Media Demons by Maggie Mackay


the avalanche of hunger in the Med

bellies sore, babes’ thirst, stunned stares

hunger for an English speaking land



the mirage of homecoming on beat-up coastlines

confinement in our brave new camps

repression thick-embedded in our tabloid puns

undertones, careless talk they deserve their fate

the terror of the poor, the smugglers’ greed



the mob mouths pay your way, we pay too much tax

ten pounds to see a doctor? thirty six to feed a refugee?

Beware stories. Don’t believe all you read:

roamers without papers living off the state

scapegoat innocents. workers from the world’s ends,

evaders of all sorts, Brits in the mix



the sick and old, the arrhythmic heartbeat

where’s your wheelchair, then?

the shirkers, the baffled, the losers, you

the neighbour’s cold smile, the insult in the street

how do we pay for all this?

Shylock’s cry, do we not bleed, the human race.


Maggie Mackay, a Scot with wanderlust, a love of jazz and a good malt, has published in Still Me…(, winner of the Writers’ Circle Anthology Award 2014, with work in various publications including Open Mouse, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Bare Fiction, The Interpreter’s House ,Obsessed with Pipework, Prole, I am not a Silent Poet, The Screech Owl and Three Drops in a Cauldron and forthcoming in The Linnet’s Wings. She is a second year MA student at Manchester Metropolitan University, and a co-editor of Word Bohemia (

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