Wednesday, 16 April 2014

David Cameron speaks of Christian faith in Easter messa

“Jesus invented the Big Society 2,000 years ago,"
Cameron told his audience. "I just want to see more of it.”

“If there are things that are stopping you from doing more,
think of me as a giant Dyno-Rod to clear any blockages.”

Our MP’s, bankers, police, move swiftly to flush away any whiff or stench,
corruption, abuse of power. Our new brooms swing in sanitising sweeps.

Our volunteers are running schools, food banks and libraries. They
visit prisoners, never compromising security by taking books inside.

We summon the sick and disabled and we transform them. They become fit for work.
This is what it’s about, helping each other. Easter doesn’t just mean chocolate.

Christians are constantly persecuted so I won’t be surprised if you attack me.
I find a little bit of peace and hopefully a bit of guidance when I go to church.

I think Jesus would understand quite well what we are trying to do.

©Sue Norton

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Kitchen Art

Toddler finger paintings – one a blue fish –
another a description rimmed with line cartoons
of a second grade field trip to The Philadelphia Zoo.

 My son’s rendition ofVan Gogh’s
“Starry Night” a tin engraving embellished with
stroked swirls. These hang in my kitchen.

My own mixed media work, a constellation of dappled stars
paper napkin clusters of French waiters,
cast in black and white, carrying trays.

What inspired you? Was it Yellow House fever and
raging colors of luscious fruit, apples and fat grapes
of the Gauguin, maybe painted after his stay in Arles withVan Gogh,

or was it the Bonnard, a languid she relaxing,
the world at once comfortable and just out of reach.
Were these a little too much to pass up?

Once at home, did you settle the kitchen art
near a bright window to catch the light’s
expansive breath across the fruit, just so,
or was it twilight that captured those patinas best.

I imagine your retirement in Sicily:
Soft breezes pushing the olive tree branches,
a little dry-stone wall just outside the snug kitchen

and an herb garden with potted rosemary and bay, beyond.
Here in Pennsylvania, I’d hang those masterpieces
in my kitchen, too, if they were mine.

I’d find just the right place to put them
on sunny yellow walls, if I’d
have been the lucky one to possess them.

Owner hopes to keep stolen paintings on kitchen wall

©Melinda Rizzo

Melinda Rizzo is a freelance writer and reporter, living in rural Bucks County, USA. She shares a nearly 200-year-old farmhouse 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.

Monday, 14 April 2014

'No make up selfie'

Face scrubbed clean,

camera poised

angled for the best shot

full on, or profile?

Should my hair be neat,

or tousled to go with

the bare skinned

just up look?

Picture posted

three hundred likes

friends nominated,

my heart thumps

with good feelings

perhaps my £3 have

saved a life.

I choose to hide

the stories of

real life struggles

the photos

of mastectomy scars,

heads bald and faces

bare of eyebrows and lashes

my body has not been ravaged

by a disease, and its cure

that leaves me

skin and bone, hairless

drawn and exhausted.

No I have done my bit

posted my photo, sent the cash

my selfie for cancer is

as far as I want to go

as much as I want to know

I've told the world

I support the research

but I cannot bear to

see the truth.

©Niamh Hill

Niamh Hill is a former accountant and primary school teacher who enjoys reading and writing poetry, yoga and changing the world for the better over a coffee with friends

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Sunday Reveiw.

Abi started the week for us with her poem "Recovery Position" which shows the difference between political spin and what is really happening. The last two lines are chilling in their casual dismissal of suffering by the largely male, establishment propagandists.
We're in this together and we'll be all okay - so say the news men from the BBC.
Abi also announced that we would like people to contribute recordings of them reading their poems. it would give us all an idea of where you think the emphases should be in your poems and how you want them to sound. We are only going to accept soundcloud recordings though, due to their ease of embedding.   
On Tuesday, Kristina England's poem "Woman Found Dead After Five years" told a rather harrowing story of the disintegration of a sense of community that is very common in our modern world.
The lines about the lady's neighbours spell out the problem. people need to ask questions.
And yet, people mowed her grass,
dropped off one-way mail,
didn't ask any questions...
Niall O'Connor's poem "Ukraine" was our Wednesday poem and outlined the horror of that situation very starkly. Mr. Putin's machismo is going to have savage repercussions on the ordinary people of Ukraine. Not much new there, sadly. it is a very powerful poem told very well.
Now we are re-branded,
the cleansing begins,
and they put Cain against Abel
turn friend against friend.
A rather more hopeful note was struck by Thursday's poem "Listen" by Siobhán McLaughlin 
describing the moment in which a previously deaf woman could start to hear.
There is a lovely evocation of music in the poem.
40 songs richer
now. This is what it sounds like
when doves cry. 
Sue Norton's poem "Why Was Father Frans Murdered?" was Friday's poem which showed the true worth
of Poetry 24 because I had not heard of this story and getting to hear about through Sue's very good poem brought home how terrible a loss this was.
Because he believed the world
would wake up and send food and medicine

Have a good week folks, keep sending in your poems and let us hear how you want them to sound.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Why Was Father Frans Murdered?

Fr Frans van der Lugt, shot  Homs, Syria, 7 April, 2014
Because since 1966 he tried to help the poor
Because he saw people, not Muslims or Christians
Because he opened a school for disabled children

Because he stayed with them, trapped in the city of Homs
Because no food was allowed in and people were desperate
Because he believed the world would wake up and send food and medicine

Because he was afraid but still opened to the knock on the door
Because the monastic rule is hospitality
Because he did not resist his assailant

Because a man faithful to peace is a red flag to hatred
Because he coloured love’s standard with his lifeblood

Because he was a ray of joy and hope and burning for justice.

©Sue Norton