Friday, 30 November 2018

The Good Old Days

I understand that our forebears
never had it so good, so they say.
it seems they had very few cares
unlike what happens nowadays.

I have learned, from what I read,
that they could easily knock back
large measures of honeyed mead,
a tipple that's making a comeback.

Jewels that were found in a grave
were lavish, so we must conclude
that some did not scrimp and save
but with wealth they were imbued.

A few were rich, many were poor
which shows things never change,
the impoverished slept on the floor;
roughing it did not seem strange.

Plus ça change, things are the same
that were fifteen-hundred years ago:
it's still the poor who gets the blame
while the fat cats will get the dough.

© 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, 29 November 2018

The Snow Queen

She glides through her palace
Surveying blood red trees
Lined up like stone sculptures
Her cheekbones are cut ice,
Implaccable, expressionless.

She has wrapped the feature tree
In blue velvet ribbon
Like a dress.
Steely eyes
Wield their power
A click of her heels,
You're out.

© Amanda Derry

Melania Trump unveils White House Christmas decorations

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.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

The Empress of Ice Cream

Lovelace, count not upon your pride,
And Hawking too must step aside;
Nor should we lift from Turing's fate
The rigours of Clause 28
While tribute's drooling to be paid
To Her by whom our land was made:
That scientist who brought to life
Our present day so free of strife,
Our country green and kind and fair
Where all deserving have a share;
Where each true Brit makes plucky fist
Of being his own capitalist,
And earns each day, in heaps and mounds,
Those Bankers' notes for fifty pounds
Which surely we must decorate
With Her visage whose noble fate
And right-confected destiny
Brought forth Her reign to set us free.
So sweet and smooth and rigorous,
That chemistry of Her and us:
Her formula to win, and win,
And make us white, and cold, and thin.

© Philip Challinor

Margaret Thatcher eligible to be scientist on new £50 note

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

A fair cop

A fair cop

In California a brown bear
gave the police a great scare
before he was chased away.
He only wanted to say,
hello... hello... hello...
but thought it wiser to go.

© Luigi Pagano

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Save the Whale?

It was all over Twitter
and local radio had
a ball urging folk to
get down the beach
and save the stranded whale.

And we came, in our
ones and twos and then
our dozens, and soon a small
army was heaving and pushing
to save the stranded whale.

It took us hours, but
wasn’t it worth it! To see
the noble creature slide back
into the surf and know
we’d saved the stranded whale.

So we said our goodbyes
and drifted back to normal
life, and the darkening beach
emptied, and the tide covered the
tracks of the stranded whale

and in the morning the
sun let on the flotsam
and jetsam we rescuers left
behind, the things we
couldn’t help but drop
and didn’t miss,
a hundred and fifteen plastic cups
four plastic bottles
a nylon bag
a thousand other plastic pieces
and one pair of
all tidied up by the
poisoned sea that
doomed the stranded whale.

© Charlie Lambert

Charlie Lambert is a former sports broadcaster who began writing poetry in 2016. His work features in the recent anthology of poetry by Cumbrian poets This Place I Know, published by Handstand Press.

Monday, 26 November 2018


The greatest enemy is the other.
Before you persecute a people,
You must first free them
Of their humanity.

Lie, slander and label
Them the other.
Strip them of the simple
Dignity of being human.

You can crush a cockroach
Or vanish vermin easier
Than you can manage
The mass murderer of men.

Rats, bugs, lice or
Lizards from outer space.
Once you rob them of humanity
Special purposes can begin.

© Phil Knight

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.

The dying swan

The dying swan

Television on Saturday
is strictly for those
who watch twinkle-toes
on the dance floor.
Some swan around
in a slow waltz
others quickstep
in quadruple time.
To be eliminated
is the ultimate crime
which the judges
will severely slam
and that's what happened
to ex-cricketer Graeme.

© Luigi Pagano

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Christmas Lights in Chester

The lights have been turned on;
Roads were closed, congested
Crowds turned up to witness
Chester in it's lighted splendour.

The night is soberly cold-
Not many about
Asides from hardened door sleepers,
Their duvets and blankets
In empty shop doorways.

Spice may offer relief,
So they can fall asleep
To forget lights have been switched on
And it is nearly Christmas.

© Amanda Derry

At least '320,000 people homeless in Britain'

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.

Saturday, 24 November 2018



What do you think,
said Harry to Meg,
should we now move
to a council flat?
Don't be ridiculous,
I don't fancy that
not only because
it would be too small,
it would also break
the royal protocol.

© Luigi Pagano

Friday, 23 November 2018

Over The Barcode Of Me And You

Smart lives for Smart people
Is it too late for a warning?
Dante's hell came true
Even for master builders in a mindcraft world
The saviours are digital knights in Orwellian armour
Crimes are virtual
Relationships are virtual
Finance is virtual
Online is never switched off
Who does the collecting, the creating, the selecting
A robot with a human face or a human with a robot brain
Is anything real anymore?
I wish it was fake news
It is until it's true
There's a scanning in progress
Over the barcode of me and you

© V Topp

V Topp is a poet and writer. Has published one ebook 'Drinking From The Sane Water' and been published by Quantum Leap, Poetry Now, The Runt Zine.

Thursday, 22 November 2018


“Nun lieber Kinder, gebt fein acht ...” - Rammstein

Now pay attention, children:
hug your teddy bears,
close your eyes,
squeeze them tight,
there’s footsteps on the stairs.

Jacob and his nanny
prowl these darkened rooms.
They’ll tell on you
and watch you stew
and titter in the gloom.

Jacob’s old already,
he wears a prefect’s badge,
he’ll blame you
and he’ll cane you.
He likes a girl called Madge.

Or is it Mags or Margaret?
You know the one I mean:
the nasty perm,
the endless term,
her every breath obscene.

And when you grow, dear children,
you’ll recognise your boss:
the suit and tie,
the beady eye,
the profit and the loss.

The profit, incidentally, ‘s his,
the loss is yours, my friend.
He’ll work you hard,
the knacker’s yard
will be your dismal end.

Now he’s speaking in the House:
received pronunciation
makes it seem
that what he means
is spiffing for our nation.

His Eurosceptic Brexit’s hard
(that’s not the only thing!)
When we crash out
we’re up the spout,
but he’ll be rich: ker-chhhhing!

His nanny’s waiting in the wings,
her smile a shriek of joy,
her husk the host
of Maggie’s ghost;
she cheers her dear dear boy.

© Neil Fulwood

'The most remarkable woman': How Jacob Rees-Mogg's nanny, who protected his children from Class War activists, has worked for the family for 52 years

Neil Fulwood lives and works in Nottingham. His first collection No Avoiding It is available from Shoestring Press; his second is scheduled for publication in 2019.



Perhaps you would like

to hear what Mike,

a meteorologist, said

from the top of his head

to describe a snowman

while remaining deadpan:

he called it a snow person

and things may worsen

if he doesn't explain why

he hasn't said if it's a guy

or a lass of certain sex;

whether it's an XY or XX.

© Luigi Pagano

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Smoke and mirrors

We are aware that
there are fake news
but we didn't know
that there is a software
to produce fake nudes.
Some media outlets
are won't to exhibit
doctored pictures
that are quite explicit.
Some celebs are victims
of this false technology,
their character smeared
with no hint of apology.
For such photography
there is no excuse;
it's sheer pornography
and a personal abuse.
Many people have said
that it is about time
that deepfake porn
is declared a crime.

© Luigi Pagano

What Is Deepfake Pornography And Is It Illegal In The UK?

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.



curb the urge
political purge

Mao Zedong
told you once
canine owner?
bourgeois dunce!

friends of dogs
in the dark
counter-revolution seeks

© S.O. Fasrus

Chinese city bans dog walking in daylight hours

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Paradise is Burning

and the people in it are embers told by a wicked wind
too many gone to count                    can you count what is gone

said the wind to the flame
said the man to the neighbour
who lost his son when everything turned orange
            and even breath became tongues
            deep throating them

spell out       we will rise from the ashes    at vigil
for ashes
are ashes      and burnt things don’t rise    just crumble

it was a camp fire    said the start of the fire to the end
             but they could not find an end to the fire   kept burning
and californians hoped rain would come flatten

the flames in its wet spell      be a weather witch      a rain man
make a rain dance

saw it on a satellite map        so much red
eating up green                      a quarter less rain

           then                  some photographer found jesus in the ash

hotels booked for miles                                and kids still wearing same clothes
reach for                   smokeless clothes              from someone else’s back     in paradise

© Amy Louise Wyatt

Amy Louise Wyatt is a poet, lecturer and artist from Bangor, N.I. She has had work published in a range of literary journals and magazines such as The Honest Ulsterman, FourxFour, Dodging the Rain and Cold Coffee Stand. Amy has most recently read her poetry on The BBC Arts Show, at University of Ulster’s Riverside Readings and at festivals throughout Ireland . She is the editor of The Bangor Literary Journal and was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2018.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Believe Me

The President said,
wait a minute,
was it the President
or Governor Brown?
He was there after all.
But no, the President I think…
that we need to rake
the immigrant problem
from the ground,
clear it all out from the floor
like they do in Finland.
That was Finland, right?
Oh shit - that was the whole
forest fire thing that
happened in Pleasure!
What a name, right?
Not so pleasurable now, is it?
No, not Pleasure?
Ok, Paradise!
Well, same thing.
Anyway, it won’t ever
happen again so,
He’s knows
what he’s talking about.

© Lianne Kamp

Trump Just Called Fire-Ravaged Town 'Pleasure' Instead Of Paradise By Accident

Trump Blames Forest Management For Wildfires Again During California Visit

Lianne Kamp resides in Boston, Massachusetts. Her poems and short stories appear in assorted print journals and on-line publications including: Poets Reading the News, Tuck Magazine, Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, Dime Show Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, Poetry Quarterly, Dual Coast Magazine, and a number of Prolific Press anthologies. She writes poetry to make her world-view more panoramic by examining it more closely.

The rake's progress

The rake's progress

When the Finn president
described to Donald Trump
how they managed their wood,
He said the American chump
misheard or misunderstood
or he wasn't completely awake
as he had not mentioned a rake.

© Luigi Pagano 2018

Sunday, 18 November 2018

The Kanaka Ranger

"Who am I?"
The man at Mauna Kea base asked rhetorically,
Gazing off in the distance...

Hale o Kuhio:
A small structure painted scarlet,
Near a KAPU sign...

"I am just one person but"...
The Kanaka Ranger shrugged,
"We wait and wait for our homelands"...

© James Schwartz

James Schwartz is a poet, slam performer, writer and author of four poetry collections including "The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay and Amish in America" and most recently "Punatic" (Writing Knights Press). Twitter: @queeraspoetry

Universal Discredit

Universal Discredit



© Bex Tate

Saturday, 17 November 2018


the person
or thing
that comes immediately
after the fourth
and before
all the others

Pink rosetted and rosy cheeked
we stand proud on the podium
of green and pleasant economic
boomity, boom boom:
190 “others" stand behind “us”

One fifth-
one of five equal parts
living unequally in poverty

Time to take off
the rose tinted-
This is Britain
Boom bang a bang!

© Bex Tate

UK austerity has inflicted 'great misery' on citizens, UN says

Bex, frustrated with the data driven education system, left her teaching job behind and is still wondering what to do next. Writing poetry helps her to try and make sense of the world, as well as giving her the chance to rant a bit!

Friday, 16 November 2018

An overnight declaration

An overnight declaration

Theresa May vows
to dig in like Geoff
and remains deaf
to the many rows
caused by her plan
which seems likely
to go down the pan.

© Luigi Pagano

Thursday, 15 November 2018

I Wonder What She’s Thinking

I wonder what she’s thinking
When she goes to bed at night
Does she worry that she’s failing?
Does she think she’s got it right?
Does she really think it’s worth it?
All the anger and the pain
For she’s aiming to extract us
When she wanted to remain
But she took the poisoned chalice
As she coveted the power
Yet her place as Britain’s leader’s
Getting weaker by the hour
She has Cabinet agreement
And restored some sort of order
But there’s still the knotty issue
Of that tricky Irish border
Resignations all around her
Does she wish she wasn’t born?
Does she wish that she was running
Through a field of golden corn?
Will she ever gain consensus?
Will she even last the day?
When we crash right out of Europe
Will she turn to Mr May
And say “Philip, was it worth it?
I’ll go down in history
As the one who bungled Brexit
Will that be my legacy?”

© 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.