Monthly Archives: May 2016

‘The Moon’ by Nick Cooke

I am not a silent poet

The prisoner is led

Hands cuffed behind back

Out into the yard

And the glare of noon.

Were he not hooded

He’d know there was a gun

Pointed at his cranium

(Though he can probably guess).

He’s ordered to sit.

A wooden stool awaits him.

His blindfold’s wrenched off,

His head pointed skywards,

He is made to stare

At the shimmering yellow disc

And quietly asked, ‘What’s that?’

His reply’s a shattered whisper…

‘The sun’ At once the gun

Smites him across the temple;

He sucks the unseen cloth between

His teeth to stifle the cries.

Again ‘What’s that?’ Again ‘The sun’.

Again the blow over the head

But harder. And this is how

It’s always been for countless

Centuries and always will be.

Sooner or later the right

Answer will come, if not from him

Then from the next in line, who will

Have had to bury him before

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Fallujah – Requiem For A City Of Scholars (with apologies to M.O) by John Mackie

I am not a silent poet

those poor damned geese
ribboning away
raucous over the wetlands
it is not their fault
they have been used by

and the conscience pricked
to console or forgive themselves
for a settling for “place in the family
of things”

in comfort around here
cocking a snook at fear
taking in food and water every day
we can indeed “let the soft animal body
love it what it loves every day”

down in Fallujah they are eating grass
and piss and
stopping their ears against
explosions and screams
too loud to hear any geese announcing
as they burn to dust
“this is your place in the family of things”.

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‘Lightly Beat’ Wives by Angi Holden

I am not a silent poet

As well as beatings for wives who decline

to have sex with their husbands,

use “limited violence” on spouses

who do not bathe after intercourse

or during menstruation.

Guidelines on how to inflict the beatings:

Hit her in areas where her skin

is not too thick and not too thin.

Do not use shoes or a broom on the head,

or hit her on the nose or eyes.

Do not break any bones or cut her skin

or leave any marks.

Do not hit her vindictively,

but only for reminding her about her religious duties.

If a wife disobeys her husband,

the husband should try to talk to her.

If that doesn’t work, he should sleep separately

and only finally use violence as a last resort.

Do not hit her vindictively, but only

for reminding her about her religious duties.

Women should not be subjected to forced marriage,

acid attacks…

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From Juárez by Chella Courington

I am not a silent poet

(after a photograph by Miguel Gandert)

I’m Teresa Gutierrez. Look at me. Alive.

Not like my friend Cecilia Covarrubias. Shot

once in each breast and tossed in a field

where nothing grows.

The next day I ask my cousin to work

his magic. Tattoo the Blessed Mother.

Clothed with the stars and sun.

Spiked light down my back.

He lines and shades

week after week.

I flinch and turn away.

See our Lady of Guadalupe

rise out of my jeans.

Carry her with me.

To the maquiladora.

To dark streets after the second shift

crossroads where the bus stops.

Her mantle around me.

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The Silence of Shock by Maggie Mackay

I am not a silent poet

Students, all women in our freshest years,

we settled on landings with mugs of tea,

never thought to lock our doors,

and, late into the night as Sweet Baby James

floated up the stairwell, we gossiped, fell out,

time -shared bedrooms for lover trysts.

Then she disappeared,

that girl of the fiery perm and Scouser sound.

We wondered in the silence.

Her space filled over

like a river after extreme rainfall.

I imagined her walking back after drinks at the Union,

in her silk halter neck and corduroy flares,

humming Joni Mitchell in her head,

caught in a clutch, dragged into a flowerbed,

calling for her Mum.

We stopped walking alone.

We avoided the garden. Then we forgot.


Maggie Mackay is a brave-hearted Scot and a final year MA Poetry student at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has work in various print and online publications, including A New Manchester Alphabet

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A Lot of New in the Storm Roar byAdrian’dos Delima

I am not a silent poet

these past
20 years
have been trouble-free at the supermarket
you came out with a full cart
you who have less than 30 and
notice now
there’s anything wrong
now right now
this awakened you

and you who have greater age
you slept softly and woke up
in this lifetime
without remembering the past life when
it was necessary to carry
in a day a sack of money
one day later a full trailer

and I woke up and saw
many towing your life
by a large progress
that passed on
a smashed nature

16 05 2016


estes últimos
20 anos
foram tranquilos no supermercado
você saía com um carrinho cheio
você que tem menos de 30 e
percebe agora
há algo de errado
agora agorinha
isto o despertou

e você que tem mais idade
dormiu suavemente e acordou
nesta vida
sem lembrar…

View original post 39 more words

Then by Ed Stone

I am not a silent poet

Then, while sanity stumped one
plastic leg across a tightrope
of artificial blue baby gut
while all the rice in China
was picked for a nuclear boil
while genes and corpuscles
coughed blood in lead shelters
while Venus pooted sonic booms
and trapped Apollo in her new
flagpole arms while a teatless
cow was blown twice by a vulture
while I was warned by highest
priests to keep my mind clean
myself dressed as a child
ran laughing out of my head
my eyes crapped steel dice
my tongue thrashed on fire
my lips ashed to gunpowder
spat the last lousy bullet.

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Predator by Ed Stone

I am not a silent poet

Here he comes with blood sky
behind him to blind me
I can’t see him but I see
his shadow
knife-shining medals
of his claws oh this is no
sweet tweeter
jungle-flexing wings
salute his General Death
again and again now
right on target
bugle-sounding wind
hastens his thrust

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