Swept along by memes and tropes, false narratives
of what is freedom, what is love, where true honor
lies, lies are swallowed down as tranquilizer-palliatives,
veins invaded for transfusions of a bitter humor.
Procedures seem to offer us some greater good
but no one has a notion about what is best for all.
We have blinkers on, or blinders if you will, can’t feed
on food that’s faked through plasma screens that pull
our rods and cones out of shape, blur perception
so we squint and fail to see each other eye to eye,
tuning ears to hear the news we choose to channel,
train pupils so that insight’s merely tunnelled vision.
In ignorance, we asked for bliss: illusion’s pale blue pill.
Pursuing truth, we’re free to grasp the blood-red reality.
Sharon Larkin has been published in anthologies (Cinnamon, Eyewear, Indigo Dreams); magazines (e.g. Prole, Obsessed with Pipework, Here Comes Everyone) and e-zines (including Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Stare’s Nest and Clear Poetry). She jointly runs Cheltenham Poetry Café – Refreshed, is Chair of Cheltenham’s Arts Council and Poetry Society, runs Kickstart poetry workshops in Cheltenham and is founder/editor of the Good Dadhood on-line Poetry project. She has an MA in creative writing and a passion for Welsh language, literature and history. Website: https://sharonlarkinjones.com/
Men Who Weep.
Captains of industry,
senators, honourable gentlemen,
Allow me to redefine terror, for you.
Our troops out in the Middle East,
on heat baked streets,
fodder for friendly fire and suicide attacks.
Should fear you more
than the Syrian
draped over the crumpled corpse
of child or brother.
Beating fists on cracked earth,
crying and praying.
Blood blotting through the faded cotton
of his tunic.
While you sleep in cool linen
through clammy western nights.
Expensive suits that do not crease
Black gold oozes through your veins.
So civilly regretful
You terrify me.
Kathryn Metcalfe has been published previously in anthologies and magazines. She is a member of the ‘Mill Girl Poets’ who wrote and performed a show featuring poetry, spoken word and song about the lives and history of the Paisley thread mill workers which has been performed at the Glasgow West End Festival and recently at the Edinburgh Fringe. She also founded and runs a Poetry& Spoken Word Open Mic which has been running over 2 years.
Let’s Talk About the Weather
I worry that our seasons are lost.
Days I thought maps predicted
have vanished as if only conjured.
Sky hangs, streaked and heavy,
as though it forgot how to smile,
or fears what comes next.
There was honour in winter:
neighbours shovelling paths clear
in the soft pad of dawn;
the certainty of snowdrops,
their February end rolling
into temperate Spring.
Rays of summer
warming grass and our skin,
leading on to months
when trees handed down their red
and gold; when people knew leaves
were beautiful in every colour.
Claire Walker’s poetry has been published in magazines, anthologies and webzines including The Interpreter’s House, Ink Sweat and Tears, Clear Poetry, Prole, and The Chronicles of Eve. Her first pamphlet, The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile, is published by V. Press. She has recently become a Poetry Reader for Three Drops from a Cauldron.
Her website is https://clairewalkerpoetry.com