Friday, 24 October 2014


When he answered that councillor's question
He let out a Freudian slip
When he argued for wages exemption
It wasn't a gaffe or a blip
When his Lordship said disabled workers
Should get by on two quid an hour
No, he wasn't just acting the jerk as
Though he'd just come down in a shower
He was voicing his deep-seated feeling
And saying what most Tories think
And his innermost bigot revealing -
A slip named for Sigmund the shrink
Now the trouble he's in - give him credit -
Is not for the vile thing he said
But merely the fact that he said it
And didn't stay tight-lipped instead

Cos the party that's not above shutting
The life-saving fund, ILF,
And doesn't think twice about cutting
Back Access to Work for the deaf
Will not likely have moral objection
To cutting our wages next June
And Lord Freud - he just needed correction
For letting it slip out too soon
©Janine Booth
Janine performs poetry as The Big J, on everything from rants against injustice to the correct arrangement of cutlery drawers. Hackney resident. Lefty, trade unionist, campaigner, railway worker and author.

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.