Daily Archives: December 2, 2015

Unlicking Wounds by Leanne Bridgewater

I am not a silent poet

there will be a war before the war comes

the war within

from the cities where piles of civillians gather
placards for friendliness, and we wonder
will we say “snap” when we compare
our placards to their kettles

they rival a bomb and send out their pigeons –
the city policemen, to stop us on behalf of them
but we want to stop them few from killing more civillians
like us – ones we don’t even know
and in their world: suddenly a bomb from the UK
and we are supposed to say “OK” to just holding a placard
when bombs make people do dark ballet in the streets
thunderbrapping kids with their own guns –
the world’s gone bonkers

how can these few vote on behalf of us?
how can these few talk for us?

we have a voice
it opens and closes,
it starts in conversation, through megaphone…

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Not at This Address by Natalia Spencer

I am not a silent poet

The first one came. Not in the way

you would expect.

Just one boy, a bit spotty and nervous.

My hair was wet.

I put it down to the turban on my head.


Coffee or Tea, I asked. I mean,

I had to do something.


The second one was his certificate.

We are very proud, his father said.

I do not believe him.

Probate is a bastard’s name.


Still they come, promotions

for: Pile cream, spectacles, Life Saving plans

Work Place Pension Schemes, and guns.

Guns—Two for one. Is it legal?


Oops, sorry. Perhaps I should write,

The white envelopes plop

through the mail box, like steel daisies

exploded on a carpet of green.



Perhaps that, is more palatable

for a government to read, as I watch

his brother takes that black marker,

strike a line through, his name.

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Hello How Are You by Natalia Spencer

I am not a silent poet

Black eyed potatoes yearn on the draining board

the peeler hides in the kitchen drawer.

And the washing line snapped under her weight

of disbelief. Today she sits outside a café

in an army town waiting, it seems, for someone

to dust a milk white heart

on her coffee.


She is a common sight here, hair swept up and airy

like the pre-made meringue in her net bag.

Somehow, she tells me, she’s lost ability to blend

sugar and albumen. And plump raspberries

for his Eton Mess are unavailable, as is

that first number in her directory

saved to speed dial.

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Reuben Woolley – unsigning

The Stare's Nest


we have no agreement
with death . the terms
are unequal
. the gods
moved from their mountains
& their kids’re riding
shotgun on the subway
, painting names
on walls , desperate codes
in cold times

when ravens walk
in every street , just listen
to them talk . no breeze
from the west , the ocean dried
& all its monsters rotted . ain’t no return
ticket to primordial slime
. just one way out
. paint
that fuckin’ wall
colours of rage
we don’t go easy, dying of consumption , dying
of fear . bring it on

Reuben Woolley, born in Chesterfield, now living and working in Zaragoza, Spain. Poems published in Domestic Cherry and forthcoming in Tears in the Fence and in the online magazines, Ink Sweat & Tears, Bone Orchard Poetry, Nutshells and Nuggets and The Screech Owl. His first…

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The Curiosity of Redness by Ruth Stacey

I am not a silent poet

Peel a human and they are red inside:

the skin is a thin covering, shades

of brown; from light yellow to warm

umber but they can all be distilled

to crimson, scarlet, vermillion, rose.


I know this as we have taken many

of the ape-like creatures and stripped

them down to the bones; ground them

to dust to try and understand the hate

and tender love they all vacillate with.


We have no feelings, only curiosity,

that is the word humans use –  I have

read their dictionaries and oil paint

charts, pondered on their destruction

and pointless cycles of war: it all


comes back to redness: a blood womb

delivers each one to the earth, ruby

splashed bodies, the surprising cut, veins

pour cadmium dark red onto tarmac

or sand. I observe their relentless desire


to disassemble one another… and yet

I must…

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The Fertile Crescent by John Mackie

I am not a silent poet

the fertile crescent
dry as the dust
three years of drought
have wrought
reduced to rubble
by proxy wars
for the man
at the dispatch box
to jab his finger

more bombs
he speaks
to crush the ideology
that is the root cause
of conflict

revealing himself
a Platonist
it is clear he doesn’t know
that metal that rips our flesh
is more lethal than
idea of it

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More thoughts on success.

Roy Marshall

After I had achieved some publication ‘success’ recently, a poet friend sent me an e-mail of support and congratulation, saying that the recognition was well deserved. I wrote back and thanked him, saying that it made me grin to receive such thoughts and good wishes. He replied with these words.

‘You’re my mate but even if you weren’t I would be pleased for you as I admire your work. Your success does not diminish mine.’

This seems to me to be a very wise position, a reflection of a state of mind that is not, perhaps, easily obtained or maintained.

Here an alternative, and I suspect, common response;

You see, it should have been me.
It could have been me.
Everybody knows, everybody says so.

Morrissey, We Hate it When Our Friends Become Successful

I suppose it might be easier to feel magnanimous towards the achievements of others if one…

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