Sally Flint

Sally Flint

Sally Flint lectures in creative writing and co-edits Riptide Journal at the University of Exeter, and is a tutor with The Poetry School.

Indebted
Monday, 13 April 2020 11:17

Indebted

Published in Poetry

Indebted

by Sally Flint

'I owe them my life.' - Boris Johnson, thanking NHS staff.

It's early morning: no-one speaks. Not yet.
Yellow's Orthopaedics, pink Paediatrics,
purple Chemo ‒ not enough aqua for A&E,
so there's a sharing out of ICU's blues.

They've sat with the dying beyond shifts,
high-fived and hugged each other for the ventilated
dads, mums, daughters, sons, brought back.
Now, in handovers with bleary-eyed night-staff,

they dread further shortages coming.
It'll take more than a pandemic to examine
if the 'public purse', can pay those on 'the frontline'
enough to 'put food on their tables', settle their debts.

Nurses always applaud patient recoveries,
know sometimes it's a word, a touch, saves
a life. It's not about colours. They know politicians
who clapped loudly when blocking their pay rise.
Some dream of a future government unmasked.

Questioning Capitalism: The Climate Matters Anthology 2020
Monday, 24 February 2020 13:20

Questioning Capitalism: The Climate Matters Anthology 2020

Published in Poetry

Sally Flint calls for submissions to this new anthology of poems, stories, science writing and images, a collaboration between Culture Matters and Riptide Journal (University of Exeter) 

We are only the trustees for those who come after us.’ - William Morris

In 2020 we want to publish a collection of new writing by established and emerging writers that asks questions and offers insights into links between the climate crisis and capitalism. When readers finish the book – or even when they’re half-way through – we want them to move towards action! Now, before it’s too late.

This callout challenges writers and artists everywhere to address this burning topic, turn their attention and creativity to it and make their voices heard. Our aim is to bring together provocative poems, surprising stories, startling science writing and impactful images, which cross boundaries and help us step confidently and creatively into this next decade.

Topics might include: capitalism as a driving force behind climate change; the need to protect the poor; survival/extinction challenges; the role of women as eco-socialists; children’s fears for the future; and floods, metaphorical or actual. From dystopia to utopia, through linking art and science, we aim to capture some of the ways, big and small, in which the human race will need to unite politically and practically to transform our world, and move towards a better, safer future. Pieces may have been previously published, as long as they will contribute something fresh and intriguing to the anthology.

Submission Guidelines

Poems – send up to three poems (Max 40 lines per poem)

Stories‒ send up to three stories of up to 3000 words each

Science writing – send up to three articles up to 3000 words each

Life Writing – up to 3000 words each

Images – send up to three images as jpegs

Email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Deadline: 30 May 2020

Riptide Journal was co-founded in 2007 by Dr. Sally Flint and Dr. Virginia Baily, and originally published short stories as a way to champion the form. Over the years they have published stories, poems, life writing – and have worked with community projects on socially committed initiatives too. The journal is supported by the University of Exeter.

The election: Free for All
Tuesday, 03 December 2019 19:34

The election: Free for All

Published in Poetry

Free for All                                               

IM of Doll Warner

by Sally Flint

Before she turned ten they called her
Little Mother. The oldest of eleven siblings,

she knew about ailments – how to attach
string tight to a doorknob and extract a tooth.

She could tempt a TB victim with broth and starve
a fever. She knew diphtheria meant death,

that few people had money for medicine,
or a midwife. She’d race to a stranger’s house and boil

water, prepare rags and, often in the dark hours,
persuade a doctor to help for free. For years

she witnessed birth and rigor mortis, saved pennies
to put on dead children’s lids. If she was still alive she’d hunt

down her prayer book, find God and scream to Bevan:
Quick! Someone! Save the Nation’s Health.

Because There Is No Planet B
Thursday, 10 October 2019 10:23

Because There Is No Planet B

Published in Poetry

Because There Is No Planet B

by Sally Flint

WE MARCH

to the square, as if we might clear

the atmosphere's carbon overload

by shouting:  It's not too late.

WE MARCH

past banks, Costas, the plastic filled

pound shop, and a new vegan restaurant

where waiters call out: Our boss says go join!

WE MARCH

to the homeless guys' slow hand claps.

Another sign: I'm a teacher missing

my maths class. A boy blows a trumpet,

a wide-eyed toddler on her father's shoulders

points to the press cameras and police.

WE MARCH

in a quaking snake ‒ flank motorists,

some beep in support, others stay grim-faced.

Never did the sky seem so clear to this sea of people

behind a grey-haired woman's banner: Fuck Capitalist

*Heroes*: We're in this Together. A small city of thousands,

uniting with millions who know it's through human pollution

WE MARCH

National Poetry Day: In Union
Friday, 27 September 2019 12:49

National Poetry Day: In Union

Published in Poetry

In Union

by Sally Flint

i.m. Bob Crow

Born in reach of the London Mint
he watched men make money –

got to know the value of working days
as families were transported from slums

and shared bathrooms to fields
and forests which seemed the other side

of the world. Coming home was the only way.
His grandfather, a prize fighter, taught him how

to punch, to use weight. Life can be made better.
Share the wine whether communist,

libertarian, socialist. Those who shook
his hand believed it to be both strong

and soft – that the best connections
are rooted in truth.

The Mansard Roof
Friday, 20 September 2019 08:21

Climate Strike: The Big House

Published in Poetry

The Big House

by Sally Flint

(for PH and ZM)


This is the house we want to live in,
with multiple windows and shutters.
A veranda to absorb sunsets,
gardens that tumble to a golden beach.

This is the house we want to share,
with bright stucco walls;
a doorbell that repeats Clare de la Lune,
flurries of clematis around the front porch.

This is the house we want to have;
its rooms so big we can run across them,
or around pianos, four poster beds,
and spacious baths you can step into.

A house with pools and terraces,
for evenings when friends congregate
to barbecues of free-range steak, drink
vintage wine brought up from the cellars.

This endless house, with attics and corners
for spiders to settle, never to feel scared
of being trodden on, or trapped in jars,
with multi-coloured rugs on floors and walls.

A place where sun finds our faces,
and neighbours share fruit from trees, with smiles.
This is the house we wish for, with no need
for fences. Home to which we all own a key.

From Pieces of Us (Worple Press)

Revolution
Wednesday, 04 September 2019 10:05

Revolution

Published in Poetry

Revolution

by Sally Flint

Top of Google it's a wine bar, a game,
a make-up range. I recall science lessons ‒
to rotate, twirl, circuit, cycle, orbit.
It's the Earth spinning around the sun.
On the screen the little circle rolls
over the Thatcher era and a miners' revolt.

It's an instance of sudden change
industrial, technological. Political theorists
say in terms of evolution a 'revolution'
can only happen when a government is weak.
It's a rebellion that forces change ‒ as the little circle
I have no name for rolls around again.