Daily Archives: May 23, 2018

Cactus, by Marvel Chukwudi Pephel

I am not a silent poet

“I am Cactus.

I prick when you carelessly touch me,

When you try to abuse my existence.

I am curvy





Something not everyone knows how to handle.”

      (For women who experience abuse in its varied shades).


Marvel Chukwudi Pephel is a prolific Nigerian writer who writes poems, short stories and other things besides. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in High Coupe, The Avocet, The Kalahari Review, Praxis Magazine for Arts and Literature, Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, Poetry Tree on the Charles, Pyrokinection, Jellyfish Whispers, I Am Not a Silent Poet, African Writer, The Naked Convos, PIN Quarterly Journal, amongst others. His poetry was selected for the 2016 Best New African Poets 2016 Anthology. He is currently a two-time winner of the Creative Writing Ink Competition (Ireland).

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Young Carer, by Miki Byrne

I am not a silent poet

Megan does the washing and gets her own tea.
Makes Mum a cuppa when she needs.
Dad went away when Mum was diagnosed
and Megan misses him.
Tells her little brother what he was like.
At parent’s evenings teachers wonder
why they don’t see someone for Megan.
Pass comment on how tired she is
and sloppy with her homework.
Megan tries to work.
Clears the kitchen table but has to wash up first,
do laundry, help Mum to the bathroom .
Megan doesn’t get pocket money.
Mum’s disability benefit doesn’t stretch far.
On Saturdays Megan doesn’t play out,
or go to the park.
She has no dance class, swimming.
Only the TV for after school.
She does little any other twelve year old would do.
Megan works hard because Mum has MS
and Megan loves her Mum.

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Good Men, by Miki Byrne

I am not a silent poet

Good men do nothing.
While the welfare state crumbles
and politics drive wedges into life.
Good men stay silent whilst war-babies
crawl screaming  to our shores.
Then pry away their needy infant hands
because that is what voters want.
Good men turn away
when ex-servicemen sit homeless
in the streets and thousands
of disabled die from cruel assessments,
attempts to starve them back to work.
Good men wear good faces when the
mentally ill are stigmatised,
refugees demonised and neighbours
must use food banks to survive.
Good men agree to zero-hour contracts,
foster insecurity, fear of illness, absence.
Allow bosses to become overseers
and resurrect  Victorian values
that punish and demean.
Good men don’t rock the boat, even if
it’s called injustice and carries a cargo of greed.
When good men finally act,
when societies failures landslide
and push them against spiked walls,
it will be too late.
Evil is…

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recursive deaths, by Sudeep Adhikari

I am not a silent poet

did you find the gold in sand
where the solar ores
mixes seamlessly
with the rivers
of your fragile bones?

as the bodybags
come home
through the doors,

in the shape of horizontal deaths,

the air is soiled by the salts
of screaming earths

it was already your ghost
that left; to keep dying in a cycle
of indefinite recursion.


[According to 2016 Aljazeera’s report: In total, more than 5,000 workers from Nepal have died working abroad (mostly Middle-East) since 2008 – more than the number of US troops killed in the Iraq War. The cause has been named as Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome, a mysterious serial-killer which likes to haunt the poor in their sleep.]


Sudeep Adhikari is a structural engineer/Lecturer from Kathmandu, Nepal.  His recent publications were with Beatnik Cowboys, Chiron Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Midnight Lane Boutique, Occulum, Silver Birch Press and Eunoia…

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‘Broken Stories’ by Reuben Woolley, 20/20 Vision Publishing

Thanks to Mike Ferguson for this review of my collection, ‘broken stories’. He really catches the music of it!



Jazz, music more widely, certainty and uncertainty, the breakages in/of meaning – these are the opening stories of the seemingly perfunctory but expansive poems by Reuben Woolley.

The opening poem & all that jazz presents an emotional attachment to jazz [can there be any other?]


and this along with other music, the ‘flattened fifth’ of the blues in open skies, will be a recurring visit [jazz again in a later poem muted], that is if, as this poem warns perhaps, we hear the meaning of the story accurately in its ‘mongrel words’.

The uncertainties are implied in counting [whole poem] where


but also in the paradoxes in talk of


which seems assured until


A love poem deserts embraces these dualities too, the lay-out on the page a perfect mime,


The shifts and uncertainties get reflected in further paradoxical uses of recurring words, like the positive ‘bend’ of jazz…

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