Mine, and occasionally others'.
Rather to my surprise, this little poem of mine won a place as a 'featured entry' on Hour of Writes for the theme Winter of Love, and will be published in its magazine, Ephemera:
'Tis the season for reckless folly
To deck Mr Hall from Accounts
For showing you how his sausage rolls
'Tis the season for making out
You've a large and loving family
With perhaps the odd eccentric
Looks like this, does it, liberation?
Isolated from supplies, routes closed, blown from the skies
Barrel bombs bowled along alleys
Enclaved civilians tweet from their graves, farewells from beneath
Rubble, the stones where their homes used to be
Aleppo cries, crumbles, defeated, they see
Tyranny returning, triumphant, burning
Inhabitants gathered, culled, or running for their lives
Out of the city, fleeing as they wouldn't if they had actually been freed
No, this is not what liberation looks like.
While identical in its pathology to general breast cancer, Big Breast Cancer has its own peculiar symptoms and foibles.
Big breast cancer:
Basically, biologically, clinically
Bog-standard breast cancer
But brings complications
Bad bastard cells
Build big clumps
Burrowed, buried, concealed
Beneath buxom cover
Before being caught
The NHS is not another country
Going to clinic's not a trip abroad
Its purpose is for treating not for hunting
No frontiers from reception to the ward
I have to cross the town not cross the oceans
A hospital's no tourist trap now, is it?
Rather than the needles, stitches, lotions
So many other sites I'd rather visit
Not smuggling drugs nor medicines nor pills in
The staff are healers, they're not border guards
I've nothing to declare except my illness
I don't send postcards, I get Get Well cards
- They treat my sickness not my shade of skin
- Why should I need a passport to get in?
Attila the Stockbroker writes in his Morning Star column:
After the French gigs on Wednesday and Thursday I came back to Cambridge yesterday for a trades council gig with a very brave and talented woman.
I first met Janine Booth in 1983 when, aged 16, she interviewed me for her fanzine Blaze the evening after Brighton had beaten Sheffield Wednesday to reach the FA Cup final for the first and only time in our history.
She turned into a fine performance poet who joined our ranting ranks in the mid-’80s and then went off to work on the London Underground, become an RMT activist and have three lovely sons with her partner, fellow RMT militant John Leach.
She's marked her again and the scars will preserve it
She's causing her pain 'cause she thinks she deserves it
She isn't a file on a case worker's shelf
She isn't self-harming, she's harming herself
Hyphen, inversion may make it sound neater
Straight like the burns from the bars on the heater
She's the subject, the object, the hurter, the hurt
The rejecter, the reject, the victim, the perp
"If a man ever raised his hand to me
I'd be gone."
Roars and applause from the studio audience
Put the shame-faced guest in her place
And the waves of clapping
Wash the blame
From him to her
Written on the occasion of the Labour Party's campaign day for the NHS.
It isn't my humour
That sees off my tumour
Or my banter and mocking derision
It isn't my laugh
But the medical staff
And their caring, their skills, their precision
Once more with apologies to Leonard Cohen ...
It never was a secret plan
The rise to power of Macho Man
He never used a subtle schmooze to woo you
Behold the hero of the hour
The billionaire who fought the power
The phoney rebel called out Hallelujah
Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah