Tuesday, 31 July 2018

The Publisher of the New York Times meets Trump

Trump expressed pride
that he had popularised the phrase
fake news and said
countries had begun to ban it.
I pointed out these countries
were dictatorships
seeking to avoid scrutiny.
I told the president directly
his language was divisive;
it was dangerous to label journalists
‘the enemy of the people.’
It put lives at risk, it undermined
free speech and a free press.
Trump tweeted “Fake news
has morphed into phrase
‘Enemy of the People.’ Sad!”

Trump himself has warned us: “Just remember
what you’re seeing and what you’re reading
is not what’s happening.” And he's said
"I think that probably clarifies things pretty good.”

© Sue Norton


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

Vegistate Legislate






Vegistate Legislate

I fear my death has no appeal;
if I vegetate will I feel -
will I think or will I blink,
is there a chance my heart will sink

© S.O. Fasrus

You Can Paint Me Red White And Green But it’s All Yellow






You Can Paint Me Red White And Green But it’s All Yellow

Sometimes nice guys
Do finish first
For good reason
The push on stages comes with ages
Not dressed in limelight
But yellow
And now
The world all knows
Llongyfarchiadau G
It just goes to show

© Mark Coverdale

Monday, 30 July 2018

follow the water















red in a dark-sky rising
the moon bloodied by red umbra
sheds too little light

summer sun sleeps
beneath our horizon
obscured by earth

shadows of our making
cast themselves like fog
in darkness dim as doubt

the moon tidally locked
blushes in its shame dry as dust
it holds no water

red planet in the same sky rising
thirty-six million miles in opposition
hides its liquid underground
still and secret

rivers once flowed on barren
mountains fissured still
by creeks and rills

deep in the aquifer
primordial cells may yet swim
living spirals to our distant
and ignorant eyes

for now phobos and deimos
fear and dread skim the surface
their captured rotation erratic
fast slow crashing toward planetfall

following the last water as it seeps

© Brian Hill

Mars has a vast underground reservoir of water, scientists find in major breakthrough in search for alien life

Rare Red Moon and Mars in evening sky on 27 July

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.
Blogs as Scumdadio (don’t ask) at: http://onepieceaweek.blogspot.co.uk

Sunday, 29 July 2018

That Was the MUSE That Was

Hell for Leather

Once upon a time, the story goes,
there was a country that was beset
by great poverty and a lot of woes,
by tyranny and the national debt.

Whilst the poor walked in bare feet
a famous widow who was profligate
lived in luxury and enjoyed the treat
of finding footwear to accumulate.

She was vain and rather bossy
and had a fetish for fashion shoes.
One pair designed by Sergio Rossi
was favourite and in constant use.

Her expenditure became excessive,
and her shoe collection overgrew.
The tyranny being too oppressive,
the country needed someone new.

Once the Marcos were overthrown
a brave new lady came to the fore:
the aptly named Maria Corazon.
And democracy reigned once more.

© 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, 28 July 2018

Self-Portrait on the Other Hand or, On the Distinctiveness of Fingers (after Nestlé, Kit Kat)

Left Pinkie: below-stairs finger, dinner-server, burnt tundra
at the knuckle, would-be cocker of posh drinks (were I posher);

Ring finger: wrinkled at the print, cradler of dishes while other
digits do the grist, diamond neck-brace wearer (were I straighter);

Up-Yours Finger: piggy-in-the-middle malingerer, head and shoulder
above the others, un-tapping rester on the table (were I calmer);

Index Finger: pointer at horizons, daily-placard-waver (were I even lefter),
J’accuse Finger, Trademarker – who made you finger taker, finger breaker?

© 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

Friday, 27 July 2018

The Avonmouth Flies










Image - by kind permission of GST GAVART of ARKWORKS...


Avonmouth flies
sitting on pies
cut-glassy eyes
massive in size
………….

Greeted with cries
black hairy thighs
crawling up walls
greeting demise
….

Spotted and blotted
no one knows why
flies fill the skies
flies on the rise
…...

Slow fly can lie
high fly gets by
low fliers die
loving the pie
……

Sticking to papers
fly end is nigh
40 watt fry
zapped on the fly
…….

Spray in their eyes
brought down to size
swirling on floors
buzzing on doors
…….

Getting their highs
sticky end flies
papers with vapours
Stick legs must die
……...

Flying in groups
Swarming and swoops
marvellous flies
currants in skies
……….

looping the loop
squadrons-a-hoop
black fly cloud spy
by fly by fly
……….

pie maker lies
must sell the pies
no flies he sighs
there are no flies
…..


© S.O. Fasrus


S.O. Fasrus: Social Justice Campaigner & Social Research Interviewer. Her verse and poems; some comic; satirical; and serious; can be found online. Recent poems are in New Verse News, Culture Matters, and Poems for Grenfell Tower.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

(Rondeau re)doublé negative

He sits and lies, this dealer, leader, fake:

incompetent but confident as hell.

We reel and feel it is some huge mistake

he’s in this oval room and not a cell.


No sign his faithful minions will rebel:

we ask ourselves just what it’s going to take

to stop them being enthralled by how damned well

he sits and lies, this dealer, leader, fake.


Disloyalty brushed off as a mistake:

misspoken words part-mangled as they fell

from fib-smeared lips, as oily as a snake

(incompetent but confident as hell).


Obsequious to Putin, Kim, he’ll tell

us things are going one way one day, then brake

and straight away, reverse the carousel:

we reel and feel it is some huge mistake.


Preposterous as each prolonged handshake,

more stoat than statesman, salesman who can’t sell

so cheats, and dodges, yet, for heaven’s sake,

he’s in this oval room and not a cell.


The limpest blimpest manchild, likes to yell;

to drown out truth, the orangest snowflake

when it gets through, a rank polluting smell,

and as we dread the great foul swamp he’ll make,

He sits and lies.


© Hebog Tramor


Hebog Tramor is a Professor at a UK University, researching medieval legal history and writing the odd poem.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Gender

I went to a meeting today
It explained about the new thinking way
That sex isn't about biology or even psychology
or whether your straight, lesbian or gay

It's society that has driven this mode
a culture of "do as your told"
yet when left to choose
happiness exudes
and diversity is no longer on hold.

Choose or not choose as you wish
to romance, date or kiss
forget the birds and the bees
its about twigs and colourful leaves
it won't matter what gender your born
if you wish, you can be a UNICORN.

© Debbie Smith


Debbie Smith is from Bristol. She loves words and poetry and is a bit political. Currently active in trying to keep the loos and libraries open. Watching our Politics.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Finders Keepers

A lost thing
hunted and searched for
missed and mourned
no trace remains
no tears or regrets
reveal where it is
sadly forgotten

A cast off thing
unloved, unwanted
useless, discarded
replaced
gladly forgotten

A found thing
a treasure discovered
a present, a gift
freecycled, recycled
finders keepers

A picked up thing
a prize disguised
poisonous perfume
finders losers

© Jo Wright


Jo Wright is retired and lives in Dorset. She has written poems and stories all her life but has only recently felt brave enough to begin sharing them with others.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Parch Marks

It is an unseasonable summer.
The sun strokes dry crumbling soil,
You can hear the grass grow
and wither out of the chapped earth.
Contiguous virgin clay, tilled loam
and built ground swelter restlessly,
bulbously heat-stretched and swollen.

Buried archaeological infections
pustulate to the surface,
A pockmark map of levelled
civilisations, Iron Age forts holed up
beside World-War bunkers.
Parched monuments tattooed
under farm skin and playing fields,
Waiting to soak up the erasure of rain
and slither back to anonymity.

© Aoife Troxel

Brutal Heat in The UK Is Revealing Hidden Footprints of Historic Civilisations

Aoife Troxel has been writing poetry since the age of six. Luckily, she's improved since then. Before becoming a legal adult she was already two-time winner of the Poets Meet Painters Competition youth section. She has also read her poetry in Sežana, Slovenia as Cuisle Young Poet of the Year.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Collusion

Hope seeps out

of the screen.

To pray – 

if that
is what
it is

- that this will be

the time.

The crime

of the highest order,

after groping women
raping the planet and
locking up children.

Colluding with

evil

to get him elected

will finally
finally
be the thing

that brings him down.

We hope.

© Emma Woodford

Trump just colluded with Russia. Openly.

Emma Woodford is a social activist and poet living in the Belgian countryside with her family and many animals.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Pity the Downtrodden Tenant





















(a take on Fred Hellerman's 'Pity the Downtrodden Landlord')


He opens my door to go snooping

he’ll poke through my stuff when he can

when I paid him that massive deposit

he seemed such a civilised man.

Now I’m walking on eggshells and nervy

I wake in the night feeling vexed

of late he’s been giving the glad-eye

What, sexual bonuses next?


He’s timing my stints in the bathroom

(the loo rolls are all locked away)

he tells me it’s extra for water -

it’s weird cause I already pay.


So pity us downtrodden tenants

I lodge in a shed out the back

today I was hanging my washing

My landlord shouts: ‘Lacy and black!’


I must say my shed is expensive

10 square, with a put-me-up bed -

for water a tap in the garden

no shower; a hose-down instead.

It’s 90 plus quid every Monday

My landlord is doing me proud,

he crows: ‘ Aren’t you lucky to be here -

remember no friends are allowed!’


He’s timing my stints in the bathroom

(the loo rolls are all locked away)

he tells me it’s extra for water

it’s weird cause I already pay.


So pity us downtrodden tenants

In under-stair cupboards and sheds

our toilet facilities rationed -

a nightmare in put-me-up beds!


© S.O. Fasrus

Note: image by S.O. Fasrus


S.O. Fasrus: Social Justice Campaigner & Social Research Interviewer. Her verse and poems; some comic; satirical; and serious; can be found online. Recent poems are in New Verse News, Culture Matters, and Poems for Grenfell Tower.


Friday, 20 July 2018

Holiday Workers

8.46am: The fluorescent men arrive early.
Their van is full of boards; they get to work
nailing planks of chip-wood to windows
of houses facing the field in my estate.

Residents turn on bulbs in sudden dark
living rooms; day light boarded off.
For that fifty-foot bonfire will blow up
in flames so long and sharp and hot

that every piece of window glass would
shard like shrapnel; like ball bearings
in an explosion of values; or a bomb
set from within, on a timer at midnight.

At 11.59 pm, there’s an alcoholic rag sent
streaming into the pyre; into wobbling
mass of pallets and my neighbours’
chairs and their chests and their doors.

Then that music plays a thumping beat
and Buckfast bottles glow green against
flames, while people are wobbling
silhouettes against fierce orange landscape.

9.30 am next day: Four fluorescent men
arrive. Double pay on the twelfth.
They get to work, unnail singed boards.
Their van is full of black charred chip-wood

from the windows of houses facing the field
in my estate. The pyre so large, so full of wood
it’s burning still; less fierce, but persistent.
It takes until well after noon to die a death.

On the thirteenth, metal men will come,
They wait until it’s cool enough to touch.
They’ll fill their van with steel. The only thing
that’s strong enough to tolerate a fire like that.

In two weeks’ time, the council send the men
with seeds to scatter and renew the charred
black field. Say fresh green shoots will grow.
Say all is light and new for just another while.

© Amy Louise Wyatt

Eleventh Night bonfires: culture and controversy


Amy Louise Wyatt is a lecturer, poet and artist from Bangor, County Down. She has had work published in a range of established journals and magazines; has read at festivals throughout Ireland and was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2018.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Eating at My Nan's

I remember Mahatma Gandhi
Breakfasting at my Nan's.
He was the perfect gentleman,
When we met we all shook hands.
He said that India would soon be free
From the British Empire’s choke;
And India would be a superpower
When it threw off that yoke.

I remember Nelson Mandela
He and my Nan had lunch.
They talked about apartheid;
It would end soon, was his hunch.
Black and white would be equal,
Everyone would get a vote,
South Africa would look forward.
It was his greatest hope

I remember Arthur Scargill,
He came to my Nan's for tea,
Before the miners' strike started -
I think it was eighty-three.
They talked about the government
And the attacks on the working class
And disappearing freedom -
I think it will come to pass.

I remember Muhammad Ali.
He had dinner at my Nan's,
She'd cooked a special goat stew
They talked about Viet Nam.
He said he'd fight no wars abroad,
They're not the enemy;
The real opponents are at home.
It made real sense to me.

I remember Che Guevara
At my Nan's for his late night meal.
He spoke about Cuba's freedom -
I couldn't believe it was real.
They’d kick out the corrupt, he said,
And the people would be free.
I said it was a great ideal,
But we’d have to wait and see.

I remember eating at my Nan’s,
With politics the fayre.
With tales of fighting for freedom,
For bread and for clean air,
For education and our health
And a right to vote for change,
For freedom from starvation.
Does that seem very strange?

© Peter K Jones

Barack Obama condemns ‘strongman politics’ at Nelson Mandela centenary event

Peter K Jones took up writing poetry and short stories after retiring as a lecturer in employment law. He’s the Secretary of Pinboard Writers in Mold and prefers it to work.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Going Our Separate Ways

So long old buddy,
it's been a blast,
but time moves on
and yours has passed

quite clearly. Sad to
say those in the know
have vetoed you;
it's time to go.

You did your best.
You stood beside
brave men and women
who could have lied

but chose instead
to tell it straight,
take their chance,
resist their fate.

You knew Mandela,
Rosa too,
and Luther King,
inspired by you.

You put to shame
despots who tried
to take the whole world
for a ride.

But now the champion
of the western world,
so reckless with his
use of word,

imagines facts,
dilutes meaning,
subverts sense;
semantics reeling.

A great nation
thinks it's ok
to elect a leader
who speaks this way.

It's a sad time
the world is going through,
so goodbye Truth,
it was so good knowing you.

© Charlie Lambert

The death of truth: how we gave up on facts and ended up with Trump

Charlie Lambert is a former BBC sports correspondent who began writing poetry in 2016. He lives in Liverpool but is originally from Cumbria and his work is to feature in a new collection by Cumbrian poets, 'This Place I Know,' to be published by Handstand Press in the autumn.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Always Inside

Always inside I pace, sometimes out run the prey,
That precede me, smiles, ice-cream, pink sandals and toes
On two feet. Twirl, empty talk, matches my speed with poise.

I’m rehabilitated, have seen the light through the glass,
Know the enemy from within, no it’s power, it’s kindness,
The smell of it’s meat, the empty noises, it’s blindness.

Sometimes I roar. Next to the glass, I see the shudder.
It’s commercial, my unmaking, the king of the jungle.
If only the glass would break, and you would stumble…

© Rosalind J. Lee


Rosalind J. Lee lives and works in Norfolk, England, a place where history meets the present, is shattered and remade. It is, then little wonder - that poetry comes tactile.

Monday, 16 July 2018

TS Eliot Would Understand

(for Pierce)

His fur
tumbles and gathers in the corner, dried
kibbles wait in his bowl. The other cats sniff
for him, mourn, as well. He would pound
on doors requesting entry and belly scratches,
wait at the backdoor for our return, and beg
by the screened door to go for a garden walk.
Those doors have all closed.

Our senior cat, Pierce, passed yesterday.
He was pure love.

I once
had a writing instructor who told me to
be more abstract in my work and to stay
away from sentimental subjects such as
babies and cats.

In a wasteland
where babies are caged and separated
from mothers, racism is on the rise, and
pure love dies unexpectedly, all the rules
of writing, living, surviving have changed.
TS Eliot would understand.

© Carol Parris Krauss




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.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Where Are The Birds?

Where are the birds
Pollution spreads its wings
Clouds ever-greying skies
Grasses darken
Rusting without chlorophyll
Before assuming the pallor of slow death
Where are the birds
Plastic chokes oceans
Fish float with swollen bellies
Great cetaceans beach themselves
Blues and blacks become pallescent
Where are the birds
Chemical filth scours the ground
Channelling poison
Furring Earth’s arteries
Where are the birds
In town and country
Sewage stagnates
Ground becomes sclerotic
As the very fibres of life rot
Bloated flies feed with frenzy
Where are the birds
Masses of humans move north
A tsunami of helplessness
Children’s skin colours like ash
Eyes wide but no longer bright
Fat men sit in ivory towers
Where are the birds
Dying world no longer breathes
Where are the birds

© Peter K Jones

Most of Europe's rivers and lakes fail water quality tests – report

Peter K Jones took up writing poetry and short stories after retiring as a lecturer in employment law. He’s the Secretary of Pinboard Writers in Mold and prefers it to work.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Trump's in Town



Courtesy of Private Eye cartoonist, Rob Bullen



Swallow

Allow this man
and others of his kind
to visit this land of yours and mine
if that’s what they really want

When they arrive
we shall carry our children and grandchildren
aloft upon our shoulders so they can see for themselves
that these people look deceptively like us
generally human in appearance

And when they speak
our offspring will hear the sound snakes make
to sanitise their decisions and the steps they take
in the name of narcissistic whim or profit
regardless of impact on people or planet

Our precious ones
will this way learn
whom to avoid
whom to distrust
whom they must
not allow themselves to become

Allowing
the vile to be here for a while
putting their poisonous ideas on trial
should not increase their following
but will teach us that
when the venom is spat
the secret is not swallowing

© Peter A Kelly

Note: 'Swallow' first appeared in I am not a silent poet and appears here by kind permission. (Ed)

Peter A Kelly sometimes draws or photographs but usually writes instead. Occasionally published, one poetry prize, but best rewarded when his work affects others.


Go Home, Fascist

Extremely egotistical,
mindlessly misogynistic,
narcissistic nincompoop,
crass climate change denier,
blustering, bigoted buffoon,
rampantly racist cager of children,
petty, petulant president.
Please - go home.

© 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.


Die Blondinen

Sales of hydrogen peroxide
soar
as Golden Don
and Boris Adonis
pledge to take over the world-

New law
dictates that blondes have more fun:
redheads, brunettes and mousey brown
there’s nowhere to run
'cos the boys are back in town

So head straight down to Boots
there is nowhere to hide
those tell tale roots
if you don’t keep them dyed

Die blondinen
are the superior race as we know
the lessons from pages of history
show
that it starts with a crazy
guy raising his arm
but he’s just a nutter-
no cause for alarm
bells ringing in your head-
the crazy guy has gone now
the crazy guy is dead

And
The Sun
shines down
on our flaxen haired gods
as they tousle their egos
two peas in a pod

© 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!!

A President’s Lot Is Not A Happy One!


When the President’s enduring a State visit
Or maturing his fascistic little plan (little plan)
His capacity for humour is diminished (is diminished)
He’ll sulk, and skulk, and whinge like any man (any man

A dinner with a Queen just don’t excite him
But Presidential duties must go on (must go on)
He’s wondering if she’ll stoop to serving burgers,
Oh a President’s lot is not a happy one. (happy one)
OH A PRESIDENT’S LOT IS NOT A HAPPY ONE. (HAPPY ONE)

When our enterprising President’s cutting taxes
When he’s stealing little children off their folks
He longs for Mar-a Lago and his golf balls
And party girls that laugh at all his jokes (all his jokes)

The lying media’s making up more stories
Though he’s building walls and keeping hombres out
now Brits are floating b'lloons with him in diapers
A stoopid hairdo and a massive pout.

He has to take the hand of their old PM
(Those fancy dinners leave him feeling bad)
She’s still after a trade deal with her Brexit
But Had to say 'Theresa you've been had!'

One day he’ll tell em ‘take this job and shove it’
It’s hard to think he ever stood for this
He’s doing all they voted for, and extra
Yet all they ever do is take the piss

But a President’s life is no such happy one. (happy one)
OH A PRESIDENT’S LOT IS NOT A HAPPY ONE. (HAPPY ONE)

© S.O. Fasrus


S.O. Fasrus: Social Justice Campaigner & Social Research Interviewer. Her verse and poems; some comic; satirical; and serious; can be found online. Recent poems are in New Verse News, Culture Matters, and Poems for Grenfell Tower.


Trump's tresses

Trump went to dinner with May
His hair got out of the car before he did;
I'm not sure any dignitary's tresses
Have been discussed
As much as Trump's is
(Asides from a certain Korean chap).

There's a beauty in comparing
Trump's hair to spun sugar
Catching the eve's light,
Alongside Melania's dress
Resembling a six foot yellow gladioli.

He's avoiding certain parts of Britain;
Mainly areas with protesters
And some bloke with a placard to free
Tommy Robinson.
He will be attending Windsor Castle
But may avoid Buckingham-
Trumpety, Trump, Trump.

© 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.


A Special Relationship

The general consensus seems to be
that the Brits dislike Donald Trump.
They think he is as rude as can be,
that he's not a chum but a chump.

Across the country men will protest,
(though many say the gesture is limp)
and acting more in earnest than jest,
they'll fly a twenty-foot-tall baby blimp.

As he expressed admiration for Boris
saying that he would be a good PM
his opponents criticised him in chorus
and jeered him for uttering this 'gem'.

He claims that the Brits like him a lot
yet many thousand say he is a jerk.
He thinks the EU are hatching a plot
and a deal with them will not work.

To be contentious for him is the norm;
he says things at which people scoff
and he flies into a diplomatic storm
when he declares that a US deal is off.

© 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, 13 July 2018

It's Not Coming Home...This Time

Buzzword Post-Mortem

On the mortuary slab
This time
There’ll be no
Club v country
Pride v ego
Wherever he goes
So does me go
Ticky tacky jealousies
From tabloid bottom feeders
Why can’t we practice penalties?
Where were all the leaders?
Paid too much
Cared too little
Daft haircuts and
Stupid cards
Not this time
Just
Unlucky lads

© Mark Coverdale


Mark Coverdale Art School Mod Poet. Born in Darlington the year Elvis died. Now in London via Oldham writing and performing socially and politically observational poetry. Twitter: @cov_art


Mirage

I stepped out of my home of thirty years
into a landscape transformed.
My postcode had changed colour.
Gone the cement grey
and the downbeat drab of everyday;
instead,
all red,
and silver white
on flags and banners
that held the light;
hanging from windows, shopfronts, bus-stops,
catching the breeze, and turning streets aglow,
even on top of the old folks bungalow.

It’s the World Cup semi-final.

But tomorrow, what world will I enter
from my home of thirty years?
A place of carnival and celebration,
or one of bleak confusion,
broken dreams and disillusion,
again the home
of monochrome,
flags and banners with no real purpose
sent packing with
the other surplus,
stowed in loft and shed and bin,
the land transformed the old-style way
as if there’d been no red-letter day?

© Charlie Lambert


Charlie Lambert is a former BBC sports correspondent who began writing poetry in 2016. He lives in Liverpool but is originally from Cumbria and his work is to feature in a new collection by Cumbrian poets, 'This Place I Know,' to be published by Handstand Press in the autumn.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

A Resignation Letter From Mr Johnson

Up is down, black is white,
left is right.
That might explain why
the left hand doesn’t know
what the right hand is doing.
It wasn’t me, they did it:
the naughty EU.
I’m telling the truth,
when I tell you preposterous lies,
so audacious they must be believed.
I’ll hit you then blame you
for hitting yourself.
Don’t you know? Up is down,
out is in, black is white,
Lies are truth, wrong is right.
By gaslight.

© Janey Colbourne


Janey Colbourne is a writer, performance poet and musician, exploring nature, culture and politics. Her feminist poetry challenges rape culture and its perpetuating myths. Twitter: @JaneyColbourne

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The Great T'inkers

off the radar
off the grid
here and there
couple of quid

on a couch
SUV
need a bath?
Ralph helps me

lost some teeth
soul’s intact
weekly shop?
skips out the back

dog’s on a lead
looks like a rope
Matt’s on the fiddle
Louis’s on the whistle

(Note: SUV = Sport utility Vehicle)

© S.O. Fasrus


S.O. Fasrus: Social Justice Campaigner & Social Research Interviewer. Her verse and poems; some comic; satirical; and serious; can be found online. Recent poems are in New Verse News, Culture Matters, and Poems for Grenfell Tower.


Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Starving for Justice: Eight Weeks and Counting

Resistance today has a bold face:
Oleg Sentsov, Ukraine's loyal son
risking hunger's painful death
that his compatriots might go free.

Far from World Cup action,
in a Siberian cell he battles
for his country and his conscience,
refusing his captors' bread.

How long before organs fail
and senses fade? How long
can Oleg Sentsov fight,
determined, weakened, alone?

Torturous force-feeding cannot touch
what this principled man believes.
His captors string his life along.
His death just now? Bad publicity!

Oleg Sentsov is writing the book
on bravery and selfless resistance:
no stronger statement than one's own life
offered to oppose power's abuse.

© Darrell Petska

(Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, accused of terrorism for refusing to acknowledge Russia's occupation of Crimea, is serving a 20-year sentence in a Siberian prison camp. Sentsov has been on a hunger strike since May to protest Russia's treatment of Ukrainian political prisoners. He is striking for their release, though not for his own. He timed his action to coincide with Russia's hosting of the World Cup. Ed)


Darrell Petska is a Madison, Wisconsin writer of poetry and fiction. He worked for many years as communications editor for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Crow Oop North

(after Ted Hughes)


God tried to teach Crow received pronunciation
Crow said: “Tha needn’t bother.”

God tried to drag Crow to an RSC production
Crow watched Last of the Summer Wine reruns

God brewed a fragrant pot of Earl Grey
Crow got a mug of Yorkshire tea down him

God suggested Pimms on the lawn
Crow ordered a pint of bitter

God had a DVD of Morgan Freeman narrating his life
Crow had a signed photograph of Sean Bean

God thought Crow was a bolshy sod
Crow thought God was a soft bastard

© Neil Fulwood

Pied crow with Yorkshire accent filmed in Knaresborough

Neil Fulwood lives and works in Nottingham. His poetry has been published in various journals, zines and anthologies. His debut collection No Avoiding It is published by Shoestring Press.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Flat Earth

‘Read all about it' - we have the proof
Planet Earth is well and truly flat
Like one of the Crucible tables
Maybe, even flatter than that!
What no beer? Will English fans still cheer?
Sorry no pop, for that sugar rush
No breakfast crumpets dripping with butter
It’s true; this place has lost its fizz
Who knew what CO2 could do?

Perhaps it’s an illusion, just creating confusion
CO2 went AWOL or maybe just missing
Plants offline for routine maintenance
Resulting in queues and rationing for all
So how was this allowed to happen?
It’s madness, all this flatness!
The masses must swelter and bake in the sun
But supply verses demand is always a winner
Watch those prices start to rise

Within every cloud, a lining is shining
CO2, you see, drives those deadly stun guns
So abattoirs must wait, for supplies to return
And the three little piggies are safe; for a while
As we Britons bask in Mediterranean temperatures
Lettuces and cauliflowers shrivel and shrink in the fields
But all is not lost, you’ll remember that lining
The grapes on the vine are amazing this year
Meaning plenty of British wine to drink...
Next year!

© Peter Wright

CO2 supplies 'may take two weeks to return to normal'

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.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Shall I compare thee to … car insurance?

Sam wants to give higher education

some Moneysupermarket-isation:

a plan that’s so crass

it’s an epic non-pass

and the meerkats want his resignation.

© Hebog Tramor

Value for money? What a grim, cold way to talk about universities

Tweet from HE minister, Sam Gyimah

Hebog Tramor is a Professor at a UK University, researching medieval legal history and writing the odd poem.

No Country for the Old Bloke

Regime change, blokes

No smutty jokes

No random pokes

Don’t spike our cokes


Regime change boys

No pervy toys

The locked door ploys

And boob graze joys


Regime change lads

Away with cads

The flaunted nads

the pervy dads


Regime change men

From way back when.


© S.O. Fasrus

What Men Say About #MeToo in Therapy

S.O. Fasrus: Social Justice Campaigner & Social Research Interviewer. Her verse and poems; some comic; satirical; and serious; can be found online. Recent poems are in New Verse News, Culture Matters, and Poems for Grenfell Tower.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Blind Eye










Invisible within sight,
The blind leading the blinded. 

What the eye doesn’t see…

But in a grieving heart,
Grief is in the beating…

Out of sight, out of mind…

Seeing is contaminated
As seeing is denied.

Out of our tiny minds…

Madness or ignorance
Twists what was done.

Nothing to see here…

The evidence of our eyes
Plucked out, subverted.

Least said, soonest mended…

Time heals
But leaves a scar
Of silence.

For the greater good…

As if wickedness denied
Was never wickedness at all.


© Brian Hill

True scale of UK role in torture and rendition after 9/11 revealed

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, 5 July 2018

A Greek Tragedy

On ancient seas of Hellenic heroes,
Of poets and philosophers and warriors,
Foam and spume shower tattered lives
Tossed in darkness, with no respite.

No Jason, no Hercules, no Homer,
No Plato nor Aristotle,
As culture is tossed overboard
With hopes and dreams,
Against the rocks,
Splintered wood and deflated rubber
Are a preface to the disaster.

On the warm and sandy beach
Twisted bodies lie.

Where now Hellenic heroes?

© Peter K Jones

Mediterranean: more than 200 migrants drown in three days

Peter K Jones took up writing poetry and short stories after retiring as a lecturer in employment law. He’s the Secretary of Pinboard Writers in Mold and prefers it to work.

(When he retired from lecturing, Peter worked for a refugees and asylum seekers support group)

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

The Last Available

Pressure sold, the holiday flat,
That wasn’t here, which wasn’t that.
I had it cheap, it was in demand,
There was only one, without a bath!

The landlord is absent,
The staff obtuse, and often rude.
The lack of amenities intrudes…
As does the fake promises

Left in the welcome basket
Of extra glee. Sand and Sea. A mascot
Of wealth cascades in biscuits
As golden as the soft sunshine.
I bite one.

© Rosalind J. Lee

Hotel booking websites told to stop 'one room left' warnings

Rosalind J. Lee lives and works in Norfolk, England, a place where history meets the present, is shattered and remade. It is, then little wonder - that poetry comes tactile.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Apocalypse Now

The omens were bad
The signs were evil.
It was the Blood Moon.
The End of the world.

The first time I lived
through the end times
was on 1 April 1997 when
the prophesied comet
Hale-Bop destroyed
the entire world. It was bad,
but things got worst
In 1999 when Aliens
from outer space invaded
Europe and they sacked
London and Paris
as Predicted by Nostradamus.
Then came the terrible
Year 2000 AD, when
the Millennium Bug brought
an end to the digital age.
Then Kent was destroyed
by a Earthquake in 2009
(that old sage Nostradamus
never got it wrong).
They were dark days,
but the worst of all was
The Mayan Apocalypse of 2012
when the planet Earth was
burnt by nuclear war, flooded
again by never ending rain,
frozen in a new ice age and
was sucked into a black hole
before being blown to bits
when the Sun exploded.

Now we have to go through
it all again, it is so unfair
particularly so close to Brexit.

© Phil Knight

Blood Moon 2018 prophecy: What is the Blood Moon prophecy and will the world end?

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.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Conversations With My Sister

Over the rim of her glass
my sister said -
Why don’t they share the good news too?

Browsing
I found the teacher -
bags packed, dearly departed

Before she left
she asked others to do the same -
pack bags

No flowers
just seeds -

I’ll share this with my sister

© Bex Tate

Teacher's final wish granted with backpacks

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, 1 July 2018

That Was the MUSE That Was

Allegro ma non troppo 

West of Birmingham,
the Men of the Midlands
always bought Austins.
When my father elected Harold Wilson,
he was driving a turquoise A40.

He moved to the Cotswolds;
kept his Black Country accent
and bought another Austin
– a mustard-coloured Allegro.
Perhaps he thought it would help him blend in.

When he elected Margaret Thatcher,
he wished to acquire
a mushroom-coloured Triumph
and handed down the Allegro to me.
Perhaps he thought I’d assume something of him,

sitting in his seat, steering by his wheel.
I tried to like the Allegro but
I rarely topped it up with oil or water,
or washed it. I never polished it.
I commuted in it 10 hours a week.

It started to fall apart.
I called it ‘The Heap’ –
to forestall the mocking Yuppies
I knew at the time.
The only Allegro in that part of the city.

In 1985 I drove my wife and best mate
on the cricket tour to Cornwall.
I promised, if I score a century,
I’ll buy a new car. Safe bet:
I’d never scored more than 60.

I was out – caught on the boundary for 91.
All were dismayed:
the Heap was reprieved.
I kept the Allegro a couple more years.
By then, it was not going at all briskly.

Sometimes my father asked about it.
I’d say something positive – to chime
with him on a chord of his choosing
such as ‘It’s a fine old war-horse’ or 
‘They don’t make ‘em like that any more’.

 © Richard Devereux


Austin Allegro: how the worst car of all time came to be made

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.