The Sea Keeper, by Antony Owen

I am not a silent poet

The clocks tick like Fukushima sushi
inside our bodies swirl Isotope bracelets
they penetrate fish armour and yes, we shall fall with oceans.

I know a man who saw the flower of his bones at Christmas Isle
he saw gamma ray purples lash his bones
by Easter he vomited himself into a coma.

You cannot shock people these days in the skim-read tragedies
A genocide slithers off the liquid screen and
We slide into Kylie Jenner’s meltdown over followers.

I keep having this dream of Aylan Kurdi swimming
his arms are getting heavy and the sea is gentle
the slow roll of tide resembles a garland of lilies.

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100 Olive Trees, by Maggie Harris

I am not a silent poet

They burnt the olive trees down to the ground;
aged trees that had fed and succoured generations
had bowed their branches to offer fruit, oil, shade from the sun.
Their roots ran deep into the earth – silent witnesses
to those who had toiled, tilled and planted;
spoke in tongues of comforting syllables, settled in the rocks,
travelled from place to place seeking a home.
Their stories are atomised in the ash now, crumbed as millennial dust
broken as morning dreams, dispersed as races.
Who realises the bitter irony of proverbs –
one does not bite the hand that feeds you
or the image of the olive branch as a symbol of peace?
No-one is listening now, not even the wind
whose only purpose it seems, is to fan fires
or at best, offer a cooling breeze.

Maggie Harris is a Guyanese writer living in the UK. Her latest collection…

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Monkey Dust, by Jonathan Jones

I am not a silent poet

People who take the drug often believe that they are being chased and attack those around them. Steven Rust, a paramedic, said it was difficult to treat the patients. “There is no regular pattern of behaviour and there is a psychosis of being paranoid, mixed in with all that and superhuman strength in some cases, and they have no fear of doing anything,” he said. There was a comment from a colleague who said he drove through Stoke-on-Trent a couple of nights ago and it was like a scene from the Night of the Living Dead . . . One homeless addict said that 90 per cent of the people she knew “were on the dust”.

The Times, August 11th 2018

It does you no good to plead for your life.
The very heart of England; you understand.
Left for dead. No jobs, no pubs quoting Philip Larkin.

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Mrs May, by Kathy Gee

I am not a silent poet

Her voice hits my ear
like falling on a bruise:
an instant’s recognition
followed by a throb,
an agony of disbelief.

It’s time to switch
to active, to transmit
the cries of women,
children without gardens,
men asleep in doorways.

Time to state
the limits reached,
to say thus far, no further


Kathy Gee lives in the UK. Her career is in heritage and leadership coaching. Widely published online and on paper, her poetry collection was published in 2016 – She wrote the spoken word elements for a contemporary choral piece – Another pamphlet, Checkout, is due out in 2019.

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A Cold Soil Waiting by Reuben Woolley

My thanks to Proletarian Poetry.

Proletarian Poetry

headlineImage.adapt.1460.high.Syrian_deaths_092915.1443561481518There are so many deaths in Syria that the United Nations stopped counting in 2014 because it could no longer rely on its own data. According to the pro-opposition Syrian Network for Human Rights, 222,114 civilians had been killed between March 2011 and September 2018

I drew a sad child because my brother died. When I am sad I draw.” (11 year old girl, internally displaced in Iraq)

There have been an estimated 85,000 child deaths in Yemen over the past three years due to famine. ‘For children under the age of five this situation is proving a death sentence’ (Bhanu Bhatnagar, Save the Children) 

Child casualties for 2017 in Afghanistan stood at 3,179 (861 killed and 2,318 injured) – a 10% drop from 2016.

We cannot sleep day and night due to the frightening sounds of firing,’ an 11-year-old girl told…

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