Sunday, 31 March 2019

Truly Awesome

It’s a sad, sad day
for broken Britain,
no end in sight,
no postscript written.
The MPs fight
amongst themselves
as shoppers plan
for empty shelves.

It’s fucked up
on a national scale,
a truly awesome

The Tories couldn’t
catch the clap
in a backstreet brothel
in the Watford Gap
and the Labour lot
are even worse
and seem to be
success averse.

It’s fucked up
on a national scale,
a truly awesome

Half the country’s
gone alt right,
much to Farages
the rest have
lost the will to live,
and have no more
to fucking give.

It’s fucked up
on a national scale,
a truly awesome


© Andrew Goodison

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



We don't have to choose between eating
living and growing unencumbered 
between non-Hodgkins lymphoma and chemicals 
killers are well known we thought
some chemicals are okay
helping food plants grow unencumbered by weeds
we see they nurture cancer 
now Monsanto has to pay $80 million
not warn us 
they did create glyphosate herbicides 
unencumbered by truth and concern for public safety

© Kimberly Burnham

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Peace and a Thorny Tree

Some of Africa’s greatest matriarchs
queens, rebels and freedom fighters
disturbers of the peace
scrubbed from history
but like thorny trees
may serve a purpose

In Zulu or isiZulu 
spoken in South Africa and Lesotho
one who disturbs the peace
is compared to a thorny tree and muddy water

"Dunga" is to disturb the peace
make turbid or muddy
stir up mud
befoul liquid or water
"ukudunga amanzi" to befoul the water 

"Dungabantu" is an agitator
a disturber of the peace
one who stirs up trouble
literally "dunga" "abantu"
what disturbs the people
making the comfortable uncomfortable

"Dungamuzi" is also a disturber of the peace
literally "dunga" "umuzi"
the village disturber.on one hand 
a large tree on the other
root deep known scientifically as "Euclea daphnoides" 
and "Euclea natalensis"
the bark and leaves used as a purgative
believed to cause quarreling in the village

"Idungamuzi lehlanze" and "idungamuzi lehlathi"
are nasty thorn trees disliked as firewood
"idungamuzi elinameva" or the thorny scolopia
an idiom for disturber of the peace

"Dungazela" is to mix liquids or to walk blindly
as an absent-minded person does
as if only when we take conscious action
we can create peace "ukuthula"
solve quarrels welcoming a new era
of freedom and peace for all

© Kimberly Burnham

Women’s Day Warriors – Africa’s queens, rebels and freedom fighters

Kimberly Burnham 

Kimberly is a brain health expert and poet. Kimberly's 2019 project is world peace / inner peace with her recently published book, Awakenings: Peace Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health Program.

Sky Blue

Sky Blue

ip dip
sky blue
who's rich
not you

ip dip
who'll play
you're poor
no way

ip dip
that's rich
poor kid
tough shit

© S. O. Fasrus

More segregated playgrounds revealed: 'We just play in the carpark'

Stamp of (dis)approval

Stamp of (dis)approval

He said it seriously
and not with levity
he doesn't want
a card from Her Majesty.
He must be applauded
as he sees with clarity
that we are all burdened
with austerity.

© Luigi Pagano

England’s oldest man tells the Queen not to send a card as he turns 111

Friday, 29 March 2019

Not Brexit Day

Not Brexit Day 

This was the day we were supposed to leave.
Like a toad who has had enough of the sun, 
hopping off to the humid shade of a rock. 
Instead the toad’s stuck in blazing heat, 
letting the people who take control
kill it off with indecision.
Dehydrating on tarmac, 
squashed by the passage of time.
Innards splayed in patterns of grit, 
because no one could make a decision.

© Emma Woodford

How to Organise a Piss Up in a Brewery

First decide what a Brewery is
Make a note of any complications likely to be encountered 
When in or out of the Brewery
If there is more than one route don't take the wrong one and go down a dead end
Remember you have to take people with you
Ask them what sort of brewing product they want
On one small island they make a very dark and bitter brew
It is not to everyone's taste
Don't make the mistake of thinking your brew will please everyone
A micro brewery is  specialist  but won't fit everyone 
Try to appeal to the whole community not just the angry mob who shout the loudest
Many people want to  remain in a Brewery even when the angry ones don't
Long before you plan the visit, get a road map, look for the hazards that lie in your path
Make sure you have costed the plan accurately, for example 
Don't advertise on a bus that £350,000 will be accrued when the
Pissup will actually cost £36 billion - I think that is very unwise
It now seems to be a much more complex thing when you lay it all out doesn't it
Perhaps that is why the government and MPs couldn't do it?

© Lesley Webb
Brexit: Government plans to hold new vote

Lesley Webb

Lesley is a member of the Gillingham (Dorset) Writing Group, she writes poetry and fiction
and has had a Pocket Novel and a short story published recently.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

You’re No Washington, No Lincoln

The hatchet fits you 
Mr. President

But not the cherry 
tree legend---

Not truth telling.

No rational parent 
would want their child 
to grow up like you

You’re the poster child 
for a child’s “must-not-dos.”

If your father 
had asked you

What happened to his 
favorite cherry tree

Would you have said:
"I can’t tell a lie, you know 
I can’t tell a lie, I’m sorry
but I cut it down.”

Of course you wouldn’t have. 

You’d have said: 
"It was the brown kid 
who just moved in 
down the street. 
You’ve got to believe me.” 

Lies beget lies
beget lies
beget more lies.

Mr. President, "Honest Abe" 
first got his nickname 
as a young store clerk

He short-changed a customer 
by a few pennies.

So he closed down
his shop 

And walked long 
and far to return 
the correct change.

What would you have done?
You’d have kept the change.

You chose the crooked 
coward’s corrupt, lying 
path a long time ago,

And that has made all the difference.

© Gil Hoy

Donald Trump's file

Gil Hoy

Gil is a Boston poet and trial lawyer who is studying poetry at Boston University through its Evergreen program. Hoy 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 Ariel Chart, The Penmen Review, Right Hand Pointing/One Sentence Poems, The New Verse News and Clark Street Review.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Britons, lend me your ear

As a neutral I think
you got it all wrong
You want to appease
a voracious beast
with a big appetite.

You are on the brink
of a swan song
if you do not please
those who at least
are in favour of flight.

Europe can hoodwink
countries that aren't strong.
Remember Greece?
They even leased
their country's birthright.

I believe the EU will sink
and it won't be too long.
So it's time to release
the tie and look East.
You know that I'm right.

© Luigi Pagano 2019

Luigi Pagano - [Website: 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.



The fashion wardrobe at NASA
Aren't doing too well-
The shoes clumpy,
The main body
Rather lumpy too.
The headwear does nothing
If you want it to be flattering,
And medium (female size) costumes
Are not available for two.

© Amanda Derry

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore

Stop the birds from singing today

Scott Walker has passed away

Bring me the bottle to dull my eyes

Tell the newsreader it’s lies just lies.

I know of your love for songwriter Brel

Who wrote of dogs and devils from hell

And wrote of funerals, death and going away

But I never thought you’d go today.

You sang of Madeleine and Fat Marie

A grandmama dressed like a Christmas tree

Two ragged soldiers who’d gone too far

And a butterfly lost like a star.

Scott Walker, for me, come what may

Your songs will kiss away the darkest day

Your cold blue fire will ignite the sky

As you sing your final rhymes of goodbye.

© David Ellis

Scott Walker, experimental pop hero, dies aged 76

David Ellis - [Twitter: @Davellis123]

David is a retired English language lecturer and writer of short stories and poems, living precariously close to the fast-receding sand dunes of Merseyside.

Monday, 25 March 2019

The Thing from Planet Gove

Its handshake is that of a slightly disreputable funeral director.
Its eyes those of an opinionated alligator
that sometimes reviews opera forthe London Times.
Its mind is a free trade slaughterhouse, busy 
making mincemeat, as cleanly as possible,
of other people’s children, bony old parents 
and the occasional small business person 
who was just wrong place, wrong century.

But its regular appearances on TV impress
the sort of people who have sexual relations
with their cars. Or their neighbours
cars. The female it dreams of is 
Rupert Murdoch’s more withered sister 
who lets it stand on its tippy-toes in a tutu 
inherited from a former grandmother 
who was briefly a dowager Duchess 
until the unfortunate headlines 
made her true position undeniable.

And it is written in Scripture 
that at a time such as this
a thing such as this
would ascend to Earth and give us –
leaving god aside for the minute –
proof of Satan’s existence.

© Kevin Higgins

Kevin Higgins 

Kevin is co-organiser of Over The Edge literary events in Galway, Ireland. He teaches poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre, Creative Writing at Galway Technical Institute, and is Creative Writing Director for the National University of Ireland - Galway Summer School. He is poetry critic of The Galway AdvertiserHe has published five collections of poetry. His next poetry collection, Sex and Death at Merlin Park Hospital, will be published by Salmon Poetry in June 2019.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Thoughts and Prayers

Racist terror
thoughts and prayers
Basest error
thoughts and prayers
Crossing, drowning
thoughts and prayers
Solemn, frowning
thoughts and prayers

Thoughts and prayers
and sad reactions
Thoughts and prayers
but rarely actions

Stabbed and killed
thoughts and prayers
Life unfulfilled
thoughts and prayers
Death in prison
thoughts and prayers
No decision
just thoughts and prayers

Thoughts and prayers
respectful silence
Thoughts and prayers
and yet more violence

Killer storms
thoughts and prayers
Global warming 
thoughts and prayers
Climate chaos
thoughts and prayers
Recycled pathos
thoughts and prayers

Thoughts and prayers
and resolutions
Thoughts and prayers
but no solutions

Thoughts and prayers
and bare exchanges
Thoughts and prayers
but nothing changes

They've bought up shares
in thoughts and prayers

© Janine Booth

After Christchurch, Muslims need more than just your thoughts and prayers

Janine Booth - [Website: Janine Booth]

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.

What shall we do with him?

What shall we do with him? We shall not speak his name.
No stage for his infamy, no soap box for his claims.

One - Bring back the death penalty for hate crimes this vile.
Two - Dispense with the time and cost of trial.

After all what is the point of dragging this out.
The manifesto, the live stream, establish beyond doubt.
That he, we shall not speak his name.
Is guilty, guilty, guilty of this terrible shame.

He has shown no remorse and no repentance
So, I propose, that we move straight to sentence
Just as he did on that darkest day
Murder in his mind, when he set out to slay

Deny him a platform, deny him a voice
Don’t give him an option, don’t give him a choice
Don’t waste one bent penny or one red cent 
Keeping him warm, dry and fed in a secure apartment

Don’t allow this bitter, spiteful narcissist
To become a beacon for other extremists
Erase him from history an unmarked grave
The good things we could do with the money we save

Tear down the barricades between race and creed
Build byways and bridges and plant a seed
Promote diversity, unify our communities
Build a memorial to peace, love and unity

© John McDonough

Christchurch shootings: Ardern vows never to say gunman's name

John has been writing poetry for 30 years. His style is urban/performance poetry. He subtitles his spoken word for the benefit of the hard of hearing and those that struggle with dialect, John's is Mancunian.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Crying Out

This is not a sonnet, a gigan, a bop
    but a first step

After  Michael Cohen's televised hearing
 on 2/27, Elijah Cummings, the Chairman
 of the Intelligence Committee gave us
 a glimpse of truth telling:
 a no bullshit speech of stuttering,
 sincerity, eloquence.

 No teleprompter for Cummings,
who said this is not the first hearing,
 telling the story of a mother who 
 could not get 333 dollars for her
 daughter's insulin and watched her
 die, told us what was sad about Cohen
 was watching him leave the court 
 holding his daughter's arm, a child
 who wore braces. Always the children.

 Cummings spoke of the return
 to a new normal, asked how
 a president who, according to the
 Washington Post, has lied over 8
 thousand times, how could that man
 lead our country.  

 My husband, who will turn 80 in May,
 said, He hopes to see the New Normal,
 wants his children and grandchildren
 to live in a democracy that values
 the constitution, respects truth.

  Martin Luther King said,
 "Faith is taking the first step
 even when you don't see
             the staircase."

© Mare Leonard

You need to listen to Rep. Cummings' closing remarks

Mare lives and works in the Hudson Valley where she is  an Associate of the Institute for Writing and Thinking and the MAT programs at Bard College. She has published chapbooks of poetry at 2River,Pudding HouseAntrim House Pressand Red Ochre Lit and The Dark Inside My Hooded Coatis available from Finishing Line Pressand from her website:www Mare Finally she was nominated for a pushcart in 2018 for a poem published in The Pickled Body.

The (alternative) people's vote

The (alternative) people's vote

The Israelis are bold:
they want to hold
a referendum
to decide whether
to join the EU
as the British
in a flap
have left a gap.

© Luigi Pagano 2019

This One’s A Bit Edgy

This One’s A Bit Edgy

We have farmers to thank for our overbite,
the change in our jaw alignment.
If it wasn’t for farmers we wouldn’t say ‘farmers’
or fuck—all those labiodental consonants.
The loss of our edge-to-edge bite gave us the edge 
to get edgy with words, like fuck, and fornicate, and vagina.
Blame farmers for soft food diets, fundamentally fucking with biology, 
a cultural shift, that shifted our jaws, that led to a cultural shift,
the diversification of language. 
So thank you farmers for giving a fuck. 
We’ve been fucking ever since.

© Janey Colbourne

Ancient switch to soft food gave us an overbite—and the ability to pronounce ‘f’s and ‘v’s

Friday, 22 March 2019


Someone who supports the naked 
emperor wants me to die
or so he tweets,
and I think of the places
of worship filling up
with bullets,
filling up with flames—
all those houses of god,
all those faces:
god's faces.

If I sleep,
someone’s dream 
of a border wall built 
out of cages 
haunts me.
Each cage is a group
of children
a chorus of babies
claxon into the desert wind.
Their faces are caked with dirt
and tears. And I say,
God’s faces.

Their parents gone.
My parents are gone too,
lucky to have died believing
in our better country,
where our ancestors died
fighting against dictators
and imperialists. 
I remember the story 
of my great uncle
burning in the Pacific.

I think of the reservations
that became internment camps—
good citizens kept
in pens for being a color,
for being immigrants.
In my American dream,
a bomb pushes everything
away for miles
and turns the sand to glass.

Tonight the emperor is doing
a slight of hand—
an invisible 3-card Monty,
he tells us each card is 
like a stealth fighter.
He says, just trust me,
everybody's a winner!
He looks at us in the eye
and demands, Tell me 
what you want To hear.
He throws an invisible ball
into the air, some us look
where there is nothing,
I watch him fill his pockets
with cash. Everybody's a winner!
if you can believe 
he’s wearing clothes.

© J.P. Dancing Bear

New Zealand rushes to identify Christchurch terror attack victims

Are Children Being Kept in 'Cages' at the Border?

J. P. Dancing Bear's most recent book, Fish Singing Foxes, is out by Salmon Poetry this month. His next book, Of Gods and Monsters, later this year from Glass Lyre Press.
Twitter: @jpdancingbear