Hannah Linden – They’re all Dead and Look Who’s Wearing our Coat.

They’re all Dead and Look Who’s Wearing our Coat.

If there was ever a time to find the threads left to us
we’d weave us such a coat as would keep us warm
of a winter. But the sheep in sheep’s clothing has been

fleeced. And it’s so cold out here. Our last defence against
the wild zeroes in on us. The wolf is eating our grandmothers
and our coats are hanging out to dry in our landlords’ gardens.

Enoch and Maggie look down laughing. No one is looking
for a new loom. What stories they told us whilst the axeman
did their dirty work – red dye running rivers to the sea.

 

[Footnote: Churchill said Attlee was ‘a sheep in sheep’s clothing’. Attlee’s government brought in the Welfare State which is now being dismantled.]

Hannah Linden is a Devon-based poet, emerging from Jo Bell’s 52 group. She has work published in Domestic Cherry 4, Nutshells and Nuggets, Poetry24, The Broadsheet, Wonderzoo, I Am Not a Silent Poet, Appletree’s Speak! anthology and more by the time this goes to print: it’s been a busy year!  She tweets @hannahl1n

Hannah Linden – Through Light

Through Light

I’m walking through the light in the poems
Americans can write: expansive skies, taking
the space to tell a story including the way
a writer feels as the story winds its way without
necessarily needing to underline any conclusions.

And I’m wondering about this side of the Atlantic
and how frightened we are by that massive sky
where everyone has a right and stands up to
fight for it but mostly just expects it to be there
over the prairies, the mountains, the sky-scrapers

whilst we boxed in by the weather drear
and the hopelessness of ourselves as subjects
to the crown and the police with their new laws
and ways of enforcing them as nearly a million
people have to line up for food from food banks

no matter how many hours we’re stuck inside
call centres and zero-hour contracts. And here
we all are, like chickens who’ve forgotten there
ever was a road to cross pecking at the feathers
of disabled people, the poor, immigrants, any

body close enough to draw blood from which
means just about everyone. Sky darkening
with drawn blood and everyone ducking out
of the way, frightened of the fall-out and how
it might show on our faces, the fear, the shame

that we couldn’t stand up and be counted
which means telling the real stories of how
oppressed we all feel and how we need to stop
hoping things will just get better if we just keep
ourselves neatly between the lines.

Hannah Linden is a Devon-based poet, emerging from Jo Bell’s 52 group. She has work published in Domestic Cherry 4, Nuggets and Nutshells, Poetry24, The Broadsheet, Wonderzoo, I Am Not a Silent Poet, Appletree’s Speak! anthology,  Ink, Sweat and Tears 2014/15 12 Days of Christmas feature and more by the time this goes to print: it’s been a busy year!  She tweets @hannahl1n