Daily Archives: June 2, 2017

Political Gout by Andy Brown

I am not a silent poet

My pain comes from the right, I can see it staring with red
rage at my questioning gaze. A red patch on the side of
my right foot, sometimes it appears to move inwards
but the pain remains the same as soon as I put any
weight upon the swollen patch. I have tried to
take a tablet for it but always had problems
swallowing, digestion is never an easy
issue for me, must continually chew
yet a paper instruction commands
me to swallow without thought.
The left foot remains stable
and firm a perfect counterbalance
for the pain that shoots through me every
time I place weight upon the inflamed digits.
It is so easy to walk a straight transparent path
when I realise what I must carry, share, apportion.
Panacea prescription for gout is healthier diet regime.

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Butcher by Maggie Mackay

I am not a silent poet

The green bus arrives for us

at the end of that two-year siege

which left us compressed

like metal into cubes.

For hours, for days,

we shake-jerk,

as the bus snakes toward

the Rashideen checkpoint.

There, our children, restless for air,

clamber down on to parched earth,

play tag, kick a punched football,

hum lullabies we taught them at bedtime.

A cluster run towards the truck,

ice cream and sweets offered as treats,

beside it a solitary car explodes.

Humpty Dumpty shatters.

Eggshell flesh, runny yolk.

The ooze of childhood has us floored.

Maggie Mackay has completed her Masters at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her work can be found in a variety of print and online publications including The Everyday Poet, Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Interpreter’s House, Prole, as well as Beautiful Dragons and Three Drops Press anthologies and Indigo Dreams Publishing magazines. Her work will appear in

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Unaccompanied by Rachael Smart

I am not a silent poet

I took his hat home to wash in the kitchen sink, got the kettle red hot, the wool spawned blood, his, theirs too, a mess of ruby muddied see-through to maroon solvent stains not stubborn like those he’d seen back home. I pictured his mother’s hands hutch – brown in their crochet of care for this hat, this hat that my fingers now worried over, the finest of stitches, a wool that gave up the weight of silence: of thunder gun fear and sawn rifle breath, of fire as far as the sky goes, of brothers rotting, of some official saying make it something easy to say like Dave or D and the soap powder kept on cleansing it out, the skin cells from way back, the screams, and then what went on last night until it was nearly blue again and still in the shape of his head when…

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