Friday, 30 May 2014

Sleep Walking


Who can sleep
When we’re sleep walking into hell
Your neighbour growing
Fascist views
Planting the seeds of a bitter mess


Who can sleep
When we are sleep walking
Into hell
Whose children
Will next be kicked in groin
because they are “foreign and they smell”


Who can sleep
When the pounder is at the door
You may resist
But it’s too late 
Because
Democracy is no more

Revival of Fascism

© David R Mellor 2014

Thursday, 29 May 2014

A Young Girl Cries

She’s not sure what’s been done, but
she knows it was bad, it hurt so much .
Two hundred sisters screamed alongside,
young girls initiated into subjugation
by punitive pain; each bloody mess
stitched clumsily up again, inside.


Outrage is visible only in Stephanie’s
face, the foreign journalist, passionately
steadying her camera to record this
silent, indignant, accusatory stare.
Will these clotting tears manage to provoke?  
Make people care? One must try to hope.


©Sue Norton















Sue Norton lives and writes in York.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

'Hillsborough Revisted'

They came by coach from Warrington
Like others had done before
To see the scene of crime
Though it's not all here anymore
The Hillsborough inquests jury
With the coroner in tow
Following the same route
Taken 25 years ago
In preparation for the visit
In a car park carefully
They placed a row of cones
Where the turnstiles used to be
And where some walls once stood
They pointed out those
Asking them to use
Their imagination I suppose
It's an all seater stadium now
So the terraces aren't there
Yet I know they felt something
A kind of chill in the air
The fences and the steel bars
No longer line the field
But their grim shadows
Could not be concealed
From the Hillsborough inquests jury
Armed with notebooks and pens
And a database of images
From a computer aided lens
They had no need to come
They had nothing much to bring
But when it comes to justice
You can’t beat the real thing.


David Subacchi



David Subacchi was born in Wales of Italian roots. He is a well known poet especially in Wales and the North West of England. His English language collections ‘First Cut’ (2012) and ‘Hiding in Shadows’ (2014) have both been published by Cestrian Press.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Another day, another shooting

It's Saturday so I pour my morning coffee, 
sit to read the news, find myself stunned 
by the unraveling of Isla Vista,
victims injured and brutally killed,
police warned ahead of time,
the shooter making online videos, 
believing himself a superior being, 
some demigod seeking revenge. 
But would a deity feel so unwanted,
so full of a senseless void?

My coffee gets cold as I search for clues
on why this sickness is spreading,
on when it will happen again,
or if there's something we've missed,
something we all can do.

I stop, afraid there is no answer,
afraid of how much is left unknown
in this human and fragile state,
then glance at a photo of my nephew
and me laughing, remind myself
that Spring is here; summer comes soon.
The bloom of life goes on.
 

©Kristina England
 
Kristina England resides in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Her writing is published or forthcoming at Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Gargoyle, New Verse News, Poetry24, and other magazines. 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Poll Position

Other people seem to have followed me in here,
it must be the odd job notice - I put myself down
for anything these days.
MEP? Me? Well, sure!
As long as I don't have to vote or anything.
Future King? Hell, yeah! The odd gaff about dictators
and lording it over all of Cornwall notwithstanding.
I could have a go at sorting out the schools,
cops, unemployment - that isn't working, I get that -
and foreign policy, something I understand
we don't "do" here... Hey, tell you what,
give me your name and postcode, and I''ll drop by with a free quote.
We can discuss how everything is getting worse
alongside the "no politicians" sign on your letterbox.

© Mac Dunlop













Mac edits The Poetry Point and is also the cartoonist MacD, and recently won a Pluto Press award. His latest collection of cartoons and writing, "Cod Philosophy" is available online through the satirical website Politoons at:

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sunday Review

The first poem this week was "Tit Elation" by James Bessant which is a shocked reaction to this year's Eurovison Song quest which is usually pretty shocking without blatant sexism on display. It is odd that they still stage that sort of act when the winner of this year struck such an obvious blow for just getting over it and concentrating on the song. The sleazy nature of it all is aptly summed up by James
Are you sure you want liberation?
You're sexier when you're acting dumb
Sue Norton's "You'd Rather Not" was our next poem, wondering about UK people's reluctance to talk about death. In New Zealand it is very common to have a memorial service that is a celebration of the person's life and people don't seem to mind planning ahead for that. I am going to have "Ziggy Stardust" played. I like Sue's observation that:
your wishes are the same as everyone’s
you seek to be exempted
 David Mellor reminded us in "UKIP if you want to" that the other inevitability is taxes which come from politics and gave a clear warning on the perils of sitting out the voting process. David reminds us that if  it's not us, today it may be tomorrow.
But don’t  moan …

When they come for you …
 There was some pretty bad reporting on the UKIP performance after the voting too. It's hard to think of a non-scary reason for that.
Kristina England gave us "In Nigeria" and the terrible results of a bombing comparing it to the sort of thing that gets passed off as "boys being boys". The final stanza of the poem strikes a superbly chilling note, because we know that ignoring the problem won't make it go away.
It's a phase.
It will all go away.
Just wait.
 Sue Norton's poem "Measuring Wealth" gave us a look at happiness measurement and how a pair of glasses might be enough to increase someone's happiness exponentially. I like the way that the picture book life is contrasted with real life here and the mention of small improvements that could be made to big effect
...and would love to see
happiness up close, focused correctly.
The aftermath of the UK council elections were the subject of Abi's poem "on This Day".  
In the comments Abi says that it was a real incident which just shows us that metaphor can be real.
throws one arm over his tousled curls,
whimpers like a  puppy - and snores.
Ilike that "whippet-like arse" description. Precisely observed.  
New Zealand is having it's first winter style storm this weekend and there will be complaining about all week so some poems to take my mind of it would be much appreciated. Please send some in, even stormy ones! Have a good week all.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

'On This Day'

On this day when the nation wakes
to the news of its own undoing
and the media, who gave us celebrity politics,
are capering and squealing with delight, absurdly,
I find myself in an over-heated classroom
invigilating History: British Society, GCSE , Foundation,
when, forty minutes in to this ninety minute paper,
a boy with dyed red hair breaks the silence;
and, shifting the bones of his whippet-like arse
in his regulation blue plastic seat,
throws one arm over his tousled curls,
whimpers like a  puppy - and snores.

 Abigail Wyatt














Nigerl Farage: UKIP to be serious players at the next general election

Friday, 23 May 2014

'Measuring Wealth'

Is your city overcrowded and polluted,
or did you wake up to birdsong
peacefully, after sufficient sleep?

Are there trees outside your windows?
Green and open spaces, where
anyone’s children can play?

Do you work reasonable hours,
earn enough to live pleasantly? 
Exchange smiles daily with neighbours?

Your daughters, are they educated?
Can they choose how to dress,
who to marry, like your sons?

If, after clean water, food and shelter,
you have a washing machine
you are fortunate indeed.

 700 million people in the world
lack glasses, and would love to see
happiness up close, focused correctly.

© Sue Norton

Photograph by David Rowland

















Thursday, 22 May 2014

In Nigeria

Twin bombs explode, 118 lives obliterated,
their bodies consumed by an inferno,
while a boy in Lowell, Massachusetts
creates a soda bomb, throws it at another boy,
a stranger he doesn't know,
some nameless face he can shrug off.
"Common," the authorities say.
"A phase.  Just a phase."
Maybe that's what Nigeria thought
before all the abductions 
and assaults became so prevalent.
It's a phase.
It will all go away.
Just wait.

©Kristina England


Kristina England resides in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Her writing is published or forthcoming at Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Gargoyle, New Verse News, Poetry24, and other magazines. 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

UKIP IF YOU WANT TO




UKIP
If you want to
Into the jaws of hate

Despise those
Walking on your streets
Carrying on with their normal lives

Turn them into monsters
No human blood inside   

UKIP
If you want to
Into the jaws of hate

But don’t  moan …
When they come for you …


© David |R Mellor 2014



Tuesday, 20 May 2014

'You'd Rather Not'

you don’t like to talk about it, but
you know people who’ve done it

you feel to speak of it might
tempt fate, edging it closer

you don’t  write instructions
you’ve no special folder

your wishes are the same as everyone’s
you seek to be exempted

sprinkle some Growmore around the roses
put an aspirin in the tulips’ water

turn the clock’s face to the wall
step out into sunshine

impossible to imagine, all your plum trees
flowering and fruiting without you


© Sue Norton






















Sue Norton lives and writes in York.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Tit elation.

Come on, get your boobs out
That's what we all want to see
Go and pound the washing
But do it seductively

Are you sure you want liberation?
You're sexier when you're acting dumb
Like when you churn the butter
And I can see your bum

Come on, get your boobs out
That's what we all want to see
Except when it's time to breastfeed
That's vile and disgusting to me

© James Bessant 2014


Biography: James lives in London with his family, and has been writing stories and poems for some years. He blogs when he can at http://jamesbessant.blogspot.co.uk/

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Sunday Review

This week, we began with a poem by regular contributor, Sue Norton. 'Rashid Rehman, Pakistan' celebrates the courage of  the lawyer who met a violent death because of his unflinching devotion to the cause of Human Rights. The death of such a man is shocking and, for his family and friends, it must be heart-breaking. Almost as worrying, however, is the point made in the final line:
          'It was not widely reported, either on the web or in the papers'.

On Tuesday we were with Martha Landman and 'Courting on Foot', a charming and elegant response to the news that a 'dancing frog' species has been discovered in the Indian jungle mountains. Speaking as one who, in her time, has kissed more frogs than it is comfortable to remember, I receive this news of Terpsichorean expertise with no small relief because it has been my experience that most of them can't.

On Wednesday, I am afraid I 'muscled in' with my own 'Tides, Facebook, shallows and miseries' which takes its title from a speech made by Brutus to Cassius in 'Anthony and Cleopatra'.  If this seems a bit high-flow for a poem about Facebook and my concerns about some of the things that have been turning up in my news feed lately, consider the tragedy that befalls the lives of those who are abused as children and adolescents, a tragedy to which I can testify. I would also ask you to consider the fact that there are more victims, many more, than most people dream or imagine. It is hard enough, sometimes impossibly hard, for a victim to bring his or her suffering into the light. This being the case, the kind of jumping to the conclusion that I have seen on Facebook, the conclusion being that those who are brave enough to bring charges should lose their right to anonymity, can, I am afraid, only make the situation worse.

On Thursday, Kristina England gave us 'Headed Home' , a heart-rending poem full of the terror of the moment when tragedy strikes, quite literally, out of the blue. The agony of extremity and the agony of impotence: thank you, Kristina, for sending us this powerful piece.

We ended the week with Philip Johnson's 'distractin burglary', a very clever and though-provoking response to the news that cocaine use is now so common that the drug is detectable in the UK's drinking water. The story comes from 'The Mail Online' so one has to be a bit careful about it; on the other hand, though, if it's true, it could provide a long-term answer to the nation's obesity problem. Thanks, Philip, for bringing the week's offerings to a close.



And, finally, this. Poetry 24 readers will be familiar with Wales and North West of England poet David Subacchi who is a regular contributor. David's latest collection 'Hiding in Shadows' is published on 19 May by Cestrian Press and follows his much acclaimed first collection 'First Cut' published in 2012. The new collection which costs £6.50p including postage and delivery contains over 50 poems by David covering a very wide subject range and it's great to see Poetry 24 credited as the first publisher of no less than four of them, 'Massacre in Marikana', 'Modena', 'No Country for Old Men' and 'Slipping Away'. You can contact David to obtain a copy on david.subacchi@tiscali.co.uk.

Friday, 16 May 2014

distractin burglary

told us of feeding five thousand
turned water to wine
jesus

come back from the dead

we lapped it up
yearned for more
got greedy

said the man

elect him and we could so dine
drew us a fish in the sand
he was the chosen one

that day cocaine was found in the water

our bellies fiercely grumbled
and our tongues had the sour taste
of the devious

devil shit


Drinking water in UK contains Cocaine
©Philip Johnson

Philip's work has appeared in: Poetry Super Highway, Poetry 24, The Ugly Tree; Poetry Scotland,
Emergency Verse, Write Away, Caught In The Net, Red Pencil,
Writer's Hood, Transparent Words; Emergency Verse
and The Robin Hood Book

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Headed Home

A woman and her daughter pack up their groceries, 
hit the road, their ride interrupted 
by a sky-bound explosion,
the sound of women screaming, 
"Help me, help me, sweet Jesus, 
help, I'm going to die."
Two passengers leap from a hot air balloon,
its carrier consumed by flames.
Weightless, her daughter's heart plummets 
with the flightless bodies
to their wooded, hard-to-find graves,
gravity too fast for even a mother 
to reach out, to catch,
the inevitable crash of the fall.

© Kristina England

Hot air balloon accident

Kristina England resides in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Her writing is published or forthcoming at Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Gargoyle, New Verse News, Poetry24, and other magazines. 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Tides, Facebook, shallows and miseries



On Facebook the tide of opinion is turning
as the media orchestrates its backlash.
They have given the people their hour of outrage
and the chance to point the finger;
after all, in the end, the stomach lurches;
too much revulsion chills the blood.
Now the story is an old one;
as it overflows the gutter
 its effluent threatens high places;
it comes with a stink of something rank
that promises to shift us from our peace.

So now the big wheel spins again
and the story, this time, is 'injustice':
how lives are 'trashed' and health is 'destroyed'
by the willful, spiteful calumnies
of 'fantasists' who for legal reasons,
cannot be 'named' or 'shamed';
and there are pictures to persuade us
of these men's great pain and remind us
how they suffer in their frailty;
the photographs and the headlines grow
reflecting the 'size' of the name.

On Facebook, meanwhile, the tide has turned
and some of us are sensing a sea-change.
The world has heard enough for now
of the anguish of children long grown;
but some of us know, too, from the inside out,
how innocence may shatter in a moment
and how hard it is when there are no photographs
to bring to the world the lifelong cost
of our 'historic' pain.

©Abigail Wyatt

Rolf Harris Trial

Abigail Wyatt writes poetry and short fiction. She lives near Redruth in Cornwall.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Courting on Foot

O my prince!  How colourful

the jungle sounds that

rush down the mountain stream

and silence your croak



How intimate your purple

seduction; your nameless

silence, your wishful hope



But you can dance! You can dance!

Your elegant foot-flagging calls

my name every time it hits the ground



In the water mirror I see my universe

My prince, I hear your twelve-verse

song and submit to you in a life-long duet.


BIO:  Martha Landman writes in North Queensland, Australia, where nature and the news are the muse. Her work has appeared in various journals.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Rashid Rehman, Pakistan




Rashid Rehman was a lawyer who believed in Human Rights.

He was a dedicated activist from the very beginning.

All his life he was helping the downtrodden.



He took on the defence of a man accused of blasphemy.

He was fearless and never gave any time to the threats.

He said he would live for the struggle and die for the struggle.



At 8.30am on Wednesday, in the city of Multan,

two men entered Rashid’s office and opened fire.

It was not widely reported, either on the web or in the papers.





©Sue Norton

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Sunday Review.

We had one of those weeks at Poetry24 when there weren't enough poems to go around. This is a great sadness to us all and resulted in a sad teddy bear being posted. I can understand a degree of tiredness in people's news poetry but think of the bears, people! However what we lacked in quantity we more than made up for in quality.
Kristina England's "How to Define Sacrifice" told simply and movingly of a teacher who sheltered a child with her body and lost her life doing it. I like the way the act is described, almost matter-of-factly, since this is the sort of thing teachers do. and the word cocoon brings home the protective nature of Ms. Bennett's action.
Ms. Ruth becomes the four-year-old's cocoon,
her own life taken by hard-cutting winds.
David R. Mellor's "Dylan Thomas" was published to mark the centenary of the poet's birth. Thye poem makes clear the influence that Thomas had on David in poetry and in life lessons. A very personal poem that we can all relate to.  
I first met you when the first red pen brushed my soul
Blue and black came unwanted
 Sue Norton's poem "Purposeless Walking" took us for a wander with the poet and their dog. we heard about the natrural and man-made worlds the two encounter and got to hear some family history. It is a nice walk and I think the sort of wander we do need from time to time for the reason that is given in the last lines.
I share her DNA, not her poverty. Turn homeward, thoughtful, slow. 
My poem "Bake Off" was written as soon as I could stop swearing about this vandalism. Incidentally I first heard of this through co founder of Poetry24 Martin Hodges, who is still has his ear to the ground.
I hope you all have a week and get some poems into the email for us. 
 

Friday, 9 May 2014

No Poem.

There are no current submission in at the moment so there won't be a poem for Friday.
Look at how sad this bear is!


Thursday, 8 May 2014

Bake off.

She stands, wings outstretched,
to commemorate
the uprising of the people
who worked and lived
to try to make the world
a better place for
their children.
The stance is also
reminiscent of a
crucifixion,
the expression
of state coercion in the
service of an empire.
And today that empire
will be a mercantile one,
suborning the symbolism
of the populace to sell more bread.
 Which  leads us to
one of the ironies here:
 that story
about the loaves and fishes.
How would that work
 now that angels are used
for advertising?
So there's a lot
of symbolism here.
A lot of metaphors.
About an act
of vandalism
that bruises us all.
                                              




Angel of the North to Sell Bread
©Hamish Mack