Poetry

Mine, and occasionally others'.

Tolpuddle Festival Online

Tolpuddle 2020
18/07/2020 - 19:30

It's the Saturday night when Janine would usually be on stage in the Tolpuddle Unplugged tent at the annual Martyrs' Festival. So, of course, this year she will be appearing in the online version.

Bradford Fringe Festival: Poetry's Not F*cking Boring

Poetry's Not F*cking Boring
26/07/2020 - 19:30

Poetry's Not Fu**ing Boring is back at Bradford Fringe Festival

This year with a livestream featuring a variety of poets including Bradford's very own Nick Toczek as well as Janine Booth, Alex Asher, Keiron Higgins, Bernie the Bolt and a whole lot of others too many to fit in this blurb. We hope to entertain you with rhymes, rants and underground poetry during these strange and rather difficult times.

Your Place

Joe at his flat

Last year, I wrote a poem (a pantoum) called 'This Place' about visiting my son in the adolescent psychiatric unit where he spent four months (read it here).

He now has his own flat, living independently with support. So I decided to write a follow-up poem of the same length in the same style, hoping that this will illustrate the wonderful progression.

Free Osime Brown!

Osime Brown

Teenage, British, black, autistic

Prosecuted by the Crown

Against the evidence, convicted

- Free, oh free him: Osime Brown

 

From care to care, from place to place

Twenty-eight times moved around

Neglected, let down, failed, displaced

- Free, oh free him: Osime Brown

 

Fearing exile to Jamaica

Left at four, it's unknown ground

Prison cell a spirit breaker

One And All

All Lives Matter

When my team lost to a goal in the last five minutes of the match from a free kick that should never have been given and got relegated and my face went down with them, you didn't tell me that all football clubs matter.

Slaughterer in the Water

Edward Colston

Action seen in Bristol
Is truly unforgettable
Poor old Slaver Colston
No longer on his pedestal

Colston was a slaver,
A taker not a giver
Protesters did a favour
Now Colston's in the river

We can't go to the boozer
We can't go to the barber
But we can tear that slaver down
And chuck him in the harbour

Bearing Down

George Floyd memorial

The white
power cap
on the top
of the head
of the cop
with his knee
on the neck
of the man
on the floor
by the pass-
enger door

Who said please
I can't breathe
and who called
for his mum
stopped responding
went numb
but still
bore the knee
and the weight
and the hate
of the cop
who still
wouldn't stop

Da Capa al Coda

Riots in Minneapolis following police murder of George Floyd

They held a peaceful protest
People didn't notice
Nothing changed

Then they rioted and burned
The world watched and learned,
views exchanged

The respectable people said
Their cause is just,
but why must they riot?

Why don't they hold
a peaceful protest?

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