Mark Cassidy

Mark Cassidy

Mark Cassidy is an almost retired radiographer now living in Bury St Edmunds. He writes in the gaps between family, birdwatching, and Oxfam books.

Until Further Notice
Friday, 22 March 2024 10:31

Until Further Notice

Published in Poetry

Until Further Notice

by Mark Cassidy

the sky will be yellow. Regardless how you squint at it,
tomorrow shrivels up

and men in branded, hi-vis tabards will have permission.
Don’t ask what for, or why,

or seek to demonstrate some other way. There are new
laws they’re not afraid to use.

Until further notice you will be crippled with bunions, grow
deaf from ear wax.

Your teeth – on a diet of kitsch and fakery – will rot in your
head and fall out.

As you wait you can watch the concrete crumble, while
grievances congeal like old chip fat.

Until further notice you must guess your best line through
the flooded potholes, trusting

your tread will ride the shameless lie beneath – the one
untold. Do not be deflected,

none of this is your fault. Blame loafers by Prada,
Timberland boots, the endless drone

of glib apology. Round the corner, a shadow cabinet of
wax figures –

you will hear from them soon. Until further notice there
may be no better choice.

Not Going Home – ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadi’
Saturday, 15 October 2022 14:52

Not Going Home – ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadi’

Published in Poetry

Not Going Home – ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadi’ *

by Mark Cassidy

It is not done, they said,
to chain yourself to palace railings.
Go breaking window glass
or hatchet works of art.
Slash telegraph wires,
fire-bomb post boxes, railway stations
and Great Yarmouth pier.
Or burn your slogans in golf courses.
Not the done thing at all.

It is not done, they said,
to slice through miles of fence
and with your supine bodies
blockade our missile base.
Nor enter there as teddy bears
to dance on the silos, keening.
And when evicted, your camp destroyed,
to return, rebuild at night.
Not the done thing at all.

Not the done thing at all
to hang your banners over highways,
hijack state TV news,
rip down his face and stamp on it.
To whirl your hijabs like a black flag sea.
Or burn them on sticks held high
then cut your unscarved hair.
They say it is not done.
Not yet, we say, not yet.


* ‘Women Life Freedom’ was first chanted by the Kurdish Women’s Movement in 2006 to give voice to their revolutionary philosophy. Jina (Mahsa) Amini, whose murder at the hands of Iran’s ‘morality police’ triggered the uprising there, was Kurdish. Her name in Kurdish - Jina - was not officially recognised, and she may well have been more brutally treated because she wasn’t Persian.