Daily Archives: December 18, 2015

To the man who shot Tahir Elçi by Caroline Stockford

I am not a silent poet

You ate breakfast at a café

with three other men,

Bread, from a communal oven

its crust pen-knife sharp.

Eggs.  There were eggs

laced with flakes of chilli

Red of Mars on shining suns.

The spoon spinning in its glass of tea.

Will there be much blood? you wondered.


And when the tea-man turned away

to crane at the thick, old telly

they passed you a gun

wrapped in a t-shirt

with ‘Freedom’

on the front.

But you can’t read English

and missed the irony that

thumped to the floor.


Did you do it for a gambling debt

a slash at the closing net, for now?


Did you do it for the motherland?

She knows this is no devotion.


And did you celebrate

taking that man’s light?

Were you clapped on the back

in an undercover flat

by patriots in black leather jackets

who drown out…

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killer’s release by Michael Peck

I am not a silent poet

He was steely looking

eyes cold blue

had seen too much

given and received too much



He was seeking relief

sitting in a 90° corner

his back protected

with sculptured mud

upon his head

shaped like pharaohs hat


he thought the mud

would draw out his poison

like a bee sting

removing the graphic images

the meanness and discontent.


sitting silent

AK-47 across his knees

a militant monk of misery.


Finally, the treatment worked

drawing his spirit

from its cage

into the waiting attendants

of his own private hell.


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Votive by Finola Scott

I am not a silent poet

A battered box hiding at the back
of the top shelf sings Xmas

Dad’s hand clear and confident
though his writing has long faded.

Cardboard bulges with time’s textures.
Christmas pasts tumble – tattered tinsel

a yellowed fairy eager to make magic
musty crackers, shattered scarlet baubles.

Unravelling tangles, I set the crumpled star
high in place to cheer returning family
Outside the deluge weeps. Azure glaciers
calve, an Exodus bleeds risking all,
Herod’s troops mark doors.


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Leveled in Days on the Run by Bengt O Björklund

I am not a silent poet

leveled in days on the run
subdued and abandoned
like a small baby
on the steps of an empty church
the wind dies

a love strong like the sea
rolled in winter silence
beneath translucent grass
there is a magpie
in the tree outside my window

sky grey tolls and calls
birds and graves to gather
by the end of the road
there are rumours
of a hostile take over

there are times when motion
hides in the notion of breathing
days when all is birth
when the sky’s a ruptured egg
and death a different smell


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Christmas Lights in Syria by Antony Owen

I am not a silent poet

Not far from Westminster

on posh streets named after killers and poets

we wore the cheap jewellery of Christmas lights and I said

“these houses are burning and in them are men wrapping presents for Syria”


Far from 8 Nobody Lane

I read poems from women hiding in pseudonyms

so they will not be beaten like heads on shells of houses

where children forget to be children and peacemakers with guns herd them up.


Not far from my conscience

are two presents marked for Thessalonika and

at the post office I am asked “are these contents valuable?”

so I say “no, they are not worth anything to anyone over here”


Far from makeshift harbours

Lesbos tents glow like Westminster houses

and elfin faced children smell rice water and sweat

they remember how Christmas lights burnt down their homes.


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Miki Byrne #quirkychristmas

The Poetry Shed

Carols on Milk St.

On Milk Street with frozen hands,
ears red-tipped, noses that dripped,
we sang—chest out, full throat.
Songs of good cheer,
of this pure time of year,
hymns the missus asked to hear,
our voices rang.
Then came pennies in our fists
warm mince-pies of melting bliss.
No cold caroller could resist
warm onslaught
of neighbours Christmas wish.
We smiled.
Then, “We wish you a Merry Christmas”.
with breath-clouded faces,
snows soft embraces
smiles on our neighbours kind, giving faces
went singing on our way.
Our pockets a-jingle
with pennies, like heaven.
Carolling on Milk Street,
this Christmas Eve day.

Miki has written three poetry collections and had work included in over 170 poetry magazines and anthologies. She has read on both Radio and TV, and was a finalist for Poet Laureate of Gloucestershire. She is active on the spoken word scene in Cheltenham and is a…

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Marc Woodward #quirkychristmas

The Poetry Shed

Winter Conversation

With the snow
a quietness fell.

Not just the
white muffled wrap
of furflake,

broken by
shivers of wind
through icicles
hung like a Mark tree,

but the stillness of thoughts
being gathered
as logs laid before
a weakening fire.

Marc Woodward is a poet and musician living in Devon. His writing reflects his rural surroundings and his love of music but often has a dark or macabre undercurrent.
He has been published in a wide range of journals and online sites including Ink, Sweat & Tears, Clear Poetry, Otter, The Broadsheet and The Poetry Society and Guardian web sites as well as in anthologies from Forward, Sentinel, OWF and Ravenshead.
His recent chapbook ‘A Fright of Jays’ is available from Maquette Press:

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Jane Burn #quirkychristmas

The Poetry Shed

Nan wishes for snow

so she can welcome a world of spilled milk. She will blemish it with petals;
stretch the scrag of her neck. Feel it flaked with crystals, each drift of them

a test of the Almighty’s skill. Hear the first of its fall, far away; collect
the sound in skin-soft scoops. There, she will sigh, detecting the little pliffs.

Here it comes. Her udder tucked, pink and cold – worth the exposure to be
outside, on untouched acres, begging for first foot. The sound will be the gentle

ring of Christmas – the land will wake, robin will clutch the fencepost, blink
his blackberry eye. She will reach her tongue, imagine tasting his cardinal stain;

smile, a split of snaggle-tooth, laugh of underbite. Ugly yet radiant in the dawn.

Jane Burn is a writer and artist who was originally born in Yorkshire but has lived in the…

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Angela Topping #quirkychristmas

The Poetry Shed


For Jan Dean

Time, you thief, who love to get
sweets into your book
Leigh Hunt

Five pointed star, my pentacle,
how I would lift your jewels
from their case, one by one
on the pin’s point, before
I found a better way.

Now I bite into your leather
with greedy teeth, devouring
your ruby firmaments.
Time’s a thief and so am I,
seizing everything I can.

Time enough for picking out
your treasures one by one
when days begin to bleed
into each other like washed
watercolour sunsets.

Even Persephone could not resist
your glowing fairy-lights.
I garner your seeds for my journey,
on clean parchment draw
my magical five pointed star.

First published in Paper Patterns (Lapwing 2012)

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