For Chester Council by Gray Nicholls

First it was Hackney
Then Chester
Armed with their sharp pencils
Like traffic wardens
Gone wrong,
Paint brushing them
Down the street with
Spot down fines
In flaming bonnets
Picking apart their despair
With the air of dentists
Failing to realise totally
If they had also had
That amount of money
They wouldn’t be
Where they were.
(Source from 
Chester rough sleeping ban plan criticised by homeless – BBC News)

Enclosure by Gray Nicholls

(For the homelessness in Hackney)

Drilling towards the sun
Unbolting with magnetic faces

Stained in a threatened
Impossible justice

Breeze frisked

Thrown away with invisible keys

Waiting for hope

Flicked into oblivion

So glad this impossible law
Threatening to fine them
For sleeping on the street

And the tube stations

And under shop stores

Just because they had
No where else to go

Was thrown under the next train.

 (Inspired by

Hung out to Dry by Gray Nicholls

Altitudes unfigured
Adroitly measured
Doubling in the distance

Peering into scenes
From ancient books

Ripening in prophesies
Trespassing on our future

Buried under bent grass

Hung high even now
Even in the shadows

Creaking into silence
Like going out to your own funeral
Left out to dry.


(For Michael Gove – wrote after reading this article)