Friday, 19 December 2014

Deutsch für alle

You may think it’s the U.K.I.P.
who are saying “By jingo!”
immigrants may stay here
but must speak the lingo.

No matter if they are Asian
or come from Bulgaria
they’ll have to talk German
over there in Bavaria.

Conversations can be serious
or can be sardonic
as long as they are
entirely Teutonic.

The Christian Social Union
say there should be a debate
and make legislation
at the earliest date.

But was it specified
in the Treaty of Rome
that  the ‘Deutsch’ idiom
should be spoken at home?

© Luigi Pagano 2014

'Speak German at home' row as conservatives target migrants

Luigi’s poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies. He has published three poetry collections: “Idle Thoughts”, “Reflections” and “Poetry On Tap”. He contributes to UKAuthors, and Poetry24.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Morning After (ii)… Britain, 19th September, 2014.

Nothing changed a bit, no hordes awoke,
The claymore wasn’t reached for, after all
The highlands still were cloudy and rain soaked
The city’s traffic at its standard crawl

The tartan slippers felt the same about
The feet of forty million sleepy souls
Who, trundling downstairs, flicked on the box
To check on what they knew, and last night’s goals.

In Glasgow, midnight oil and dad’s best scotch
Burned rather sorely in the throat, but though
Acid reflux almost made the odd man spew
Most kept their cool and drifted sadly home

Dunbarton shook its head and got its way
An exercise in risk aversion felt
Incongruous for clans men in face paint
But fitted, so it seems, more sober celts.

And oilmen in their Aberdeen hotels
Ordered English breakfasts and agreed
Their stocks looked better in the new old light
Then stirred an extra sugar in their teas

In Bullingdon and Eton, only nods,
For greeting something proper needs no fuss
And though there’s not so many in ‘the club’
They’re pleased to call Wee Jocky “one of us”.

The promises on promises went on
Safe in the reassuring, morning after glow
That nothing needed signing or sealing so
Just where’s the harm in tossing off some hope?

And though the web of mutual interest shook
It held so that the spiders could regroup
To spin their many lines, to feed the press
That fill the column inches for the troop

Of ‘Britons’ at their papers, library quiet
Who read with coy relief, we were still whole
Then set to work churning the milk
For the cats at their creamy supper bowl.

(C) Gary Smillie

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

MIDNIGHT GARDENER for Martin Place 16/12/14

 It’s alright when the world’s sleeping.
Stars sit in the yew tree.
The moon is anyone’s heritage.
The cane-toad turns into an oracle.
The night-bat forgets she’s shy.
The cricket sings with renewed strength.
I plant phlox and azalea in my midnight
Garden patch – and make
Plans for a changed tomorrow
When this mother-land of ours will again
Clothe herself in the language
Of petal and leaf – and the mild
Aroma of musk and all things pleasing.
In the hours being struck
By dawn’s grey fingers, I take
One solitary olive branch and offer
Up my reckoning
To the invisible bearer of us all:
Let there be more elemental magic
As the axis bends.
Let there always be
Fine imagery... and a pattern
To record it.
©Stefanie Bennett
(2 hostages and the gunman have been shot
dead – and 4 injured. The gunman was a
self-styled Iranian Cleric.
‘Martin Place Siege, Sydney Australia’
Stefanie Bennett has published eighteen books of poetry. Of mixed ancestry [Irish/
Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Queensland, Australia in 1945.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

I Can't Breathe

Better, take breath away
at the sight of multitudes,
birds winging above skyscrapers
in blue sky, winter sun so
bright, eyes tear; at the sound
of voices in cold winter cities
demanding that Justice re-fasten
Her blindfold that too often
slips around Her neck like a noose.

Lois Bassen Fiction Editor for http://www. prickof and 2011 Flannery O’Connor Award Finalist. In 2014, a novel & ss collection: and Poetry reviews for & others.


Hamish and I are delighted to be able to tell you that the future of Poetry24 is safe. We have recently heard from Martin Hodges, one of the founders and original editors of the journal, that he is willing to resume as editor. We really could not be more pleased and we know that our readers and contributors will be similarly delighted. 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Lighten our darkness

There are ways of shedding light
in dingy corners. Music can help.
The louder the better. The white,
white noise. When you lose count
of hours, something dawns.

There are ways of shedding light 
with water. When the head
goes under, spluttering 
sparks flashes of illumination.
Watch their eyes.

There are ways of shedding light
without a drop of blood.
The stress position, breaking 
of the feet, the revved up drill.
We only seek the truth. The light.

©Julian Dobson

Julian Dobson lives in Sheffield and is currently blogging at and

This poem was prompted by revelations of the CIA's 'enhanced interrogation techniques':