Routine excuses, by Stephen Daniels

‘The happiness of most people is not ruined by great catastrophes or fatal errors, but by the repetition of slowly destructive little things’ – Ernest Dimnet

But I didn’t break today.

I wanted to break around 11am.
But I needed to finish that report.

I thought I might break at 2pm.
But then I had a meeting.

It seemed I would break at 5pm.
But the kids needed food.

I was ready to break at 10pm.

But politics, austerity, gender discrimination, racism, obesity, nationalism, buttons, egos, the legal system, Lords – oh lordy lords, the 52%, PIPs, the casual decline of social standards, refugees, big hands, experts, small hands, democracy, drowning, poems – so many poems, stereotypes, capitalism, identity, gender identity, national identity, my identity, and did I leave the back door unlocked.

Tomorrow I will find the time to break.


Stephen Daniels is the editor of Amaryllis Poetry. His poetry has been published in numerous magazines and websites. His pamphlet ‘Tell Mistakes I Love Them’ was published in 2017 by V. Press. His second pamphlet “£5 for this love’ will be published later this year by Paper Swans Press.

The roof over our head by Stephen Daniels

This lofty position offers no consolation
for a weighted opinion, heavier than a ballot box.

These roofs are built too high
to climb down, ladders out of reach.

One vote used to equal one vote,
but now I can see it is worth less.

An exchange rate of diminishing returns,
poverty continues to climb,

real returns are captured
in matured earnings.

The charts trend upwards
when turned upside down,

the long-term figure is positive
through post-truth lenses.

Meanwhile, I am up on the roof
refusing to hum Drifters songs,

sneering at the people below,
who later I will break,

as I land – from my ever declining
set of options and eroded principles,

which rush at me faster,
the further I fall.

Grey by Stephen Daniels

It starts with a slow charge

annoyance after annoyance

a desert of sense

turns into a dust trace

of heavy hooved thumps.


It ends with wrinkled decay of justice

Grey men decide thick sentences

Skin crusts, where once

there was plenty to admire

Horns sound empty regret.



Stephen Daniels is a marketing director and the editor of Amaryllis Poetry ( His poetry has been published or is upcoming, in various online magazines and websites, including Ink Sweat & Tears, And Other Poems, and The Fat Damsel. You can find out more at @stephendaniels

Virus by Stephen Daniels

They entered together,

the intruders.

‘I don’t know why

you make me feel so uncomfortable’

Racism screamed.


The sickness overwhelmed

as she wretched chunks of disgrace.

“Parasites! All of you”

He defended and looked at his wife.

Who was already dead,

beaten into a grave.


Her skin black, not blue,

definitely not any other colour.


That wouldn’t be right.



Accusation by Stephen Daniels

The play was touching,

we stayed in the game.


Our bodies vacillate with tension,

straying close, but never further.


The rules were always clear,

sirens rightfully imposed.


Experience had jagged scissors,

cutting questions left nothing.


Friends sliced by lies,

distrusted hands plea persistently.


Peeled eyes, like faulty monitors,

repeat daily on the screens.