Friday, 31 October 2014

'School Shootings'





Danny P. Barbare

Danny P. Barbare resides in the Upstate of the Carolinas. His poetry has appeared locally, nationally, and abroad. He works as a janitor and has been writing poetry for 33 years.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

'What Ed Milliband Should Do'

When the ex-wife of the king-to-be died
in that car crash in Paris –
that’s when Tony Blair fucked up.
That speech about the ‘People’s Princess’
seemed great at the time –
the whole country backing a Labour Prime Minister,
but then he went and advised Her Majesty
to get back to London pdq and join in
the widespread looking sad.
He thought he was showing leadership,
being patriotic; what he should have done
was let her continue her holiday in Balmoral,
stay away, let us all manage without her.
Then he could have announced:
I won’t be having tea with her no more.
I won’t be visiting the Palace.
If she has anything she wants to say to me,
she can write in, just like Citizen Spart,
and my Officials will send an acknowledgment, as they do.
Hanging round palaces doesn’t do
for Labour Prime Ministers, it sucks them in.
Ed Milliband should make it clear
he won’t be having tea in the Palace.

Richard Devereux

I belong to the Lansdown Poets, Bristol. My first love is Greece - I won Bristol Poetry Festival's  Dead Poet's Slam as Giannis Ritsos. I've been published on the Stare's Nest.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Sunflowers- For Vincent van Gogh

I’ve heard the musings-
the may-be's of your despair:
mental illness, schizophrenia,

bi-polar disorder, OCD.

Now a new book tells all-
more than a century later.
Of cowboys and pretense.

Of a shotgun, lingering death
and your silence screaming,
even now.

In your paintings,
hanging in Philadelphia,
the Louve, the Musee d’Orsay: in these,

I see exuberance.
Hope. Determination.
I see a man who drank deeply,

longed for a love to taste,
touch and smell.
Love that would sustain

despite any coloration of mood-
How we all hunger for this love.
Unconditional, no-strings-attached love,

offered up sweet and straight,
but most of all: unconditional.
You wore a recycled name.

Born after the first-born,
the first Vincent, had died.

Those sunflowers, your sunflowers, say it all:

Cleft petals carved, flourished and stroked,
like the ardent lover I imagine you could be.
The pallet knife digging into impasto,

gently caressed afterglow.
Winding out from floral button cores.
Eye-popping sunshine at the brush mark’s rim.

Ochre, rust, sienna, shimmering verdant leaf. 
Dear Vincent like you, a wild, intense tourmaline sky.

Melinda Rizzo is a freelance writer and reporter, living in rural Bucks County, USA. She shares a nearly 200-year-oldfarmhouse with husband Phil, their son Adam and a black Labrador named Caleb.
The large kitchen - centrally located on the first floor - is the heart and soul of their home.

Every summer, she grows a wild-eyed variety of sunflowers.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Cash Flow Fiasco

Shares fall,
brought low;
lying little Tesco.
Top guys?
Porky pies!
Jackanory stats.
Imaginary futures,
greedy little…

Tesco, uh oh!
Pants on fire.
Tongues as long as a telephone wire.
Cashflow fiasco;
Pinocchio noses.
Standardised carrot size?
Shove it
where the sun don’t…

Tesco swing low,
all fall down.
All the credibility

of third rate clowns.

Strident yet curiously engaging, Laura Taylor is a gobby Northerner with a penchant for upsetting apple carts, and she never knows quite when to shut up.

Monday, 27 October 2014

The Things We Can't

As I queue for my flu shot,
I think about Ebola,
about international flight bans
and thermal guns to screen for fever.
I think of thirteen-year-old Bintu
frightened by every siren,
watching neighbours’ children die,
mattresses and bedding set on fire,
the dry-throated hunger of quarantine,
strangers trying to spray the virus
out of homes in Kailahun and Kenema.
I think of the pet trapped in the Dallas apartment
of a healthcare worker now in isolation.
I offer up my arm to the nurse –
here, a vaccination line moves fast.
Still, there’s no immunity to fear,
to Ebola or another deadly virus spreading.
The syringe’s silver slips through skin to flesh
easier than sunlight through glass,
and every bit as glinting.
But I know that this is nothing
to the ease with which a virus passes
from sneeze to hand, hand to another’s sleeve, cheek, mouth…
There are things that we cannot stop,
but that shouldn’t stop us from trying.
And while we’re trying, not forgetting
that every sliver of light
off a window, off a knife edge,
in the running of tap water
is a slice of life that is silver, so very silver:
each new day a piece of luck
that glitters in our fingers.

©Sarah James
Sarah James's most recent collection is Be[yond] from Knives, Forks and Spoons Press. Next year she has a narrative in poems, The Magnetic Diaries, out with KFS and, plenty-fish, with Nine Arches Press. She has a poem, 'That Night', animated in this year's Blackpool Illuminations. Her website is at

Some of the news links for this piece: 

Sarah James, poet and short story writer: website at & V. Press, poetry editor. 
Be[yond]poetry collection now out with Knives, Forks and Spoons Press (July 2013).
Into the Yellpoetry collection, Circaidy Gregory Press, 2010 - third prize, International Rubery Book Awards 2011.