Housing

Why is a safe place to sleep not a basic human right? Because capitalism will only let you have a house if you pay for it and not everyone can pay for it. Poems and articles about housing and homelessness.

Affordable Home

house make of cash

Apartments and unfurnished
Flats rented or retailed for a small
Fortune, unfortunately unaffordable
Out of the price range, out of
Reach of those who need a place to call 'fixed abode'
Dictionary defines 'affordable'
Adjective: within one's financial means; not
Beyond the budget; not so dear that
Landed gentry and lottery lucksters only need apply for
Extensive, expensive accommodation eloquently extolled as 'affordable': adjective

'Having a cost that is not too high', too
Opulent, over-the-top, off-the-scale, or obviously obscene
Market-mangled meaning strangles
English language

Hackney Gardens, London E8

Homeless man sleeps under Luxury Apartment hoarding

This site was a nursery
next to the municipal mortuary
Council care from the cradle to the grave
with alphabets and sing-alongs and rhymes
Once upon a time

Then they closed it.

Next it became a unit where the students
the schools had driven up the walls
were taken to be straightened out
or at least kept away from trouble

Then they closed it. And sold the site.

Poems for Grenfell Tower: review

POETIC JUSTICE?

by Janine Booth

A wise person once said that when there is a tragedy, a lot of poetry is written. The Grenfell Tower fire is no exception, as the new anthology, 'Poems for Grenfell Tower’ illustrates.

But the Grenfell Tower fire was not just a ‘tragedy’: it was an entirely avoidable mass killing, in which people died because they were working-class, in a building that had been clad in flammable material to save money and improve the view for its rich Kensington neighbours. Many of the poems in this book reflect that truth. It is an angry book as well as a sad one.

About Disaffected Middle-aged Women

Disaffected youth have long been the folk devils of society: feral, angry and disobedient; and simultaneously neglected, mistreated and alienated. The conservative establishment fears their rebelliousness crashing into its comfortable political world. 
But is there another demographic which that same establishment would be well-advised to fear? Enter the Disaffected Middle-aged Women. Underpaid, pushed around, stressed out - and fighting back!
Janine Booth’s new collection brings together forty-something poems from the midst of maturity. They tell life stories and cautionary tales. They invite you to look at well-known stories from a different point of view. They watch television, stroll along the river, listen to music, work night shifts and ponder life’s scars. They take on issues including climate change, overbearing advertising, terror attacks, violence against women, the Grenfell Tower fire and the rise of the right. 
Many of these poems rhyme, some don’t. Some are formal – including a sonnet, a villanelle and a sestina – but most have a rhythm and style of their own. 
Janine Booth writes to amuse, to provoke thought, and to cheer on important struggles. Now, with the Disaffected Middle-aged Women, she is raising an army – and entertaining the troops.

A Grenfell Nativity

Expectant families
in temporary digs
waiting for a miracle
Led here by a burning star
and a government demand
to be counted

Drawing the short straw
bedding down in the stalls
Because there's no room
in the inner workings
of the political economy
for them

Watched over by
donkeys and sheep
Interrupted sleep
Silent night
Keeping the light on

Scales of Injustice

Pick up the leaflet
pick up a pen
Rate on a scale of nil to ten
how broken is your heart
how much your life is rent apart
Rate your mental state
Is it three or six or eight?

Rate on a scale of nil to ten
Where nil is
I don't give a toss about them'
And ten is
'I'll never feel intact again'

Bring It Home

Bring help
Bring fire engines
Bring water
Bring air
Bring stretchers
Bring ambulances
Bring us round from sleep and out to safety

Bring food 
Bring clothes
Bring blankets
Bring camp beds
Bring phone chargers so we can find our friends and family 
And tell them that we made it

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