I would say to you this…, by Cath Campbell

I am not a silent poet

I saw a photo in the paper,
you running naked, your dress blown off.
Because you were covered in dust 
you seemed not injured,
I thought,
until I caught
your frozen eyes,
raised skyward,
lost in the inferno back the way you’d come,
careering out of the molten fire town,
flying on spindly child legs,
your mouth a cavern that roared its fear.

That was over forty years ago.
Burned history still maps your skin.
Dustless, I imagine you are a mother
and a grandmother, that you laugh a lot,
chat with friends,
walk the green love light avenues,
and only on occasion
does your mind go back to the day you faced the devil.
Whether theirs or ours,
you were too young to know,
and, anyway, all planes
have the same underbelly when birthing bombs.

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Football’s Coming Home, by Stella Wulf

I am not a silent poet

Researchers at Lancaster University studied incidents of domestic abuse during World Cup matches in 2002, 2006 and 2010 and found a 38 per cent rise on days when the England team played and lost, and a 26 per cent rise when England won or drew – Newstatesman

You’ve been practicing how to pitch it
since you lost the first round; since
I take you, and, to have and to hold,
bitch, became his anthem.
Despite your best defensive moves,
pre-empting kick-offs, fending fouls,
obeying rules, you’ll still be beaten.
There are no equalisers in this mismatch.
You’ve learned not to tackle,
playing for time in the corridor
of uncertainty. This is a home game,
he’s in possession of screen and beer.
You huddle on the sidelines, sick
with fear that you’ll be picked on.
A poor substitute for the real thing,
you don’t bounce back. A skin…

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poem by Bengt O Björklund

I am not a silent poet

down by the pick pocket market again
delivering free contact and smiles
reloading day’s opportunity
amongst the lost and the slow dyeing

redemption is not an option here
where salty winds carry dead women
on their broken shoulders
there’s a tilt towards the distant sea

rich men rumble with binoculars
fastened to their wallets
there’s no magic carpet for the poor
there’s no such thing

ripped and wired to the end
clocked and seeded
I do remember the beginning
before the I bubble burst

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Show Me (the Art of War), by Jen Littlesthobo

I am not a silent poet

Show me when you paint,
How it’s cheaper to use blood than oil.
Show me how you paint a street with a gun,
Then draw the chalk outline later.
Show me the colours of the rainbow,
In oil-tainted drinking water.
Show me how pipelines can predict the longevity of a community,
More accurately than the heartlines you excavated to make space for them.
Show me how you turn villages into pyres,
Bedrooms into coffins
And mother’s hearts into shrines.
Show me the family trees you’ve felled
To make way for new borders.
Show me how you stack a million displaced people,
Without bringing down the house of cards.
Show me the fountains pumping sea water,
You’ve drained from the lungs of refugee children.
Show me how you strip a culture of everything
And then then take it’s pride.
Show me the craftsmanship it takes,
To then banish that culture to…

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Trump Baby, by Antony Owen

I am not a silent poet

For Debasis Mukhopadhyay

to scale sky, I will happily give you my breaths
take them baby and rise over English hedgerows where migrants nest safely
think of them as walls separating the otherworld to false heavens, cast the angels out.

to scale palace, church, mosque, synagogue and the black honeycomb of Grenfell
think of these things as valuable as Lord Sugar tweets a joke you would love about Senegal.
Take all of these riches. our stars, the stripes of an airliner heading to Mexico, dusks blood anthem.

There is a Nicaraguan man invading someone’s space in Camden Fried Chicken but its all good,
He was offered a seat by a Canadian woman and they really hit it off I think they’ll make love,
She will grab the back of his head and they will kiss like interracial humans and she will be with child.

Let the…

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Intersectionality And The Black Poet, by Clara B. Jones

I am not a silent poet

“I think I’ll borrow from Walt Whitman here and say, ‘I contain multitudes.’ I write out of who I am, and who I am is a cis-hetero woman, a Caribbean native, an immigrant, a woman of color, a member of the African, Latino, and South Asian diasporas, a New Yorker, a lover of British crime dramas and ‘Doctor Who’, an Italian-speaker, etc., etc. The poems come out of all of me: I’m not black more than I’m a woman. I’m not a woman more than I’m an immigrant. I understand why people ask these types of questions, but I find them impossible to answer as it always makes me feel like I’m reducing myself somehow, slotting myself into a box. And if I select a particular identity, how do I prove it? Am I then supposed to write a certain way or have certain poetic heroes or write about…

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Womp womp, by Donna J. Snyder

I am not a silent poet

to Corey Lewandowski[1]

1. Schadenfreüde
The little toe on the right foot is swollen. Thick with heat. Heavy. A dropped glass broke it last night, the second toe I’ve broken since mid-January. That one, unsplinted, has a new angle, like a road sign for a right turn ahead. That toe forks sideways from all the others that make little leftward-leaning stair steps from the big one down to the little one I broke last night.
I may have one toe that has never been broken. A few more have only been broken once. Others have been cracked, fractured, or deformed multiple times. You can laugh if you want. People do that, laugh at others’ pain, misfortune, and folly. Womp womp.
2.The callous few
Womp womp to my hot little toe on a bruised and battered foot.
Womp womp to a destitute child…

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