American Noir by Antony Owen

After Heather Heyer

If I were killed by white power
do not fold a flag for me this black hour
hang it upside down like Jeremiah from Elm
human darkness shall erode the whitest realm.

If you were to mourn the way of my death
you are not rejoicing in the way I drew my breath,
I stood for something, to fall like water into the deep
I fell for something purer, it was more than America fast asleep.

If I was to grow through earth a flower
I’d grow through white weeds and not cower,
an American eagle would swoop down past my shoots
and the blood from its mouth would make strong my roots.

If I was an Eagle I’d fly with displaced birds to roost in the wall
and when we’d soar a mowed down woman would fall.
She stood for something and fell like sunset water,
all American blood, only her Mothers daughter.

Three minutes before when we built Barcelona by Antony Owen

“The creation continues incessantly through the media of man”
Antoni Gaudi

 

in the architected shade she once had her breath stolen by Gaudi,
in those yesterday monuments they talked of making an offer on twelve leaf road,
later they shared a crema catalana with two spoons and all was good as spires cut night open.

Girl in floral dress ran down las ramblas like palates against a half-finished painting.
Three nights ago she left her tooth and a fairy in her Father left five euros,
she is running to buy a windmill that will be claimed by the grabbing tide

There is a an old saying that a city comes alive in the darkness and never falls asleep.
In our beautiful wisdoms we are leant to the warm soil and god takes us back,
she reveals herself as a human with colourless skin and her heart is a lamp.

I want to walk through Barcelona with a red lamp and reveal the luminol of dusks kiss,
girl in floral dress can hold my hand and be the child I never had for a minute,
take these minutes and go to twelve leaf road and realise something like

You and I could’ve been that couple in Gaudi shade, six years ago this very day
I love you, the way you reveal your skin like monuments half built
we will finish this life and walk through Barcelona claiming tides.

Scum by Jodie Rose McLoughlin

This is what the so called majority asked for
Demonisation of the poor
Our national assets spunked up the wall
Scapegoating Muslim’s and the unproductive disabled
Calling us traitors, takers and scum

They won’t be happy until we’re all oppressed, at the bottom of the barrel drowning in racially pure, neo-Nazi cum

You mock us and shock us with the vitriol you read
Your silence is compliance in a world of black and white
Absolute morality
Cognitive dissonant closed off little minds
Only when they make you suffer too,
will you ever see the light

Where are you when they starve us?
Your ‘friendship’ was lacking when the medical professional assessor hissed,
in my ear and on paper that I’m unworthy of any money to live on
That my disabilities do not exist –

and that by extension neither should I
It’s a natural conclusion
Work or die

The state broadcaster would never lie
Sitting by your marble kitchen surface
taken in by the glare from the Sun and the lure of the Mail
They tell you who to hate today and where to place your collective blame
Who is the target of the day?
Perhaps the refugee who dare set sail

across the Med from nasty Europe?
The root of all evil and the reason you aren’t thriving
According to the establishment elite who control the media
only certain white, able-bodied Herero humans are worthy of survival

The scared little boys who never grew up
Terrified of losing the privileges that they’ve always had
By their logic, if a minority has more chances then they’ll be given less
Trolling lefty liberal pages
With soundbite insults berating ‘snowflakes’ like a deadbeat Dad

When trolling turns to marching and marching morphs into hooded bros, waving swastikas and crosses on fire
I have no desire to live in an evil, twisted world like that
If you fall to speak out against the rising ‘alt-right’ threat and ignore histories lessons
you’re nothing but a cowardly ostrich and well, a bit of a twat!

Oh but “Freedom of speech”
“Wish violence on no one”
“Stay peaceful, try to reason with them”
“They’re just ignorant and sad”.
Educate, said the middle class liberal whose life’s not in any actual danger
Placating the morons makes you almost as bad

as the selfish Baby Boomer who did well off the back of a socialist society
pulling up the ladder behind them as they paint their new extension in the costa del sol
As the working class turkey voting for Christmas,
Cap doffing to toffs and tugging their forelocks
Blaming all migrants and people on the dole
for their oppression, depression and failing public services

To make a crude comparison
They’re like a prostitute who’s in love with her pimp,
exploited for labour and covered in jizz
Seeing little of their hard earned money in return
It all goes to the Masters
and they’ve no idea who their real enemy is

You call me jealous, a justifier of idleness and judgmental too
As you kiss the rings of your gilded Leaders because the papers told you to
I must explain that it’s not your possessions which cause this distaste that I hold for you

If what’s yours is yours due your own hard work,
no handouts from family like those upper class jokes
That’s fine
Good for you!
Yet you deny others the same opportunities you had, don’t you?

Contrary to your misguided beliefs I don’t envy what you OWN
I despise the “I’m alright now Jack” attitude emanating from you
I do not resent you for what you HAVE
I resent you for how you VOTE

I will not be looked down upon by those who live in the dark
Wilfully ignorant in an age of information at our fingertips
You, who’s sailed through life and never had to fight

Because paying your way towards the betterment of the whole of society isn’t ‘theft’
Anyway you can’t take it with you
You know that don’t you,
Mr and Mrs always Right?

We’ve all worms to those in charge anyway and they are the wise and benevolent owls
They know what’s best, I swear on my Skybox!
Your chosen servitude oppresses me but you also willingly oppress yourselves

All divided
At each other’s throats
Some more expendable than others to the top 5 percent
Yet from your slumber you will not wake
Listen to reason and facts
You refuse to relent

You never will
You’ll carry on either saying nothing at all or defending THEM
Not until they crush you too
under their hunting boots like
Scum

I ask you,
Who out of this group deserves to be destroyed and buried for good
Is it me?
Is it you?
Or is it them?

We’re all at different levels in the sediment of the pond
All drowning in our own way
Different strata of scum

floating to the surface like the flesh meat water sacks we are

I am a Nazi by Terrence Sykes

I am a Nazi
I rise with white power
To surpass those
Different from me
I am a true American
..
I don’t like like Jews for  sure
My sister married a Yankee one
Live in a big house on Long Island
He has some big corporate job
She goes to temple &  raising them like Jews !
..
That guy I was friends with in high school
Found out he was gay
He helped me pass many a test
I dropped him like a hot potato
Guess he was trying to make a pass on me!
..
Didn’t have time to got to community college
Or even take time to try out trade school
Too busy obsessing over how oppressed I am
By the world outside that I don’t want to understand
And all the other white males like me
..
I sure don’t like Muslims either
They are almost blocking my Friday drive
Going to the 7-11 where they all work
To get my weekend  cigarettes & beer
Trying to get away from all these foreigners
..
The last straw was when that black family
Moved into the neighborhood last year
Bought the biggest nicest one
How dare they try to to act better than me
I decide then and there we must rise above!
..
Blaming others for your short comings is the easiest thing to do
If you were really a red bloodied American you’d be a Nazi too

Ahead of the Game by Rupert M Loydell

We are too slow at escaping, too good at sitting still and enjoying the lives we have made. We need to be ahead of the game, selling up, moving on, making new friends.
..
We have become bogged down with what we own and worrying about where to go and what to do there. Other places we know all have their charms, and there are worse things than sitting alone in the sun with wine and a book for company.
..
We should not fear silence or the language of others. We could learn, would get by. We should stop chasing the past, stop expecting success and go and live where we want. Survive there, be there. Make a new home and a new life.
..
We must stop acting scared and compromising. We can never be rich, financially or culturally, where we are; it would be nice to be both, but health and food and peace & quiet would be enough for me.

Admit One by Rupert M Loydell

Things we want go sour, what
we aspire to is not attainable.
We get old before our inner youth
expires, dreams disperse as our knees
give out and we have to buy a new car.
The urban metaphor of heaven is no use
to us in the village of confusion,
the city of God seems a long way off
although we’re nearer now than ever;
but it’s hard to read the signs,
harder still to stay on track.
..
Admit One. I clutch the ticket to a
well-ordained, human paradise,
we think of as a new England,
Albion, or a tidier version of
where we live now. A tsunami
of vision literature arrives in the post:
someone has seen angels and ghosts,
been told what to write. These visitors
do not cure my arthritis or let me sleep,
cannot tell me what I should do.
I am still having to make it up
..
and pretend I am in the right.
I am not an out-and-out charlatan
but there are peculiar practices
to observe. I write words in lines
and pat them into shape, type words
that fly through the air to others
as screens flicker in my room.
You would not have thought
it possible, but this is not magic,
it is science; is what the world
has become the whole world over.
..
The remains of my past lie
in a neat and unremarkable
graveyard in the suburbs.
Opinion does not echo anymore
and the bus that used to take
me to school grumbles past
as if I had never moved away.
Regrets and mistakes are everywhere,
we can only hope for the best.
Oh earthquake driver, god of tides,
stop the clock and say hello.

Desert Island Discs by Rupert M Loydell

The doctor on the radio
spoke about operating
during war and made me cry.
Down-to-earth, matter-of-fact,
way out of my experience,
he’d operated and stitched,
dismembered and mopped up
worldwide, often in the dark.
..
Machine-gun toting militia
looked on, nurses ran
for cover as lights dimmed
and unseen bombs exploded.
He answered the questions
and introduced his next
piece of music, different
worlds colliding in song.

Easy Target by Pat Edwards

You are buoyed up by your loathing.

Did it come from your father favouring your brother,

or from your mother’s indifference.

Without this hobby you would be kicking your heels,

listening to music on your headphones.

Now you have found fuel to drive your day,

a flame, an agenda.

 ..

Maybe you share your motivation

with the boy who couldn’t get girls,

the boy who couldn’t make himself like girls,

the boy who cut himself because he wanted to be a girl.

Clearly you are troubled.

You liked it better when there was more subterfuge,

an edge, a risk.

 ..

Now it is a bit too public, bordering on mainstream.

People can see your face, look you in the eye.

But you practise your stare in the mirror,

tense your muscles so your veins protrude,

fill your chest with hate. You target your extreme opposite,

families with soul, with love,

no power.

 ..

You are an echo, a deadly wave of hot air,

white as a shroud.

Song of the Garden Bridge by Sally Evans

Oh we will have a garden bridge,
a garden bridge, a  garden bridge
oh we will have a garden bridge
to make our city beautiful

Oh you will have no garden bridge,
no garden bridge, no garden bridge,
oh you will have no garden bridge
to make your city beautiful

Oh we will have money and time
to walk among the trees and flowers
oh we will have money and time
to  walk across the water

Oh you will have no money or time
no destination half so fine
for warmth in spring or winter shine
to gaze on flowing water

No blossoms on the cherry tree
no carefree wandering each day,
nor light at night to dream away
there is no city beautiful

All that we had is taken away
our high rise homes are blown away,
no lamps, no electricity,
no railings to contain and hold

No safeguards to protect the view,
there is no hope there is no view,
there is no future to behold
there is no glitter pure as gold

Oh you may have a wondrous dream
but dream it fast before it goes
for you will keep no wondrous dreams,
there is no bridge, no garden

And if you want a garden bridge,
a garden bridge, a garden bridge
and if you want a garden bridge
to make your city beautiful

Oh you must build a garden bridge
that unifies the rich and poor
where all give help and all can share,
that’s strong against injustice

Oh you must build it in your minds
and you must build it with your power
and you must pay for it with tears,
to make your city beautiful.

Anti-Fascist Poem by Dave Rendle

Dedicated to Heather Heyer R.I.P
..
There should be no platform
For bigoted people with fascist views,
It’s time to block and remove the space
That promotes superiority of white race,
Alt right equals Nazi, it’s as simple as this
Provoking Nazi salutes, spreading hate.
..
Yesterday Heather Heyer was murdered
In Charlottesville, USA, this occurred,
during an anti fascist demonstration
By stagnated forces of negation,
Enough is enough people cry
We do not forget, we do not forgive!

Fascism does not arrive as a friend
Already using the language of persecution,
Daily threatening minorities and the vulnerable
Spreading message of repugnance and hate,
Harassing, prejudiced and spreading fear.
They will never be given a welcome here.
..
40 years ago the fascists were beaten
At the battle of Lewisham,
Intolerance was not accepted
Today we must face them again,
Standing together, proud and strong
We will resist, they shall not pass.

There Is No Place In Virginia by Phibby Venable

There is no place in Virginia to dance –
my hair is too dark, my eyes too brown,
and I am a loose woman spilling
independent thoughts on sacred ground
I am uneasily free and footloose,
but when I dance I feel the breath
of rage roaring through dangerous engines
I am nervous and tense in movement,
and dread saying I am afraid
How can I dance when the music beats
in such a way, and my feet dodge bullets
and blood, until I try to hide in mountains
of purple majesty from the crazed crosses
that have nothing to do with Christ,
and everything to do with man made placards
on who and what to hate

..

virginia

Conservatives in crisis by Judith Taylor

Brexit vote sees highest spike in religious and racial hate crimes ever recorded (Independent, 7th July 2017)

 

Parasite turns wasp into zombie then drills through its head (New Scientist, 25th January 2017)

 

Bassettia pallida – the crypt

gall wasp, as it’s commonly known –

 

is parasitic on oak trees: under its influence

the tree makes hollow galls

 

in which the young of the wasp develop

till they’re ready

 

to eat their way out

and find their prey in the world.

 

But there is a smaller wasp

Euderus set – that manipulates

 

the manipulator. Gall wasps it infects

chew out an exit they’re not ready for;

 

die blocking it. And inside

the Euderus grub

 

whose jaws are rarely tough

enough for oak-bark, eats its host

 

grows strong, and when it senses spring

chews its way out to freedom

 

and other hosts, through a neat hole

in the gall-wasp’s head.

 

Which is where now

– you with the gall – you find yourself:

 

the thing that impelled you flown

free in the world

 

and you here wondering

why you can’t get moving

 

head all empty, jaw

chewing on air

 

working at nothing

but strong and stable.

Questions for the sky-watcher by Judith Taylor

What lightning strike
what fireball, what catastrophe
are you scanning for so avidly
in these bad times?
What part of yourself

you’re afraid even to speak of
goes muttering under the surface of your mind
how some apocalypse
would be kinder than this slow choking
in our own stupidity?

And what will we leave? – another
comforting question. What far future
archaeologist from a new star
will extrapolate our culture from these
ski boots and coffee-capsules and

wonder at our poisoning
the very waters under the earth?
Or ask why it consoles us less
to believe we will have cancelled ourselves
at present rates

before the atmosphere boils away
and into space: that rainfall
will continue, plate tectonics will continue
to grid us away, and cover up
our isotope trace.

That something
– some bacterium in a cockroach gut
possibly – will grow up to be
Life on Earth in a distant era
and will ask itself

what lightning strike
what fireball, what catastrophe set
the chain of events in slow motion
till they gave rise to it, as we
ask ourselves now.

..

Judith Taylor lives and works in Aberdeen. Her poetry has been published widely in magazines, and in two pamphlet collections – Earthlight (2006) and Local Colour (2010). Her first full-length collection, Not in Nightingale Country, will be published in Autumn 2017 by Red Squirrel Press.     http://sometimesjudy.co.uk/

Hallowed Be Our Names by Terri Greco

A tribute to the victims of sex abuse in the Catholic Church

 

Hail Mary, full of grace,

 

Blessed are you among us women,

men, and children.

 

Pray for us,

for we are not the sinners,

 

but a million enduring votives

aflame at your feet.

 

Holy Mary,

Mother of God,

 

Be more than an idol—

a hollow shrine to pray to.

 

Reach us with your outstretched arms;

Hold us while we weep.

..

Terri Greco is a poet and psychotherapist. Her poems have also appeared in Forage Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, and The Gambler. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with her husband and her son.

Perspective From 32,000 Feet by Debra Webb Roberts

Drawing conclusions….
like drawing the blinds mid-day,
the sky too bright for clarity 
and other wise
shrouded by mood

I remember a song
from childhood : you know
one of those pop culture
silly happy joyjoy oft’ mindless
tunes we were compelled to perform —

when Camelot died
and a new king raised his head –
until society fell, mortally wounded

LBJ-isms, cloaked and pointed,
never so clear as black and white,
this melting pot reaching a boiling point,
lids blow, stammering, “kkkkkkkk”

and our poor scared parents
needing some metered assurances
that wars and death would not
always attend our frail journeys

that moon shot, as glorious
as Neal made it seem, was
No Place Like Home

Four score and more,
the decades fly, fall
into resistant pools
bruised and bloodied
and blessed

I’ve looked at clouds
from two sides,
theorize:

All is transitory,
Everything born from the
gray

from 32000 feet

(c) Debra Roberts 07282017*clouds at 32,000 feet , taken from my airplane window, leaving Denver

Ode to Jeremy Hunt by Tee Francis

Jeremy Hunt, what a shame;

the BMA are not to blame:

you give staff and patients hell

with NHS on your lapel.

You anaesthetise us through the press

with soundbites on the NHS,

then defecate on ‘low achievers’

rashly thinking we believe that

care is better privatised;

life-line services monetised.

 

Jeremy Hunt, rhymes with this:

a place synonymous with bliss,

birth, life and sanctuary–

motherhood and maternity;

nurturing and caring, I guess,

which is just like our NHS;

but not you, the posh child giving suck

who truly couldn’t give a fuck,

and while you smirk in shirts of silk,

you asset-strip our mother’s milk.

 

Jeremy Hunt, what a country

this is now, to put it bluntly:

a class-based cleansing epidemic,

poverty policies are endemic;

eugenics, social engineering–

as a nation we are veering

to a state where being healthy

is a privilege for the wealthy.

Shrug it off with a sneer or a lie,

for only low-achievers die.

Tainted with Love by Ananya S Guha

Whither the dead
ha’ penny thoughts
the tortoise and the hare
run, in this impending fun
..
Brown soldiers black
black, brown
their shirts are shrivelled
into guns they hold
..
Terrorists come and go
the common man might
know, who the soldier
who the terrorist
the police arrive to gun
both
it is mayhem
and the gaping wound
that tells all the sorrow.
..
At crack of dawn
a son is born
father murdered
mother prepares
three coffins
for father, son and
mother.
..
I say my prayers quietly
what do soldiers want?
where is the brave war
and what are suicide squads?
the rose buds faint in red
tulips open into gaping wound
my praying beads are tainted
with love.

American individualism by Michael Peck

American individualism makes itself great again
sandwiched between myth and distortion
scandal flavored tea with spoiled milk
the minds somnolent attitude refuses to wake up.
..
Sandwiched between myth and distortion
the dreams of men wither
the minds somnolent attitude refuses to wake up
traditions knee-jerk reactions turn into habits.
..
The dreams of men wither
their potency dissipates without new images
traditions knee-jerk reactions turn into habits
the empire wants just one more piece of the pie.
..
Their potency dissipates without new images
iPhones and TV simply imitate the known
the empire wants just one more piece of the pie
chaining those in service to toil and die.
..
iPhones and TV simply imitate the known
repeating sound bites, texts, and recorded laugh lines
chaining those in service to toil and die
while hunger for something real grows unseen.
..
Repeating soundbites, texts, and recorded laugh lines
the conversation dies in the infertile ground
while hunger for something real grows unseen
history is repeated in impoverished grammar.
..
The conversation dies in infertile ground
minds ache from the vacuum inside
while hunger for something real grows unseen
American individualism makes itself great again.

Fire and Fury by Mike Ferguson

Fire and
fury echo
the past

dark words
of the
dark past,

words of fire
and words
of fury

dark as
the dark past
where words

worked their
anguish
after the

knowing of
their meaning
of darkness.

Fight fire
with fire
he thinks,

fury with
words as if
they matter

before
or after the
darkness.

When words
matter, he
must think

better, better
than dark
thoughts,

or others
must speak
and think

for him.
Words have
meaning

and saying
them can be
dark,

but not as
dark as what
meaning brings.