Daily Archives: June 16, 2017

Our Folk Burn by Paul Brookes

I am not a silent poet

Management say “Lessons will be learnt”

Folk have already warned bosses.
Management say “Our sympathies are with the families”

Death toll expected to rise.
Management say “Lessons will be learnt.

Austerity costs must be met.”

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A prime minister prepares for a memorial by John Alwine-Mosely

I am not a silent poet

(After G.K. Chesterton)

They haggle to find a market price
the sirens are dusted down
talking shops drone on
and dead to come still laugh

And in streets where children played
fathers long lost still watch
while the living weigh out votes
to the march of drum and fife

When bankers make the rules
you and I are erased in ledgers
and the green and pleasant land
walled off from those that build

And we that stand to see that stone
will know how many died in hope
that we would never march again
as we lay flowers and weep their tears

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Grenfell by Sally Evans

I am not a silent poet

in a school exam the girl
puts a blaze out of her mind
picks up a pen to answer questions
politics at bay
her words crackle on the paper
explaining what is asked
through smoke in the staircase
she chooses a question
fidgets in last night’s clothes
the length of an answer
parents at home — oh no
finish in two hours
she dots i’s, crosses t’s
her desk is flammable

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