My poem for Razan al-Najjar, The medic from Gaza shot in the back and killed by an Israeli sniper, has been published on International Times.
In Wetherspoons, men talk to her breasts and ask them questions,
this woman has green thorny eyes like a flower exploding into bloom yet –
he talks to her breasts and asks them where they work and that they are gorgeous.
Let’s talk about her eyes some more and only the eyes and all the things she has seen.
A year ago, her Mother took her last breath in them and was held there in water.
let’s talk about how the moon over Mill Street and how it lit them up.
Outside the butchers, a man shouts terrorist to a woman with a name in a Niqab,
this woman has hazel eyes draped in night black like the moon in stanza two.
He asks her questions, face exploding rose red, a Brexit rose in bloom.
Let’s talk about her veil, focus on the blindfold that English gents from stanza three…
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Mother in mid-run
with child, misshapen soya beans
can’t be separated.
Hair evaporated, skull-
cap pared to carnassial
cordite twisted body.
Frost bitten in maternal
threads, last breath spent trying
to reach their babies.
The eerie thuds at night
of a cathedral falling
animals in pain.
Flies in an ashwood
Stench-land, God has left the build-
ing, nothing moved.
In memory of Eilidh Macleod
A doll’s house aeroplane brought you home. It fell
like an osprey above the ocean’s painful lights.
You could not feel
tiny whirlpools in your ears
or the wind rocking your winged cradle
when wheels touched the coldness
of a hollow bay. The sky
was body mist in a school corridor:
they lifted you,
your spun sugar hair behind wood,
inside cloth, under bairns’ flowers.
Our sun watched from her steely thread. She cried,
traumatised – she had witnessed
what no star should ever see.
Gravity summoned the tears
onto Hebridean rocks,
where they formed indelible shadows, dark
as a night (built with music,
photographs, heart-eyed faces)
turned to smoke. To rubble.
If only the piper could have given you his breath.
Barely heavier than sea glass,
you were carried on shipwrecked hands
while he exhaled goodbye,
the sand beneath you whiter
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Editor of Pall Mall Gazette and campaigner for equality
Guilty of abduction – sentenced to two months, 1885
Our laws state that a girl of thirteen
is at the age of consent, and yet she is
not old enough to give witness in court.
My crime? Caring too much. I wanted
exposure, so I bought a girl and sold her.
Her parents accepted a slim price
and the brothel madam paid a slim price.
Deal done. Evidence acquired.
Our current laws don’t protect those
who make it their calling to pull back
the stained bed-covers of crime.
I was charged with abduction because
her parents could not fathom
how they could have done such a thing,
so pretended they hadn’t. Deny
all knowledge. Safest bet.
Our laws gave me time in Holloway. Not
so much a punishment as a treat. A
pleasant holiday in an enchanted castle. I
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Guilty of conscientious objection
– sentenced to one month, 1943
You ask me why I choose
to do this, choose
to refuse my war duties
by not signing up with the warden,
choose to challenge the system,
choose to be pregnant in prison?
You think it’s easy enough
to sign up for something
you don’t believe in
just because it’s the done thing.
Scratch you name on
someone else’s skin.
Do these women choose
to be pregnant in prison?
Choose to eat for two
on extra milk and bread?
Choose solitary confinement
until the baby’s due
because the hospital’s full?
Choose a cell bell that’s dull
or no one’s there to hear it,
or no one who hears it cares
enough, and no one comes?
Choose to give birth alone?
Does any woman choose that?
Can’t you see she was at the
crippled ends of her wits?
I choose to…
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Refugee of Nazi oppression, detained
for 6 weeks as an ‘enemy alien’, 1940
Alien: noun: a foreigner – synonyms:
non-native, immigrant, emigrant,
emigre, incomer, outsider, stranger,
I like visitor.
Yes. I could be your guest. I have
travelled here to escape.
The journey was long and tiring.
I won’t be in your way forever
but while I am you could help.
It won’t cost you much to do so.
Be the gentile, genial host.
Go on, invite me to tea if you dare.
I’m a newcomer, show me the ropes.
Get to know me
and I’m no longer a stranger.
and I’m no longer a foreigner.
Enemy: noun: actively opposed
or hostile to someone or something.
A thing that harms or weakens
I am the antonym.
Co-operative in all this chaos.
Calmly waiting in my cell.
Waiting for the real enemies
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Noun: the changing of the structure of a gene
for Olivia Lone Bear, New Town, ND: disappeared 10/24/2017, recovered 7/31/2018
I told them, you were the smartest one—like
An insect is smarter than a worm when
Choosing a mate in the season for coupling
Or as circuits and replication couple student
And mentor, or as Seton Smith and Turrell
Use light to great effect. GATA4 mutations
Are transforming natives since a poem is
About itself though pine trees are remarkable
In every way. Circuits are scrambled by
Phenotypes while the Anthropocene and mega-
Constraints stop the advance of invasives
And automated foot-soldiers fight climate
Change. Everyone loves to hate dissonance,
But cognition is a gateway to encrypted
Networks if persons of interest labor to perfect
American classes of purpose-built synths. How
Do lakes change lives—and, on a scale of 1 to 5,
How much do you know about pick-up…
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dr. mercurious: if you thrive with scorn in your heart, the revolutionary poet will not be beautiful and will never be satisfied. enough warming hands from many world thrivers will have to come and rob the revolutionary poet’s heart. murders and killings will be risked. everything will be at risk, the soul fiber of his humanness. she will be evicted and all her kids and things sealed in garbage bags will sit in front of the police station on 79th street and he will be waiting to watch the homeless bus come and. and he will not understand this. she will go on. the revolutionary poet, the revolutionary poet’s route will conquer the double challenged of surviving through the jungle of intra tribal madnesses…. with scars the revolutionary poet will become poet