Dear Crystal, by Chaucer Cameron

I am not a silent poet

I know you think you’re free to come and go.
To one day be so high, you touch stars.
You think you’re free, to spend some days
so low you hardly breathe, while blood
and broken bones, putrefy beneath your bed.
Ease you say, comes quick –
but only when you stick the needle in.
I know you think you’re free to stand
on that street corner and remain intact-
in fact, I think I’m free to tell you
that you may survive: just.

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… from a knife wound, by Chaucer Cameron

I am not a silent poet

What bunny can I buy
the chocolate kind.
How can I post it flat
I’d have to break it into pieces.
Is milk chocolate by the sweets
or near the till.
Do they still sell rubber bands
and balls of string.
Where can I find plain packaging.
Someone’s moved the tea again
I swore I saw it, yesterday.
How can I post a bunny
flat. Where did I put
my purse, my hat
who is that man
he’s waving.
Is he my son
no he’s in Oz.
Oh I don’t know
how time moves on.
My watch has stopped
yes he’s in Oz. I think
I’ve mentioned this before.
It’s strange, this feeling
strange, a floppy sort of feeling
…………………………….like I’m bleeding …


Chaucer Cameron is a poet living in Wiltshire; she is the creator of Wild Whispers, 2018 an International Poetry Project. She has co-edited three collections of Poetry…

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100 Thousand Poets for Change, by Red Slider

I am not a silent poet

A shield for those who have courage and take the risk,
a crowbar for those put in cages, persecuted and tortured,
a megaphone for those who have been silenced,
a memory that will not forget, no matter how stealthy the lies,
remote the dungeon or weak the muted voice
speaking truth to power from behind thick walls.

Who dares defile the sacrament of word?
Try to silence one of us and a hundred will speak out.
Try to lock one of us up and a thousand keys appear.
Murder one and 100 thousand poets will expose you
in permanent ink, at open mic, on the stage of the world
where we resurrect the souls of fallen comrades
and lay tyranny bare on the open page for all to see.

Make war, and we’ll be there. Refuse the sick or hungry care,
we’ll be there; exploit the poor or the vulnerable…

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Three poems by Renwick Berchild

I am not a silent poet


And men are the evilest of beings—
there is no doubt in this.
In southern keelings,
in northern sleeps, hungry lions
Like mewling cats, like baaing sheep, as dying
bodies deflate and hiss, waters inky
with mass casualty, with weeping
boys take their guns and wash them.
So is war. So is violence. No freedom flapping
in a wind. There is no noble purpose when it is happening
there is no greater understanding when the last bombs drop
and all cheer loud.
Men don’t have names. Men don’t have minds.
Not on the plains cragged in murder.
Women don’t have love. Women don’t have truth.
All slaughter flows downstream.
The Guns
Damn your guns. Damn your corporations.
Benefactor—beguile me no more. I curse your silk sheets and feather bed.
How much wider can be craned the maw?…

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Blade, by Nigel Hutchinson

I am not a silent poet

Sharpened steel is a rate of exchange,
a language to the point, a one liner,
blade delivers its simple message,

distils it all, reduces prey
to a single wordless transaction,
as if blood alone is currency,

light on steel flashes a stainless smile,
though it’s not a full-face portrait,
just teeth looking to bite, unthinking eyes

that’ve shrunk their victim
from subject to object,
to obstacle.

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Knife Angel, by Isabel Palmer

I am not a silent poet

After the Knife Angel sculpture by Alfie Bradley, currently on display at Coventry Cathedral

His face is a mask of tragedy, open-air,
Dionysos, eater of raw flesh, the wand
or weapon god, only his mother mortal,
the cult that feeds the dead with blood

or Christ, the dying and returning God
of blood and wine: a face stripped to the bone,
a crucifix of nose, eyes, chiselled cheekbones,
saints’ lips that speak only to ghosts.

Hollow, gargoyle eyes and nostrils, doves’ nests
for squabs, the same word for young birds
and their flesh, his eyebrows, knife-slashes, traced
with a priest’s thumb, how children draw birds.

His veins are needle-sharp, threaded beneath the skin,
shoulders, hatchet blades, his chest a cathedral ruin,
its ribbed canopy, Gothic tracery eviscerated, the spire lunging
upwards, Coventry’s cross of knives, St Michael on the baptistery,

the Devil at his feet, the saw-toothed walls of nave

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