Ey Mister Lan'Lor'!
Tuesday, 17 May 2022 01:19

Ey Mister Lan'Lor'!

Published in Poetry

Ey Mister Lan’Lor’!

by Mike Jenkins, with image by Gus Payne

Tell me, Mister Lan’lor’
wha yew doin t me?
Jest me an my kid
tryin t make ends meet.
I work like a dog
a collie chasin sheep,
I’m on yewer leash.

Carn afford no car,
train fares always goin up,
food prices beyond
‘lectric’s the same –
yew wan’ us t end
up on-a street?

Ey Mister Lan’lor’
I know yew gotta make money,
buh yew goh more ouses
than I goh GCSEs
an I done tidee
even though I work in Tragos.

Yew ever gone without?
Gone to a foodbank?
Secon’ thoughts I’m more like a sheep,
with yew snappin us inta pens.
Wha’s-a fewture, eh?
Some ewman blydi abbatoir?

Waiting to Run a Raindrop Machine
Tuesday, 17 May 2022 01:19

Waiting to Run a Raindrop Machine

Published in Poetry

Waiting to Run a Raindrop Machine

by Fred Voss

The weather forecast says it may finally rain today
and a machinist throws open the big steel overhead door
and waits
munching an apple and looking out at the sky
then another machinist
and another
and another walk over to stand at the door until 5 machinists have left their machines
and are looking out
at the sky
as this drought and global warming
get worse and worse
after all our surface grinders raising clouds of steel dust
our vertical milling machines
shaving steel blocks until they smoke
our brown cutting oil and razor-sharp carbide steel cutting edges and humming motors
and solid tool steel machinist squares and trigonometry tables
after all the parts we machinists have made out of hard hard steel
isn’t it strange our lives hang on something soft
as a raindrop
the beauty in the wet leaves atop the trees
in a rain forest
the paws of polar bears and lions that need to go on walking
this earth
a bee
buzzing over a yellow flower Vincent Van Gogh showing us why
a starry night
is enough to live for a poem
as important
as all the pyramids on Egyptian sands or rockets
to Mars
and I go to stand with those machinists at that overhead door
the way men since the Stone Age have always stood when they knew their lives depended
on water
from the sky
if only these were machine handles we could grab to turn wind
and sun
into electricity
maybe those raindrops would fall
and fill rivers so new cities
made by machinists with hearts full of green leaves
could rise.

In Dire Parenthesis
Tuesday, 17 May 2022 01:19

In Dire Parenthesis

Published in Poetry

In Dire Parenthesis

by David Betteridge, with cartoon by Bob Starrett

When it comes to marching, many do not know
That their enemy is marching at their head...
- Bertolt Brecht

Whichever way your missiles fly,
reducing lives and hopes to debris, ash,
or dust; whichever way your anger
and your loathing lie, leaving space
for little else, and least of all for peace;
whichever flag you raise, or language speak,
whichever loyalty events have forced you,
cruelly, by their logic to embrace -
ask this:

Who can speak of "Victory"
or celebrate some smaller gain
that might be deemed success,
when every half a league or verst
that nations may advance
is paid for dear, in blood,
and our world is less?

Who can speak of "Glory"
when the cause of building for
and building by the people
for our common good
has been so widely lost?

After the great sacrifice of the battlefield
and the siege, the blitzkrieg
and the enormities of hate and rape,
what next?

Our class war for justice
and the peace that it may bring
is set aside once more,
put in dire parenthesis,
as our leaders make us ready,
all too ready, for no end of slaughtering
in their next -
and their next one after -
war.