Sheer Bravado by Rupert M Loydell

I am not a silent poet

Sometimes, of course, it is sheer bravado,

wishful thinking about what could have been.

Other times it is because I do not remember,

have retold the story so many times

it has become fiction, a truth gleaned

from photos, memoirs, friends’ anecdotes,

overlaid with a veneer of middle age.
..

It probably wasn’t like that

but I remember it as better then.

Gigs were cheap and plentiful,

London was a great place to live,

and the world just was, a place

of potential and possibility, not one

devoid of promise and spare cash.

..
I worked shifts at the hospital,

spent a summer mixing chemicals

in a factory, another teaching sailing

to kids in the USA. New York

was simply wonderful, hot and

cheap to live in; a year in Coventry

brought me down to earth, taught me

..
things I didn’t want to know:

how people were different and…

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Me too by Sue Kindon

I am not a silent poet

I can honestly say
no man has ever physically got the better
of me

but there was an old guy on the Caterham train
beckoned us over
(we were in Brownie uniform)

and I thought at first he held a sparrow
in his naked hand. We called Brown Owl
and he zipped it

out of sight,
or that time hitching
when we cadged a lift

from those French blokes
and their Gitane smoke,
who didn’t try anything

but dumped us
in the middle of a Breton forest
when they didn’t fancy us

or coming home with Jen
from The Last Night of The Proms,
all patriotic in a corridorless train

and having to get out and move compartments
at East Croydon because a spotty youth
was edging ever closer and there was no one else

and again at Purley Oaks
when he decided to follow us
to the very same…

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Make America Great Again by Susan Castillo

I am not a silent poet

We must come together now.
Grab ‘em by the pussy.
Build that wall.
It can’t happen here.

Grab ‘em by the pussy
Lock her up
It can’t happen here.
Swastikas painted on a wall.

Lock her up.
We won.  Get over it.
Swastikas painted on a wall.
You’d be in jail.

We won. Get over it.
Nasty woman.
You’d be in jail.

If you’re a star you can do anything.

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Scavenger by Natalia Spencer

I am not a silent poet

Sun cracks sky above roof tops
& Japanese Maple is a blood orange clot

There was a time someone might have loved me
a man who stepped on sand happy

if you watch slow fall of gold leaves
this country can be really beautiful

providing you have the view
a man can look past gnarled roots

erupting through concrete
like wrinkled eels

They plague hours of air, grime
& gold humps limbless like me

And I do not ask pity from a boy who shouts
Get back to Africa

I try to speak as a Marine should
Sand fills my mouth

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Coronation Day 2nd June 1953 by Rob Cullen

I am not a silent poet

From the bench on the street corner one legged Jack sits watching the scene
pennants and bunting draped ready for celebrations the throning of a queen.

Jailed for killing a sheep to feed half-starved kids in the far away depression days
Jack remembered the struggle to survive and the children dying in those ways.

On the tree lined flowering street the white haired boy tried and failed always
when the showering confetti of petals eventually made it their time to fall too.

Red white and pink spring colours in a time of khaki, navy blue, and greys
the white haired boy walked kicking along the stony road a blue tin zinc ball

Battered and dented dull on each of its three sides from so many tries
to make it fly it was in those days with long hours they called peace.

Thundering and lightning crackled without warning in clear blue…

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The terrorist who works at Toys R Us by Paul Sutton

I am not a silent poet

This man is planning nail or acid attacks –
remember, for children there is joy.
His friend in PC World does logistics.
..
I hear his sister is our pharmacist.
The dear old ladies love her.
I worry about the water supply.
..
A section of his book on how to contaminate.
Oh, my feelings are complex.
He helped me with batteries, theology at checkout.
..
Certain London colleges – coffee, safe zones, empathy –
sourdough bread a barrier to metal on bone.
Deserts are better, clear light, padparadscha sunset.

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