Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Chasing Cheese

I won't get down on my knees
And ask permission, pretty please.
The day I do, all hell will freeze.
In Brockworth, everyone agrees
We need traditions such as these,
Involving rolling of the cheese.

© Martin Hodges

Coopers Hill cheese-rolling fans hold unofficial race
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Martin is a writer, and former columnist. He has twice been editor of Viewpoint (a forum for INDEPENDENT internal comment within the University of Southampton), and is co-founder of Poetry24.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Pet Rock's Lament

I long to pogo with the Pokemon
Life is ok, now that Bob the Builder’s been and gone.
Watching TV to forget the news
to re-mind myself
none of it is true.

Popular Culture makes you think.
Chop it into little bits and flush it down the sink.
Throw the children overboard, the media she's Medea,
And she will kill them
if you leave her.

Once mocked, democracy
She won't come back to visit me
Operators are standing by to fill your life with stuff
I say that all of it
is never enough.

© Geoffrey Datson

A Critique of Reporting on the Middle East
----------------------------------------------------
Geoffrey Datson is a poet, singer-songwriter and composer. He has released several solo albums of spoken word works and song. Then, and Then: a memoir, is his first book.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Sunday Editorial

Luckily we were still around on Monday and Tuesday, to read about 'Judgment Day'. May 21st came and went, leaving room for Ana Garza G'z to have her say at the top of the week, followed closely by Stafford Ray's trio of limericks on Raptures past and present.

Geoffrey Datson's Hail Columbia, was a commentary inspired by the loss of Sgt Brett Wood to an IED in Afghanistan and, Life Lessons, Philip Challinor's sharp response to the appointment of a pro-abstinence charity to a sexual health forum, in which the British Pregnancy Advisory Service found itself with no part to play.

We couldn't resist Heather Wastie's Night(ie)mares, after a primary school head teacher ticked off some parents for not changing out of their pyjamas before bringing their children to school, and Greg Brimblecombe's thought provoking piece, Poetry: and elimination contest (in conversation with Reality TV) rounded out the week.

In the past six days, we've showcased the work of three poets, new to Poetry24, Ana Garza G'z, Geoffrey Datson and Heather Wastie. Next week it could be you.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Poetry : an elimination contest (in conversation with Reality TV )

Hey Big Brother
Come dine with me
I want you to be a Survivor
On a poets reality show.
The poems won’t use
The 'F' Word
employ master chefs
or be made in Hell’s Kitchen.
These poems will be written by
poets who invent the muse.
Then given 60 minute make overs
Make us feel 10 years younger
And end up flying over Project Runaway.
Poetry written to ridicule the Jackass
Giving it a most extreme make over
No weakest link here .
We are better than The apprentice
My toupee left inside changing rooms
Man vs wild
Always dancing with the stars.
So hear me reality TV
Come join the amazing race
poetry is not scared
Fear factored to laugh at you
While everyone is mucking in
On the Treasure Island
Of a Poets Reality show

© Greg Brimblecombe


'Dancing with the Stars' leaderboard topped by Chelsea Kane
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Greg is currently residing in New Zealand. He has not escaped yet. He has been writing poetry for over 20 years and at present co ordinates a Poetry group on a beautiful bush clad Penisula.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Night(ie)mares

I dreamt I wore my nightie in the supermarket,
shuffling down the aisles in slippers
searching for the cornflakes.

I dreamt I wore my nightie on the school run,
hadn't shaved my legs but luckily
I'd thought to have my hair done.

I dreamt I wore my nightie on the tv,
loads of people desperate to see me.
Glad I had the sense to wear some lippy.

© Heather Wastie

There's a time and a place for pyjamas
----------------------------------------------
Heather Wastie is a wordsmith, humorist and musician with a rich professional life as poet, composer, singer, songwriter, keyboard player and facilitator.  Find out more at Heather's website.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Life Lessons

You teenagers all rampant in your hoods,
Take heed of Life; beware your hormones' urge.
Stack shelves in Tesco's; sublimate the surge.
It's market-time: don't give away the goods.

Our hopes become increasingly forlorn
Of keeping errant sperm from meeting egg;
And so we suffer Cameron and Clegg,
Because some bloody fools let them be born.


© Philip Challinor

Coalition appoints pro-abstinence charity to sexual health forum

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Philip blogs at 'The Curmudgeon' - He insists, "You'll come for the curses. You'll stay for the mudgeonry." Philip is the author of a number of books.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Hail Columbia

Romeo. I'm not down with you, as such
A juggernaut that kills for culture
All portentous in the Columbia dawn?
I cannot fit that fashion
Nor mouth its platitudes.

Juliet how low hangs your balcony, now?
And the message that fails to get through
Is all the more tragic for its non delivery.
Still brother kills brother
and Mr President,
everybody's way of life is negotiable.

Pass the message on.

If a piece of heaven falls to earth
A chunk of gods dreaming
Sits discarded out there
A puzzle even to crows.

In the far off chrome towers
A stay of execution enshrouds
Our bejewelled city.
The justness of cause or the causes of justness
I doubt you'd slip a leaders IQ between them.
Trains run on time but off the tracks
And a life deftly taken will not come back.
Everybodys way of life is negotiable.

Pass the message on.

Cause and effect; it's a mathematics of language
The unexpected forever killed by hindsight.
Time to stop leading and start listening.
It's all negotiable.
Pass your life along.
They need it over here.

© Geoffrey Datson

'Magnificent soldier' Sgt Brett Wood killed by IED in Afghanistan
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Geoffrey Datson is a poet, singer-songwriter and composer. He has released several solo albums of spoken word works and song. Then, and Then: a memoir, is his first book.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Raptures past and present...

They said; “if you wake up to find
The faithful have left you behind,
You’ll know that the rapture
Failed to recapture
Your devious Atheist mind!”

So what did I find when I woke
this morning and looked for you folk?
You-all are still here,
not in Heaven, I fear
‘Cause the whole stupid thing is a joke!

It’s clear that the Rapture’s a con,
with so many dates come and gone.
It seems that the grand plan
is worth even less than
the paper it’s all written on!
© Stafford Ray
Deadline passes, world still here
--------------------------------
Writer of musical plays and reading resources for schools. Wannbe novelist, one completed, two more on the way. Poetry happens when moved, limericks when amused (interchangeable).

Blog : StaffordRay

Monday, 23 May 2011

Judgment Day - May 21, 2011


















I was at my computer on Judgment Day.
The billboards and the fliers have proclaimed
the good news, and the Jehovah's Witness
down the street disagrees, almost gambling
on December 12, 2012, making my mom worry
that the poor Mayas and Chinese will look bad
though she doesn't mind the Protestant getting it
wrong: he's been collecting money.
And who needs money in Heaven

or hell? The night before the Judgment day was hot
and the morning of was cold, so maybe it is
Judgment Day. Maybe I didn't know
I woke up

the day after with all the other Catholics, Jews,
Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus,
Zoroastrians, agnostics, atheists and whatnots, eating,
sleeping, working, cashing unemployment
checks, sitting in front of the TV, going
to church, having sex, abstaining, killing
Taliban, paying for manicures, opening soup cans
for green bean casserole, skipping
the news articles about civilians getting shot, waiting
through the earthquakes and storms of the next five months
for the tree to fall in the forest,

which, of course, none of us will
hear because we're husks,
and sound isn't sound unless we're there
and earth isn't earth unless we can conceive
it, and time ceases
to be time if we can't count it, and God,
the mystery, is a cloud on a desert,
where there isn't a tree

to fall against an eardrum anywhere.

© Ana Garza G'z


Judgment Day May 21: When will the world actually end?


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Ana Garza G'z has an M. F. A. from California State University, Fresno. 35 of her poems have appeared in various anthologies and journals, with one forthcoming in Magnolia Journal.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Sunday Editorial

I've been holding the fort this week as Martin has been struck down by the Lurgy. Which makes it a good time to remind people to please send submission's to BOTH of us as described in the guidelines above... if you send a new poem by replying to an email from one of us it might get lost in the system. Yes, we have a system.
We started on a sombre note this week with Katherine Lockton's poem 'For Madeleine McCann' - sadly still topical on the fourth anniversary of her disappearance. Other poems have been venting anger at the 'establishment': with P.A. Levy's 'Anthem for Cheats and Scroungers' - a hard-hitting polemic for the hardest hit - and Kulsoom Mirza's 'Partially Impartial' - reflecting on the continuing struggle in the Middle East. Both include a side-swipe at the BBC for silencing voices of protest.
Politicians (and ex-politicians) came under fire again in Philip Challinor's cynical Curriculum Vitae... showing how those responsible for 'managing' the country are the very opposite of 'the hardest hit'.
We finished with Irish poet Niamh Prior's 'Melchert-Dinkel Story' on a Minnesota man's 'lethal advocacy' to suicidal people on internet chat rooms.
I was surprised and a disappointed not to receive (yet!?) any poems relating to yesterday's supposed Judgement Day - no Rapture Rap, Armageddon Sonnet or Apocalyse Calypso.
Ahh well... it's not the end of the world.
Clare

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Melchert-Dinkel Story

Melchert-Dinkel gets a twinkle
In his eye, when his online friends
Feel so alone that hope is gone
And just want their lives to end.
A former nurse, he earns their trust
With tips for DIY deeds
Calls himself Miss Dao and tells all them how
A sturdy knot’s all one needs.
He makes a pact of this brave act
You first, slip into your noose
I’ll watch as you hang, switch on your webcam
How pretty your face is in puce.
A college freshman, and an IT tech-man
The judge found him guilty for
And he insisted he'd assisted
Just five suicides, no more.
Now he’s in jail, banned from email
For three hundred and fifty odd days
He says he meant
No sinister intent
And they would have done it anyway.

© Niamh Prior


Assisted Suicide Goes Digital: When Is a Chat-Room Post a Crime?
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Niamh lives in Kinsale, Ireland where she is happiest when writing or surfing. Visit her website to learn more.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Curriculum Vitae

Then I came out of university (which, it has proved,
Our modern poor are better off without); and then I moved
Into a safe seat which I duly won,
And sold my vote for half a decade - so
You see, I'm not the looser sort of gun,
But tight - as tight as tight can be, you know -
And then I was a Minister of sorts,
And met my dearest friends, like you of course.

My major talent? Networking, I'd say,
And understanding people. I am good
With coloured folk and know the public mood,
For politics will help one in that way.
I also manage well and multitask.
My temper is industrious and sunny.
As in Whitehall, I'll do just what you ask,
Because you pay an awful lot of money.


© Philip Challinor

Former Labour ministers rushing to take private sector jobs

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Philip blogs at 'The Curmudgeon' - He insists, "You'll come for the curses. You'll stay for the mudgeonry." Philip is the author of a number of books.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Anthem For Cheats & Scroungers

To suffer slings and crutches
of nature’s misfortunes is not
enough. The dribbling self-
defecating masses,
when we’re not too busy
cheating taxpayers and watching
David Dickinson, are revolting.
‘In-valid’ is the word I’m sure
Westminster would prefer to promote,
or the 19th century return
of the ‘undeserving poor’, which
is making a strong comeback with our
carers on £55 per week. But hey! we’re all
in this together, so along with inflation
to deflating our wheelchair tyres
here comes a cut in our benefits. We can’t
riot like students, or strike like unions,
so they can let us have a little shout
a bit of swear as some of us are deaf
and some can’t see what’s going on,
those with MS will probably fall down
before they even reach Parliament Square,
where they brush us aside as having tourettes
and say: “calm down dear
it’s only your benefits,
go get a meaningless underpaid job
‘cos yer worthless and no one
gives a toss”. An attitude apparently
endorsed by the BBC
who somehow forgot to give
our rally any coverage on TV.
The hardest hit take yet another slap,
swept under the carpet, kept hidden
in the attic and out of sight
less we offend sensitive bankers
and coalition politicians, who have
full use of their arms and legs, but
sadly suffer a crippled moral compass.

© Paul Levy


Disabled people stage protest over spending cuts
-----------------------------------------------------------
P.A. Levy, a disabled writer, living in Suffolk, has been published online and in print - ‘A cappella Zoo’ to ‘Zygote In My Coffee’, and is a founding member of the Clueless Collective.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Sunday Editorial

Another mixed week here at Poetry24. We 'Jumped' straight in with Fran Hill's playful ode to Samoa - who have chosen to move to the other side of the International Date Line. But we never keep you giggling too long - next up was Gabrielle Brydon's moving 'Death Penalty' on every parents' nightmare of their child being incarcerated for a relatively minor offense born of stupidity.
We also published our first contribution from a New Zealander this week - Greg Brimblecombe's 'Epistle' which drew on poetry's 'big guns' to examine the way Osama bin Laden was found and killed... although it's possible Blogger was trying to suppress this information by 'losing' the post during this week's glitches! We finished the week with Peter Goulding's eulogy to golfer Seve Ballesteros - 'From the Tee to the Green'... ending the week not with a bang but with a 'putter'.
We love to receive your cutting edge 'of the moment' poems, but we're also happy to consider contributions which commemorate the anniversary of significant events of the past. Did you write a stirring poem about something you saw, read or heard on the news that really was 'topical at the time'? (It may help to look at the BBC's On This Day pages to jog your memories.)
Also new this week: We've started a 'Links' page (above) to list useful websites for poets - do let us know of any that you think should be up there (we're a bit UK-centric at the moment but working on it!), but we reserve the right to be picky!
Clare
I'll finish with a 'Sunday Short'...



Osama
Is gone.
Who
must we
hate next?

© Stafford Ray

Saturday, 14 May 2011

From the Tee to the Green

for Seve

From the tee to the forest
to the bunker to the green,
you blasted your way around the course,
throwing golfballs to the finger-licked wind
like a gambler gleefully hurling die
down the smooth baize.

‘Seve has found himself deep in the rough,
This really is most riveting stuff,’
                                said Peter Alliss

and in tightly-packed Sunday afternoon homes,
will willed you on as you lurched from the carpark
to the heavy rough; we, who wouldn’t know
a putter from a sand-wedge, or a claret jug,
if it jumped up and bit us on the arse.
We jerked with every flamboyant stroke
and mimicked your outrageous Spanish accent,
so different from the usual clipped tones.

From the tee to the forest
to the bunker...

© Peter Goulding

Seve Ballesteros: Spain mourns 'father of Spanish golf'
------------------------------------------------------------------
Peter Goulding works in a warehouse in co. Kildare, Ireland and has bribed editors in four continents to accept his poetry. He has no practical talents whatsoever.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

An Epistle or Poem for a President

(After conversations with William Blake, Lord George Byron & Samuel T Coleridge)

Dear Friends
From Azabikhan to Islamabad
Foot soldiers track north to take flight
Under cloudless skies, soon humid night.
Men in charge, stand back to back
Cowardly fear seen through eyes
Deceitful thought on tender light
Oh Nirvana! Power lost to deny.
Missiles rain down upon
Mankind on scud parched land
Where sometime terror brings incense
Forbidden now in the bleary sky
Warring faction destroy pleasant scenery.
Terror, Terror burning bright
Stalked freedom innocence, who is right?
Impossible hand or eyes doth see
Night vision frames two centuries of lies.
Once lived in history now past
Dust from distant ships survive
Burnt offering fire in enemy eyes.
Black hawk lands will a Judas aspire
Focus on truth somehow no ceasefire
So friend shadows cross pleasure dome
Life just a shell above Frozen waves.
There I see no truth, stolen treasure
Taken from walkways inside caves
Miracle now rare device
Under pleasure dome, they never saw twice.
From Islamabad to Azabikhan
Political Tyranny died for all to see
Echoed across land untracked by man
Afghans worship Allah, my friend
100 miles above the fertile ground
Listen Mr. President, hear the screams
Crumbling walls coveted, lost and found


Gregory Brimblecombe © 2011


Bin Laden's death brings up questions on interrogations

--------------------------------------------------------

Greg Brimblecombe currently resides in New Zealand. He has not escaped yet. He has been writing poetry for over 20 years and co-ordinates a Poetry group on a beautiful bush clad Peninsula.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Death Penalty

Relief and tears on hearing
that young Scott Rush will live
to face life in an Indonesian prison,
not death by firing squad.

To shoot in cold blood,
that’s killing,
Truman Capote style:

Dick Hickock and Perry Smith
slaughtered a family of four
innocence – gunned and sliced
remorseless, senseless!

The young Rush boy carried drugs,
part of the Bali nine,
not a ringleader, a minor mule
with brains to match.

He didn’t kill anyone,
drug users make their choice,
just stupid bravado, bad company
and the broken hearted

parents living his nightmare.

© Gabrielle Bryden

Bali Nine's Scott Rush avoids death penalty
-----------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle Bryden is an Australian poet published in Ripples, Speedpoets, Extempore magazines; Cherry Blossom Review, Lunarosity, Divan, Bolts of Silk, Third Eye, Specusphere ezines; and on national ABC Radio.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Jump

Samoa gets to jump a day
I want to jump one, too
I want to jump next Monday
And avoid the Monday blues

I want to jump next Tuesday
When my mum-in-law is staying
I want to jump next Wednesday
When my gas bill’s due for paying

I want to jump next Thursday
So I don’t teach my Year 10s
I want to jump next Friday
Straight into the next weekend

If I can have a two for one
I’ll take a Mon and Tues
And jump straight into Wednesday
Come on, how can you refuse?

If there’s a buy two get one free
I’ll take the Wed to Fri
And jump from Tues straight into Sat
And kiss the week goodbye

I don’t mind jumping further
Say, to Friday night from Mon
And have my life in weekends
Leaping straight from fun to fun

Samoa gets to jump a day
I want to have a go
I think I’d say ‘Samoa of that!’ ...

But I bet the answer's no.

© Fran Hill

Samoa to jump forward in time by one day
----------------------------------------------------
Fran lives in the West Midlands (UK). She teaches English in a local secondary school, writes, performs, blogs, tweets and tries to resist chocolate. www.ilurveenglish.blogspot.com

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Sunday Editorial

Just a few days ahead of our local elections, here in the UK, it seemed an appropriate moment to dash off a limerick. However, the Muse directed me away from our own politicians, and pointed a finger at Silvio Berlusconi. How could I resist?

A heartfelt piece, written in the wake of Osama Bin Laden's death, suggests that freedom is a fantasy. Kulsoom Mirza is a third year University student and, 'The Fantasy of Freedom' is the first of her poems we've published at Poetry24.

Paul Levy was inspired by what he considered to have been a 'Disney weekend'. In fact, 'Cheers (big ears), But No Cigar' highlights the way we see news stories that are important to us. In the case of football (soccer) Bill Shankly, a former Liverpool FC manager, famously stated, “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that.” West Ham will testify, I'm sure.

Clare's irreverent recollections of that wedding, one week on, raised smiles and eyebrows, causing those who tried both at once, to look slightly manic. And, to round out the week, Philip Challinor's timely 'Noblesse Oblige' will have struck a chord with many…particularly those Liberal Democrats who regard the Conservatives as "ruthless, calculating and very tribal."

If you've been thinking about writing (and sending!) something topical - now is a really good time... and it could be YOUR name up in lights here next week!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Noblesse Oblige

Don't wave your order papers this time, chaps;
Though triumph tempt you, do not cheer and yelp.
These are not merely poor folk, but the help:
They may be stupid, but they're useful saps.

Though victory be sweet, don't gloat in it.
Remember that the future will be blue,
And make me seem a statesman fine and true
Instead of just a nasty little squit.

© Philip Challinor

AV and local elections: don't gloat in public, triumphal Tories told
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Philip blogs at 'The Curmudgeon' - He insists, "You'll come for the curses. You'll stay for the mudgeonry." Philip is the author of a number of books.

Friday, 6 May 2011

The Royal Wedding Day
















We’re thrilled, elated, quite bewitched
That Will and Kate are getting hitched.
There hasn’t been a Royal bash
Since that funeral (post-crash).
Now out across the royal domain
The Union Jack shall fly again!
Across the land are bands of Nanas
Knitting flags and painting banners.

Cometh the day, cometh the man:
The good, the great, the also-ran:
The organ swells, with trumpets blaring
Bloody Hell! What’s Beatrice wearing?
How’s she going to find a hubby
Channelling a Tellytubby?
Every balustrade is burnished
Here’s the queen with David Furnish,

And David Cameron showing that
His wife cannot afford a hat.
The gathered crowd all strain their necks
To sneer and bitch at Posh and Becks.
But nothing’s shabby, nothing sinister
In the Abbey of Westminister
Where trees are in the congregation
(To give Prince Charles some conversation).

And every rank of royal vermin
Spank themselves with whips of ermine
Then gird their loins, and tighten trusses
To board the sordid minibuses.
Wave a flag and find a hankie!
Here’s Queenie tucked up with a blankie
And if she nods off, quite serene,
It’s Philip’s job to poke the Queen.

The BBC shows maps as graphic:
Weren’t they lucky with the traffic?
When in the Mall the multitude
Of unwashed plebs is in the mood.
Watching Bishops march in rows
(not diagonally as we’d supposed).
Then after singing and ‘I do’s’
It’s time for canap├ęs and booze!

‘All back to ours!’ cries Mum, her Highness,
‘Put away all thoughts of shyness
To the balcony, migrate
A million subjects at the gate!’
Camilla does a baby dangle
As, photographed from every angle,
It’s: ‘Touch my sword’ and ‘Touch my lily’
‘Kiss me Kate! Yes, kiss me Willy!’

© Clare Kirwan
Royal Wedding Guests in Pictures
----------------------------------
Clare Kirwan is a serious poet who also sometimes writes silly stuff... or vice versa. She blogs as Broken Biro in a silly and serious way. www.clarekirwan.co.uk

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Cheers (big ears), But No Cigar.














My daughter remarked this was a Disney
weekend; a prince married a ‘commoner’
and the U.S. helicopter cavalry
killed the bad man to save
the world - again.
In truth, none of this actually matters to me
but what would have been really magical
would have been West Ham getting three points
away to City - all things considered
that would have been a miracle.

© P.A. Levy

West Ham match report
-------------------------------------------------
P.A. Levy has been published in many magazines, both online and in print, from ‘A cappella Zoo’ to ‘Zygote In My Coffee’, and is a founding member of the Clueless Collective.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Fantasy of Freedom

A free world, you say?
What a joke, I reply.
Where is it when a man
can’t even burn a Quran,
when a boy can’t burn a poppy
without a fine to cause frenzy.

A free world, you say?
What a joke, I reply.
Debt: the shiniest of shackles.
Money: the canal of all evils.
Poverty, tell me, are they free?
Starvation. Wouldn’t that make you angry?

A free world, you say?
What a joke, I reply.
Where is it when thousands are in pain,
dying and dead, in Libya, Syria and Bahrain.
Ongoing wars in Uganda, Afghanistan, Congo.
Battles that began long, long ago.

A free world, you say?
What a joke, I reply.
Bin Laden is dead,
“we’re moving ahead,” they said.
Free from his satanic wars,
but what of yours?

A free world, you say?
What a joke, I reply.

© Kulsoom Mirza

US reveals Bin Laden leak fears
---------------------------------------
Kulsoom Mirza is a third year University student studying English with Creative Writing. Friend of books, against hate and violence, pro peace and a lover of music.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Silvio, Silvio!

Colourful Silvio's ways
Are certain to shock and amaze.
Although repartee
Doesn't guarantee 'free',
The rumour is, sometimes he pays.

© Martin Hodges

Italy PM Silvio Berlusconi appears in corruption case
----------------------------------------------------------------
Martin is a writer, and former columnist. He has twice been editor of Viewpoint (a forum for INDEPENDENT internal comment within the University of Southampton), and is co-founder of Poetry24.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Sunday Editorial

Even though William and Kate did their level best to keep their big day low-key, the event didn't escape the attentions of Irish poets, Brigid O'Connor (Happily Ever After) and Peter Goulding (An Invite to the Wedding). And, Paul Levy's 'Divorcing the Masses' provided the perfect antidote to flags, bunting and pageantry.

However, it hasn't all been about princes, street parties and ecstatic crowds, this week. Douglas Polk's 'A Question of Policy' considers the place of humanitarianism within a political agenda, and Philip Challinor's 'Immortality' is a chilling reminder of the danger nuclear waste poses to our planet.

Clare is away at the Wenlock Poetry Festival, this week, no doubt having a fun time. It's an exciting idea, don't you think, people getting together to share their feelings and observations through poetry? It's something we want to encourage here, at Poetry24. So, whether you're a first-timer rhymer or a practiced poet, we want to see your topical poems. No matter where you are in the world, Poetry24 is just an email away.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Martin.