Posts tagged ‘2018’

Thursday, 2 April 2020

A Fourteen-Line Poem On the Idea of Freedom by Julie Carr

1. The spirit of
2. Malice survives
3. The direct exertion
4. Of malice. Give up
5. The desire to be female
6. The whatever being
7. Defined not by what it is
8. And not by what it belongs to
9. But by belonging
10. Itself. The spirit of
11. Maleness survives the walking
12. Body. Give it
13. Over to be fucked
14. Into the non-state of being in common.


Date: 2018

By: Julie Carr (19??- )

Friday, 28 February 2020

Mind the Gap by Abol Froushan

My deeds are in a dance
with how the worlds occur to me
Mind the gap in which the word occurs

Why when tongues kiss
words keep its memory?
Does water wipe the look like tears?

Bare naked trees hit the rain
like no leaves
Finding the face you know in the crowd
Means passing among the leaves

Mind the gap between you and you
Yes-eyes kiss eyes without No
That delights with or without

Is the goodness of rains for the trees
because of the tears that leave the leaves
Or when it rains?

Mind the gap
where it rains.


Date: 2018

By: Abol Froushan (1957- )

Friday, 7 February 2020

If You Wish by Abdulla Pashew/Ebdulla Peşêw

If you wish
your children’s pillows
to bloom pinks,
if you wish to surround cradles
in silky dreams white as snow,
if you wish their swaddling clothes
made of rainbows and
that they might play doll with
the heart of the messiah,
if you wish
your vineyards full of fruit,
if you wish the sun to drink
from the floods of your joy,
if you wish the heavy clouds
to send messages of green to your fields
and to raise the drowsy eyelids of springs,
then liberate—
the bird that nests
on my tongue.



Date: 1972 (original in Kurdish); 2018 (translation in English)

From: Abdulla Pashew/Ebdulla Peşêw (1946- )

Translated by: Alana Maria Levinson-LaBrosse (1974- )

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Transnational by Josephine Clarke

airport sweet airport
how far can Ariadne stretch this optic fibre?

we no longer have use for hearth
it’s screen that draws us close

your dinner on Instagram hash tag family
Lear wandering the globe ranting on WhatsApp

your bisnonna had a handful of blue aerogrammes
in twelve silent winters

I have their fontanelle in my hand-held device
And what of the word home?

what if I take ill? who will come back /
come home / come through

and hold my hand     my real hand
where the creases run labyrinthine across my palm

—my palm where your newborn head once rested
and was safe.

From: Clarke, Josephine, “Transnational” in Southerly, Vol. 78, No. 3, December 2018, p. 100.

Date: 2018

By: Josephine Clarke (19??- )

Friday, 22 November 2019

Home by Alison Hicks

is the place the wasps come in.
You have no choice but to let them.
Buzzing the ceiling, flying high
when they need to fly low. Guide

them out the screen if you can,
goose them with a paper when they land.
Home is the earring with the missing stone,
the hole you probe, wondering what will fit

in the space and where the lost piece is.
The dog who went over the fence
not by plan but chance, paws on top
and feeling it give, giving in to it.

Mice who find their way in
to live through the winter—
and who doesn’t have
to live through a winter

of some sort or another?
It is the lover who left
and then came back,
unable to decide which is best.

The chipped glass marble buried in the dirt,
it catches your eye as you wait
on the corner with the runaway dog,


Date: 2018

By: Alison Hicks (19??- )

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.


Date: 2018

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

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
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
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
i am from round here
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
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
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
anywhere in her
job description – telling my husband she is
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?
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
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
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
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
stop rising
will never


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.


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:
Avalon, Lyoness,

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.


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.


Date: 2018

By: Philip J. Metres III (1970- )