Four poems by Dave Medd



Draw me a laughing Word I can chuckle at.
Draw me a joke with halo and wings
I can cackle at. In your great witness,
draw me a holy guffaw from your boots
or the bile of my belly.

Draw me the rape of reverence. Draw me
a man with a beard, a cross and an ark
full of rainbows. Draw me pillars of good
intentions, columns of justice. Draw me
his engines of comic dominion.

Draw me a child whose head your pen
can explode like a diagram.
Draw me a Laugh
I can strap to my wheels like a butterfly.
Draw me a heretic smile whose punchline
squibs flame like Roman Candles.

Draw me a Laugh I can wear on my sleeve,
a Laugh I can crucify with ridiculous
nails. Draw me a Laugh
on the business end of a missile. Draw me
a landmine of obscene hilarity.

Draw me a Laugh whose Name may never be
spoken. Draw, with a lopped-off hand,
a severed head in your absurd
desert, fused and ticking,

Draw me a laughing god whose crimson
tears boil as she weeps.

Children Without Voices


I wear this medal lightly in my brain
stamped with hate, cast in the barrel of a Colt
……..forty-five. Ribbon lines
flare blood fears at my fevered fault,
daring mysteries of math and mind.

I’ll be no follower, no hidden slave
behind the black. Scarlet, blue and gold
……..explode my empty grave –
only the silence died. Songs unfolding
race through deserts in a hunter’s wave.

I’ll paint my hands with henna for the wedding,
not with butterflies to dance on rain
……..or flowers for her bidding,
but with a calculus that measures change
and a formula for agents in the bleeding.

I was a child of paradise, whose river
ran with souls of garbage like a drain.
……..I’ll weep by no man’s sewer
shedding tears of impotence and rain
to irrigate his darkness like a lover.

I’ll sing my song for children without voices;
I’ll paint my hands for freedom to be wise.
……..Fear the fall of darkness
but fear of fear that stills and petrifies
won’t murder me, nor love that kills in kindness.

My mind is sprung and locked on to their target
over the water. Who would fear the child,
……..her life already forfeit?
Star-bound, she runs their ragged wild,
out-flies time with tesseracts and bullets.

Awards and fairies frame their grown-up wisdom
while gardens of verses riot in their market.


The Woman In Suruc


Tall as a storm in the desert, swathed ankle to neck
in red and white check, she is the crimson ring
where armies manoeuvre.
They double-cross her chessboard sacred quick,
wrangling for a chance to kill the king.

Living geometry, daughter of good earth,
inherits deep, atomic stars’
parabola joys.
No Euclid with his compass might deduce,
nor Moore nor Epstein imitate her worth.

The printed scarf winds her woman’s hair
tight as a skull, black as the stain of tar.
Defending from desert
storms of obsession, veiled beauty’s terror
flaunts riches of unsainted prayer.

Tight in her arms, the angry boy in black
stares over her shoulder; he sees what is coming.
Men squat on rolls of bedding
around her naked feet, flopped in a pack,
rags of outmoded clutter of possession.

All clarity is lost beyond her Form.
Definition shatters into pixels
like sums of care.
That black scrunch is a knot of angry counsel,
all but breaking her neck with a host of harms.

A Biblical Error


Why won’t they hear me singing, mother?
What is a poor girl to do?
Only a man may sing to god child.
Woman’s voice taboo.

Where are my desk and my books, mother?
Why are my papers burning?
You have a womb and breasts, my beauty,
why must you hunger for learning?

But what have they done with my office, mother,
my tablet, my pager, my phone?
You frighten them with your spreadsheets, lovely.
Girls perform best in the home.

And why, when I go to the church and kneel,
do they tell me my prayers are obscene?
It’s only that you’ve been bleeding, my treasure,
and that makes their temple unclean.

So who are these six bold men and true,
with lust like an iron bar?
What are they trying to do with me mother?
How did it get this far?

They are sons of the fathers of men, my child,
prophets, priests and kings;
hunters of flesh, lovers of steel.
Their embrace is a terrible thing.

So who is this driving our bus, mother,
our dark charabanc of the dead?
A man who’s deaf to the hate in his heart,
a biblical error, by god.

Now all the policemen are turning away,
I’m dying as fast as I can.
They’re afraid of a taint in the air, and a stain
on the uniform of man.

Your body was perfect for basting, my sweetheart,
for kitchens and baking and brine.
You had no place at the altar,
not with the bread and the wine.

Then I’ll put on my purple shroud, mother,
my sacrament armour of blood,
and bathe myself in the terrible tears
of the Womanhood of God.


Dave Medd was born in Hull in 1951. In 1965 he discovered folk music, Bob Dylan and Dylan Thomas, in that order, since when he has been writing poems. He taught various subjects for forty years and has written songs, short stories and musical dramas for young teenagers. He has completed the drafts of two children’s novels. His work has been published in Poetry North East, Outposts, Orbis, Dream Catcher and The Coffee House. He has been invited to read his poems at The Stanza. He now lives and writes in Rothbury, in the heart of Northumberland, where he also plays the Northumbrian pipes.

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