Femen by Andrew Scotson

Finger depresses the key,
send …
one…
two…
with a deep breath
three…
Facebook finds and
then reveals to a waiting
world, our young woman,
centre stage.

Reclined on leather,
scarlet lips, black eyeliner,
tanned skin, thin, half naked,
cigarette held in that
oh so disregarded French
actress pose,
in black Arabic letters
across her breathing
flesh:

“my body belongs to me,
it is not the source of
anyone’s honour”

Tunisia awakes,
eyes blinking as the message sparks,
Islamic men march,
stone her, lash her,
angry faces behind furious beards.

Screaming against freedom
as one girl reclaims
her birth right and body,
grasping back ownership
of a beating heart.

The Fosse by Andrew Scotson

Cold fingers undo the laces
one last time, thick mud
pulled away, stud marked
to the changing room floor.

Blue shirt leaves his thin torso
he turns, laughs, tries to forget.
The papers come, last game,
tomorrow to leave Leicester.

For France, for Belgium,
fighting someone he didn’t know
he didn’t like, for someone
he doesn’t know or care about.

Through bullet and blast wind
the boy runs for his life,
over dirt mixed with blood,
past wire and crater deep.

Till one random shot
ends the match
and twenty one years
becomes his full time.

Neither Left Nor Right by Andrew Scotson

Fingers fail, aching grip releases,
rushing tarmac rises to greet
thin body breaks and bounces
to a sticky standstill,
on a crossing by a border
not even sure which country can claim.

From the deserts by dingy,
across the alps by foot,
through fences under twilight
and past dogs by stealth.

The lorry that leaves him
doesn’t even notice the loss,
the blood stain is erased by dawn
as the body count nudges up.

A young boy in Calais
whose father has gone
waits for a letter
or a call that won’t come.

We talk of numbers
and overwhelming amounts,
an influx of aliens
and who will settle these accounts.

Down the Line by Andrew Scotson

Son of a slave
now his country has need
and he owns his own
picket fence and blue wooden house.

His thin body in sleeveless vest,
arms muscled and strong,
face bearded and marked by worry,
his hands tend to clench
the fists are never far.

His girls cower in the corridor
while he guards the threshold,
the insurance man,
fat, young and white
waits on the step
access denied.

When you whip a man into submission
then release your grip
it takes a long time
for trust to return.

Tangled Roots by Andrew Scotson

Manacles fasten the goods to the floor,
days spent picking cotton,
nights stilled by chains.

The deep song stirs the shed
as they remember a spiritual home,
heart and sinew weep,
cloudy eyed for a land far away.

The year is 2015,
a dreadlocked old lady
remembers the whips and the bloody stripes,
hoping against hope.

She see’s one more black boy
surrounded by cowboys,
life leaking away,
a boot stamps,
a hand gun is waved.

Rap replaces the christian song,
young anger rises
in this ancient people
as once again they plan to break free.

Saturday Night Special by Andrew Scotson

Three fly ridden bundles twist,
dangle roped to the bridge,
niggers from the night before,
while the river
washes away the dirt.
As the white folks gawp,
smoke cigarettes and laugh
Saturday night entertainment southern style.

The flash of the camera
captures the postcard,
they send the image nationwide
attaching the ten cent stamp.
The mail franks with the stars and stripes
and the legend is official.

Now 2015 Toni thumbs the page,
grey haired, grand voiced
she speaks like the storyteller she is,
recounting the history of her nation,
a documentary of what one tribe
can do to another.