PMQs by Di Coffey

Can the Prime Minister tell us
if she gives a fuck
about the thousands relying on food banks?
And what about army vet, Bob,
who sleeps under a bridge?
Can we find a nearer treatment centre
for Lil’s kid who has mental health problems
and put an end to suicides among
the mentally ill forced to take jobs?
And can home-care be arranged for Martha
who’s been bed-blocking for months?

Is the Prime Minister aware that
the rent on Tom’s flat has increased
in parallel with his decrease in wages
and that elderly Cath, living in the sticks,
misses the library bus that
brought the world to her door?
Does the prime Minister give a damn
about London being cleansed
of unemployed families, forcing them
to live in cheaper houses up North?

Will the Prime Minister prevent
police and firemen’s jobs being cut?
What will she do about families
who work the clock around
for wages that keep them poor?
When will she say ‘piss-off’
to all the Richard Bransons
hell bent on privatising our NHS?
And when will she stop screwing the stats
to keep the poor off the radar?

Jesus said,
‘The poor you will always have with you’
Nothing’s changed then.

Cubbing by Di Coffey

The vixen crouches.

Do her fear-filled eyes

remember yesterday


when hunters,

intent on blood,

dug her young

from their earth,

tossed them to dogs?


She’ll follow instinct,

mate in winter’s depths.

A male will answer

her fecund scream;

more cubs, more “sport”

for next autumn.


So we join The League,

go on demos

and sabotage,

and sabotage

and sabotage.


Di Coffey’s poems have been widely published online and in print.
Her debut collection – a poetry pamphlet in aid of multiple sclerosis – is available from:

Undeserved by Di Coffey

Across the world the pain, the shock is lessening.

We’ve floodlit our iconic buildings in tricolour,

we’ve gathered in our famous squares to show solidarity

but tomorrow we’ll resume normal service,

go to work, help in the charity shop, look after children.


But in Paris, people are still looking for loved ones

who’ve not answered phones since the shooting began.

There’s blood on pavements, anguish in hearts

and for some children, Mum or Dad will never return,

and elderly parents mourn the child who has died before them.


And all this on a Friday night

when Paris looked forward to the weekend;

a break from working lives,

a rock concert, a meal out with friends.

No-one guessed it would end like this.

Cyber Bully by Di Coffey

I study the faces
on the school bus.
Is it her, or her, or her?
She knows me
but hides herself
with a made-up name.

On Facebook tonight
she’ll be back,
her razor-edged jeers
about my looks,
the size of my bum,
my not-cool clothes

will make me
soak loo rolls
with blood from
self-inflicted cuts,
welcome the pain
but never confess

I’m addicted to her,
that I return
night after night,
to suffer her torments,
to punish myself
for having a mum

who’s on the game,
half crazed on drugs.
The girl on Facebook
says it’s all my fault.
I ruined mum’s life
by being born.

And I believe her.

Details of Di Coffey’s first collection of poems can be found on  Profits are donated to The Multiple Sclerosis Society UK.

Forfeit by Di Coffey

War was ever thus;
created by politicians
who place uniforms
on faceless men,
push rifles in hands,
send them to kill

or be killed
in searing dust,
the smell of blood
in their nostrils,
houses and torn bodies,
war-litter on the ground.

But in my street
is the boy I watched grow up;
a cheeky, gutsy kid
who failed to find a job,
enlisted and marched
his boots into Iraq;

returned sans legs,
sans mind, sans hope
while Tony Blair,
who ignored the
marching million
protesting against the war,

planned the next one.

Di Coffey, a self-confessed old leftie, has had her poems published widely online and in print.  Profits from the sale of her poetry pamphlet, ‘The Tugboatman’s Daughter’, are being donated to The Multiple Sclerosis Society UK.

In Remembrance by Di Coffey

The young soldier winces
as rough sacking
is pulled over his head.
He smells sour wheat grains,
peers through loose weave
at a line of soldiers, restless men,
fingering their guns.

Fear gnaws his bones,
sickens his stomach
and he shudders in dawn’s mist.
Yesterday a thousand men
were blown to smithereens,
or shot, or bayonetted;
dying for King and country.

Over the top, men,
had been the order.
Up and at em.
He’d endured the boots of men
climbing over him,
heard them die,
screaming for their mothers.

He remembers running,
hiding in a barn,
puking when discovered.
Was it only yesterday?
Why had he lied about his age?
By rights, he shouldn’t be here
at The Battle of Mons.

Guns are cocked, aimed,
and Private Thomas Highgate,
at seventeen, too young
to be in his regiment,
is old enough
to be shot for cowardice.

Private Thomas Highgate was executed on September 8th, 1914.  He was the first soldier to be shot for cowardice in WW1 despite the fact he was only 16 when he lied about his age to get into the army.

Why did you Make me Hit You? by Di Coffey

How many women
are cowering today
fearful for their kids,
fearful for their lives?

Daily punch-bags
for their men;
their yellowing bruises
dismissed as ‘accidents’.

Women so damaged
they think it’s their fault,
believe viper-words,
protect reputations.

And men in suits
and overalls and thawbs
still ask,
Why did you make me hit you?

But not all men,
not my man.
And for that
I am thankful.

Poisoned Policy by Di Coffey

And this man who has MS
who can’t talk, can’t walk,
has his life
thrown into turmoil
by a demand
that he should
seek work.

From whom
should he seek a job
for fuck’s sake?
Will you employ him?
Will you?
Could you?

He didn’t ask for MS.
It crept unbidden
into his life,
stole his independence,
forced changes
he could never have imagined;
catheters, hoists into a bath,
And no more sex.

And this Tory government
torments him.
Sees it as their public duty
to do so;
They fail to check
the veracity
of his claim for help,
send the troubled man
more trouble – more stress.

They don’t do it in my name
but how can he know this?