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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