Thursday, 31 January 2019

That Was the MUSE That Was

Tanks 1919

A century syne,
coukit tanks ahin Glesca’s streets, oot o sicht,
in a wanlit steidin, motors dirlin in the Cattle Merkat,
skulkin tin beasts that nivver won the length o George Square:
a gestur, aiblins, for a dird o fear at the heart o government.

Workin fowk, men efter seein the worst o war, women an bairns,
protestin a fair pairt for aa, gaithered there tae state their claim,
till the sodjers came, nane fae the Maryhill barrack but fae ootbye,
an some fae ower the border, files the polis, at the crowd’s back,
cracked heids, an got Shinwell lifted alang wi Gallacher and Kirkwood.

Then, efter Bliddy Friday it was pit awa, though a war poet
came at the hinner en tae be defeated by the rain.

Noo, efter a hunner year,
it’s mair haar nor memory, hardly worth a haunfae lines in the papers,
wi some saying it could nivver happen theday; but they have nae idea –
nae idea hou far them wi power maun gang tae keep a hauds o’t.

[English equivalent]

A century since,
hidden tanks just off Glasgow’s streets, out of sight,
in an unlit building, engines idling in the Cattle Market,
skulking tin beasts that never won the length of George Square:
a gesture, maybe, for a jolt of fear at the heart of government.

Working folk, men who had seen the worst of war, women and children,
demanding a fair deal for everyone, gathered there to state their claim;
till the soldiers came, none from Maryhill barracks, but from elsewhere,
and some from over the border, while the police, at the crowd’s back
cracked heads, and got Shinwell lifted along with Gallacher and Kirkwood.

Then, after Bloody Friday, it was put to rest, though a war poet
came at the tail end to be defeated by the rain.

Now, after a hundred years,
it’s more fog than memory; barely worth a handful of lines in the news;
with some saying it could never happen today; but they have no idea –
no idea how far those with power must go to keep their hold on it.

© Brian Hill

100 years on: the day they read the Riot Act as chaos engulfed Glasgow

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:

Not Cool Daddy

Not Cool Daddy

Amidst the moans and all the rants
this news popped up about freezing pants-

The neighbourhood is warmed with glee
by marching pants for all to see-

But alas, alack, there are burning cheeks,
red with shame ‘cos Dad’s a freak-

Two daughters long for warmer days
when freezing pants no longer raise
a toot and titter from the band

“It's got to stop, Dad's out of hand!!”

© Bex Tate

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Unlucky Number

Twenty-six people
own as much wealth as
the poorest half of the world's population,
as three point eight billion humans.

Twenty-six people:
one for every letter of the alphabet.
Picture them all from A to Zed,
think them arms and legs and heads.

According to the Guinness Book of Records,
they could all fit into a Mini Cooper,
although admittedly,
it would be a tight squeeze.

If one came into your house
every fifty-five minutes
then within just one day
they would all be there.

Twenty-six people.

Two rugby league teams,
a baker's two dozen,
the number of fortnights in one year,
red cards in a deck,
counties in the Republic of Ireland,
miles in a marathon,
faces of a rhombicuboctahedron.

The number of lines in this poem so far.

Twenty-six people.
Last year it was forty-three,
the year before it was sixty-one,
falling, showing
inequality growing.

Twenty-six diamond-encrusted crabs
on a beach of three point eight billion
grains of sand.

Count them and rage.

© Janine Booth

World's richest get richer while planet's poorest get poorer, new Oxfam report shows

Janine 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 on her website.

I say, I say, I say

I say, I say, I say

I know that comedians
yearn to play Hamlet,
a role much iconic,
but a flight attendant
who wants to be a comic
is a new one on me.
I hear she tells jokes
with pre-flight advice
to calm nervous folks
and to break the ice.

© Luigi Pagano

Tuesday, 29 January 2019


Much blood spilt
in the name of God -
spilled still
by women

A cycle created
to appease
a pope,
creating unwanted births,
avoidable deaths,
period poverty
and menstruation

And don’t forget
the VAT...

© Andrew Goodison

Contraceptive pill can be taken every day of the month, after scientists dismiss 'Pope rule'

Andrew Goodison is a single father of two, full time carer and full time poet, living in the West of Ireland.

Monday, 28 January 2019

To Dream a Life in Paint

To dream a life in paint

is a noble Aryan ambition;

to draw, to sketch, to acquaint

myself with fame in the artistic tradition.

I will claim every valley and mountain,

forest, river and the seven seas.

Watch out for my name. Achtung!

There is nothing I will not seize

and frame in watercolour.

My reputation will survive

centuries of time. My valour

will be remembered, kept alive.

I will stand forever in art history

beside Pissarro, Chagall, Modigliani.

© John Saunders

Adolf Hitler paintings: Berlin police seize 'fake' works at auction

John Saunders’ first collection ‘After the Accident’ was published in 2010 by Lapwing Press, Belfast. His second full collection 'Chance' was published in April 2013 by New Binary Press.

Bearing up

Bearing up

A three year-old
lost in the woods
for two days
met, so he said,
a friendly bear,
He took good care
of the little mite
who wasn't hurt
but his absence
gave his family
a fright.

© Luigi Pagano

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Barbados Test Match

Winter-pale, florid-posh and ruddy –
all degrees of Englishmen are here
and fill the stands around the ground.

Knowledgeable cricket-types and MCC,
the interested-enough and Barmy Army,
united in the quest for winter sun,

they arrive in groups or bring their wives
who sip beside a pool all day;
it’s mostly men with cricket tix.

There are few black faces in the crowd.
Cricket’s lost its grip on the Caribbean
and the price of tix forbids the many.

It’s sad to see a Windies home series
re-colonized by foreign fans
and money. Yes, always, it’s money.

© Richard Devereux

West Indies v England: first Test, day one – as it happened

Richard 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.



Denial of the gassing of the masses
Gaslighting on a mass scale
Both the action and reaction
Systematic eradication

© Janey Colbourne

Trumpageddon (Paradise In Germophobia)

Trumpageddon (Paradise In Germophobia)

In all the forests
they will rake away the leaf-litter,
and take it away for hygienic disposal.
All signs of insects
and smaller or larger life
will be cleansed
by petrochemical fumigation
and the remains burnt away
till the face of the Earth
is at last sterile.

© David Bateman

Trump orders end to disaster relief for California unless they get out and rake the leaves in their forests

Saturday, 26 January 2019


March One

No registration counts
three thousand pairs of teenage feet
marching, shouting in the street.

Placards flying, faces painted,
sinister masks and shining eyes.
Skipping school to save themselves.

Calling the world to take action.
We, the adults, the ones in charge
are endangering their future.

March Two

Twelve thousand pairs of teenage feet
- my daughter is among them -
hearts explode with love and pride.

My Mighty Girl and her peers
chanting their demands
Change and change and change

                       We Must!

March Three

Forty thousand this week gone.
On and on and on they go,
election year, we have to listen.
Crummy men in boring suits
challenged by the young.

Future coming faster every year.
Ice caps melt, tension foments,
Arctic battles loom.
Heat waves a danger now,
water low and disappearing.

March and march and march my friends
the planet needs you to defend!

© Emma Woodford

Thousands of Belgian students are skipping class to protest against climate change

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

Contingency Plan

Contingency Plan

© Juliette Sebock

'Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied' As Government Shutdown Affects Federal Courts

U.S. Department of Justice FY 2019 Contingency Plan

Note: Extract included for context.

Inside knowledge

Inside knowledge

Palace insiders confirmed
that Her Majesty The Queen
loves the TV quiz Pointless
but perhaps what they meant
is that's what she thinks
of the whole Brexit process.

© Luigi Pagano

Friday, 25 January 2019

Star Farce

Darth Trump’s Star Force
on its way,
his Death Star’s
called the USA,
in the CIA,
the Empire’s striking back.

Aliens of
an illegal kind
are buried deep
within his mind,
fear and loathing
both entwined,
he plans his next attack.

With Federal workers
the Death Star
heads into the void,
perhaps Darth
is a faulty ‘droid,
snackin’ on a Mac.

He said he’d build
a fortress wall,
he’d like to be
just like Darth Maul,
I hope one day
he’s gonna fall,
he’s gonna get the sack.

© Andrew Goodison

Andrew Goodison is a single father of two, full time carer and full time poet. Originally from Christchurch, he now lives in the West of Ireland.

Seventeen Lawyers

Seventeen Lawyers

Seventeen lawyers
and Trump still wants a wall,
seventeen lawyers
and Trump still wants a wall,
and if one bent lawyer
should flip and seek a plea-deal,
there’ll be sixteen lawyers
and Trump still wants a wall.

To be continued.

© David Bateman

Trump hires 17 lawyers to protect him from Mueller investigation, while federal workers go unpaid during shutdown

Thursday, 24 January 2019


Emiliano Sala
Across the channel flew
To change his green and yellow kit
For Cardiff's white and blue.

The winter sun shone down on Nantes,
As with a wave and bow,
He bade his team-mates and the fans
Goodbye—la ultima ciao.
The dark blue sea, the rough white surf,
Those are his colours now.

Once he was sprinting down the field
With every eye on him;
Now helicopters search in vain
As winter light grows dim.

Once he would tackle, strike and score
To stadium-stunning cheers,
But now waves roar above his head
And he no longer hears.

His keen sharp eye, his fit brown limbs
That had such strength and skills,
The careless ocean has in hand
And tosses as it wills.

Just when we think the game is ours,
The future fair and rich,
Then tyrant Death his whistle blows
And sends us off the pitch.

© Thomas Tyrrell

Thomas Tyrrell holds a PhD in English Literature and fills his ample spare time by writing pirate ballads, nature poems and sonnets. A two-time winner of the poetry prize at the Terry Hetherington Award, his work is published in Allegro Poetry, The Lake, Picaroon, Three Drops from a Cauldron and Spectral Realms, among many others.

Dyson's departure

Dyson's departure

By leaving,
he creates a vacuum -
no change there then.

© Andrew Goodison

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

A colossal disaster

An 8,000 mile trip
From New York to Hong Kong
Over the Arctic, doesn't sound an easy one.
A passenger was taken ill-
They had to divert to Goose Bay
In Canada; an old air base
Built by the Empire.
Waiting 15 hours in -20 degrees,
The plane door was damaged-
No-one available to work overnight
Some poor sod had to stand
By the door for security.
Someone replied under the article-
"A colossal disaster- give me strength".

© Amanda Derry


Amanda 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.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

An Astronauts T-shirt

China’s growing cotton
on the dark side of the moon.
They’re hoping their potatoes
will begin their sprouting soon,
and silkworms now are sleeping
within their small cocoon.

The cotton’s meant for clothing,
an astronauts t-shirt,
and potatoes grown for mashing,
plucked from lunar dirt,
while silkworms breathe out CO2,
make the climate less inert.

The terraforming’s started
in the Chinese bio-sphere,
the new crops being harvested
by the robot engineer.

© Andrew Goodison

Plants grown on Moon for first time paving way for lunar base

Andrew Goodison is a single father of two, full time carer and full time poet, living in the West of Ireland.



Consider Prime Minister May -
things haven’t been going her way.
Her party is split
on the point of Brexit,
and the country is in disarray.

© Andrew Goodison

Monday, 21 January 2019

The Property Equation

We had agonised about it for years:
the dream of extra space
versus the trauma
of six months lost
to the tyranny of tiles and paint,
our shrinking lives
shuttled from room to room.

Now we sit in the bosom
of our brand new extension,
marvel at the magic of magnolia,
and wonder whether to de-commission
the other rooms, while a news camera
on our 50” Smart TV
pans the huddled doorways of Grafton Street.

© Maurice Devitt

'We have very different values': Focus official hits back at Skehan's comments that homelessness is 'normal'

Maurice was the winner of the 2015 Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition, he has been runner-up or shortlisted in Listowel, Cuirt, Patrick Kavanagh, Interpreter’s House and Cork Literary Review. He is the curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site, a founder member of the Hibernian Writers’ Group and has just published his debut poetry collection, ‘Growing Up in Colour’, with Doire Press.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

That Was the MUSE That Was

Here Is The News

I had a light snack
around one o’clock,
a slice of Cantaloupe melon
with Prosciutto di Parma.
The news was on TV:
the military in Burma,
who’d called her a felon,
had freed Aung San Suu Kyi.
In Syria and Afghanistan
there seemed to be bad karma,
Kabul attacked by the Taliban,
Damascus full of drama.
And Tibet was no exception;
China heard the Dalai Llama
demanding independence
and Buddhist monks rioted
against Sino intransigence.
Whether you are glad or sad
it doesn’t make a difference;
Formula 1 went ahead
in the state of Bahrain
(although some did recoil)
as we have to show respect
to kingdoms that have oil.
There were reservations,
about going to Baku
to sing at the Eurovision
but that is nothing new.
It may be depressing
and give us the blues
but we won’t ever stop
listening to the news.

© Luigi Pagano

Luigi 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.

Penguin Awareness Day

Penguin Awareness Day

I did not know until today
that Penguin Awareness Day
was all of a sudden upon us.
I read a poem while on a bus
written by that modern bard,
Brian Bilston, that was hard
to believe but fascinating.
In it he seems to be stating
that one is a guest of his
but doesn't know why that is.

© Luigi Pagano 2019

Critical - A Tanka

Critical - A Tanka

There’s a gap in the
Market for some critical
Thinking the problem’s
Not the thought process it’s that
It’s all just market driven

© Mark Coverdale

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Plan B

Observe. A statue of Christ is helicoptered
in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita to St Peter’s Square.
Meanwhile, in an unproduced screenplay,
a chopper buzzes over the unsexy sprawl
of Grantham bearing an effigy of Thatcher
away from the awayday mob who organised
and travelled and turned up to tear it down.

Keep watching. The entire special effects budget
is about to blow ‘copter and statue to hell.
Panavision’s finest from a dozen angles
have the fireball covered. The footage
is an editor’s wet dream, inviting montage,
slo-mo, the full bag of film-making tricks,
the image repeated into iconography.

Let it go. None of this was ever shot. None
of those who deserved it were ever shot.
Che’s just a screenprint on a student’s wall
while he gets his end away to Nicki Minaj.
The revolution was kicked to the kerb,
social justice pause-buttoned in favour
of a night down the pub and a dirty kebab.

Plan B. A smattering of blue heritage plaques
to mark the murkiest moments of those
who govern us. This is where a shiny suit
bet the country against a losing hand.
This is where a tweed jacket sank a pint
and smirked and bleated about immigrants.
This is where a buffoon with a Union Flag

dangled from a wire like a Poundland Bond.
These are the not-so-big boys who did it
and ran away. And this is the z-grade
Thatcher tribute act clutching the hot potato
as if it were the Holy Grail, endlessly parroting
“The thing means the thing means some
weak approximation of the thing.” And this

is Parliament where the whole edifice is crumbling
even as it takes back control. Placards
jink above the crowds outside. MPs post selfies
from the No lobby. This is Parliament and these
are our honourable friends. This is where
it all went to hell. This is where it all went to hell.
This is where it all went to hell. This is where it all

© Neil Fulwood

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

Friday, 18 January 2019

Eulogy for Mary

It is what I was born for--/to look, to listen,’ to lose myself/inside this soft world 
Mary Oliver

It is a midwinter day
and I read a poem by you
where an end date
follows your name.
Some unspeakable sadness
drops through me.

Just moments ago,
I watched a coyote
stroll by the fishpond
as if she had no reason
for rushing today.

Up the hill,
a patch of rosemary
has burst into a wild layer
of blue blossoms,
dressed in a fine net
of spider silk and mist.

Tonight, a multitude
of souls will listen
to the midnight calls
of a Great Horned Owl,

read the calligraphy
of the stars, and wonder
at the blessings
sown deep inside
the words you have left us.

© Debbie Hall

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet Mary Oliver Dies at 83

Debbie is a psychologist and writer whose poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals. She is the author of the poetry collection, "What Light I Have" (2017, Main Street Rag Books).

Royal collision

Royal collision

Philip has retired from public duty;
Still insisting on driving his Rover
Involved in a collision,
His breath limits were taken
He's currently being looked after by Wifey.

© Amanda Derry

Thursday, 17 January 2019

In the Next One

Things will be different.

No more children in cages
No more parents reunited

With their children
without success.

Some say the Presidency
defines the man,
others the man
defines the Presidency.

No more neo-Nazi
death cars
No more dictatorial
fears to worry


A dictator dies
A thousand deaths, 
A true man grows
A thousand lives

No more living things
cut down to their roots.

No more
hardened hate-filled


A con-man can only con
even himself for so long.

In the next one

Sleeping babies will
sleep more soundly.

© Gil Hoy

Gil Hoy is a Boston poet and semi-retired trial lawyer who studied poetry at Boston University through its Evergreen program. Hoy previously received a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as a Brookline, Massachusetts Selectman for four terms. Hoy’s poetry has appeared most recently in Chiron Review, the New Verse News, Ariel Chart, Social Justice Poetry, Poetry24, Right Hand Pointing/One Sentence Poems, I am not a silent poet, The Potomac, Clark Street Review and the penmen review.

Ups and downs

Ups and downs

A nonagenarian,
the only competitor
in a cycling race,
took some drug
to give him zest.
He was first (of course)
at the finishing post
but found to his cost
that he had failed
the anti-doping test.

© Luigi Pagano 2019

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Mirrors of Sound

Silently standing, slowly crumbling
A fading reminder of Britain at war
Coastal defences of a bygone era
Left to decay without being used
Superseded by newer technology
Concave concrete constructions
Curved, man-made mirrors of sound
Faced an enemy across the channel
All sizes and shapes, selected and tested
Strategic zeppelin seekers
Designed to protect our skies and shores
Capturing the sound of airborne invaders
Warning Britain of danger above
A solid concept, yet so quickly surpassed
Time and technology waits for no one
RADAR appeared, the new kid on the block
Major Tucker’s aircraft tracking creation
Left behind, as science rushed onward
Acoustic amplifiers to outdated oddities
Many dismantled, some still listening
A silent legacy of human invention
Unused, obsolete - forgotten

© Peter Wright

Peter was born in Kent and now lives in Dorset. He is a member of a local writing group writing poetry, flash fiction and short stories

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Asking For Directions

When it comes to having an orgasm,
in the exact same way as their pay,
women have a glass ceiling -
a climax ain't coming their way.

Most men achieve happy endings,
most women asked just do not.
Most men think that they’re bang on the money -
most of them don’t hit the spot.

Its like they think they’re driving a car -
men won’t ask for directions.
Theres not enough blood to nourish the brain,
decisions are made by erections.

Communication, I’m told, is the only solution,
for men to improve on their penis.
Difficult to do when men come from Mars
and their women all hail from Venus.

© Andrew Goodison

Sexism in sex is a burning injustice women face in 2019 - and the banned sex toy at CES just proved it

Andrew Goodison is a single father of two, full time carer and full time poet, living in the West of Ireland.

The end of the road?

The end of the road?

Many fans will be upset
if Andy leaves the stage.
It isn't because of old age
that he intends to retire
but because his body suffers
from pains in his injured hip.
He might have to skip
the Wimbledon tournament.
And added to that torment
there is a further regret:
that his daughter will never
see him play.

© Luigi Pagano 2019



Tumblr is cleaning up
Creepshots of people fully clothed,
Pornography with cloned heads
Non-consensual has been moved
From the sexual.
Desperate for a look,
A fantasy, a laugh-
A five minute distraction
Salacious clips
Crawl the Darknet,
The underbelly
Of our humanity.

© Amanda Derry

Monday, 14 January 2019

Artifices of Intelligence

” …Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space, 'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!” - The Galaxy Song – John Du Prez / Eric Idle

It’s not the algorithm
that eats out our soul;
it’s not the robot
in whose extensible
arms we take comfort.

It’s not the driverless car,
not the 3-D printer
nor the satellite that knows
exactly where we stand;
none of these have made
our all-too-human feet
stumble on dead-world clay
and mired them in a lifeless
accretion of waste.

Blame the planet’s reaction
but reaction it remains, equal
and opposite to every action
of our misbegotten species.

The fault, dear brutes, is in ourselves;
it is our own stupidity, now and forever,
turned by our smart-alec hands
into this intelligence of switches.

It is sleight of hand, an accelerating blur,
an amplified momentum already flawed
by our incomplete grasp of who we were,
perpetuated by our self-deluding ignorance.

The satellite knows we are lost…

The algorithm regrets…

The robot feels no sorrow…

The cars drive on till the end of time… 

© Brian Hill

Brian has been 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.

20% profit

20% profit

Green belt land is bulldozed
For 1,300 new homes-
Locals don't like it because
There's no 'affordable' housing or bungalows.
It's convenient for the private school Kings-
And routes into Manchester and Wales
Though Wrexham Road will be clogged up-
That's someone else's problem;
The developers just want
Their 20% profit and to move on.

© Amanda Derry

Sunday, 13 January 2019

That Was the MUSE That Was


The geese fly high above the Hudson,
the planes fly higher yet,
and very seldom meet, for what
has bird to do with jet?

In January 2009
a plane was scheduled to fly
to Charlotte, North Carolina
from La Guardia, NY.

And now the gate is being called,
now boarding is complete,
and Chesley Sullenburger III
sits in the captain’s seat.

And passengers and crew give thanks
when they kneel down to pray,
that Chesley Sullenburger III
was aboard the plane that day.

For only seconds after take-off,
they hit a flock of geese.
Three thousand feet up in the air,
both of the engines cease.

He said “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!”
We’ve both our engines gone.
I don’t think we can reach the airport,
and we can’t stay up for long.”

They cleared a runway at La Guardia
and at Tetboro too,
but there was no time left to reach them,
as Captain Sully knew.

He weighed the risks and made his choice,
he didn’t freeze or quiver,
but told them in a calm clear voice
“We’re ditching in the river.”

And in the back the cabin crew
were shouting “Brace! Brace! Brace!”
while the captain made his final approach
with a firm and fearless face.

And while the airport staff were asking
just what the hell was going on,
the Airbus A320
was landing like a swan.

© Thomas Tyrrell

Thomas Tyrrell has a PhD in English Literature from Cardiff University. He is a two-time winner of the Terry Hetherington poetry award, and his writing has appeared in Picaroon, Amaryllis, Wales Arts Review, Spectral Realms, Lonesome October, The Road Less Travelled, Three Drops From A Cauldron and Words for the Wild.



The donkey stays firm
to make the elephant squirm;
the economy will stall
and that's enough
to drive one up the wall.

© Luigi Pagano 2019

Saturday, 12 January 2019


You’ve made a mess, Mr. President.
Cut the legs from your government
For federal workers, no pay,
But it’s okay, you say.

To those who’ll default on the mortgage.
Who haven’t fed their kids,
You say “But they’ll adjust.”

“Why not make some extra money babysitting?”
You suggest.
“Why not sponsor a yard sale?”
You jest.

But a mother does just that.
She sells her kids’ toys
For two dollars apiece
To pay the rent.

© Bruce J. Berger

Bruce J. Berger received his MFA from American University. He writes two letters weekly to President Trump at the White House and publishes them on Facebook. Search BruceJBerger.

Friday, 11 January 2019

England in 2019

Dark shore hide little boat sinking.
Pray cursing shaved heads find us
or we drown. Dawn a pebble beach,
foil blankets to camera. Blue nitrile hands
slide the white side door. Just eight inside
this van. Too brown for chalk cliff land
but England is safe. How many make a crisis?

In Kentish fields one hundred trucks rehearse
six thousand stuck grid-locked loads
of cold store grub, palleted floor to ceiling.
Cue media battles, ministerial briefings.
Hospitals stocking meds and fridges
less Europeans, sabre rattled, quitting
but Boris blowhards still burning, not building, bridges.

© Phil Coleman

Eight men detained after crossing Channel in inflatable dinghy

No-deal Brexit rehearsal in Kent 'a waste of time'

Phil Coleman lives near Swansea and tries to balance work and the need to write. At the age of 50 he's still a complete tyro at everything except juggling words.

Open to question

Open to question

On the TV show “Question Time”,

chaired by a forceful Fiona Bruce,

there were fierce animated debates;

the panellists fought long and hard

and they never called for a truce.

© Luigi Pagano 2019

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Words, Words, Words

The New Year has started
but there is nothing new
in the UK newspapers
to appeal to me or to you.

We read the NHS budget
faces one billion hole,
that despite a cash boost
things are bad on the whole.

The chap, whose company
ripped-off our 'sacred cow',
by over-pricing medicines,
has got an OBE now.

There's also nothing new
to learn that May pleads
for the EU to give ground
for Brexit to proceed.

That the U.S. and China
try to reach an accord
on tariffs, but in vain,
will also strike a chord.

Glenn Close's Golden Globe
for acting in “The Wife”
might be good for her
but won't change my life.

Wayne Rooney in the U.S.A.
was nicked full of booze;
although on the front page
it's not the height of news.

Perhaps I'm being cynical
but I find no eloquence
in what we read today
but only inconsequence.

© 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.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019


The girls have been told,
be brave and be bold,
its really not very scary.

Be not afraid,
put down that twin blade -
this month is called January.

Exile epilation,
vive le vegetation,
embrace your legs and your pits.

Lets all raise millions -
banish brazilians,
and let nature reclaim all your bits!

© Andrew Goodison

Women urged to stop shaving for 'Januhairy' and take on Disney's 'smooth' stereotypes

Andrew Goodison is a single parent of 2 boys, originally from England, now living in Ireland. A full time parent and carer, he is also a full time poet.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019


In Syria, a boy of thirteen

was sent home on 31 December

                                          a warning.

New Year supplements show luxury London

apartments offering a snow room

                 so people can experience winter.

In Canada, Syrian families get to know cold

                               fierce winter chills.

They already know ice.

The kind that enters your heart

never yields

                to love or warmth again.

© Rona Fitzgerald

Shock of the cold: 50,000 Syrian refugees learn to survive -20C in Canada

Rona Fitzgerald has poems in UK, Scottish, Irish and US publications. Highlights include the Stinging Fly 2011, Aiblins: New Scottish Political Poetry 2016, Oxford Poetry 2017, Poems for Grenfell Tower, Onslaught Press 2018 and #Me Too, Fair Acre Press, 2018.

Boxing Clever

Boxing Clever

In Rio de Janeiro
a would-be thief
tried to mug a female
strawweight boxer
with muscles of steel
and not made of straw.
She remained very cool
and floored the fool
with a vigorous kick
and a punch to the jaw.

© Luigi Pagano

Monday, 7 January 2019

Ode to Parkinson(s)

Parky said his wonderful friend's
Mind had dulled, he wasn't the same-
I don't think Parkinsons
Is a friend to many,
It will take what they've got
And strip it away.

Billy (was) a force of life-
Sexy, zany, funny
He didn't much care
Who he offended,
There wasn't much to lose
His humour stops him getting angry.

I knew my father would forgo
Some mobility, a lifestyle
Perhaps didn't realise
Parkinsons reaches the mind
He stares at the TV documentary,
Mouth slightly agape
Turns slowly to us-
"He swears a lot, doesn't he?"

© Amanda Derry

Sir Billy Connolly Says He's 'Near The End' Of His Life But 'Doesn't Fear Death'

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.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Recipe for a Vegan Sausage Roll

Not a carrot wrapped in pastry.
I give you - mycoprotein:
a special mould (fermented, dried)
that’s causing quite the outcry

They say a sausage has to be
42% meat, yet apparently
once its veiled in flake
it only has to muster 6
(and even then it’s cheek and gristle,
sinew, tongue and fat and bread so)

meat you say? No.
I give you – mycoprotein

it’s Quorn that’s guaranteed to be
quite free from spleen and rectum
(save for those that vent on twitter)

so if you want a snack that won’t tell porkies
have a butcher’s somewhere else

and give this tale a whirl.

© Chris Allen

Chris Allen - 44yo English Teacher of 11 years: @mydigression twitter is where I see the news/trends and consider takes

O tempora! O mores!

O tempora! O mores!

Gammon protests Vegan
Brexitless breakfast.
Vegetables of the world unite
You have nothing to lose
but your brains.

© Phil Knight

A head of steam

A head of steam

I read that the coffee
is now bulletproof.
It was unbelievable;
I nearly hit the roof.
It is not the espresso
that makes me aflutter
but a new concoction
with added butter
and coconut oil.
Just to think of it
made my blood boil.

© Luigi Pagano

Drive-by Poems

You think you are safe
inside your own house, but
suddenly, the news

strikes through the walls,
strikes, and leaves you

bleeding words.

© Gary S. Rosin

Gary S. Rosin’s poetry and haiga have appeared, or are forthcoming in Concho River Review, Harbinger Asylum, KYSO Flash, Untameable City (Mutabilis Press), Lifting the Sky, Poetry24, Texas Poetry Calendar, Visions International, and elsewhere. Two of his ekprhrastic poems appear in Silent Waters, photographs by George Digalakis (2017). He has two chapbooks, Standing Inside the Web, and Fire and Shadows. His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Saturday, 5 January 2019


Black and bitter cold this winter,
Orion rising due south, red eye
staring after long-gone dusk,
Mars setting under a billion stars.

Sun lies buried in earth, deep
underground with Saturn behind;
frost falls from an open sky, invisible
till it crusts the grass-stems, silent
till it crackles like the aurora hanging
to the north of everything.

So bleak, so cold, as this stone world
runs as close to the sun as it might,
closer than any time before
in the dead of the old year gone.

There is no advantage in heat or fire
from three million miles of difference
riding this near-perfect circle
between perihelion and aphelion;
nearest, farthest: it is
the planet’s tilted axis
throws seasons across
these hemispheres.

Dark or cold,
in light or heat:
a heaven of mercy
but no dominion
only patience
and the trust that
seasons turn.

© Brian Hill

It’s Cold Outside, but Earth Is at Its Closest Approach to the Sun

Quadrantid Meteors Kickoff a Busy January 2019

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:

Friday, 4 January 2019

Dumping on Trump

Trump owned the shutdown.
We owned plane tickets to Yosemite.

El Capitan was grand,
Bridalveil Fall sublime,

but the toilets were full,
no place to go

except the roadside or woods
so we went, wouldn't you?

Of course it's de rigueur
to dump on Trump,

but he wanted this shutdown.
How fitting it seemed then to see,

as we cruised El Portal Road,
so many park guests doing just that.

© Darrell Petska

Yosemite visitors turn roads into toilets as shutdown crises mount at national parks

Yosemite limits visitors, citing continuing problems with human waste during shutdown

Darrell Petska is a Middleton, Wisconsin writer. You can find his published writings at

Read more here:

Thursday, 3 January 2019


It was all cold and dark
of life there was not a spark.
It will not make you swoon
the dark side of the Moon.
And all those grey rocks
did not knockoff our socks.
If China asked BBC Cyrmu
they could have done it in quarry.
An alien base or a Dalek or two
or anything really out of the blue.
But just rocks and space
this will leave not a trace
in the pages of history.
It's space Jim, but no story.

© 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.