Thursday, 23 October 2014


There’s a bottle of shampoo in my bathroom
telling me I’m Worth It, but he disagrees.

Well, it’s only advertising, propaganda
to popularise a notion. Sell it.

We blame him, the man on the tape,
questioned covertly, off-the-cuff,
a face to spit a label on

for the labels we rail against:
heard every day in the bus shelter,
in Weatherspoons, queuing in Tesco
when someone a bit funny-looking
is fumbling with their bags,
getting in the way.

Sometimes it’s us:
we gripe under our breath,
mean and unrecorded.

Feeling greasy at the roots?

That shampoo was on offer, better value
 – I’d prefer a more expensive brand,
the same as everyone else.

Now the £2 coin in my pocket
may need to stretch so much further.

© Holly Magill

 Holly Magill is from Worcestershire. She has a BA in Creative Writing from The University of Birmingham and has had work in “Ink, Sweat & Tears”, “The Poetry Bus” and “The Stare’s Nest”. She is visually impaired.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

October Pumpkins

They litter the fields nearmy house.
Decorate neighborly frontsteps, porches,
tumble in wrought wire hangingbaskets,
are gathered up like eggs.

I’ve tucked a few into fadingsummer containers,
along with variegated winterkale. Chrysanthemums.
Flushed with withering frost-kissedsweet potato vines.

Some pile into the back seat
of an empty clay pot.
Others are marker spaced-targets, really,

so many walking paces apart.
Dueling partners, ormigrating robins,
breathing a weary sign onfence posts.

I haunt the local growerswhere in season
I buy coleus, six-packs of celosia,
zinnia starter plugs, and trailingvinca.

Now the vinca is gone.
Pumpkins are hauled in fromlocal farmers:
‘Buck’s Skin,’ ‘Jack-be-Little’and ‘Cinderella’s Coach.’

‘Cinderella’s’ cleavage runs longitudinallines
from stem end to an ample,curvaceous seat.
Deep ribs create buxom hips on‘Cinderella’ .

No Fairy godmother could haveanticipated this,
no Prince Charming in hisright mind could possibly resist.

Melinda Rizzo

New Hampshire pumpkin riot shows US divisions

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.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


Fresian, Guernsey, Ayrshire and Jersey
Cows for milking at the dairy

Black and white and brown heffers
Milking farmers are now protesting

Supermarkets take all the profits
And farmers need them to stop it

Milk on the cheap we all enjoy
Doesn't warrant the work they employ

If cows could speak what would they say?
"Give our farmers more profit and pay!"

Pennies and pence is what we are talking about
Not unreasonable farmer's shout

Protest they must to save their livelihood
To continue milking if they could

I enjoy milk in my cuppa
And wouldn't be without what they offer

So farmers have the support from me
They deserve more profit I agree

I couldn't do without my milk
The dairy industry should not sink

Give the farmers what they deserve
Whilst milking their dairy herds!
©Anne Watmough

Monday, 20 October 2014

'Dendrogramma Enigmatica'

First scraped off the sea floor with a sled,
the creature of the title, like a seahorse parasol,
has mouthparts down its stem
and a many-forked digestive tract
all through its bust-umbrella canopy
(there’s a notch in each of them
which lets the water  through).

If it’s to be a new phylum,
not species, genus, family, order or class,
but phylum, as researchers claim,
there’s just the edging of a wish
that, rather than a minute mushroom animal,
it could have been a gryphon.

Simon Williams

Simon Williams often writes on subjects gleaned from the BBC or Wikipedia sites and also runs a Facebook group called Poem A Day. 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

This week our Monday poem was the work of a new contributor, Rebecca Gethin, whose poem 'Entrapment' open with the striking image of 'Tanks squat in the sand/ on the desert ridge/ immobile' which, for me, brought to mind a picture of tanks occupying the horizon like so many ponderous and glittering jewelled toads. Welcome, Rebecca, and thank you for choosing Poetry24.  

Then, on Tuesday, it was the turn of Mandy Macdonald whose 'Thoughts in the bar at Richard Struass's Salome' was inspired by the satisfaction shown by Nigel Farage following the election of UKIP's first - and, hopefully, last - MP.  I think that this poem probably expressed the thoughts of many of our readers. It is, I should say, a particular source of embarrassment to me that my home town of Grays in Thurrock is one of the areas where UKIP looks menacing. I use the word 'menacing' advisedly.

Wednesday's offering was 'The First Artists'  from regular contributor, Sue Norton. This is a beautiful poem written in response to a story about the discovery of some of the earliest cave paintings known. Wonderful, wonderful closing lines:
'Their beauty beckons, only revealing
our hands match theirs. We are their legacy.' 

On Thursday, it was my own 'One Percent' which was a somewhat hot-headed response to three of the stories I found on my Facebook news feed that morning, When I showed this poem to my partner, David, he said: 'It's a bit angry and bitter, dear.' Well, yes, that about covers it. Guilty as charged.

Our final poem of the week was 'Peace Prize' by Dr Fareha Razvi which is a tribute to the strength and courage of Malala Yousafzai, a worthy winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. It was good to have a positive end to the week. Our thanks go to all our contributors. 

Abigail Wyatt