Paul Vaughan – A Poem for Hillsborough

 Paul Vaughan is a Yorkshire poet whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in I Am Not A Silent Poet, The Curly Mind, Eunoia Review and Sarasvati among others. He also edits a poetry e-zine at https://algebraofowls.com
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Marilyn Francis – It’s a new morning

It’s a new morning
pay attention
to the pig’s head
and its mouthful  
of flesh
pay attention
to the workers
in stolen trainers
and nowhere 
to run.
 
It’s a new morning
over fields
over orchards
and broke-back pickers
picking for next-to-nothing
pay attention
to the baby
ripping up books
in his cot.
 
It’s a new morning
over Gotham City
a distracted bat-bird
smashes into its reflection
on the thirty-third floor
pay attention 
to the weather forecast
you think it’s June
it’s fucking January
the trees have fallen.
 
 
Marilyn Francis lives, works, and writes poems near Radstock in the wild south-west of England. She has had one collection of poems, red silk slippers, published by Circaidy Gregory Press. She also has some other poems out and about in the world, though she has even more lazing in her notebooks.

Claire Sexton – Ruislip Spartacus

Ruislip Spartacus

I don’t care what the naysayers say, what the ‘hold your horses’, ‘get you’, ‘stand in line’ people say. 

I don’t care what the teflon people say, what the ‘ do what you want, ‘get what you want’, ball-busting, ‘bring it on’ people say. 

I don’t care what the venom spurting, ambulance chasing, gossip mongering say. What the blood sucking, people smuggling, dog baiting, tax evading say. 

I don’t care what the politicians, rhetoricians, statisticians, ‘me first’, attention grabbing, back stabbing, avaricious, ferret people say. 

What the terrorising, pulpit hogging, hostage taking, water boarding, banner waving, knuckle dragging, ‘press the button’ people say. 

What the empty vessel, mobile clutching, status hugging, social climbing, emoji loving, toilet retching, window dressing, plastic people say. 

What the misogynistic, homophobic, migrant bashing, xenophobic, grinding, sidling, wheedling, gushing, forcing, thrusting, dodging, mocking, apoplectic mess of vagrant souls in torment say to me because…

I am Samson, I am David. I am Jude the unsure. I am Laura on the prairie and Annie grab your guns. I am Morgan of the Fairies and the Lady of the Lake. I am Freya and Lagertha, not to mention, SPARTACUS. 

Sally Long – Clearing Out

Clearing out

The paper shredder hums then judders to a halt. I curse and check the paper feed. I’ve miscounted and fed in six sheets. Now the shredder is well and truly jammed. I tug at the paper but it tears in my hand making the situation worse. I switch the shredder on again and turn it to fast in the hope of clearing the paper. It remains static. I put the machine into reverse and to my relief the paper begins to move. With a small amount of coaxing the mangled sheets are released. I turn the shredder back to forward and try to tempt it with a single sheet of paper. Nothing happens. I swear again. Clearing out ready for my move had been going well: now I will have a thirty minute delay while I wait for the shredder to cool down.

I turn on the TV. A politician speaks about “strong, proven leadership.”  She promises “a country that works not for the privileged few but that works for every one of us.” A vision of a future where there can be no going back, “Brexit means Brexit.” I zap her with the remote and step through my patio door into the garden.

Bare feet leave their tracks
scarlet hollyhocks bow down
unexpected rain
 
 

Sally Long has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East London and is a PhD student at Exeter. She has had poems published in magazines including Agenda, , Ink, Sweat and Tears, London Grip, Poetry Salzburg Review, Snakeskin and The Stare’s Nest. Sally edits Allegro Poetry Magazine www.allegropoetry.org .

Rebecca Lyon – It will be alright, I tell Gabor

 
It will be alright, I tell Gabor
 
It will be alright, I tell Gabor.
It’ll just blow over, a storm in a tea cup.
I swish the nets aside.
Graffiti swiftly hosed away.
Just kids.
 
It will be alright here, don’t worry about it.
Nothing much will happen, not in Britain.
Long knives, broken glass, bloody pangas – we won’t
Stand for that, I tell Gabor.
Just a protest, let it be.
 
It will be alright, there are idiots everywhere,
I tell Gabor.
What will be will be.
Don’t think hate will rear its ugly head for long;
 It won’t; Keep calm, kiss me, drink your tea.
 
Gabor will be alright, won’t he?
Generally speaking, people aren’t like that.
History isn’t here, is it?
It will be alright, won’t it?

Rebecca Lyon tweets: @Lyon_naise 
 

Onwards!

The Stare is back from holiday and will be taking a look at what’s in the Nest over the next couple of days. Thank you to everybody who has sent post-Brexit poems. I’ll be in touch soon!