Monday, 1 September 2014

'I heard the man on the radio say'

Everyone is talking about
Rotherham
but no one much is
asking why
the spotlight has fallen on
this council at just
this time.

Or why
these public servants
must be brought to account
while some other
public servants,
in higher circles,
still have nothing
to fear.

Are we really
supposed to believe
it is not happening
elsewhere,
and that it hasn’t happened
and been covered up,
over and over
again?

Everyone is talking about
Rotherham –
and I,
I am the last
person to defend
the bastards
who did it,
who have escaped justice,
got away scot free,
and yet ruined
so many young lives –
but I cannot help thinking
there is something up
and something else
is going on here –
and also that someone
has missed the point
which is surely
the victims in this case.

Yet no one has had much
to say about how to help
the people
who have suffered
who continue to suffer
and may do
all their lives

while, yesterday,
I heard the man on the radio say
(by way of explanation)
that the police had seen
some ‘silly young girls’

who were involved
with alcohol and drugs
and seemed almost to deserve’
what happened  
to them.

I heard the man
on the radio
say –

© Abigail Wyatt





Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sunday Review

Sue Norton's Poem "Is There a Crisis in Our Prisons?" was Monday's poem as a response to the UK Minister would said that prisons are not failing. As Sue's poem most forcefully says, in fact they are.
Unless the Minister feels that the following incident is actually what prisons should be about.
I’ve seen people boil up
Cooking oil, I’ve seen people
Get that in their face. 

The UK Prime Minister also provoked a response in Tuesday's poem from Philip Johnson "smug two face the toff's butler" . His statement that parents need to turn off TV more frequently is contrasted with the amount of time that politicians spend on TV.
not so good if you want to appear on TV
as a head-u-cated honourable sort (while
ripping off blighty backwards)

Wednesday's poem by Sutapa Chaudhuri "The Moment the Camera Caught Her" 
was inspired by a photo of a chils soldier and examines that most chilling of  modern symbols, the child soldier. The last stanza powerfully contrasts the normal teenage years with the ultra-violent life of the subject.
Gunfire and guerrilla warfare         cohabit     with teenage tantrums
Adolescent dreams turn fast into                                nightmares of Reality
Thursday's poem was "Femme Fatale" by Shadwell Smith and is a tribute to the death of Lauren Bacall. It was strangely calming to read of someone who had a good life and made other people happy.
A dime store avatar for all that’s in disguise
and in your dreams.
Laura Taylor's poem "Commodities" was Friday's poem about the horrendous events in Rotherham. It looks at the attitudes that allowed this monstrosity to happen. It is a justifiably angry poem which spares no feelings and for that we should be grateful. The truth should rouse us to take action.
Not old enough to get a job, leave school,
or give consent,
but old enough to be consigned
by men to men.
Possessed.
We are still having problems with Blogger and the Hotmail account. Please send your poetry submissions to the new gmail account and be patient with what we publish. Have a good week, Spring may be breaking through in New Zealand. Already some politicians are feeling the heat, google "Judith Collins Whaleoil" to see what I mean

 

Friday, 29 August 2014

Commodities

Not old enough to vote or wed
or give consent,
but old enough to be transferred                   
by men to men;
possessed.

Not old enough to drive a car,
have overdrafts or credit cards,
but old enough to be exchanged;
expended;
property.

Not old enough to live alone or own a home,
but old enough to be deceived;
to be perceived as third and fourth class citizens,
as damaged goods and chattel;
to be consumed
and spent.

Not old enough to get a job, leave school,
or give consent,
but old enough to be consigned
by men to men.
Possessed.

©Laura Taylor

Laura Taylor has been writing and performing poetry since 2010, and loathes injustice to the core of her being. http://www.writeoutloud.net/profiles/laurataylor


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Femme Fatale

She’s over there
where the fat man and the small guy sit.
Shady lady in the nylon seams
with a bottle and the jaded look.
A dime store avatar for all that’s in disguise
and in your dreams.
The widow in the cocktail dress
trails her fur along the floor
smells of flowers but she’s a carnivore.
That’s her, and she goes by the name of Perfidia.

Listen, Jack
There’s no such thing as a free pink pussycat
in your bed. She’ll strip you clean, dance you round
and when she’s done
stamp her dainty footprint on your head.
Don’t stay to drink the coffee
just get out of there and run.
This is Shakey Town
and baby’s got a gun.


............................
Death of Lauren Bacall

© Shadwell Smith. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

'The moment/ the camera caught her'

The listless despondency                              in her eyes
Her comrade half turned                        dim eyes far into the future
The arm of support                           invisible
Fragile fingers resting                                    casually on frail shoulders
The linen shirt collar jostle                                                     for attention
Frayed and faded                                the black irises unfathomable
Clusters of brown curls                                           like unruly emotions
Frame                            an unknown nascent innocence
Bold lips silent                         taught                       only to obey commands
Gunfire and guerrilla warfare         cohabit     with teenage tantrums
Adolescent dreams turn fast into                                nightmares of Reality

© Sutapa Chaudhuri

*This poem is inspired by the photo of a 14-year-old child soldier who was photographed with the ©Farc in 2000.


A bilingual poet, translator and an academic, Sutapa Chaudhuri, PhD, teaches English at a college near Kolkata, India. She has two collections of poetry —Broken Rhapsodies (2011) and Touching Nadir (2014).

IMPORTANT NOTICE
Recently, we have been experiencing some technical problems. These appear to be related to changes introduced by Blogger. Note only has the site been behaving unpredictably but both Hamish and I have been 'locked out' for a lengthy period.  We are doing our best to get things back to normal but please be patient with us. Thank you.