Posts tagged ‘2018’

Friday, 11 October 2019

Home Thoughts from the Red Planet by Frances-Anne King

It was considered weakness to look back
so they didn’t speak of it, but images
spored inside their heads and spread
across their dreams at night. Some stashed
files, chose rare fonts – as if to keep the past
alive more vividly. Some wrote of trees;
oak, aspen, cypress, silver birch, pelts
of balsam fir across a mountain range,
the shape and texture of a leaf, the vibrancy
or calm of some particular shade of green.

A man described a wheat field ripening under sun,
the weight and sea-sway of wind-pulled crops.
A woman, haunted by cycles of return, explained
the pattern play of swallows in an autumn sky;
how they forage on the wing, the skim and swoop
of cobalt feathers across the surface of a lake.
Another recorded the last bee she’d seen, a red carder,
and sketched it in the margins of each page.
Through all their notes the memory of blue
in all its myriad shades, repeated and repeated.

From: https://jennylewis.org.uk/2018/05/22/frances-anne-king-wins-inaugural-scipo-poetry-competition/

Date: 2018

By: Frances-Anne King (19??- )

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Thursday, 12 September 2019

Love Letter to the NHS by Emma Ireland

to the doctors,
the nurses, the porters,
the cleaners, the old folk who
volunteer at hospital junctions
asking if you know where you need to be,
to the woman who says
hey
i have something special for you
to my husband who is on a restricted diet in
bed 4, handing him a plastic tub of liquidised banana
as though it were chocolate cake, and i take a
picture of it so i can get it put on a
keyring later for march 15th, which is not
valentine’s day to anyone except us
probably;
to the midwives
the one who told me it was
too soon for an epidural, and the one who –
three hours after – told me it was too late, but held my hand while i
pushed out every vile and nasty word i know; to the
medical student standing looking terrified
behind her, trying to make small talk
in between contractions
yes
i am from round here
no
i don’t come here often; to the
surgeon who addresses you as though he’s
known you all your life and not thirty seconds, leaning across the
bed rails with no concept of personal space, although i guess if you’re about to
rearrange a person’s insides you get to waive the formalities, and i
think: this man will know what parts of me i’ve never even
seen myself
look like;
to the newspaper trolley guy
squeaking up and down the wards
who tells us: i knew you wouldn’t buy anything, for i
never met a man with a pretty girl at his bedside
yet
who bought a magazine; to the
receptionist on the surgical assessment unit
answering telephones with one hand while trying to find
beds for the trollies piling up by her desk but who still eeks out the
time to tell me where the toilets are; to the
nurses who do all the things
most of us never could, and who do them with
kindness and humour, who clean up
shit and piss and vomit daily
daily
and get food bank vouchers in return; to the
junior doctors
– the one who walked into the
sea and never came back, the one with
bags where his laughter lines should be, the one who’s seen
far too much too often to ever have
junior
anywhere in her
job description – telling my husband she is
sorry
sorry that he is in pain
sorry that it took a while to fetch the morphine
sorry that he has been waiting so long, sorry that he’ll have to
wait a while longer, because the specialist is tied up with
somebody else at the moment, but can she
fetch us anything in the meantime?
tea?
coffee?
water?
and i want to tell her
to tell them, every single person who
shows up to work each day and even on the days they
don’t, on the days it is too
hard, too much
when it is stay home or break down, to
all of those who help keep us safe, keep us alive, i want to
say:
don’t be sorry
that i am the one who is sorry
sorry that you have to make apologies to hurt and
angry people for things that are not your fault, sorry that the
vultures responsible for this mess are busy trying to turn against you
all of those for whom you give your lives, when you are
dog-tired, when you are
drained, when you are empty and when you are
filled with despair, i am sorry
that you are not and could never be
paid your worth, for your worth cannot be counted in
money alone, but i am sorry that they don’t even try to do that
i am sorry
that there are times your families get the worst of you
because you exhausted the best
on us
even when we don’t
deserve it, even when we don’t
appreciate it, even though we can
never know how much it
cost you, i am
so
sorry
but you are not alone
we do not all believe the lies peddled to us by
those who stand to gain from your suffering, there are
those of us who see and will not stop seeing, who know and will not stop
knowing, will not stop
fighting
nye bevan’s children
every one of us
but maybe harry keen said it best
that they might try to hold it under water till the
bubbles stop rising, but the bubbles will
never
stop rising
we
will never
stop
rising.

From: https://proletarianpoetry.com/2018/05/25/love-letter-to-the-nhs-by-emma-ireland/

Date: 2018

By: Emma Ireland (196?- )

Sunday, 1 September 2019

The daughter that you wished for by Caron Severn Freeborn

was younger than I am
with longer hair
and certainly prettier.
She was smart but
not as clever as I am
nor as interested in esoteric books
and words like esoteric
though she’d read 50 Shades of Grey.
She went with her godmother
to have her nails done
and cooked a huge roast on Sundays
and had three or four babies
by the same man
and none of them had any kind of
abnormality congenital or willed.
She voted obviously for women died
but she wasn’t what you’d call political not
as such.  She drank dry white wine
but never to excess and her skin
showed she’d never smoked or used
drugs or had her baby cut out by
a surgeon listening to YMCA.
She didn’t trust women
like me but had loads of girlfriends
mostly from school
and she never slept with them
and they all had babies too.
And the daughter that you wanted
wanted you.

I can’t conjure that daughter from this pile
of straw.  Can’t plait her golden hair
as it grows from this wheel.
Didn’t have one name to guess but so many
I swallowed my bag of chicks like a snake.
On my life, I did try.  But I pricked my finger
fatally – I think fatally – in the attempt.
She will never come now.

It is late, even on this longest night.
Still I sit here in the dark, in the light;
I sit here still and I spin and I spin and I spin.

From: https://thebluenib.com/article/caron-freeborn-sb/

Date: 2018

By: Caron Severn Freeborn (1966- )

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Carrion Song for Major Tom by Bob Beagrie

“While men are gazing up to Heaven, imagining after a happiness, or fearing a Hell after they are dead, their eyes are put out, that they see not what is their birth right.”
(Gerrard Winstanley, The Law of Freedom in a Platform, 1652)

“Look out my window and what do I see?
A crack in the sky and a hand reaching down to me
All the nightmares came today
And it looks as though they’re here to stay.”

(David Bowie, Oh! You Pretty Things, 1971)

They took me in under the storm cloud’s wing
fed me on fire, bid me level these barren heaths
with spade, rake, hoe
with spade, rake and hoe
in joined desire, we remove rough stones,
our fathers’ scattered groans
layers of self we’ve sloughed off in growth,
dismembering ourselves, to stand alone
as Osiris or John Barleycorn
We turn, together, the soil of memory
compact years, smell ripe turf
Whatever shall we find as we finger the dirt?
spend hours sowing suns in common ground
to grow the pillars of Eden before sin,
as before my fall,
in rhymes of dipping scythes
sacks of sweat-won grain
and scarecrow grins wide as a rolling moor
Remember when, remember
when remembering

this remains an old battle scene,
a place for levelling men on points of swords,
over the fence we’ll forever tear down
undermine, come each month’s curdled cream,
through distances drawn up in murky pails
to our long-lost hanging grounds:
Doggerland,
Avalon, Lyoness,
Albion

poaching trails and corpse ways
still lead stray quails toward a mythic
sleeper dreaming under the golden hill –
not our King, divine, with his head lopped off,

his blue-blood-spill soaked in strips of cloth
and sucked on to ease a blight or bitter ache
to bring prosperity
to reverse a curse

but some starveling sovereign, low itinerant,
peasant-born pilgrim with a leaking song,
ear clipped, pilloried, with branded cheek,
or a departed starman crowned on Mars
with nothing left to lose
So, halt one moment in manuring, hear
those mouldwarps scurry to their Lazarus Palace,
secreting treasures beneath the grasses
shadow-cast by our booted soles
by our spades, rakes and hoes.

From: https://proletarianpoetry.com/2018/11/04/carrion-song-for-major-tom-by-bob-beagrie/

Date: 2018

By: Bob Beagrie (19??- )

Thursday, 29 August 2019

A Map of Migration Routes by Philip J. Metres III

Each line is arrowed red.
Inside, they tumble

across muscled continents
like erythrocytes, millions

of flesh-tucked skulls hauling
the heaviness of dreams. Red

for departure, blue for return.
Their lives shrunk to a cell

they palm to their chest
in bus depots and windowless tents

at night, seeking a signal,
a recognizable voice, someone

home, lithium ions draining.
When they sleep, they sleep

in clots of human waking.
When given paper and crayons,

their children draw weapons.
Red for departure, blue

for return. Like veins, the lines
draw back to the heart, the heart

where the rivers flooded,
or the fields baked in drought,

where the guns came out,
having traveled from somewhere far,

and guns made love to guns,
making more guns,

and the blood began to run.

From: https://therumpus.net/2018/12/rumpus-original-poetry-three-poems-by-philip-metres/

Date: 2018

By: Philip J. Metres III (1970- )

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

For by Joseph Carthey

Shoved into a morning with the cold sigh
of someone rusted by responsibility
and its constraints,

There could be no way to silence
the spirited cluster of a station
angrily juvenile in its disquiet.

Cirrus hangs like salmon on a line,
flooded across the city and
half-sleeping, a landscape false

With no comparison to our
shitty bed east from here,
where nothing feels like work.

From: http://abstractmagazinetv.com/2018/06/01/for-by-joseph-carthey/

Date: 2018

By: Joseph Carthey (1996- )

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Munchies by Alex Ewing

I want a Tom and Jerry tower sandwich
with the Works
Give me some of those
Fat-ass sausage links
Yeah, I want a fifty-link sausage
stuffed in my mouth link by link
I want to devour a
super-size drumstick in one bite
Give me one of those pink-frosted
Cakes to lick from my fingers
I‘ll picnic up high
on the roadrunner’s cliff
So high, I actually become the roadrunner
So lifted, I seduce the sexy Mulatto Cat
and it’s good; real good
Only thing is
He keeps hollering suffering succotash
As we fuck.

From: http://thefeelingsjournal.com/new-page-1

Date: 2018

By: Alex Ewing (19??- )

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

No One Congratulates You by Zack Rogow

No one congratulates you.
No one throws you a party
with mirrory invitations.
You don’t get to try on a floorlength
or new jet tux.
No marquise-cut diamond
or 24-carat dream.
No shower with ooh-and-aah packages,
or a frou-frou gâteau several stories high
with just one figure on the top.
You hear no toasts over bubbles and smiles,
sacerdotal blessings,
Pachelbel on the buzzcut lawn,
or sendoffs to a colada destination.

When you end a relationship,
no one congratulates you.
All you get is the delicious ozone of freedom,
and shadows growing ever heavier.

From: https://ninemusespoetry.com/2018/10/22/two-poems-by-zack-rogow/

Date: 2018

By: Zack Rogow (1952- )

Friday, 12 July 2019

My Daughter Was Always the Resourceful One by Francesca Bell

In the days of her death wish,
my eyes were fixed, open

my life
a watchtower
I couldn’t stop
looking down from.

She couldn’t be
trusted even to sleep
separately then

though we’d locked up
so many things:

belts that seemed
innocent
before her

the well-meaning medicines
electrical cords
in their tyranny of tangles

her scarves/my scarves

the noose we found
when we searched
her closet

two deluxe Swiss Army knives

a handful of bare blades
she’d extracted
from her plastic razors

all our shoelaces
in a messy, little pile

dental floss, reeking of mint

keys to all four cars

and every pair of scissors
in the house
no matter how small.

I lay beside her
in the dark
to watch, weeping,

while she kept on
breathing
against her will.

I worked so hard
to give her life.

She worked so hard
to hand it back.

From: http://quidditylit.org/issue-11-2/fbell/

Date: 2018

By: Francesca Bell (19??- )

Sunday, 28 April 2019

These Mountains by Ion Corcos

In this still bay, limestone blue,
the fall of mountain steep with scree.

Clumps of hard grass grip the slope, shorn
like valleys I have seen in eastern Turkey.

Don’t tell the Greeks, don’t tell the Turks;
some of them at least. The far mountains,

covered in a haze of sun and clouds,
look like the Anatolia I have seen.

In this still bay, mountains rise,
while men sit around, drink coffee, complain;

until one day the earth trembles,
rips the land apart, and the mountains

sink into the sea.

Birds roost in caves, menace to keep their space,
until they too move on, or are banished.

We talk about this place, but we talk too much.
This place is about mountains, born from the sea,

from Venetians, Ottomans, Turks, Greeks;
everything that belongs to yesterday.

Everything that belongs to today.

One day a volcano exploded under the sea,
raised mountains. The volcano is still here.

From: https://underfootpoetry.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/ion-corcos-4-poems/

Date: 2018

By: Ion Corcos (1969- )