Friday, 30 September 2011

Rising to the Challenge

Mark Snow pulled up in his van
alongside a very old beech tree.
The county said it had to come down
and he’s a carpenter, you see.
The tree was troubling a boundary wall,
for a hundred years it had stood there
and Mark was eying up the wood,
thinking how beautiful, thinking how rare.

Before they knew it he’d shimmied up
and tied himself to its branches.
Three days later he hadn’t come down -
somehow he fancied his chances
of saving the tree from the chainsaw blade,
a spur of the moment decision,
armed with no more than a woolly hat
and a can to store his fluids in.

Villagers plied him with fish and chips,
sandwiches and cups of tea.
People drove past and honked their horns -
they said he was just like Swampy.
But Mr Snow (Snoz to his friends)
said, “I am not a crusty.
I’m a reluctant activist,
I don’t want people to recognise me.

I’ll stay up here as long as it takes
and then I’ll shave my beard off.
I’m normally tidy and smartly dressed,
I don’t make a habit of looking a scruff.”
He rose to the challenge, an ordinary chap,
and this is what impressed me.
He’s not like Swampy; I’m not like Snoz -
My way is writing poetry.

© Heather Wastie

Barking mad? Not me, says the arboreal answer to Swampy
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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, 29 September 2011

Why We Fight

So now we're rid of Tony's nasty chum,
See freedom beckon! Look, we've blitzed your way!
What? Preferential treatment? Oh, come come!
The civilised do not do things that way.
What's that? A drop of cheap petroleum?
One for the road, indeed? Well, I won't say
No to a tipple, if you're having some.

© Philip Challinor

UK trade minister begins business talks in Libya
-----------------------------------------------------------
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, 28 September 2011

Women, Libya


          Ask the experienced, not the wise one, Arab proverb

The ladies room is empty but for two.
Whisper – May I borrow just a few bullets,
I have an urgent need now
.  Two handfuls
move from one handbag to the next.

She’s on her way to the secret hospital
in her uncle’s flat – a rebel needs an
operation – she’ll exchange the bullets
for anesthesia vials, stolen…

printers, guns, money – women have
a way.  Secret phone calls to TV and radio,
the world hears a woman’s voice calm,
it represents a people they are half of,

skilled, not just wise, and now is the time
to drive cars alone, build hospitals, to control
towns and people they’ve nurtured since birth
to stand and fight.  And believe they can

hoist the red of the flag, color of blood shed
when they shot at soldiers and the fiery blossoms
of pomegranate, the green for a new spring unfolding,
girls and women planted on the ground in plain sight.

© Lavinia Kumar

Libya’s War-Tested Women Hope to Keep New Power
------------------------------------------------------------------
Lavinia Kumar lives in New Jersey. Her family includes a variety of cultures and immigrants. Her poetry has appeared in Waterways, Thatchwork (Delaware Valley Poets), Orbis, US1 Worksheets, and more.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Glass

It is getting too crowded down here.
Drenched in condensation
hot, plump breasts squeak like wet rats
against the glinting, purple glass.
Full lips, fat with blood
grate on pearly razors
Dry tongues claw like sandpaper at neighbours’ shirts.
Clothes are melting.
Toes, elbows, shoulders fill every nook
Fresh pinstripes and pipedreams are
thrust     
from the depths relentlessly
Salt burning raw skin.
Bare fingers have only the space to tickle the polished surface.

The spectators fill their lungs
they stare down
trousers fat       bulging
sweat sparking from clenched palms
trusting their own creation to hold fast
to protect.
Beards matted with bubbling saliva
and fuming aftershave
Some press their faces to the glass
smearing drenched tongues over the writhing mass
contained.
Pleasure ripples, shudders, erupts
those below wince, clench bloodstained eyes

We are waiting.
    a crack    
        just one

Have patience ladies.

© Natalie Moores


No 10 and the glass ceiling: token gestures and hot air
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Natalie is a 21yr old MA student writer from Manchester. She currently sells cheese for a living, but is determined to make it as a writer.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Yes We Can

Me and you and Netanyahu,
What, oh what are we to do?
Say we let the hate abate,
And let them have a separate state?

Me and you, Mahmood Abbas
Help us make it come to pass.
Accept the presence of the Jew,
Most native born, the same as you.

© Stafford Ray

Israeli-Palestinian talks must resume - Mideast Quartet
------------------------------------------------------------------
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).

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Sunday Review

Hello, I'm back! And hasn't Martin done a very good job of keeping things going in my absence (as, to be fair, he does in my presence)?

We've had a very sparkly week this week, with flowers and medals and lights and mirrors - who knew the news was quite so frivolous... or was it?

For starters, in 'Nimby' Anna reminded us that we have to put our non-sparkly stuff somewhere - as long as it's nowhere near us. Then Charlene Langfur showed us in 'Safe' that (unless your name's Gaddafi) those ribbons and medals are hard-fought and well-earned. US marines appeared again in a first contribution from slam poet James Schwartz celebrating the end of the 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy with it's simple but powerful message: 'As You Were'.

Helena Nolan brought us flowers on Wednesday, all the way from Kenya in 'Day 44' - a clever, unsettling poem that hints at human immigration, the package handled 'As if somebody cares' but ultimately forgotten. Another new contributer to Poetry24, Kashmiri poet Anjum Wasim Dar chose the curious subject of clever corvids to suggest we should be better able to use the tools we have for peace in 'Who Is The Cleverest Crow Of Them All?'

Well, someone who is very clever (but doesn't crow about it) is Anthony Baverstock who finished the week with his gem of a poem 'Talisman.' There were more notes from him on some of the unusual words used in the poem - do chat to him in the comments section if you're interested.

His poem serves to remind contributers that we're interested in all forms of poetry, including the 'concrete' poems, audio files and your recent additions on YouTube - as long as they link to the news!

Clare

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Talisman















© Anthony Baverstock

Author's note: As talismans like this were believed to prevent and cure disease, I thought this form would be an appropriate one in which to construct a kind of acrostic-cum-pattern poem about human ingenuity and endeavour in the current fight against HIV-AIDS. 

Online gamers crack AIDS enzyme puzzle
---------------------------------------------------
Anthony Baverstock is from Colchester, reputed home of Humpty-Dumpty.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Who is The Cleverest Crow of Them All?

Mirror mirror on the wall
who is the cleverest crow
of them all, Caledonian crows?
The elite group of species, who
can use twigs to fish insects
out of holes and crevices,
whittle branches into hooks
tear leaves into barbed probes,
are innovative problem solvers,
blithely elegant,in pure dark robes?

Said the rook to the mirror
'the latest research makes me shiver,
people will not consider us thirsty,
hungry, capable or free, since its
proven, we were never fools.
The corvid family, ravens, rooks,
magpies, jackdaws and jays, were
cautious, cooperative, concerned
and cool, tis no argument as scientists
say, and I just read the news on BBC, that
'clever crows can use three tools'

Mirror mirror, now what's your suggestion?
The crisis deepens, descending to recession.
Should it be a round table conference,
summit or a mediation, or a call for a corvid
crow collection? Beware for they can locate
hidden secrets in succession, and solve
serious problems from reflective reflections.

With so much warfare and so many dead
No one knows where Ghaddafi has fled.
Tis worthwhile that research has led
to the discovery of problem solvers pool,
a mixture of brown, grey and black,
if humans and animals have failed,
lets call the corvid crows, to use
the tools to make peace instead.

© Anjum Wasim Dar

Crows use mirrors to find food
-------------------------------------
Anjum Wasim Dar was born in Srinagar Kashmir. A refugee migrant to Pakistan, she was
educated at St Annes Convent Rawalpindi. She is a published and award winning poet.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

"As You Were"

His Marine uniform,
Glittered in the strobe-light,
Swirling conversations pausing,
To applaud.
He grins, swiftly, saluting.
To the drag queens, shirtless men,

And:
"As you were."

© James Schwartz

Gay military members come out and celebrate
--------------------------------------------------------
Poet and slam performer, James Schwartz strives for the simplicity of Cavafy mixed with modern gay wordplay. His book, The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay and Amish in America, was published by in Group Press in 2011.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Day 44

Two weeks before you die, you take a flight
Leave Africa in darkness for the stark
European light of a new beginning.

Your first time on a plane, first time
To feel the weight of air as coolness
Not the breath of heat.

You are too chilled to shiver, your long limbs
Wrapped up for protection, as if you matter,
As if somebody cares.

Soon everybody wants you, calls out your name
Naming a price, strangers put you in a vehicle, roads,
Then ferries carry you away.

Within days, your final destination - a hotel, a private suite
With bed and silver vase - nobody sees you but the maid
For a whole 8 days.

When you die, there are no mourners and no funeral,
Why should there be? You are a rose,
You are one in every three.*

©  Helena Nolan

The life and death of a rose
* One in every three roses sold originates in Kenya and lives for 44 days from bud to death, the last 8 of which are usually spent in a vase.
---------------------------------
Helena's work has appeared in anthologies and literary magazines including; The Stinging Fly, The Moth, and the Spoken Ink audio website. Last year she was runner-up in the Patrick Kavanagh Award.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Safe

In the decade-old war, there is still more. An ambush in the night,
a firefight in the Afghan hills,
an area not to be entered until cleared.
Marines call it a kill zone.

How can any of us avoid thinking of danger here
is a mystery.
In spite of all the risks
how the Corporal's gunfire provided the cover for the escape.

"I did what I did," he says.

Everyone in the village was trapped.
So, he went in to save them, 37 men and women,
Aghans and soldiers.
The red-haired Kentucky man, a grown-up boy really,
Dakota Meyer wanted to follow orders
but not when it came to this.
Against orders, he went back
again and again,
saved all but four of the soldiers, mourning their loss even now, as if
his compassion is all he has left to give.

On the day of the ambush the kill zone was too dangeous to enter
but he went there anyway to save his friends.
He rode into the gunfire of the 50 insurgents, into the town with all its lights on.

"You do not think about it until you look back," he says.

The hazel-eyed man doing what he believes we all wanted him to do,
save everyone left behind
in the only way he knew how, and now,
the baby-blue ribbon draped around his neck, the dark gold star
hanging on the chest of the young soldier come this far. home again,

home again and safe.

© Charlene Langfur


US Marine Dakota Meyer awarded Medal of Honor
---------------------------------------------------------------
Charlene is an organic gardener and a graduate of the S.U. graduate writing program.

Monday, 19 September 2011

NIMBY

So you think me
A two-faced swine
For suggesting
A waste plant
In your backyard
Is fine? 
I can’t see
How you can’t see
Its not
Breathtaking
Hypocrisy
When I say
I don’t want it in mine.

© 'Anna'

Ministers accused of 'hypocrisy' over relaxation of planning regulations
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anna is passionate about her world and writes about her feelings in both poetry and prose.  She lives in the UK and for personal reasons, prefers to remain just 'Anna.'

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Sunday Review

On the day following the 10th anniversary of 9/11, we published Lavinia Kumar's prose poem, World Trade Center. Lavinia, herself, was unsure as to whether this form would suit Poetry24. It did, perfectly.

From remembering an atrocity, to living with a potential tragedy, David Francis Barker's Today Marcoule raised the nuclear question, following an explosion at the French site.

On Wednesday I penned Collage of Conviction, unable to let the passing of Richard Hamilton go without a mention. He did, after all, design the cover and poster for The Beatles' White Album. Enough said.

Philip Challinor came up trumps with Davey's Not For Turning, even though our Mr Cameron is probably on course to match Thatcher's high water mark unemployment figures of the 80s.

Fran Hill treated us to a sonnet about a sausage…and we think it could be a record 'first'. The title, Probably one of the only sonnets written about a sausage…, which is pretty much the longest we've had so far, is also in a league of its own.

Newcomer, Laurie Kolp, states that she doesn't usually stand for any monkey business while writing, but when she read the story of how a monkey's sweet tooth was its downfall, she couldn't resist sending us Chocolate Bites.

You'll be pleased to know that Clare has now returned, safe and sound, from her travels and, as ever, she and I are putting out the call for your poems. Without them, there would be no Poetry24.

Have a great week.

Martin.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Chocolate Bites

A monkey was caught in a blaze
Went missing from warden for days
Until her Reese's
Chocolate pieces
Bit taste buds long covered in haze

© Laurie Kolp


Monkey on the loose killed after biting game warden
Editor's note: Laurie says, "I won't stand for any monkey business while writing, but I sure likes to keep that chocolate handy".
----------------------------------------------------------------
Laurie's poems and short stories have appeared online and in print publications. Her story "Signs of David" is in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotionals for Tough Times, due October 5, 2011.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Probably one of the only sonnets written about sausage ...

They held auditions by the back field fencing.
I’d never done this kind of thing before.
But something had to change.  I was pig-ugly –
And running out of pig-luck, I was sure.

I grasped the chance for this with both my trotters.
Had been rehearsing day and night.  My piece?
A bit from something I had read by Orwell
About farm animals who want release.

I couldn’t take it in when they said, ‘Porky!
You’re in the Tesco advert, mate.  Well done!’
And wandering round the field with cameras on me ….
My new career as Piggy Depp begun!
              
But now they’ve pulled the ad.  I’m piggin' shaken.
I’ll end up, not as TV star, but bacon.

© Fran Hill

Tesco sausage advert banned for misleading consumers
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Fran lives in the West Midlands (UK). She teaches English in a local secondary school, writes, performs, blogs, tweets and tries to resist chocolate.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Davey's Not For Turning

Alas, the proles again have let us down!
We still have failed to make our message clear.
They sit at home, or vandalise the town -
Why can they not get out and volunteer?
Alas for chavs unworthy of our vision!
Societally small, they cannot see
That we intend to stick with our decision
And stay on course for Maggie's million three.

© Philip Challinor

David Cameron under pressure to soften hardline deficit strategy
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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, 14 September 2011

Collage of Conviction

We will eagerly consume,
whatever fills the space
where you made room
and changed the face.

Art can be like that
when the final phase
shows where we're at,
ripe for the next craze.

Bid for it, stop and shop,
have it now, today,
de rigueur, 'Father of Pop',
so sad you could not stay.

© Martin Hodges

Pop art pioneer Richard Hamilton dies at the age of 89
------------------------------------------------------------------
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.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Today Marcoule

Now at least there's no rats left here in Marcoule.
It's getting hard to tell who is the bigger fool;

we Brits who left Blighty in search of the sun,
the politicians making sure their deal is done.

I heard them say there's no reactor here;
no leaks, all under control, nothing to fear.

But folly is folly, however they try to dress it;
if it can go wrong, it will – get used to it!

Yes, fission might be feasible, even squeaky clean
but those in the money are nowhere to be seen.

© David Francis Barker

France nuclear: Marcoule site explosion kills one
-----------------------------------------------------------
David says, 'I try to paint, write poetry, prose, sometimes music - I guess that makes me an artist.'

Monday, 12 September 2011

World Trade Center

They fell straight down.  A slow breath out.  The nation held its breath. The New York smell lingered for weeks.  Ten years later still a memory.  We remember Chris playing defense on soccer fields.  Gone.  His wife and children know memory in pictures, video, the sound of his voice, his laugh.  Soldiers in countries filled with pale brown earth now gone, too.

We will show their names when their pictures
are available  –

TV shows the family picture before faces and limbs were splattered by bullets, IEDs.  And no pictures or names of those bedridden in hospitals or homes, without legs, arms, working brains.  Without jobs.  No pictures of those not American either.
 
Around 4 Million Afghans face unemployment

nearly ten years later. Crops of poppies grown by Afghan men, they dodge bullets.  The pile of war dollars – even taller than the world trade centers – spent.  Gone.  Papers floated downtown while the holes grew that day, but no-one would read them.

Five more NATO soldiers killed in Kabul

a headline forgotten by afternoon. Soldiers have memories of dust storms in Iraq and deep blinding snow in Afghan mountains.  They picture their partners in dirt.  Cars park and people walk where smashed dust was.  Chris’s name is on the memorial plaque at Ground Zero.

             More than one million people dead and gone.

© Lavinia Kumar

After a decade of war, the west is weak and in retreat
Editor's note: This is the first prose poem we've published, so it's worth remembering, we will consider poetry in any form. Lavinia tells us, "...somehow, it came out that way." We're pleased it did.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lavinia Kumar lives in New Jersey. Her family includes a variety of cultures and immigrants. Her poetry has appeared in Waterways, Thatchwork (Delaware Valley Poets), Orbis, US1 Worksheets, and more.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Sunday Review

Last week it was Shaun Parrin's Sunday that took the place of our regular review and, as Old St Martin's was getting a new ring of bells, executives at Tesco were preoccupied with the tinkling of cash registers, having finally gained a foothold in Harrogate. Anna mourned the capitulation with The Last Bastion.

Speaking of a foothold, or lack of one, on Tuesday, David Francis Barker's offering invited the Scottish Conservatives to Go Now, in view of the party's dwindling support, north of the border.

I contributed my five penny worth with Twiss. Test Pilot, Peter Twiss, who became the fastest man on earth on Saturday, 10 March, 1956, died aged 90 years. A tribute to this true hero of our times seemed fitting in a world where celebrity status has been so devalued.

Lavinia Kumar offered us a wonderful political spoof from the USA, with Tea Party Debacle, as Congress returned from recess. Still stateside, New Jersey resident, David Caruso, offered us a reflective New York Sonnet, as the shadow of 9/11 extends to ten years.

Douglas Polk rounded out the week with The Reality Menu, inspired by the extraordinary predictions made by futurist, Ray Kurzweil.

A couple of days ago, I read a poem that almost came to Poetry24. It met all the requirements, was nicely crafted and news-related, but sadly it never arrived at our door. I was left wondering how many of you, out 'there', have almost sent us poems for consideration. If it helps, remember Poetry24 is about encouraging people to write poetry, inspired by events taking place in the world around them. It's about you capturing a moment and inviting others to see it as you did.

Please don't let you work become an almost poem. We'd love to see it here.

Have a great week.

Martin.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

The Reality Menu

Reality, a computer program to open or close,
options available where to reside,
Virtual Reality,
a place to dream, a place to hide,
Financial Reality,
the only asset,
paper passed back and forth,
again and again, until we die,
grab the mouse and let’s give it a try.

© Douglas Polk

Technology will enable us to live forever says futurist
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Douglas is a poet from Nebraska. He has published three books of poetry; In My Defense, The Defense Rests, and On Appeal.

Friday, 9 September 2011

New York Sonnet

When I was small I watched the twin towers

As we drove to New York each passing year.

They bloomed from the water to always appear

Steady as time—yet no longer ours.

From concrete made temporal as flowers

With the crash of a plane, the stall of a gear,

The turn of a channel where they disappear

To leave me wondering where they now were.



All of the seconds, minutes and hours

Abandoned their posts from all of our clocks

As we kept watching two falling towers

That fell on the city like children’s blocks.

From those two tall tops down through their cellars,

Gone, all those stories and story-tellers.

© David Caruso

Getting Here From There
-------------------------------
David plays guitar and writes haiku. He lives in New Jersey. He can't see Russia from his front porch but most nights he can see the moon. He invites you to browse on over to DavidHaiku.com.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Tea Party Debacle

The Tea Party toddlers threw the US in the sea --
they had a tantrum -- stamped their little feet with glee
but while they were sucking their thumbs with their blankies
their parents were squabbling until they were cranky.

First came the Cantor, a wild shooter on his horse
and then came Boehner hoping he could get a divorce --
but the Tea Party todds kept on wanting the treats
they’d been promised if they ate up all of their meat.

Yep, the TPs as candidates had eaten rubber chicken
and bathed in PAC money till their hearts were quickened –
so they used divide and rule, and McConnell’s bullying glee
and invited the Cripps and the Bloods over to tea.

So now the boat is sinking and they are too little to swim
and at least one of their parents is sick of their whims.
Meanwhile, the dollar is burning, the lifeguards gone home
and everyone had hoped that September was a new dawn.

But, now the super committee comes armed with its spears
to throw at the White House and the man they can’t cheer.
Still, the TPs want to get behind those old wooden desks,
remember?  - they once held congressmen we could respect.

Meanwhile jobs are going overboard, just watch them gone
‘cos states must fire civil servants  – oh, but the lobbyists fawn
since the TPs want low taxes for the increasingly rich
who still haven’t created jobs for the lower class – a glitch.

So, here comes the GOP – who made deficits and wars -
looking for WMDs behind every door,
and while candidates postulate that the tea plants did not evolve,
they have sprinted to create more problems than they can solve.

© Lavinia Kumar

Returning From Recess to a Full Plate
----------------------------------------------
Lavinia Kumar lives in New Jersey. Her family includes a variety of cultures and immigrants. Her poetry has appeared in Waterways, Thatchwork (Delaware Valley Poets), Orbis, US1 Worksheets, and more.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Twiss














He ripped a record
out of the blue,
and pinned it
with his FD2.

A Fairey tale
of derring do,
in delta form,
his FD2.

Now on his way
beyond the blue,
Tally-ho! Peter,
1,132.

© Martin Hodges

Air speed record pilot Peter Twiss dies
-----------------------------------------------
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.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Go Now

If you are going, go now; let's not prolong the pain
or pretend that the past means nothing at all.
Oh, I know – go back fifty years and MacMillan
could count on fifty percent, even up there.
But then came the oil, that all too English woman
branding herself British while handbagging the North
and the Left wherever they raised their ruddy heads.
Even I realised you'd had enough by then.
So go with my blessing and I'll reclaim the baggage;
you know it won't go to waste. We'll recycle it down here
where they still fall for it each time in our leafy shires,
so prime for development – but that's another tale.

© David Francis Barker

Scottish Tory leadership favourite 'to split party'
----------------------------------------------------------
David says, 'I try to paint, write poetry, prose, sometimes music - I guess that makes me an artist.'

Monday, 5 September 2011

The Last Bastion

Oh Harrogate, my Harrogate
(tis where I live in grand estate).
The game is up,
the deed almost done,
Harrogate has lost,
big business won,
no more shall we
in peace
dine alfresco,
for we shall
have to abide
the noise from
Tesco.

© 'Anna'

The only postcode without a Tesco – but for how much longer?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anna is passionate about her world and writes about her feelings in both poetry and prose.  She lives in the UK and for personal reasons, prefers to remain just 'Anna.'

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Sunday

"What shall we do today?"

If reason were not enough to stay inside
encased in the blue moon chill
of what weekend remains,
the expression on her face
said we will be joining them
not would, or could or maybe.

The cat stole its way from the void,
that endless repetitive space which
existed when we never could agree;
When the hunter gatherer required more than
an interest rate for barter and exchange;
When the science of numerology
meant more than a new car every three years;
When two houses meant two mortgages
but then two is supposed to be prime.

And besides we didn't need a new sofa
or fridge, or freezer, video, DVD or telly.

"What about... words and archers?"

The blowpipe's dart hit dead wood
the vine of silence tightening
until isolated thud of the letter box
and loud protestations from the cyclist
interrupted my wishful thinking.

"What about the new bells?"

Cat, unable to sheath the claw
during the high brunch stand-off
softened, playing heedlessly
with last nights accompaniments.
Red-faced negligence -
a decision not long in the making.

"Ready in five?"

© Shaun Parrin

Old St Martin’s gets its new ring of bells
Editor's note: We rarely receive a 'Sunday' poem, so this week's Review is making way. Normal Sunday service will be resumed next weekend.
-------------------------------------------------
Shaun is a non-professional award winning photographer and published writer.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

A Moral Difference

We were not like those criminals at all.
To say so is offensive and inane.
Our gang was most exclusive and quite small -
When we got drunk, we did it on champagne.

One can't compare with Bullingdons and banks:
These rioters, I think, were simpler folk.
We had few coloured people in our ranks,
And rarely had to pay for what we broke.

Our antics were mere foolishness and fun:
No symptoms there of morals in collapse.
We all commit some follies when we're young,
But only some of us need take the raps.

Above all, we grew up to give our names
To propaganda sprogs and trophy wives;
And now we have our stake in greater games,
And play Monopoly with smaller lives.

© Philip Challinor

Bullingdon Club antics were nothing like the riots, says Cameron
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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, 2 September 2011

Social Contract

All that is asked
is that you not go mad.
Which is not such
a tough request,
surely?
But they will not be coming around
to see how we are doing.
There is important work to be done
to mend the damaged economy
and broken businesses,
who line the streets
piteously
asking for help.
And there are major
circuses to stage
but no bread for you.
Yet they are all
that stand between
us and the devils
who would overwhelm us
and steal our things.
Yes, be scared citizens
but DO NOT ask for help.
Just do not go mad
there's a good chap.

© Hamish Mack

Uncertainty for public servants as job cuts loom
----------------------------------------------------------
Hamish is a 51 year old New Zealander. He has been writing poetry for a couple of years.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Hero Tomorrow

He's got a gun
He's got a gun a guitar
and a hair cut like Che
He thrusts up defiant v-signs
at streaking vapour trails
the evidence of an enemy he's yet to meet
He's got a gun eye to eye

All the same he unloads his weapon
He's got a gun into the no-fly zone
He's waving it on high
at this illusive foe
singing songs like a Dylan or Baez
and wishing on stars above
He's got a gun the scarlet stripes of the horizon

Tomorrow he's the hero
He's got a gun He can sense
the smell of change
which wafts in his stubbled face
this monster of cool
arraigned against a monster unseen
He's got a gun who has made him all he is

© David Francis Barker

Massoud Abu Assir
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David says, 'I try to paint, write poetry, prose, sometimes music - I guess that makes me an artist.'