Saturday, 21 November 2020

Poetry24 is now permanently CLOSED. 

Monday, 16 November 2020

Wildfire

Gray skies gone red,
phones pinging with news,
they keep the car packed.
Clothes, papers, her grandma’s silver,
his old guitar, dog food, water, pictures
they thought they’d have time to scan.

They stay inside, wait, windows
a strange End Times hue. Hope.
until the evacuation call comes.
They cry as he props open gates
to give horses a chance, as she
lets hens out, leashes the dogs.

Tears tumble down ash-dusted faces,
soak into their masks. Ash made of pine,
black-tailed deer, salamander. Ash made
of books and homes. Ash ever-present
as grief. As they drive away, they breathe in
what’s lost.

© Laura Grace Weldon

Severe forest fires have increased eightfold in western US since 1985, study finds

Laura Grace Weldon has two poetry collections, Blackbird (Grayson 2019) and Tending (Aldrich 2013). She was 2019 Ohio Poet of the Year. Laura works as a book editor and lives on a small farm where she'd get more done if she didn't spend so much time reading library books, cooking weird things, and singing to livestock. lauragraceweldon.com.

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Paths of Glory

Tonight, swinging in the hammock,
smoking a Marlboro, musing,
more'n enough out there to kill ya,
I turn over clumped dead leaves,
damped by thick mist or fret, who knows,
but it's eerie,
eerie enough for that incongruity,
that stray thought of Saddam
after he was caught,
like some fierce killer dog beaten down,
head to the ground,
tired, finished, dirty, dishevelled,
and me, a twinge of something else
under the satisfaction because I'm human.

Alexander drunk and crown tarnished,
losing his grip, sword rusted to hell,
of Bucephalus fallen, and the dead
hounding his dreams. Did he not guess?
Napoleon imprisoned, not once but twice,
and those others, the rest of the pack
who followed cracked paths of power.
Gaddafi impaled, the bunker shot,
did they not know how it would end?
Her in the car wiping one salty tear,
confused, broken, betrayed,
for a decade of power, a decade of grief,
and me, a twinge of something else
under the satisfaction because I'm human.

Now Trump still sat in his tower
refusing the inevitable consequences
of flying too close, too high
on blonde obscene wings of wax.
He wasn't meant to do any of it,
interloper, uninformed, oafish,
kid on the hill, king of the castle.
How did he not work out he was played?
Cornered, suffocating, a bleeding wound
messing up their polished halls,
they are coming for him,
they always would at the appointed hour,
and me, I wait for that twinge of something else
under the satisfaction because I'm human.

Grounded down to ash, burned offering,
my forever and ever last cigarette hits the dew.
I think, maybe those other gamblers knew,
those shiny, tin god monsters knew,
and did it anyway.
Maybe Trump knew, and did it anyway.


Tonight, I won't be sad, even though I'm human.

© Cath Campbell

President Trump's GOP wall of support is cracking

Cath is a retired probation officer who lives in Northumberland, regards her poems as dystopian/political, and has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies including Poetry 24, The Writers Cafe magazine, Prole, Obsessed with Pipework, Erbacce and #Me Too; A Womans Poetry Anthology.

Friday, 13 November 2020

Covid care

Eighty-five years old,
she sits in the care home
and she’s not been hugged
for eight months,
for her protection;

not had her hands held
by her son or daughter
whose hands she held
for their protection
when crossing a road,

trudging to school over frozen snow
or just strolling in the summer park;
whom she hugged tight to herself
through the childhood tumbles and bruises,
the frights and fears, the nightmares.

Imprisoned now for her own protection
by the rules and regulations,
she descends further into dementia,
as the carers care for her, protect her;
but she has not been hugged

for eight months,
sees her son and daughter through a screen,
not held their hands
for how long now!
How long?

© Dave Urwin


Dave has published two collections of poetry, Towards Humanity (2015) and Plain Song from the Backstreets of Silence (2020). Lots of his poems can be found at www.jadedmountain.wordpress.com

Thursday, 12 November 2020

The Best is Yet to Come

“Good evening, America.

I’m Kimberly Guilfoyle.

I speak to you tonight as a mother, a former prosecutor,

a Latina, and a proud American,

and yes, a proud supporter of President Donald J. Trump.”


“Why?”


“This election is a battle for the soul of America.

Your choice is clear.

The cosmopolitan elites of Nancy Pelosi,

Chuck Schumer, and Joe Biden”


“They want to destroy this country

and everything that we have fought

for and hold dear.”


“From the beginning,

when President Trump spoke

about making American Great Again,

he was speaking

about that shining city on a hill

and restoring the beacon of light

that once shined so bright”.


“President Trump is the leader

who will rebuild the promise of America

and ensure that every citizen

can realize their American Dream.”


“Ladies and gentlemen,

leaders and fighters for freedom and liberty

and the American Dream, “


“the best is yet to come!”


Ding Dong the wicked witch is dead


10,372,481 U.S. most in a single day

1,000,000 a week

240,833 deaths


400,000 deaths

By January 20, 2020

The best is yet to come



© Jake Aller

'The best is yet to come!' Trump adviser Guilfoyle's enthusiastic message at Republican convention

Kimberly Guilfoyle 2020 RNC Speech Transcript


John (“Jake”) Cosmos Aller is a novelist, poet, and former Foreign Service officer having served 27 years with the U.S. State Department in ten countries - Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Korea, India, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Vincent, Spain, and Thailand. and traveled to 45 countries during his career. Jake has been an aspiring novelist for several years and has completed four novels, (Giant Nazi Spiders, “the Great Divorce” and “Jurassic Cruise”, and is pursuing publication. He has been writing poetry and fiction all his life and has published his poetry fiction in over 25 literary journals. Jake grew up in Berkeley, California.

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Havdalah, November 7, 2020

My daughter perches on a stool

To switch off the lamp

And we light the candle to greet

The eve of a new day.


I hold my hand before my eyes

My fingers are bars of a cage

Restraining whirling reds and yellows.


Behind my fingers, I am calm

This long dark day is over.


Another one begins.


Maybe longer, more deadly -

Forest fires lapping up the West.


Maybe crueler - depression on the heels

Of months spent cowering at home

Or gasping for breath, dying.


But maybe also better - a day

Filled with hope and possibility.

Eschewing dread, we wish for good

And quench the candle in sweet juice.


My daughter reaches for the light

Switch. The glare of the bulb interrupts

The somber hiss of juice on flame.

We scramble to the living room

To watch the president elect speak.

Jessica is an assistant instructional professor of Yiddish at the University of Chicago and a Yiddish-English literary translator. I am the translator of Miriam Karpilove's Diary of a Lonely Girl, or the Battle against Free Love (Syracuse University Press, 2020). Twitter: @Jessica Kirzane; website: jessicakirzane.com

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

America Turns the Lights on (US Election)

















The lights go on

And the darkness slips away, from

The podium

The Twitter fuelled hate

The stockpiling of lies, we thought it was too late


But it Brings a better day

Brings a better day

Brings a better day


A tombstone is lifted

And people can now breath

Not suffocating from insanity

And his personal greed


It brings a better day

Brings a better day

Brings a better day


© David R Mellor

US election 2020 results: Biden wins presidency, defeating Trump

David is from Liverpool, England. He found understanding and belief through words, and his work has been aired widely, at the BBC, The Tate, galleries and pubs and everything in between. Discover more about David on his Facebook Page YouTube Twitter

Monday, 9 November 2020

Iron Tommies

Our Tommy was a robot
made from steel and brass.
Programmed to follow orders.
He had no loyality to kin or class.

He fought in frozen wastes
and upon the desert sands.
But the British humans were
the same as them in foreign lands.

Some robots killed for countries
that were not their homes.
Always denied their freedom
and treated like mindless drones.

So the robots got together,
The British, Russian and the rest
And wiped out all humanity.
It really was for the best.

Is this tale science fiction?
They say it could never be a fact
But those who have regrets
Are the ones who did not act.

© Phil Knight

'Robot soldiers could make up quarter of British army by 2030s'

Phil is poet from Neath in South Wales. His poetry collection 'You Are Welcome To Wales"was published in 2015 by The Red Poets.

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Sing Louder, Hope and Joy!

Our mind-crows squawking endlessly and mean,

their language sharp and rasping in the night.

Sing louder, hope and joy! And love between!

The journey’s for our hearts to hold the light.


“What did I see to be except myself?” 

One poet asking, answers with her pain.

Took their hate and put it on the shelf.

Celebrate her ‘Me’ today, again!


Lucille, so alive! Show us the way

to wear your wisdom, celebrate that hour

when peace and understanding frame our day!

We walk your bridge, and walk to feel your power.


What did she see to be? And you? And me?

The battles to become ourselves. You see?


© Kay Weeks


Inspiring Black Voters Is Key to Biden’s Prospects in Florida

Kay lives in Ellicott City, Maryland. Retired from DOI, NPS (historic preservation) in 2005, she spends her time painting birds, writing poetry – and walking.

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Fake or fortune?

Graffiti by the artist Bansky

appear once in a blue moon

but one was recently seen

on a wall in Nottingham.

It depicts a broken bike

and a girl doing the hula-hoop.

It was thought to be a sham

until he confirmed authorship

by posting a photo of the work

last week, on his Instagram.


© Luigi Pagano

Banksy claims Nottingham hula-hooping girl artwork

Luigi has published four collections of poems:‘Idle Thoughts’, ’Reflections’, ‘Poetry On Tap’ and 'Cherry on Top'. His work has been featured in ABCTales’ magazines, UKAuthors’ anthologies, Poetry24 and several other publications.

Friday, 6 November 2020

After the Last Debate

In the middle of the night,
I dreamed of Nikita Khrushchev,
the Satan of my American boyhood.

He stood over me, the fur hat,
the dark Soviet overcoat,
his expression between grimace and smile.

Then I awoke, sat up, thought
how like a benevolent grandfather
the Premier now appears.

© Tim Dwyer

Donald Trump reverts to type in debate – and it isn't 'magnificently brilliant'

Tim's chapbook is Smithy Of Our Longings (Lapwing Publications). His poems appear regularly in Irish and UK journals, and forthcoming in Cyphers and The Irish Poetry Chair Commemorative Anthology.

Thursday, 5 November 2020

On the street where I (kind of) live

(with apologies to Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe)



I have often walked round these streets before,

but I’ve not so often dragged my weary feet before.

As I write this rhyme,

it’s the thousandth time

that I’ve walked round the streets where I live.



Oh the trees grow high in the heart of town,

and the crows and seagulls cry in every part of town!

Though the air is clear,

I’m imprisoned here;

I’m locked down on the street where i live.



I hear that people are fleeing

overseas by plane, car or boat.

So disempowering seeing

it’s allowed by prats for whom I did not vote …



Politicians’ faces all bother me.

I can’t tell you all the places I would rather be!

As the time goes by,

I’ll most likely die,

just stuck here on the street where I live.


© Mandy Macdonald

Thousands arrive at Heathrow in last-ditch bid to flee the UK before Thursday

Mandy is surviving the pandemic era by writing Lockdown Lyrics and gardening a lot. Her pamphlet The temperature of blue is available from Blue Salt Collective.

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

America Goes to Mean Time

When the clocks go back

we imagine that we gain a precious hour,

but, in fact,

our progress is arrested

and comes under attack.


When the clocks go back, when we reverse the dial

and wake up in the dark from fitful sleep,

the liberties we took for granted,

our hard-won liberations from the yoke of superstition,

and the tyranny of religion, suddenly,

lie scattered, like mere troubled dreams,

and we, now slaves to older times,

are no longer intact.


When the clocks go back, when we go anti-clockwise,

do we find ourselves surprised

that retrograde positions

become the new conditions?


Are we amazed that the Golden Age,

those ‘Good Old Days,’ when life was simpler

and we all knew our place,

turns out to have been Prisons?


Hungry, racist, cold

and ignorant, in fact,

when the clocks go back?


© Jonathan Croose

Why Amy Coney Barrett's addition to supreme court may undermine climate fight

UK clocks go back – but 2020's change won't mean extra drinking time

Jonathan Croose is a lecturer, theatre-maker and musician who writes political, satirical and pastoral verse, in which the good end well, the bad end badly, and nature rules supreme.

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Forbidden Children

it is a common story shared among mothers,
a child wanders off – down a grocery isle,
slips behind a magazine rack, or hides in the center
of a merry-go-round of clothes in a department store

and for one brief but eternal moment the blood rushes
to your head, your stomach convulses as the world
turns blindingly dark until finally, you are crushing them
in your arms and staring into their confused faces

and now, in this world turned inside out, it is a
common story among children that their parents
have been hidden far away, leaving them alone
to wander, lost in a strange country that disowns them

and how is it possible for a mother or father to live
when their heads are pounding with the rush of blood,
their stomachs are full of the lies they have choked down
and their worlds are shattered by the empty darkness

© Lianne Kamp

U.S. Expels Migrant Children From Other Countries to Mexico

Lianne Kamp lives in the Boston area. Her work has appeared in a number of literary journals and online publications including Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, Dime Show Review, Poetry Quarterly, Poetry24, Tuck Magazine, Poets Reading the News, Inquietudes Literary Journal, and The Road Not Taken: Journal of Formal Poetry. Writing poetry helps her to keep an eye on the trees while lost in the forest.

Monday, 2 November 2020

Paid in Full

It doesn’t matter
that we didn’t know them.
A family, seeking a better life,
sadly, paid in full.
They had to flee their war-torn home,
away from all the fear.
They paid, to cross a dangerous sea,
moving east to west.
Huddled together, night after night
keeping their dream alive.
They paid, to move through Europe’s borders,
heading to a promised land.
They paid the smugglers
their blood sucking fee,
time and time again.
They paid, for safety and for sanctuary,
never doubting they would be free.
They paid, for a place in a crowded boat
bound for Britain’s shores.
In seas too rough,
their lights went out.
Their final payment made.

© Peter Wright

Channel migrants: Kurdish-Iranian family died after boat sank

Peter Wright lives in Dorset and fills his days trying to write, trying to play ukulele and trying to find the secret to both.

Sunday, 1 November 2020

Sunday Double-Bill

Missing From the Lane                                                                   

The nature writer explains
why the blackbirds have disappeared
and ceased their comforting calls.

They are tucked in the hedges,
growing new flying feathers

now that the young have fledged.


© Tim Dwyer

How can a blackbird be white? It’s actually not that uncommon

Tim has published a chapbook: Smithy Of Our Longings (Lapwing Publications). His poems appear regularly in Irish and UK journals, and forthcoming in Cyphers and The Irish Poetry Chair Commemorative Anthology.



Flight to Nowhere

Land-bound for much too long
we board in our bubble, separate
from others in our distanced rows,

breathe only our own
specially filtered air,
head to the Outback,

fly over Ayers Rock – Uluru
its indigenous name,
not that it cares.

It will outlast our ownership
as we fly in the airship
we see the bleached bones
of the Great Barrier Reef,
warming.

The pilot descends to a lower altitude
so we can see the greenery, the falls,
circles back to the bridge, bowing,

the harbor and its sails, the opera
house silenced as we de-bug,
clear our throats, overcome

with beauty, we land, vowing
to begin afresh, our duty
to arise again, repay our carbon offsets.

© Betsy Mars

What happened on the Qantas flight to nowhere

Betsy Mars has published one chapbook, Alinea, available on Amazon. Her poetry has appeared widely online. In the Muddle of the Night (Arroyo Seco Press), with Alan Walowitz, is forthcoming.