Poetry24 is closing on Friday, 31st May (see notice in sidebar). But until then you can still send your news-inspired poems to poetry24ed@gmail.com

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Careless

O caro Loris Karius,
while others are censorious,

in the hour of your extreme distress
my heart goes out in tenderness.

Your blunders cost your side the Cup –
but which of us has not fucked up

in private and behind closed doors?
A billion eyes were watching yours

as you rolled the ball against their 9
off whom it crept across your line.

Your confidence was now shot through
and Bale’s long shot would slip through too

and gift Real the winning goal
that scarifies your tortured soul.

© Richard Devereux

Loris Karius left in tears as two calamitous goalkeeping errors cost Liverpool dear

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.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Rites: The Mojave – Flight MH17, 2014

When all else failed
The great heart
Of the Joshua Tree
Became

A Tepee ‘fire build’
In the desert’s
Empty
Arena...

It was a signal.
It is the signal.

© Stefanie Bennett

MH17: Russia 'liable' for downing airliner over Ukraine

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.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

#Youtoo

Pretty maids all in a row. But no
one has loosened her hair, dare
say she looks slutty. Fine ass, no class.
So many delicious toys for boys,
scattered among the boss’ bed, red
with tulips and maids, trades
for good jobs. Say yes, tight dress
what, no? But why so?
I have power, from my tower
and can help you. Why blue?
You knew, I’d replace you. Face
the facts, you’re just a blip, cool dip
of fun, a toss aside, finished ride.
You, and youtoo, knew what I’d do,
so time's up, get in your row, contrary hoe.
Remember, girls I still run the show.

© Carol Parris Krauss

Paz de la Huerta on Harvey Weinstein’s Arrest: “I Couldn’t Stop Crying. I Don’t Know Why.”

Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein cases send a Time's Up message

After Weinstein, Britain’s Parliament Confronts Its Own Sexual-Misconduct Scandals

Carol Parris Krauss is a mother, teacher, and poet who lives in the Tidewater region of Virginia. She is a Clemson University graduate who enjoys her garden, pets, and American football. Her poems can be found in online and print magazines such as NewTimesNews, Storysouth, Eclectica, Amsterdam Quarterly (forth coming), and the South Carolina Review.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Two days after the day to remember – it is the day not to forget!

Here is the news…
The Prince married his princess and
they will live happily ever after,
safe and secure, knowing their
palace will never burn, but
for some loyal Englishmen
their home is forever a
smouldering castle.

Here is the news…
The wedding is the headline story!
The inquiry almost the forgotten bridesmaid.
Newsreel of bunting fluttering,
crowds waving, flags flying.
Cheering masses, beaming smiles.
Harry and Megs masks obscuring
those that cry.

Here is the news…
72 died! An inquiry veiled
by the royal nuptials, already
skirting the issue, pushed
under the red carpet, clad in the good news glow
of sunshine and confetti.
Drowned out by marching bands and
thrown aside with the bouquet.

Here is the news…
The honeymoon period is over.
Remember the victims, forget
the wedding snaps and look
at the big picture. Fan
the flames of anger and GAWP
at the cost of a dress, of flowers and the millions to
keep them secure, safe and nothing spared.

Here is the news…
Nothing!!! Save on costs.
Juxtaposed to the lavish celebrations.
The Spare Change Grenfell Tower Theory, where
safe, secure was not a priority. So that
lining the streets to cheer loves young dream
was not on offer for 72 wreaths –
the short changed loyal sovereigns.

In other news…
Let’s make them the subject of
a noble crusade for justice!

© Darren Beaney

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry with Eddie Mair

The Royal Wedding: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Darren Beaney: OAP - Old Aged Punk. Writing on and off for 20 years. Did some slams in the late 1990's (very drunk). Never submitted anything anywhere.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

That Was the MUSE That Was

From Wyoming with love

Sweep up the homeless of Windsor
Their bags and detritus
Spoiling the view

Hard whacking
Jolly hockey sticks
Move along please sir
Make way for 'is 'ighness
and the luverly lady

Eton rifles
'shoot em down'
take up arms
against
this epidemic of
rough sleeping
and vagrancy
Not fit for the eyes of a king

Step inside
That hallowed space
Ding dong merrily on
high bloody society
And dare to ask for bread of heaven

Feed me till I want no more!!!

© Bex Tate

Windsor council leader calls for removal of homeless before royal wedding

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, 26 May 2018

Shithouse Blues

There's shit under our cities.
There's shit on our shoes
This rising Fatberg crisis
Gives me the shithouse blues.

The privatised sewers
Are full of mountains of fat.
We will be covered in shit
If we don't soon act.

Somethings are flushed
When the should be binned.
And that horrible smell
Is not on the wind.

It is under the street
Due to years of neglect.
Capitalism profits
And we pay the debt.

Things have got to change
It is up you to choose
Clean away the system
Or have the shithouse blues.
Clean away the system
Or have the shithouse blues.

© Phil Knight

Fatbergs—a byproduct of a system addicted to waste

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.

Friday, 25 May 2018

swim until




















the sea did not
fill your soul with sand
but dry land’s rising stone and complication
laid an arid continent to the edges of distance

geology and heavy weather
by erosion silted bleak memory in you
like gravel grinding your resilience
wearing thin like a cheap suit

sea calmed you in the landslide days
covered you with its translucent green light
your eyes’ weeping in another wet.

land and landscape
brought you to a hollowness
where sprawling humanity’s affliction
was its own scuttling blindness

it was never the sea
that filled your soul with sand
but sand itself gritty and windblown
stinging like spitting biting rage

you swam until land was gone
along with the crowded cities
you swam until the aimless and artless streets
were lost among the waves

away now
that’s you away

going down uncounted
to where currents teased your soul
with sky and horizon forgotten everything
of air and cloud or rain forgotten

you had let too many
crowds surround you
until they shut out the light
of every good day’s dawning

a stroke too far
let the breakers take you
and keep you not set you free
to rise again having only swum until
the world was washed clean
by tide and deep water

© Brian Hill

Scott Hutchison mural unveiled in Glasgow

Frightened Rabbit - Swim Until You Cant See Land

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, 24 May 2018

Grandad (Jamaica 1948)

When Grandma died, Grandad was sad.
Then he was fun and cheerful again.
Now he’s gone back to being sad –
Dad told him we’re leaving Kingston.

And going to live in London Town
And he’ll be getting a very good job
And we’ll be going to very good schools
And we’ll soon own our very own house.

That made Grandad a bit less sad.
Dad said he’ll be sending money back home
And that made Grandad cheerful again.
He hugged me … and his eyes went watery …

He said he’d miss us playing cricket
Watch the ball – all the way – onto the bat.
Head down – sniff the leather – swing out hard.
He always said that. Grandad grabbed

My arm, then went a little bit mad –
Said he wasn’t talking about cricket
But cricket was really life itself.
‘Mark my words!’ He jabbed me hard.

© Richard Devereux

Windrush migrants still sleeping rough one month after minister's promise

Pakistan in England, Ireland & Scotland 2018

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.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Roman's Holiday

Roman Abramovich is feeling blue
which is the hue of the Chelsea shirt.
They won the cup and he was due
to meet the winners and celebrate
as he is the owner of the dream team.
From the Home Office it was relayed
that his visa expired, so it would seem
that his presence has now been delayed.
Chelsea supporters are smelling a rat
and are convinced that it is a plot
that sly Mancunians are apt to concoct
to spoil the triumph of the conquerors.
But it sounds like a tale from a Brontë
and that theory can be be discounted.
As a neutral spectator (a Man City fan)
I can say the reds were quite correct
and their behaviour was sportsmanlike.
That's not the case in regards to the man
who achieved the victory, Antonio Conte.
He is said to have failed to get to the top
and it's time he stood up and be counted.
Perhaps a few million might be necessary
to soften the blow and prove a nice sop.

© Luigi Pagano

Downing Street defends visa regime amid reports of Abramovich delay

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.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

A Right Royal Division

The remarkable sparkle
of Meghan the Markle
marrying Harry
on a mid May day

The hobs and the knobs
the stars and the snobs
all hoitied and toitied
come out to play

The hoi poloi clap
the plebs doff their caps
❤❤Spread the Love❤❤
they hear the preacher man say

Cute kiddies hold her train
confetti showers down like rain
and the country is divided
about whose really gonna pay.

© Bex Tate

When the confetti is swept away we are left with a deeply divided country

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, 21 May 2018

Kalapana Meditation


"Only a Pompeii and a Herculaneum were needed at the foot of Kīlauea to make the story of the eruption immortal." - Mark Twain, "Roughing It"

We hike over the miles of moonlit lava rocks, to the base of the volcano, the glowing crater above us. What are the odds of a girl from Brazil, Australia, California and a queer ex-Amish poet gathering at the Kalapana lava flow?
Nambe sings a spiritual song about creation and giving thanks. Molten lava flows around and beneath us, bursting through rocks and spilling into the rainy night.
On the way back I fall, Pele kissing me as a "kumu" later tells me. I carry a scar beneath my eye today.
We get lost on the way back, wandering for hours over the onyx landscape. A flashlight beams at us suddenly.
"I'm Nate the Great from Wisconsin but at the moment I'm not so great - I'm lost."
Nate the Great from Wisconsin joins our caravan as does a couple whose cell phones guide us to the road, well after midnight.
Nambe holds my hand the entire way. Nate is reunited with his friends and we walk the road back together.

Back to the moments at the flow, huddled near the lava's warmth against the cold rain. Back to Nambe's song. Back to the fiery streams.
I sit by the girls, watching the embers glow. The moonlight is gone, with only the alchemy of Pele...


*EXCERPT from "Punatic: Poems from Puna, Hawaii" by James Schwartz (Writing Knights Press, 2018)

© James Schwartz

Hawaii volcano: Lava spews from 18th fissure on Big Island

James Schwartz is a gay ex ‪Amish‬ poet and slam performer. His poetry has been published by various poetry journals including Poetry24, Politiku, @7x20, Babel: The Multilingual Multicultural Online Journal, The New Verse News, Nostrovia! Poetry, piecejournal, Silver Birch Press blog, Diversity Rules Magazine, Eris Magazine, WritersResist.com and Science of Mind magazine.



Sunday, 20 May 2018

Harry and Yanny and Meghan and Laurel

Laurel hangs bunting and arranges balloons
in bunches of red, white and blue
while Yanny tots up the cost of the celebrations
and cuts funding to front line services.

Laurel sets out place mats with crown motifs
and double checks the seating plan
while Yanny moves on anyone not wrapped
in a flag or clutching official merchandise.

Laurel gets teary-patriotic-drunk
and gasps at the dress
while Yanny takes a Stanley knife
to the sleeping bags of the homeless.

© Neil Fulwood

Homeless people in Windsor have belongings removed to be stored ahead of the Royal Wedding

Laurel or Yanny explained: why do some people hear a different word?

Neil Fulwood is the author of media studies book ‘The Films of Sam Peckinpah’. His debut collection, ‘No Avoiding It’ is published by Shoestring Press.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Windsor Street

No bunting flutters in the breeze,
no boys and girls, dressed up so neat,
with not a scratch upon their knees.
There are no flags on Windsor Street.

There are no parties in the yard,
the sandwiches will hold no meat.
They will send no greetings card
‘from the residents of Windsor Street’.

There are no beds of scented flowers,
there are no open arms to greet
the crumpled masses who spend their hours
huddled in corners on Windsor Street.

There are no canapés or quince
or any kind of special treat -
just calorific saturated fats since
the jobs were lost on Windsor Street.

So when the bride comes down the aisle
with platitudes thrown under her feet
the folk will try to raise a smile
at the injustice wrought on Windsor Street.

The cheering crowds will sing the happy couples praise,
choreographed to match the beat
of marching bands on sunny days
that never pierce the shadows on Windsor Street.

When the happy couple go to be bed
and lay beneath their privileged sheet
not a single thought enters their heads
of the detritus on Windsor Street.

Little England has it’s sideshow
with celebrities they’ll never meet -
meanwhile resentment will flourish and grow
in the humble abodes on Windsor Street.

© Ian Whiteley

Royal wedding 2018: Anti-monarchy group seeks police promise over protests on big day

Ian Whiteley is a performance poet from Wigan. He has had 2 poetry collections published and has released 3 CD’s of poetry/music. He is also ¼ of the performance poetry group, Bard Company.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Split Screen

Ivanka: “Danke schön!” White teeth.
Smoke and Jared, wiping his forehead,
“Thanks for making America Great
Again,” with much hand clapping.
Split screen - black smoke emanating from Gaza,
rubber tires being tossed on a smoldering fire;
young men running with no leader no jobs,
burning rage. Trump blames Hamas, blames the kids.
Some in my country might be calling
the Gaza side an uprising – as usual.
Just a bunch of angry kids who weren’t invited
to celebrate the American Embassy’s
move to Jerusalem. And others might think
their rampage is totally inappropriate and focus
on the white teeth, white dress, white suit
and all those faces smiling at the cameras.

© Kay Weeks

A Grotesque Spectacle in Jerusalem

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.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Pharisee and Publican

To sacred precincts strode one day
A well-established Church to pray;
Alas! in an adjacent pew
A Psychic Fraud was praying too;
So, fearing the just God might see
And judge him by such company,
The Church declaimed: "I thank Thee, Lord,
That I am not a Psychic Fraud;
I thank Thee for the taste and tact
Thou showed in the creative act
Which brought me forth, and to me led
The dupes who buy my daily bread.
I thank Thee for those many schools
Where children learn Thy holy rules,
And all about Thy charming ways
With witches, heretics and gays.
I thank Thee for the sacred praxis
Whereby I share my country's taxes,
And clothe my manifold abuses
In fetching, gossamer excuses.
Thou didst well, in a nutshell, Lord,
In making me no Psychic Fraud."
And, all puffed up with righteous pride,
He toddled home quite justified.
Of this, the Psychic Fraud had heard
No solitary blesséd word;
But, wanting a new home extension,
She talked the priest out of his pension.

© Philip Challinor

She didn't see it coming: psychic arrested for $800,000 fraud

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

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Breakages and Rifts

If you break a wine glass

and don't offer to replace it

does it show a lack of class?

And when one's in-laws

insist on you paying

do they clutch at straws?

Some say that it's crass
to demand compensation

and they should let it pass.

Others argue that since

it was quite expensive

pardon doesn't convince.

And recompense is hard

as the owner demands

cash or credit card.

But the culprit's spouse

may be forced to consider

re-mortgaging the house.

© Luigi Pagano

Woman expresses shock as in-laws send bill of £156 for broken wine glass

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.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

First Family

“As I found myself thrust into the Trump orbit, I once again was having flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the mob.” -James Comey


When the Commander

in Chief is a Boss, you can

bet on it.


I know because I read

a history book.


The criminal I am speaking of

does not read. It doesn’t

matter. He knows what every

mobster knows. That a crime

can be concealed by a bigger

crime.


War -- the ultimate

cover-up.

© Alina Macneal

How Trump’s Iran deal decision may lead to war


Alina Macneal lives in Philadelphia. Her poems have appeared in Apiary Magazine, Poems for the Writing, The World to Come, and other anthologies.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Protest Pong?

(Bex Tate is wondering if walruses are creating a stink about Trump’s lack of recognition for the dangers they face due to climate change.)

There was
something
quite wrong-
Oh my gosh
what a pong!
Turned out that
some walrus
had turned up
in a throng!!!!

© Bex Tate

Unexpected walruses crowd beach of small Alaskan village

Walruses face 'death sentence' as Trump administration fails to list them as endangered

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!!

Sunday, 13 May 2018

That Was the MUSE That Was

The King Is Dead






















It is the 16th of August 1977.
Up as usual at quarter to seven,
picked a copy of the ‘Daily Mail’
that the paper boy never fails
to deliver and I suddenly read
that Elvis the Pelvis was dead.
It came as a shattering shock
to learn that the king of rock
was no more and would not
make teenyboppers go hot
with desire and salivating
while their idol is gyrating,
moodily singing the blues
or Blue Suede Shoes.
For his many fans Graceland
Is forever the Promised Land.*

*1975 album

© 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.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

London is dying from knife crime

Stab!...Stab!...Stab!
Another death on our street

Stab!...Stab!...Stab!
Another life incomplete

Stab!...Stab!...Stab!
Young body cold concrete

Slash!...Slash!...Slash!
Another Bobby taken off the beat

London is dying from knife crime
Gangs running riot fighting all the time

Innocents murdered for standing on the street
People are killed, pieces of meat

Police have disappeared through funding cuts
Now we're paying the price with blood, gore and guts

We must try to protect our vulnerable youth
Teach them right from wrong, teach them truth

This shouldn't be happening in modern times
Government failure now political crimes

Invest in our kids and the whole of society
If we're ever to stop the killing and relieve anxiety

© Robin Welsh

Donald Trump's remarks on tackling knife crime in London 'ridiculous', surgeon says

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.

Friday, 11 May 2018

The Joker and the Trump

Boris Johnson nominates
the President of the United States

He says the Nobel Prize for Peace
should go to Donald Trump

But that joker has been played before
No satire in it any more

Irony died, doesn't he see?
when Kissinger won it in seventy-three

© Janine Booth

Boris Johnson: Give Donald Trump Nobel Peace Prize

Janine Booth is currently performing material from her new book, 'Disaffected Middle-aged Women', at many locations around the country and abroad.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

HMT Windrush


‘Dull, wet and rather cool’
The June that waited those who came
From Kingston and Port of Spain aboard
Hired Military Transport Windrush.

What better way to reinforce
Our hospitals, buses and trains?
What better day to dock in Tilbury
Than Midsummer’s Day ‘48?

They shiver as they come ashore,
As sea-swell legs take wobbly steps.
A daughter hides in mother’s skirts;
Her brother’s hand seeks father’s palm.

Their pristine papers duly stamped,
They’re transported up to London Town
And play a game, the four of them –
Of ‘Who Can Spot The First Red Bus?’

A Clapham air-raid shelter’s where
They first lay heads on English soil.
Morning comes and the men go off
To register as ‘Available’

At the Brixton Labour Exchange.
They found a flat in Coldharbour Lane,
But never saw Jamaica again
And still the boy and girl cannot.

Those pristine papers, mostly lost,
Are considered now ‘inconclusive’.
They cannot vouch their every move
So, if they leave, they can’t return.

© Richard Devereux

Home Office told of Windrush errors five years ago, experts say

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.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

A very English Bank Holiday

Phew! Local elections over. Relax,
settle down with the papers and the telly.
Put your feet up, enjoy the sun,
try to forget it.
It was all topsy-turvy, anyhow.
Success was called failure, failure success.
Win or lose, the parties were delighted,
except when the results were
disappointing.
Language suborned, truth reinvented.
Believe nothing.

             But at least the sun shone
             and you could get out into the garden


Once upon a time there was a secret ballot,
a jewel in democracy’s crown. Not any more.
Four thousand turned away from polls
for lack of photo-ID. A trial, to combat
the major issue of electoral fraud
(28 bad votes, at the last election,
out of 32 million).
Also works on
~        poor people,
~        homeless people,
~        old people,
~        young people,
~        transgender people,
~        disabled people, and
~        ethnic minorities.

             But at least the sun shone
             and you could get out into the garden


‘We're here to help you with your journey needs
24 hours a day.’
Except on Sundays. Nothing stops
Planned Engineering Works on Sundays.

Particularly on the forecast
‘hottest May Bank Holiday
ever recorded’; particularly
on the London–Brighton line
via Gatwick airport, so that
people can neither go to the beach
nor leave the country,
their weekend one long despondent queue.
It’s their own fault, of course:
they were warned.
‘Due to overcrowding, customers for
Brighton & the south coast are strongly advised
not to travel today.’

             But at least the sun shone
             and you could get out into the garden


© Mandy Macdonald

Britain set for hottest ever early May bank holiday

The media treads a thin line between truth and lies
Local elections: 4,000 people turned away from casting their ballot in voter ID pilot
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.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Scabies

Miniscule the little beast
burrowing through her skin
to feast on flesh that lies beneath,
and lay its eggs
and multiply and multiply and multiply.

Why bother to pretend to care if you don’t care
even though your job description is that of carer. 
If you don’t care why bother
to treat infestations with a simple cream,
instead watch and see how the little mites
eat her inside out, crust up her skin,
ignore (her) exquisite pain, 
just watch her die, for she’s just old
so who cares anyway?

What’s a doctor? 
We don’t know that’s why we didn’t call one.   
But anyway, who cares?

Homicide by neglect – you must be joking. 
Even if you’re not, who cares?

But we do care what you think of us…
(for we’re nice y’know.)
We do care about that,
and that’s important…
very important.

© Mags Fairlie

Former model eaten alive by scabies in Georgia nursing home

Mags Fairlie 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.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Small Change

We didn’t fight for freedom and
a land fit for homecoming heroes.
We didn’t survive rationing, air raids,
fire bombs, dog fights, death camps, the Blitz.
We didn’t wake up to the stars above us
and shards of splintered glass in our slippers.
We didn’t see the ghastly dust that hung
on the morning like a shroud.

We didn’t fight it but the war was as real to us
as our fathers and our grateful mothers.
We grew up in the sunlight of their great relief,
heard their terror in the telling of their tales.
We sucked it in with our National Health milk
and we learned that we were the future.
At school, we bought poppies for the fallen dead
and wore them with innocent pride.

We were – we are – the baby boomers:
though now we are a nuisance and a burden
then we were the tender young
for the sake of whom thousands had died.
When we were still in our nappies we were
plagued by doubt, and pregnant
with our parents’ expectations.
To be happy was our daily task.
Our business was to make things make sense.

Now as we grow older close in our hearts
we confront the grey ghost of our failures.
Did we douse the flame, drop the ball,
turn our backs on the fight?
We dared a while but then we slept.
When we woke we found our shiny new world broken.
Now hope spills out like so much small change -
and our pockets are bereft of our dreams.

© Abigail Elizabeth Ottley

Millennials are struggling. Is it the fault of the baby boomers?

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.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

The Bare Essentials

Many keen gardeners on the 6th of May
will exfoliate and turn over a new leaf.
There won’t be salad dressing that day;
that is the general consensus and belief.

It seems horticulturists have ruled in unity
that it would be a hoot and a bundle of fun
to shed inhibitions and engage in nudity
but without the risk of catching the sun.

Some spoilsports might say that it’s dirty
to get the sun where it doesn’t usually shine
and that it’s unseemly to be brazenly flirty
but for the naturists it is absolutely fine.

To be tending tomatoes and water cress,
unburdened by clothes, in your birthday suit,
not being embarrassed or showing distress,
they feel that their action will bear fruit.

Among the enthusiasts there is a number
who have noted an increase in their yield.
There is admiration for a huge cucumber
which outgrew everything else in the field.

© Luigi Pagano

World Naked Gardening Day? I love the idea, but here’s why it terrifies me

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, 5 May 2018

893.35 Quadrillion to One

I love to camp in the wilderness,
amongst the animals and trees.
Love to sleep with nature,
sleep in the mist,
embrace the light night breeze

But

Wilderness don't like me,
a snake bit me, bad

I love to hike in the mountains,
views and scenery to die for,
excitement beyond no other,
camping wild, camping,
my head on Mothers floor

But

Camping don't like me,
a bear found me and bit my head

I love to go body surfing,
wind in my hair,
salt water swimming,
just my shorts to wear,
swim in the ocean with the fish and the tide,
out in the open with nowhere to hide

But

Body surfing don't like me,
a shark saw me and bit my leg

I really love the beautiful and wild nature of our precious earth

But

It don't like me...

and I don't care!

© Robin Welsh

Man bitten by shark, bear, and snake, had odds of 893 Quadrillion to one

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.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Lives Shortened

Sorry?
Is
Jeremy Hunt
for real?

Up to 270 dead is
the toll of that 'glitch'

That is
Hundreds of women gone
unscanned, untreated
Hundreds of women gone

That is
the toll of that 'glitch'
Up to 270 dead is
for real.

Jeremy Hunt
is
sorry.

© Janine Booth

Jeremy Hunt 'sorry' for breast scan error

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

Thursday, 3 May 2018

And just when you expect

the CAP to fit,
they do this. Me
planning to expand
the farm, from two-seater
leather to a three-seater
in lush green velour
and, having had the same set
of farm animals since
I was a child, I just bought
my first cow. Already
we are squeezed
for space on the couch
and he also insists
on hogging the remote.

© Maurice Devitt

Hogan warns 'hobby and sofa farmers' EU payments will be scrutinised in reform

Winner of the 2015 Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition, he was runner-up or shortlisted in Listowel, Cuirt, Patrick Kavanagh, Interpreter’s House and Cork literary Review. He is a poet of international breadth, having had poems published in the UK, US, India, Romania, Australia and Mexico, and representing Ireland at the Berryman Conference in Minneapolis, and at the Poets in Transylvania Festival. He is also the curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site, a founder member of the Hibernian Writers’ Group and has a debut collection upcoming from Doire Press in 2018.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

May 1, 2018

A pair of poems, inspired by the "Scots' glorious kindness in 1918 - the year both my parents were born." - Melinda Rizzo




















Dear Mom,

For years, I’d look for mother substitutes –
under rocks, in closets, on the Ferris wheel in July at the shore.
Eventually, like hand recoiling from a hot stove burner, I stopped.

At about 15 I realized I didn’t really know what
I was looking for anyway– and the fresh sting of raw burn
slowly began to glaze over, reduced to a dull haphazard ache-

Losing a parent – and I’ve
been zero for two for a long time now –
it’s like a reverse birth:  you are never the same.

Spring’s late this year.
The lilac is still, small, and tight.
They clutch to themselves in cool mornings.

A clump of wild violets – I never planted these -
shimmer in dappled sunlight. They’re seated
up against the fence, fully fledged.

These little ones must receive
some adopted warmth from painted wood,
some sheltering protection from season’s ebb and flow.

I lost you at 11, learned comfort in familiar,
daily routine:  brushing my teeth,
Grammy’s “silver dollar” pancake breakfasts.

100 years ago today, on May Day, the United Kingdom celebrates.
Roman Goddess Flora is feted and rejoices.
Girls wear fresh garlands and twirl around Maypole rites of spring.

They’ve been doing this 2,000 years, or longer!
Everyone gets a bank holiday on May Day,
a return on investment they can count.

Yearly, I promise myself I’ll make a May basket
to hang on my front door knob. Redolent with spring flowers
from my garden and lavender sateen ribbons.

I would do it this year, truly, I would; except
daffodils are sad and spent. Delighted violets, too small,
to peep out from the rim,

and the lilacs – your blessed favorites  –aren’t ready.
Love-

PS-
Pear blossoms and pine, bursting hyacinth
and a painted maple basket- Among reluctant,
white lilac blossoms, I found my courage.

© Melinda Rizzo



Dear Dad,
They’re playing Moon River on the radio,
one of your favorites.

I made myself a soft-boiled egg,
 and got I it right! White just set,
summer sunshine yolk all ooze runny-

And I did soft white bread toast to dip it,
It wasn’t Wonder but it was wonderful-
with the crust a little crisp shattered snap.

Why does a soft boiled egg
and Moon River –
remind me of you.

This year you’d have been 100,
your odometer stopped and
mine still rolling toward 57 in December.

A year longer than Mom got to be-
So on Nov. 7, 2018
I’ll head to Philadelphia,

where you’d first moved from the farm
and married her after the war.
I’ll find an outrageous steak house.

On your birth date I’ll order a Manhattan, straight up,
 with two maraschino cherries on a pick,
and give it a swirl….

I remember now why the eggs matter-
In your 2-room walk up at 5th and Girard
Mom made you creamy, soft boiled eggs.

She told me so – with Wonder bread toast,
and she’ use the traffic light on the corner
as perfect, 3-minute timer.

Love –
PS- In late September I’ll sit in the evening shade, a pony bottle of Rolling Rock
in one hand and farmer’s field at my feet.  I’ll listen to the corn gossip, as the sun
fades while Mandarin moon, as wide as your smile, climbs the horizon.

The Scottish island that buried America's dead

Melinda Rizzo lives, works, cooks, gardens and writes poems in a 200-year-old farmhouse in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Kickabout

Picture the scene:
Early fifties,
Lancastrian rows,
All cobbled neat.
Anna-Frid, Bennie,
Agnetha, et al
In a two up, two down
Formation,
‘Avin’ a kick-about
In the street.

Then, from t’ kitchen window
A rollered head pops out
Spreading lavender and fear:

“Where’s Bjorn?!
Yer little bugger!
Time for yer tea!!”

“‘Ere mam! I’m ‘ere!
Mam I’m ‘ere!”

© Mark Coverdale

BREAKING: Abba reform to record first new music for 35 years

Mark Coverdale was born in Darlington, grew up in the hills of Saddleworth. He now lives in London, writing and performing poetry around the subjects of politics, homelessness and social justice. Twitter: @cov_art Blog: www.cov451.com