I am not a politician by Andy Brown

I am not a politician
I do not apologise for truth
I accept consequence of actions
I will not recommend negative events
I positively acknowledge my weaknesses
I am not polished, pristine, politically perfect
I welcome diversity in all nature, beauty and form
Vulnerability accepted, cradled, acknowledged
Negative events not encouraged or glorified
Consequences of my decisions accepted
Truth forever mine, no apologies given
The Grandad From Knowle West
Sharing my life on the estate
Writing change to educate
I am not a politician

Political Gout by Andy Brown

My pain comes from the right, I can see it staring with red
rage at my questioning gaze. A red patch on the side of
my right foot, sometimes it appears to move inwards
but the pain remains the same as soon as I put any
weight upon the swollen patch. I have tried to
take a tablet for it but always had problems
swallowing, digestion is never an easy
issue for me, must continually chew
yet a paper instruction commands
me to swallow without thought.
The left foot remains stable
and firm a perfect counterbalance
for the pain that shoots through me every
time I place weight upon the inflamed digits.
It is so easy to walk a straight transparent path
when I realise what I must carry, share, apportion.
Panacea prescription for gout is healthier diet regime.

Is this Freedom? by Andy Brown

I am strength in surrender

I am roar inside whimper

I am acceptance of hate

I am blind in sight

I am numb with feeling

I am safe in my nightmare

I am voice in silence

I am cheek that accepts

I am bruises of your love

I am knowledge of doubt

I am laughter in misery

I am escape by closure

I am sure in uncertainty

I am pain when you smile

July 2016 by Andy Brown

I wade into dark water

I cannot swim


I live in bleakness

I do not blink


I exist in eddies of experience

I will not explore


I pray pleasures of prison

I cannot swim


I know addiction as an ally

I do not blink


I sense sanctuary of the cave

I will not explore


I caress, claw, contemplate suicide

I cannot swim


I flatter fetid floor of my failure

I do not blink


I fear success and solitude

I will not explore


I drown in defined darkness

I do not swim, blink or explore

A Sonnet to Free Benefit by Andy Brown

Benefit; confusing word oft used, seldom heard or understood as if it ever could be something
good that perhaps should be celebrated not calibrated by government.
Internment was another designed to smother those that could not agree how the state should
be free; through conditions ascribed, opportunities proscribed, of how to live and give within
the norm and form of a perfect storm of oppression. 

Now, again, there is a need for love to seed, to patch the thatch of the roof of truth that
shelters the helter-skelter and merry go round found in a dripping sieve of media that gives a
tributary of fear where compassion will completely disappear into an ugly pool of aggression.

 But wait, we can choose how to live and know why to give is only ever the right decision,
snuff out the light that ignites the fight of those who live for derision, those that are weak,
that only ever seek to feel the sickly heel of fear that cannot hear the call of those that are free
to only ever welcome the refugee, those of us, the sum of the welcome, a few who are true to
the soul of the Great British nation that offers salvation to give lie to manipulation of how we
should live or give in this land of ours where we should always be free to accept the refugee.


First published in Militant Thistles 2015.

Austerity’s Villanelle by Andy Brown

It is all very well championing austerity

while so many people are poor

but can somebody please tell me how poverty equals prosperity


when rent-raising landlords lack compassion or humility

and claimants are sanctioned by fifty-pound law?

It is all very well championing austerity


when those that are in power are a minority

that cut, trash and sever by departmental claw

but can somebody please tell me how poverty equals prosperity?


What hope is there for the majority

who know lack of a goal means no prospect to score?

It is all very well championing austerity


whilst a hungry belly gives no serenity

and you can’t trust those who you vote for

but can somebody please tell me how poverty equals prosperity?


How on earth do they have the temerity

to squash their opposition to the floor?

It is all very well championing austerity

but can somebody please tell me how poverty equals prosperity?


First published in the Militant Thistles.

I am Andy Brown (not the famous one from Exeter, another one!), an ex-prisoner, recovering addict and winner of community regeneration award who performs under the title of The Grandad from Knowle West.