Thursday, 27 November 2014

Culling Humans

They are culling the people now,
the ones that, they say, don’t play a good part
in the wonderful ‘big society’.

They must be made to pay, they say,
the ones that are a ‘drain on the state’,
the ones that can live no other way.

Elaine Christian drowned under the strain
of the ‘work capability assessment’.
She was found dead in an English drain.

There are many more who have elected to die;
people like her, who see no other way
to live with this Government and its lie.

They cut her benefit and left her destitute.
She jumped with her son. They died under a car.

Richard Sanderson could not go on
after a letter from his council told him
that his housing benefit was now all gone.

Grandma Stephanie Bottrill couldn’t pay her bedroom tax,
she told her son to blame the Government
and walked in front of a lorry on the M6.

Martin Rust was ordered back to work.
He knew he could not go, and
the only answer he had was to go berserk

he hung himself when his HB was reassessed.

David Groves faced a medical ordeal;
he died of a heart attack
while he searched for a way to make an appeal.

Leanne Chambers jumped in the river.
They told her she’d have to work, and
there was no more money they could give her.

Stephen Hill died of a heart attack
after they said he was well enough to work,
and there was no reason he couldn’t go back.

Mark Scott was left completely penniless.
Declared fit for work, his benefits were stopped.
And like all the others, he died of hopelessness.

They are culling the people now,
the ones that, they say, don’t play a good part
in our wonderful ‘big society’.
We owe them a full roll call,

but we cannot know the names of them all.

Jackie Biggs

Jackie Biggs is  from west Wales. She has had poetry published on websites, in magazines and anthologies. Some of her poetry appears on her blog:
She performs her work at live literature events all over west Wales.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Russell Brand talks about Revolution

His mother must be proud after all,
fighting addiction isn't easy. Clean now, 
his intelligence, quick as fish, darts fast.

Her brave boy, thrown helter skelter bipolar,
finds ground.
Fear travels quickly, love a little slower.

Expressive, misunderstood,
the cynic's clown,
the people's narcissist

but bearing witness,
sharing truth.
Do you step up?

©Rose Cook

Rose Cook has had three books of poetry published. Her latest collection is Notes From a Bright Field published by Cultured Llama. She is also a photographer.

Monday, 24 November 2014

The Boris Bridge

Roll up! Roll up! for BoJo's garden bridge
We hope financial footfall will be brisk
A tourist trap for paying patronage
No groups of more than eight - a 'protest risk'
Some sixty million pounds the public pay
He raised the cash by cutting transport staff
But don't expect a public right of way
Just troubled water and a Mayoral laugh
No bikes, no rights, no access after dark
Our public funds misused to privatise
It's no more than a plundered pleasure park
A Tory-governed London bridge of sighs
A private perk like Johnson's cable car
This really is a Boris bridge too far

Janine Booth

Janine Booth performs poetry as The Big J. She is a London resident, socialist-feminist, trade unionist, railworker and

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sunday Review

Abi had the Monday poem this week with the very fine ‘The world’s going crazy… (nobody gives a damn anymore’ – from Brother by Ray Davies) which tells of the current state of things using the commemoration of World War One as an example. Abi sums it up with:
somewhere, another ‘hero’ falls;
as men fall dead are widows made;
yet still we love to dig a grave.
Cleveland Wall's poem "The Better Part of Valour" was Tuesday's poem about a convenience store robbery and the effect it had on people. I like the way that the incident occurs but not many are aware of it. 
Go home, you seekers of snack foods
and cigarettes, and think about what
has happened and what has not

Gary S. Watkins had the Wednesday poem "Zombies" which has a bleak future view, but shows the value of being informed about what is happening.
Our lands and waters poisoned,
Homeless people die,
Soldiers fight in foreign lands,
The zombies shuffle by

On Thursday, Sue Norton in "The blind sculptor who thinks everyone should touch art"
illustrated some of the beauty that is around us that people can provide. There's some lovely imagery to enocurgae the reader to think about the sculptor and the sculpture. 
blown silks of stone rippling across a veiled
head turned aside to the right, arms trailing
swathed as if with weeds by flowing water 

Friday's poem "The Book of the Unclaimed Dead" by Alejandro Escudé  Looked at the practise of "unclaimed dead" and what it means. A very nice observational poem about a subject that society is not keen on thinking about. There is a lot of very good imagery and philosophy in this poem.
The books are kept in a church-like room,
But the bones in the boxes form only accidental crosses.
The body is simply wrapped in a white sheet
That will not survive the holy imprint of a face.

Have a good week everyone, keep submitting your poems and give some thought to being an editor at Poetry24 next year.

Friday, 21 November 2014

The Book of the Unclaimed Dead

The bones are stacked in boxes to be ground up
And mixed with the rest of the body’s ashes.
The workers at the crematorium use long poles
To push the bodies into the furnace, and a book is kept.
What jolts one are the infants and the still-born:

Permit: Feb 17, 2011
Smith, Kimberly.
B/G [baby girl]

Their ashes are placed in paper bags then filed in a metal drawer,
Like a library card catalog, under fluorescent lighting.
A long, inharmonious squeak to open it.
Some relatives are only interested in the certificate.
One worker warns, from the shores of the Styx,
“Just keep in touch, you don’t have to forgive.”

The man who keeps the book says he feels it is a service,
Something akin to love. He’s past retirement but loves his job.
He says his son will claim his ashes.
That’s important, that word, to be claimed.

Sometimes the usual bookkeeper goes on vacation
And another person has to record the names.
At least six names to number and spell out every day.

The book starts in 1896. That book, the oldest one, is very thin.
As if death had later hit a boon, an industrial surge
In the heavens, calling more souls to the fill its stations.

The books are kept in a church-like room,
But the bones in the boxes form only accidental crosses.
The body is simply wrapped in a white sheet
That will not survive the holy imprint of a face.

Workers heave the white figures into the furnace.
The 2011’s are set to be buried in a mass grave.
All those tiny packages and boxes, three-lined addresses,
Bound up manuscripts, tracked but unclaimed.

Alejandro Escudé

Alejandro Escudé is the winner of the 2013 Sacramento Poetry Center Award. His first collection, "My Earthbound Eye," is now available on Amazon and at .