Ruth Aylett

Ruth Aylett

Ruth Aylett lives and works in Edinburgh and has been a political and trade union activist since her teens.

Gaza burns
Tuesday, 10 October 2023 10:32

Eyeless

Published in Poetry

Eyeless

by Ruth Aylett

They bombed other people’s houses
in Gaza, fish-in-a-barrel
so we sold them some more bombs

agreed that those others
were terrorists
so the world was probably
better off without them
agreed that the planes
had done everything possible
to avoid civilian casualties
and sold them some more bombs

agreed that they had every right
to defend themselves against
fish in barrels
who after all were terrorists,
had only themselves to blame
and we sold them some more bombs

But answer me this
what life must you have lived
to be a terrorist aged eight
or an elderly woman terrorist
aged sixty or a doctor
in the clinic that must have been
hiding terrorists
or they wouldn’t have bombed it
would they?

and tell me how fish in a barrel
can swim away when the bombs fall

My Liverpool Home
Thursday, 03 August 2023 07:52

My Liverpool Home

Published in Poetry

My Liverpool home

by Ruth Aylett

Made by a funnel-shaped Mersey
whose bottlenecked tides scoured
the sand that did for Chester;
made by blood money
lives of the enslaved, ground
down into the riches of sugar.

The quick wits of a port city,
though no port now,
no merchantmen sailing for Rio;
the Three Graces sit marooned
and the Liverbird looks down its beak
on a Pierhead of museums and tourists.

Dissed by a London elite that hates
the zero deference, verbal aggression,
the live current that
shocks the status quo.
Scouse city, reds and blues, refuse
to shrivel, fade, piss-off. And will
never ever buy that rag.