Without Permission by Paul Brookes

he walked on her grass,
uprooted her wild flowers,

She says “Don’t touch
without asking. It’s abuse.

Stop it. No means no!”
Fantasies of ravagement

on both sides who know
these are merely fantasies

that should never be public
so a no becomes yes,

and abuse pleasurable. Always safe
words agreed beforehand.

Always taken too far, control
and power corrupt.

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An Inappropriate Life by Paul Brookes

Born inappropriate to this inappropriate world
this inappropriate earth I learned how to be inappropriate

in school, met a lass
who said she was inappropriately ready

to be inappropriately wed, so we inappropriately married
after three months of inappropriate courting

she bore inappropriately our first kid
after six months whilst I worked inappropriately

in inappropriate employment
Promoted inappropriately  to inappropriate manager

so we bought our first inappropriate home,
furnished inappropriately, after decorating inappropriately.

I had an inappropriateallottment  where I grew inappropriate carrots and potatoes and cabbages.

She died inappropriately after seven years inappropriately fighting
lung cancer. I never remarried inappropriately

Bring up our second child inappropriately
tell her inappropriate dream stories of our inappropriate love inappropriate life.

Slavery by Paul Brookes

is good for you. All folk
should be chained,

manacled to a mortgage,
to work, to an employer

a partner. Freedom denies
your human rights. Slavery

teaches you the meaning of life.
Demands you act properly. 

Constrains you to common sense,
sets out a wild world of imagination 

creativity and invention. Freedom
is too wishy washy. Lock 

and load your chains. Don’t let
loose and free your mind. Freedom 

is heavy, restricts, denies movement
of blood, bone and brain. 

Become a slave and see our world
with new eyes, fresh perspectives.

Hopelessness Is Life by Paul Brookes

Only the hopeless live.
Only hopelessness makes you smile.
When all hopelessness is gone
then you will grieve at the loss.
There are three streets we can go down,
Faithlessness, Hopelessness and Selfishness
Without one of these the others cannot exist.
There must always be hopelessness
in the best of times. It reminds us of an edge
to life. Surrender to hopelessness
and all will be well. It is the force that drives
all that is worthwhile and good.

Guns Are (From A World Where 2) by Paul Brookes

good. Make you feel safe.
Make you more responsible,

like your own child. Nobody
hurts my child. I’ll shoot anyone

that does. My child needs
a decent education. Some shooter

Who wants to be famous kills
my little one in lessons.

I’m glad I’ve got my gun
so I can kill the shooter

and his family. Guns are good.
Make folk sit up and listen.

A Bridge by Paul Brookes

anastomosis [ah-nas″to-mo´sis] (pl. anastomo´ses) (Gr.)

It is bin day. Sound of breaking glass.

A vein.

between places,
one person and another,
you and your kids
a busy crossing between beliefs.
from wick to ash.
full to empty.

Broken, blocked, under investigation.

No link, information dammed,
Adamant your side is right,
other side apostate.
Bloodied metal sends a message,
via media bridges.

Bins must be wheeled back to their places.

Our Mobiles by Paul Brookes

(inspired by Cath Campbell)

are in the shape
of small graves
for children
who mine the precious
metal inside
that makes them work
and you look
into the screen
to stay connected
but do not see
their gritted lives
as they haul
the valuable
out of the hole
and the world
has never been
so connected
by the small grave
you carry in your pocket.

Deliberate Death of a Conformist by Paul Brookes

I insist I nodded in agreement
at all they accused me of.

I refuse to make a spectacle of myself.
I will not protest. I agree with all

the folk in power do. I always obey
the law. Drive correctly. I want

an easy life. No hassle. Why am I
guilty? Whatever it is I did it.

They tell me -That’s too easy.
You must have done something worse.

If we told you to jump out
of that window would you do it?

So I did. Now they arrest me again,
-You caused a public disturbance.

-I agree I say. – There must be something
You don’t agree with they say -No I reply.

– If we told you you died in that fall,
and this police station is heaven – I agree

Immigrant Tongues by Paul Brookes

closed mouths

welcome occupation

of tongue by tongue

gypsy together

enrich each private space

breath ripens

restless unsettling in

make a home in us

shape our tongue

their tongue entwines

with ours

 

*

Paul Brookes was in poetry performance group “Rats for Love” and is in their “Rats for Love: The Book” Bristol Broadsides, 1989. His first chapbook “The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley” by Dearne Community Arts, 1993. He has read his work on BBC Radio Bristol and had a creative writing workshop for sixth formers broadcast on BBC Radio Five Live. Recently published in Ekphrastic Review, Red Fez, The Bees Are Dead, The Beatnik Cowboy, Clear Poetry, and others.

I’m Just About by Paul Brookes

managing between the barricades.

My kids play between sniper targets.

 

I fetch the shop through broken

buildings perforated by gunshot,

 

past cars jammed across streets.

 

I’m just about managing between regimes.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/nov/20/just-about-managing-families-to-be-2500-a-year-worse-off-by-2020-study?CMP=share_btn_tw

 

Paul Brookes was in poetry performance group “Rats for Love” and is in their “Rats for Love: The Book” Bristol Broadsides, 1989. His first chapbook “The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley” by Dearne Community Arts, 1993. He has read his work on BBC Radio Bristol and had a creative writing workshop for sixth formers broadcast on BBC Radio Five Live. Recently published in Ekphrastic Review, Red Fez, The Bees Are Dead, The Beatnik Cowboy, Clear Poetry, and others.

The World is an Abbatoir by Paul Brookes

Blood and guts flow

down gunnels

into the fires.

 

We all hold the gun,

the knife

to the animal’s head.

 

We all watch the flesh shake.

We all smell the burning.

We all wash our clothes,

our skin, the image

from our eyes.

 

How to contain

the splatter of another’s life

as we take that life away.

 

Paul Brookes has performed in poetry performance group “Rats for Love” and is included in their “Rats for Love: The Book” Bristol Broadsides, 1989. His first chapbook “The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley” by Dearne Community Arts, 1993. He has read his work on BBC Radio Bristol and had a creative writing workshop for sixth formers broadcast on BBC Radio Five Live.

Burning Issue by Paul Brookes

Aid convoy burns.

OMG a long time married

celebrity couple divorces

 

Help smoulders.

What could have broken the

marriage?

 

Care fatigue

turns our eyes.

 

Paul Brookes has been published in many magazines in the south west. He performed as a member of the poetry in performance group “Rats for Love” and his work was included in their 1989 publication “Rats for Love: The Book” by Bristol Broadsides His first chapbook published in 1993 was “The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley” by Dearne Community Arts.
His website is thewombwellrainbow@wordpress.com

“Why, Dad?” by Paul Brookes

It happens a lot.

I look up to see

a soldier

with the butt of his rifle

move Dad forward.

“Why, Dad?”

“They don’t know where

we belong.” He says.

 

Paul Brookes has been published in many magazines in the south west. He performed as a member of the poetry in performance group “Rats for Love” and his work was included in their 1989 publication “Rats for Love: The Book” by Bristol Broadsides

His first chapbook published in 1993 was “The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley” by Dearne Community Arts

His website is thewombwellrainbow@wordpress.com