Monthly Archives: December 2016

Miriam by Rachael Clyne

The Poetry Shed

Miriam

I never asked for this heavenly height
which no woman can possibly reach.
As for the mysteries of my womb – don’t ask!

Any Jewish mother thinks her son God
but this was no joke. I was young
and blue was not my colour.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ungrateful,
knowing all he did, but being chosen,
as my people know – tsouris mit tsouris.

As a boy he was a bit of a lobbas, too smart
for his own good, it was inevitable
he should be a rabbi; but such a hell raiser?

If I’m honest I’d have preferred a girl
to help me cook and light the Shabbas lights.
I would’ve been a grandma.

What can you do? You’re a mother –
you love, you lose and losing them
hurts like nothing else. You yell at them

to stay safe, you hate them
for throwing their…

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History Lesson 2030 by Gian Giuliani

I am not a silent poet

Mommy, mommy, mommy, who was Hitler and how many people did he kill?
…..He was a tyrant dear.
…..He wanted to create a super race
…..He killed over eleven million people.
Couldn’t they simply get rid of him?
…..They tried dear, but they left it too late.

Mommy, mommy, mommy, who was Stalin and how many people did he kill?
…..He was a tyrant dear.
…..A big dictator and he wanted to be obeyed
…..He killed over twenty million people.
Couldn’t they simply get rid of him?
…..They tried dear, but they left it too late.

Mommy, mommy, mommy, who was Trump and how many people did he kill?
…..He was a tyrant dear.
…..He wanted to make America great again but forgot that even Americans live on this planet and
…..Breathe the same air as all the other…

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Invitation to a Party by Ed Stone

I am not a silent poet

We will gulp our brew

smoking iron pots

crusted searing red

rust too hot to touch

quarantine those pretty

pink ladyfingered tea cups

fumigate all the long white

gloves and their deadly

artic-eyed wearers

scrub them clean vermilion

virgin porcupine brushes

fill their charlatan noses

to the iced asparagus tips

raw truth and turpentine

shake the stars loose

shoot rockets of love

make pure food for babies

when we shout lullabies

we’re gonna get raided

by the whole great goddam

United States armed forces

looking for their lost home

see generals and admirals

squat in tombstone urinals

this is gonna be

one hell of a party!

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Death at Work by Lynn White

I am not a silent poet

Such a terrible thing,
to go to work and not come home.
To put yourself in danger,
risk a fall or an infection
just to do your job, earn your bread
without hurting anyone.
An accident happened
or someone was negligent.
So much grief unheard
except by those close.
Personal grief staying personal.
Maybe some were heroes,
maybe not.
Some good, some less so.
Just people.

Soldiers though, they are always heros,
especially when dead.
Those sent out to kill for the politicians
and the generals.
It’s automatic, goes with the territory,
whoever’s territory it is.
Heroes when they kill the other guys.
Heroes again when the other guys kill them.
Murdered heroes the courts say now,
unlawfully killed
killed by criminals who should be brought to justice.
Not corporate manslaughter to be forgotten.
Criminals or someone else’s heroes.
Depends on your territory.

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My Migration by Ceinwen Elizabeth Cariad Haydon

I am not a silent poet

So many goodbyes.

The last kiss on my grandmother’s brow.

Her sad eyes blessed, then cast me out.

In a private garden at the desert’s edge,

his sanctuary. I held him close in

tomorrow’s empty, aching arms.

The pressure of his skin on mine,

my oasis, memorised ’til death.

The fountain cried our tears

when we could not.

My mother’s grave,

fixed forever in my heart.

The place I’d come to talk and play

since my seventh year.

Now, she didn’t answer back.

My father’s tortured outrage

spilt words blood-red.

His pain to lose a son already lost to him;

schooled as he is by creeds

that name his queer boy damned.

My college friend, the only one

who knew the truth at first; that is,

other than my love. My friend

who told me,

‘Go’.

Gave good counsel, made me

see sense. To live, I had to leave.

My…

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Light Blind by Jane Burn

I am not a silent poet

Twenty grandchildren,
eighteen great-grandchildren
and she has never seen any of them.
Blind for forty years,
she can give you a list of all the things
that went wrong with her eyes.
I was greedy she says.
I had to have the whole lot wrong.
Warm woollen hat cramped on
pudding bowl hair, coat zipper
pulled wrong. Her husband
is a tender gnome – handing her
about by her elbow crook. Shepherd,
shuffler, happy walnut, proud as punch
of her. Repeaters, they speak in parallel.

I’m eighty you know.…………..She’s eighty, you know.
Can’t see a thing.…………… She can’t see a thing.
I used to work in a shop, you know.
She used to work in a shop.…….Then I couldn’t
see so well, so I worked in care.……..In care.
Then, I could only see the shape
of their shoulders and face.………
She…

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Take Into Account by Jane Burn

I am not a silent poet

……………………………………..Take into account
where you were born, whether it was into the lap
of fortune, under the boot of terror, in a two up,
two down, back alley place, in the mountains,
the desert, inner city, by the sea.
……………………………………..Take into account
how you were raised, where you went to school – for free,
for fees, or whether school was an option for you at all.
Who your friends were. Who your friends are.
     ..                                                      
……………………………………..Take into account
your unformed heart, your unfilled mind – then begin
to live through history, poverty, strikes, closures, famine,
genocide. Under dictators, under socialism, communism,
Thatcherism, democracy. Under a toadstool. In a ghetto.
Under a mulberry bush.
……………………………………..Take into account
ethnic…

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Sentences To Survive In by Jane Burn

I am not a silent poet

I smile
because I don’t know what else to do
but smile, …………………………………smile
because he told me I seemed as if I was the happiest
lass in the world, how coming here makes his day.
How my fella is a………………………..lucky man.
He smelled of the unkempt dust of loneliness – 
one pint of milk, one apple, one pear.
The lady with thin hair and Tree of Life necklace –
lost her husband.……………………….Cancer,
she mouths, lost her son three months later.
Killed himself……………………………because of grief.
Would have joined them save for the other children
who need her. Lady buying whisky and rolls
for her father’s wake.………………….I’m an only child.
She has to sort everything out – his house
is a mess of papers. Woman
in a blue blouse says her friend just passed.
……………………………………………………………..He phoned me on Monday,
……………………………………………………………..dead by…

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