News Child by Carolyn O’Connell

Child of war flickering across my mind
you have no nation, no colour, and no home.
Your empty eyes, tangled limbs
lie among the empty shells,
lit by unyielding flashes
intruding helpless on your pain.

Life tracks from your wrenched body
moon-scarred by famine’s caustic whip,
your mind decanted by others wiles.
We stand apart afraid to offer comfort.
Reluctant to remember or forget
lest you infect us with a violet spore,

Causing our men to die, our children starve
absolved by aid.

Could we be bold, give you family
bind ourselves your wounds,
share ourselves our bread,
hope would bring peace
your rebirth a child of love.

First published in The Poet Tree 2002

Love is by Carolyn O’Connell

Love is quiet
breathing gasps of lovers
passion spent.

Love is gentle
with arms outstretched to comfort those
whom life breaks.

Love is kind
it eases hurt with a smile
lest damage break the glass of life.

Love is true
caring for the loved before itself
silent lest the planets halt.

Carolyn O’Connell works with Richmond Libraries to promote poetry and has lead workshops, hosted at The Tea Box in Richmond and been a Guest Read at Rhythm & Muse. 
Having worked on the poetry pRO project her poems have been translated into Romanian and broadcast on Romania radio via the Translation Café of the University of Bucharest. 
Her work has been published in America where she has collaborated with the author/poet Paul Morabito in the production of Mirrored Voices: Emerging Poets Anthology (ISBN13: 978-1-5077107-1-5) published by Star Investment Strategies LLC which seeks to promote unrecognised poets from accros the world. The first edition was published in January 2015 and is available both as print and e-book. 
Her first collection, Timelines, is published by Indigo Dreams (2014, ISBN 978-1-9093575-3-2) and is also available at Ham House National Trust Bookshop

An elegy for Gaza as symbol for the new year by Jesús B. Ochoa

dawns the year, cold,
fog swirls distances
away, today the same
as last night’s moon, dead
the stubborn morning glory
hanging frozen on the vine, witness
to the birth of Yeat’s slouching beast swollen
with the gore of murder resting by the wall
to stop the sun, strong to smother
message of another Birth now done
with irrelevant visitors from the east
who came and caused but smallest wonder
because we willed the killing to continue
and continue and continue, how could we not?
we must not, no, no, cannot, will not, consider not
the sacredness of life, the other, the weak, the children,
no, we revel in our treasure spun of stolen land,
of god created in our image, draping our souls
with hate and fear enough to warm our hubris,
all we stand tall, all, we are the chosen unto the planets,
we need no other, want no other, will have no other,
suffer no other, no, no, for we are, we are, WE ARE.


Jesús B. Ochoa
 First generation born in U.S. from immigrants on maternal side of Mexican Original Peoples Tepehuan Nation, paternal side Basque immigrants from Guernica, Spain, to Mexico, great great-grandmother from Rarámuri Original peoples from Mexico. University of Notre Dame ’56, University of Texas School of Law ’64, citizen of the Chicano Nation, retired lawyer, U.S. Navy veteran,7 children, 10 grandchildren, animal rights activist, human & civil rights for all, women, children, and members of the lgbtq community included.
 Ochoa on Twitter
 Ochoa on Vimeo

The Chicago Odyssey by Bill Pendergraft

All day, all night,
the wagons roll down Huron to Northwestern Hospital.
The siren songs invite each:
one, a broken heart
another gunned down child from Englewood
one who is drinking himself to death
a lonely mother jumped onto the L.
each forlorn of us, sung onto the rocks.

And in the back, smells of sweat, piss and vomit,
bandoliers of tape and gauze
swinging bags of seawater,
whispers to strangers.
Tell him I love him.
I am afraid.
May I be forgiven.

There is a Potters field in Lincoln Park,
nameless thousands laid down there
beneath a meadow where children play.
Some smell of the great fire
others, cholera
some, war
more, work without reward.

They come all day and night.
The song is sad and sweet.
The singing has no end.

Wishing for nostalgia by Dave Hubble

Before HSE was born,
conkers and knuckles were allowed to coincide,
and triycle tumbles were stopped by a rose-bush,
palms thorned, washed and plastered,
tears wiped then outside again.
Bulldog was the playground game of choice,
or after school, 999-in,
lamp-post as base,
or kicking an old fizzy-drink tin.
True, there was the old git
who greased tree-branches
so climbing kids would fall,
but our green sticks mended quick back then
and oh the things
we posted through his letterbox.

Even before paternity leave,
it was possible to have quality father-son time,
a six-year-old’s forklift ride,
warehouse playtime,
rap-tapping on the adding machine,
each pull of the handle an arithmetic win,
sifting plumbing components in steel and brass,
that nut with that bolt,
pipes and widgets making
realworld 1:1 scale Meccano,
then each part back in its proper place.

I would have been so proud
if he’d stood up for me, just once
or better still, managed to stay his hand.

Guided Tour by Dave Hubble

Keep up, keep up – we’re not for turning back and stragglers will be left behind. No-one will be counted. You’ll have noticed there are no train or bus services here, but I think you’ll find the taxis and parking were reassuringly exploitative. Oh and don’t forget your being-alive tax – the poorer you are, the more expensive it gets. We accept all forms of payment including pensions, savings and hope – unless you’re in banking of course, then everyone else has to pay for you.

Before we start, a bit of housekeeping. Toilets are outside in keeping with Victorian values, and disabled facilities are round the back where no-one can see them. The cafeteria’s just over there – you’ll have to take your tea or coffee black because we’ve run out of milk. And remember that there won’t be quite enough food so all together now – “everyone for themselves”! Then, right after lunch, we’ve got a special ‘dictators can be your friends too’ workshop with our very convincing General Pinochet lookalike – so don’t disappear! Now, let’s get going.

On your left, nothing. On your right, by the ‘What The Establishment Figure Got Away With’ magic lantern show, you can see the pool of children’s tears, which symboli… what, yes, of course it’s covered up – we do use a lot of tarpaulins here. Tsk! Now where was I? Next you can see the stairs down to the Chamber of Politically Expedient Horrors where there are recreations of nasty things like Argentina, trade unions and miners. You can even play a game of Special Patrol Group where you hit pesky protesters with truncheons whenever they poke their heads out. Sorry? Oh, unions and miners, you can look those up in the history section later. Along with society, welfare and community.

As you can see, everything’s got a very shiny surface… excuse me, will you please stop picking at it – it’s very fragile and you’re not allowed to see what’s underneath! Ahem, as I was saying, it’s all highly polished – we, well I say we, I mean you, had to make some sacrifices to be able to afford it, but I’m sure you’ll agree it was all worth while. Nobody below the minimum income threshold is allowed in here anyway. So, if you’d like to make an offering at the Shrine of Matthew the Apostle, patron saint of financiers and tax-cuts for the rich, that would be wonderful – just pop your donations in the little Launer handbag. If you give enough you avoid entering the lottery to win a private tour of the secret garden. Yes, the one at a crossroads, surrounded by garlic, running water and UV lamps. No, I don’t know anyone’s who’s come back from there either.

In this alcove you can play our deregulated one-armed bandit. Pull the handle and credit keeps on pouring out, but you’ll have to be quick if you want to spend it, the coins soon crumble away to dust and you have to put twice as much back in. After all, they’re only made of greed and guesswork. What? Oh, yes, very good Nigel, arbeit does make some people free… as long as that’s you and someone else is doing the work? Well, quite. It’s what she would have wanted.

Anyhow, that’s all from me, and thank you for visiting the Margaret Thatcher Memorial Museum. You can exit through the nothing’s-given-in-this-life shop. It’s selfish-service. Purchases are compulsory. Choice is a myth. Goodbye.

Dave Hubble is a newcomer to Poetryland but performs regularly at events in the south of England. He has been published in places such as Rebelle Society, parkCulture and Ink, Sweat & Tears, and can be found blogging at where he also flogs his first collection ‘Subduction Zone’.

In Seattle by Dave Hubble

I might still be there

if I’d walked away into the tear-gas clouds

or hid behind a dumpster.

I could have followed her,

seen the sandstone monuments and canyons,

climbed El Capitan,

made scientific pilgrimage to my namesake.

If I had not intervened,

the border would still be open to me,

I might have watched

the towers fall first-hand,

been to The Burning Man,

but I did not walk away

to leave them beaten for a thug’s fun,

and so we drifted,

and so I met

a new and better one.

still life by Rick Richardson

artifacts arranged
chronologically –

flint and wood
allied with cordage –

sharp-edged bronze and iron
– a skull with cut marks
beside a copper
-tipped alloy bullet

on the shelf between
war and peace
and anthropology –
an anthology

– details emerge
in the painting
– killing is our nature
and dying

– a still life.

Temple Pressing by Tonya Maria

My brother and I ran away once,
and many times more…..
We slipped under the barrel
of our step dad’s
Temple pressing was…..
used the tip of
his pistol.

Will it be you or you?

We always ran hard and fast
but NEVER in fear..
We ran in wonder
….why us?

We excelled in school
and no one suspected..
the abuse

Polyester covered a lot.

Today, my brother ministers
and I,

I wander……

So true it hurts.
It hurts so much my brother prays.

At times the pain of now causes us to recall the pain of then just to ease the pain of …now.

the adjunct professor by Andrea Nicki

the adjunct professor doomed

to a premature death, disposal

never reaching tenure

or even seniority

employs the strategies

of the octopus

releases black ink

poems of protest

against her attackers

uses camouflage

blends in with her environment

unites with the sanitation workers

complains about low wages

radicalizes herself

Sour Sixteen by Ajise Vincent

In her mind are awful contempts
Mowing her emotions to decadence
Each Hour that goes forth preempts
A threnody of languorous cadence

A lass of rich adolescence
Beaten and raped by thoughtless men;
Till her impeccable semblance
Faded like a seasoned quean

Pangs abide in her magnificently
Conquering entirely her heart chambers
Urge of puberty dies apparently
Her virginity now a dirge for mourners

Sahara Blues IV by Ajise Vincent

(For Borno,Nigeria)

Another miscarriage has
betided her woes in the
womb of the oracles

Earth grandiose dusk
has swallowed light
And inundated our hamlet
with spoils of gory throes

We are now the bisected navel
of a dying chronicle; a testament hurled
to the whistling wind

For our progenitors sack of semen
has dried like arid deserts-
geriatric barrenness

And our virgins
Are now concubines
of turban tieing carnivores

what love is by Darius Molark

there be good and cool
christians too look
at me i am one with my
muslim and hindu brothers
we be spilling spiritual
gold sometimes not though
i be caught in dreams
deep unimaginable sisters
too and i don’t know
what i got ignore
this willowing of the
peak get coal dust queen
victoria that why your
children so black africkaner
you got diamonds down there
send skinny black men
months away from they families
hanging naked on a
rope in a deep cavern
the reason is always
extant and you must put
the book back then on
the library shelf coded by
google to be lifted with
one finger from my keyboard
wait perhaps look there
is the door you may leave
now i need you know more
that is what then love

look about you there is nothing left
even sky eagle says good-bye
stones are thrown, whispers crept
boxes are hurled with blackened remains
the season stalled next to
your coffeecup sitting at the cafe
she does not look across
paintings withered on the wall
leave scarred unrecoverable melodies

Cage the bird by Daniel Kemp

Cage the bird and silence its song.
Then take the lion to the dentist to extract its teeth
And give them to the loudest person lying buried beneath
The rabble of mediocracy where they cheered and laughed
As intelligence was murdered without a single gasp!

Cage the bird and silence its song,
In case its individualism disturbs the sycophants too long.

. the charm . by Sonja Benskin Mesher

passed over by accident, the
thing occured naturally,
without clerics. without beatitude.

given by friendship, yet
piety slowly eroded.

they come now with learning,
holding large words, a different language.

the charm now gone,
perhaps they did not need it any more.

once again, it is said, that,
they speak latin.


the charm