let’s not torture the lions with the inner space of the sky.

We have lost the gemstone.

The search is wasted effort.

We nurture the faith of case circumstances.

Cheek shows the traces of palms.

For too long we dream the threats of responsibility.

Ironic solution of doubting we have left for the end.

We demise traces for the orphans.

God was praised, unfortunately.

From the scriptures we take out when needed.

We did not realize that all is prone to cease.

And a deep gap between the kisses,

We did not admit.

© Tatjana Debeljački


Translated summary: The winner of the 25th Contest for the most beautiful love song, traditionally organized by the Cultural Center of Ivanjica, is Tatjana Debeljački from Uzice with the song "CLOSE TO ME". Selector of the competition, poet Milijan Despotović.

The competition for the most beautiful love song was attended by 115 authors from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Japan, Macedonia and Bulgaria, with a total of 350 songs.

Tatjana Debeljacki She writes poetry, short stories, stories and haiku. She is a Member of Association of Writers of Serbia -UKS since 2004. She is Haiku Society of Serbia- Deputy editor of Diogen. She also is the editor of the magazine Poeta.


Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Baa!

The Good Shepherd
Zuckerberg
Origami like
Folds and pens
The Sucker Herd
Tagging each one
As they baa baa baa
Onto pastures new

The flock
Finding they
have been misled
Twitter
About justice
Lost
Bleating back
To Bo Peepian Days
When they could still
Stand up and be counted

In the time it takes
A lamb to shake its tail
They scroll on
To Selfie style themselves
A better future
100 likes later
Peace is restored
Zuckerberg
Crook in hand
Like Pavlov
Whistles for his dogs

© Bex Tate


Bex Tate, frustrated with the data driven education system, recently left behind her job as a Kindergarten teacher to spend time writing and pondering life. Writing poetry helps her to try and make sense of the world...as well as giving her the chance to rant a bit!!

Monday, 9 April 2018

You Are Enough



You Are Enough.


No Botox

No Fillers

No Vampire Facial

You are Enough.


No Thigh Gap

No Leg Day

No #mondaymotivation

You are Enough.


No Brazilian Blow Dry

No human hair extensions

No short choppy bangs

You are Enough.


No Slimming World

No starvation

No #cleaneating

You are Enough.


Just you

Your Heart and Mind

Your Body and Soul

You Are Enough.

© Katy Konrad


Katy Konrad lives in the North West. She has performed at Callander Poetry Festival in Scotland twice. Her poem ‘Totality’ was published by Silver Birch Press in 2017.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

That Was the MUSE That Was

Butcher

I think my neighbour
is training to be a butcher.
I hear him at his work.
He leaves his door open.
I can hear
the systematic slapping of
large soft joints
against hard bloody surfaces.
He yells about his business -
coarse and vulgar words.

He is not the sort to wear protective gloves.

I think he enjoys
the chopping and tenderising.
His hands are stained
and his thick sausage fingers
grab hungrily at flesh.
His meat hangs about
in a cold room
looking something like it used to,

but less and less as the days pass.

© Fran Hill


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


Saturday, 7 April 2018

The Luck of the Draw

That life is a lottery
is a fact well known.
Philosophers argue,
and they are not alone,
that luck plays a part
in the cards we are dealt
the minute we are born.
Some will be filthy rich,
others will be poor
fighting hard to keep
the wolf from the door.
Indigents won’t have seen
the kind of money
that a Canadian teen
has recently won.
If one had that amount,
he might be tempted
to live the life of Riley
or be a Champagne Charlie.
But this sensible lass
has her head screwed on;
she’ll only spend it on travel
and further education.
She is, one might say,
the pride of her nation.

© 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.

Friday, 6 April 2018

This plane has no engine

Silent as dreaming it pushes its nose
through banks of low cloud, shadow-glides
between the next world and this,
grazes the town's sleeping rooftops.
Through the last threads of daylight it tries
to limp home to a fireside long grown cold.

This plane has no engine.

This plane is a shadow.
Without roar or thrum it comes hurtling
towards a smudged horizon.
Its pilot, its crew, are those whose cheeks
were drained of their rosy, young blood.

This plane has no engine.

This plane is a memory,
the imprint of a war fought for
reasons few people can remember.
Daylight is failing as this engine once failed.
Our world falls through the dark like a stone.
This plane perhaps has a ghost of a chance.

But this plane has no engine.

© Abigail Elizabeth Ottley


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.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

The State of Things

Poor pupils filling pockets with food.
Poor teeth, grey skin, they’re tired, they’re thin.
Monday’s worst: hunger’s accrued;
a weekend of neglect. How do we begin?

Poor teeth, grey skin, they’re tired, they’re thin;
their parents work three jobs, scrimp and save
a weekend of neglect. How do we begin:
if your belly was empty would you behave?

Their parents work three jobs, scrimp and save:
poverty’s expensive – leccy meter, payday loan.
If your belly was empty, would you behave,
dismissed as scroungers, struggling alone.

Poverty’s expensive – leccy meter, payday loan –
Monday is worst; hunger’s accrued;
dismissed as scroungers, struggling alone –
poor pupils filling pockets with food.

© Myfanwy Fox


Myfanwy Fox has had a weird life and would like to make yours weirder, too. She occasionally blogs at Fox Unkennelled

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Goodbye to Facebook

It’s been a long time coming.

We’ve been on and off for years.

You reeled me in at the start,

Reconnecting me with old friends

and pictures of cute puppies -

both kinds!

But, just like all the rest,

you became more needy,

Stealing all of my friends,

copying my likes and dislikes.

Revenge Porn was a new low.

People like you are why blocking was created.

It had become an abusive relationship.

Demanding to know my whereabouts

at all hours.

Telling me where to shop, socialize,

who to be friends with.

I deleted you twice before

but couldn’t resist

your intoxicating allure.

The validation your adoration gave me.

My virtual life a smokescreen

for my personal tragedies and flaws,

Every post sunk me deeper into the void.

Facebook, I’m cutting the cord.

It’s over.

I’m through.

© Katy Konrad


Katy Konrad lives in the North West. Katy has performed at Callander Poetry Festival in Scotland twice. Her poem ‘Totality’ was published by Silver Birch Press in 2017.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

What are the odds

In a dusty, musty, falling down hut
a boy learns to keep cricket scores.
He pencils dots like Braille, watches
the umpire signal from the square

where lanky batsmen lurch, hesitate
before risking the twenty-two yards.
After the game they all want stats,
who made what, bowling averages,

partnerships, analysis of every kind.
And the boy learns, oh how he learns.
They think he doesn't see pockets
lined with sand, can't interpret nods

but he is like Hawk Eye in that hut,
can get under their skin, find lies.
Don't tell him you are sorry now
that your foul game is caught out.

Please don't expect his pity, respect
for owning up. He could smell you
like the paint they use for lines,
the linseed on your fancy-pants bat.

In a dusty, musty falling down hut,
a boy weeps like willow, grabs his
mobile phone to check the odds,
places bets on crooked lost heroes.

© Pat Edwards


Pat Edwards is a writer, teacher and performer living in Mid Wales. Her work has appeared in various publications including Prole, Picaroon, The Curlew, Ink Sweat and Tears and the soon to be published #MeToo Anthology. Pat runs Verbatim poetry open mic nights and curates Welshpool Poetry Festival.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Waves of Waste

Rolling and crashing, foam exploding
Waves rushing landward
Then receding away
Earth’s moon, pulling and releasing
Creating the tides and waves
Millions of litres, all moving together
Celestial power of rhythm and pulse
Constantly moving, over millennia

Within this beauty lies destruction
Islands emerging, constantly growing
Bags and bottles; all kinds of plastic
Floating together; trapped and entangled
With nylon fishing line, nets and rope
Man’s rubbish abandoned
Discarded and dumped in our seas

Shipping containers break free
And slip away from sight
Twenty seven each day, that’s
Ten thousand a year!
Like steel-clad icebergs, drifting
Silently bobbing, waiting and lurking
The silent destroyers
Of collisions at sea

Man has mismanaged and lost control
But waves still roll and crash on our shores
When man is gone; the waves will remain
And probably the plastic
We’ve dumped in the sea

© Peter Wright


Peter Wright 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.


This Fragile Craft

Iron, steel, carbon reinforced plastic
Down she plunges towards the earth
Product of technologies fantastic.

Chinese space lab no longer active
Now beyond control
Subject of monitoring intensive.

Where she lands nobody knows
Predictions only speculation
Of desert soil or ocean flows

And when she starts to disintegrate
Falling through the atmosphere
All contact will terminate

As eyes are fixed on vacant space
In the hope of a glimmer
Some reassuring trace

Of anything remaining
From this fragile craft that once
With the stars went sailing.

© 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).

Sunday, 1 April 2018

White Easter

Poets at Easter sharpen their pens
and to celebrate the religious feast
they’ll write poems about parades,
chocolate eggs or a white bonnet.

Written in rhyme or blank verse
or as a lyrical Petrarchan sonnet,
to which readers are not averse,
they will include many metaphors.

A figure of speech that we know
which we relate to the Easter hat
is that white represents the snow
and that is just what we may get.

We weren’t expecting a cold snap
as we are in the middle of spring
and the birds are cheerily singing.
We must conclude it is a mishap.

© 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.