Thursday, 14 June 2018

In Memory of Grenfell 💚

Caoineadh (for Grenfell) 💚

       I summon to this
                         shadow graveside
the joys and sorrows
                             of our families.

My sister’s wonder at sweet pea
blossoming on a cold windowsill.
The speckled palette of her view
across an unfamiliar London sky.

Her daughter’s delight in dancing
in learning. Of uaigneas, loneliness
sadness, comforted by a letter
from home in her mother tongue.

Will anyone ask if she was happy -
if long hours cleaning hospital
wards bled her skin
                          dampened her soul?

Does anyone care that she was good?
                                she helped neighbours
her beliefs had no colour.

She is beloved, grá geal mo chroí.

That she missed music, singing
                 her voice strong
a skylark in London
                keening for home.

© Rona Fitzgerald

Rona Fitzgerald worked on promoting gender equality for twenty years at European and national levels. She writes poems about people and about matters in the world that concern her.

Rapunzel   Moss Height Glasgow 💚

Ur yi no feart? School pals wunner
Sae high up? Plump palms oan the sill
she learns the toon's clutter. Fitba pitches
whare Daddy plays day-bricht wi floodlichts.
Motors birl an hurl roon shinin the nicht.
Barbie-pink curtains aye open. The shops,
whare the wumman upstairs works, aw wee toys.
Hir magic show. Dancin wi the wind the swayin flats
fuel hir dreams. Oer the noise o the babby
through the wa greetin, the telly blethers.
A hundred people now feared dead
in the Grenfell Tower blaze.

Streechin oot, freckles agin the gless
she peers doon at hir building, wunners
Whit's cladding?

© Finola Scott

Finola Scott likes writing and tickling her grandchildren. A Slam-winning granny, she appeared this year at the EIBF as well as reading in Rosslyn Chapel by candelight.

Face Lift 💚

My face in lining up to check
its worn cheeks and over-hanging eyelids
in the mirror. Like any old building,

the elements have washed it
into disrepair, though not yet instability.
No need for signs warning of
falling debris.

I slap on a bit of make-up sure,
but it's purely cosmetic,
just to plaster over cracks,
add some colour.

If I had more money than sense,
they could lift me, suck me, fill me,
provide full and costly renovation.

But when you are poor, all you get is
unsuitable cladding
and no real means of escape.

© 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.

Enquiry 💚
If we could, we’d ask them what it was like:
when the fire had taken hold and was rip-roaring close
and they knew, no way, were they getting out

and they wondered what it was going to be:
barbequed, flash-fried alive, sizzle and flame,
or deep-sea drowned, gulp-gulp-gulping acrid smoke.

If we could, we’d ask them what they felt:
in the super-heated furnace of their guts,
in the roaring Hell-fire of their heart,
in the blazing bonfire of their brain.

But as it is, we can only ask ourselves:
who’s fault it was, who was to blame.

© 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.

Grenfell Tower 💚

‘Grenfell Tower’ was first published in ‘The Lyric’, Summer 2017

How must it feel to know you’re going to die
when rabid flames demolish and devour
and leave a mausoleum in the sky?
How must it feel to know you’re going to die
too young, and bid your family goodbye,
when acrid fumes constrict and overpower?
How must it feel to know you’re going to die
when rabid flames demolish and devour?

How must it feel to try to carry on
when you escaped the blaze but at what cost,
to suffer nightmares which will run and run?
How must it feel to try to carry on,
when much of what made life worthwhile has gone,
with home and treasures, friends and loved ones lost?
How must it feel to try to carry on
when you escaped the blaze at such a cost?

© Jenni Wyn Hyatt

Jenni Wyn Hyatt was born in Wales in 1942. She now lives in Derbyshire, and started writing poetry in her late sixties. Jenni published her first collection, 'Perhaps One Day' in 2017.

One Year 💚

One year
does not
fill the spaces
where lives were once lived -
does not
fade the image
of their faces
their voices
crying out
from inside
until the lines went

One year does not stop
the anger
the pain
the numbness
the nagging knowledge
that they will not
come back -
does not stem
tears falling like rain
dropping out of eyes
that would rather not have seen
the unseeable -
nor silence ears
that would rather not have heard
the unspeakable

One year on
there is no
sprinkler system
to douse memories
no extinguisher
no Jack and Jill
pail of water
to put out
the grief smarting
in hearts

One year on
empty rhetoric
can and never will
fill the spaces
where lives were once lived

One year on
one love
one green heart –
many voices
through silence💚

© Bex Tate

Grenfell one year on: ‘We don’t want those lives to be lost for nothing’

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 well as giving her the chance to rant a bit!!

 Grenfell (a double triolet) 💚

What would William Blake have done
as Grenfell Tower was burning bright
and names extinguished, one by one?
What could William Blake have done
to wake the rich in Kensington
before the sirens cried that night?
What would William Blake have done
as Grenfell Tower was burning bright?

What would William Blake have said
to those who built the fatal walls,
trapping the innocents in bed?
What could William Blake have said?
The names and numbers of the dead
hide under an official pall.
What would William Blake have said
to those who built the fatal walls?

© Jennifer Davis Michael

Grenfell Tower lit green a year after fire

Jennifer Davis Michael is Professor and Chair of English at the University of the South in Sewanee,TN, USA. Her work has appeared in Mezzo Cammin, New Verse News, Literary Mama, and elsewhere.