Ama Bolton – Post-election blues

Post-election Blues

So we’ve gone and built the hand-cart
and it’s all aboard for Hell!
We’ve given them the power
because they handle it so well.
These chaps know what they’re doing
and they’re doing it to us
for what are we to them?
We are ashes. We are dust.

Bullingdons and bankers
private-income swankers
Hooray Henrys, hedge-fund hogs
grouse-killers, arms-trade dogs
old boys with their old school ties
and fingers in the juiciest pies
pampered youths in hunting pink
(never been near a kitchen sink)
second-homers, private jetters,
merchant princes and trend-setters
– they’ll frack and drill, and clear-fell trees.
They’ll let Bayer kill the bees.
They’ll eat hand-pollinated pears.
If we go hungry – well – who cares?

They have plans for the NHS.
Better not fall ill unless
your credit’s healthy, or your employer
has taken out insurance for ya.

The ice is melting. We may drown
but, never fear, they won’t go down;
they’ll build gated communities
to float upon the rising seas.
At my age it’s mighty cruel,
five more years of Tory rule.

Ama Bolton – The risk-takers

The risk-takers

Each family harks back to someone
living or long gone into legend
who fled from inquisitor or ayatollah
from sniper, bailiff, blackmailer
lynch-mob or jobsworth
from earthquake, failed harvest
broken promise or hasty fist
from water rising, water in retreat
a lost fortune, a good name gone bad
a hut in ashes or a tower in flames

from Troy or Byzantium
from Berlin or Odessa
from Derry or Kosovo –

one ancestor who made it
out of the frying-pan
out of the fire –

perhaps it was your great-grandfather
perhaps it was your mother

perhaps it will be your child.

Ama Bolton – The question is

The question is

would you rip off
the earth’s green coat
ransack bedrock
shatter shale
blacken permafrost
drill deep
into sleeping ice
wring out
the last drop
of ancient light
til there’s no oil
no place unspoilt
for our children
or their children
til the sea’s dead
the soil is wrecked
earth’s beauty
just a memory
and we are totally

Or would you learn
the termite’s art
of solar
learn community
from honey-bees
from spiders learn
to spin a yarn
your own zip-wire
to float on air
learn from the rook
to build with sticks
learn from the tree
simply to be
learn from the bear
to wear the wool
that insulates him
learn from the wren
her song?

Ama Bolton – Two Poems


Patches of new paving
pale as scar-tissue
where the alders stood

Air rearranges itself
empty now of leaf-gossip
catkin and finch

Into the trees’ absence
sunlight and rain
fall and are gone




Boughs bend
yield and spring back
in tension with the wind
dead leaves rattle
on up-curving twigs

Blunt black buds
incubate leaflets
flowers and seeds
braided bark hides
a stain in the sapwood

On a far wharf
cranes unload timber
saplings arrive
swaddled in sacking
for the Chelsea Show


Since 2006 Ama Bolton has had poems in various anthologies and magazines and was a Bridport Prize-winner in 2008. Until retiring this summer she worked as a gardener. She is the convener of a group of poets who meet monthly in Wells, Somerset.