The Prison Farm by MJ Saucer
They say that about the meek by Marcel Herms
The meek rarely get credit
for acts of courage
They are the quiet ones
like state of the art operating systems
They are the body’s spine
poetry’s rhythm / rhyme
Living network of connection
Civil servants in a fierce election
count ballots on repeat
certify votes despite a despot’s tweets
persist under threat from vigilante partisans
in parking lots. Neither violence
nor virus deter the dignity
of guardians defending American democracy
— Gayle J. Greenlea
(They Say What About the Meek)
To say that the meek are losers is to bait the trap
Don’t fall for the trick
Go about your life how you wish
(The Prison Farm)
Today my scarecrow is looking very real
It’s been facing the wrong way since 3am
I won’t be reaping what’s mine, today
“An Appropriate Sentence”
A leader spent half a century; the country in deprivation
Riches reserved for the elite; not rightly human
Now set to work on a life sentence; no parole granted
Now picking crops to feed the people
They gave him a year for vagrancy,
same for her, at the prison farm
up state, neither one had ever been north
of the Myakka, they whipped him for sass
and sold his contract for turpentine,
working a still up above Tampa
for three years, till his body
was so broke they let him go,
thinkin he’d die probly, but she waited
on that patch up above the Withlacoochee
growing cowpeas, greens and okra,
he said they mostly lived
off catfish and hominy,
she never went to town again,
They say what about the meek
The mice were never blind
not after what passed
between cat and rat,
it took three to steal
the boning knife,
they went after the cat
napping by the stove,
but he slipped out the door,
now they lurk
behind stove wood,
three mice and a blade,
they were never blind,
it’s just what the cat said
after they did
for the Farmer’s wife.
What They Say in Prison
each one the same,
trapped, in times
seven in a row all dead
is a real disaster
i like the white ones on farms
that hiss if one approaches near
we are liking birds to stay alive yet
sadly this is not so
if I say I went away
some think that this means
those in america
conversation moved on to
pumpkins, these days,
noises made by porcupines
there is a chattering nearby
Some will inherit the earth’s
forward swirl, rainbow banners,
finely muscled men of many
hues dancing in scant costumes
on flatbed trucks, balloons!
Rolling joy and noise,
girls and boys
streamers and wings
women sing, peacock fans
wave from each hand
and everywhere balloons!
windows, faces hidden
in secret witness.
Ask no questions, hear no lies.
No rest for the wicked, they say,
the devil makes work for idle hands,
he takes the hindmost,
and God helps those who help themselves.
Let me have men about me that are fat.
And we, the meek and mild,
the children and their mothers,
the poor and the dispossessed,
the widow who handed over her mite,
we who wait on the side lines for
those promised crumbs from the rich man’s table?
You have a lean and hungry look.
Blessed are those, they reply,
who turned the other cheek,
so as not to see the blow fall
at the other side of the street.
The earth teems with the meek
with no voice, the four-footed,
the winged; all creep into the abyss
made for them by the fat and sleek.
And the meek
shall inherit the earth.
Once probate has cleared
and taxes are paid
and the plastic
is tidied away.
must be lowered now
and the squatters, sent
on their way.
Mum and Dad
may be gone for good,
but their mess is
here to stay.
© Dai Fry 23rd November 20
Bios and Links
grew up in Thurnscoe and ia now living in Doncaster via Wath Grammar school, Doncaster Art College, Bede College in Durham and 30 years teaching.
He sold his first painting at the Goldthorpe Welfare Hall annual exhibition at the age of 17 and he haven’t stopped painting since.
He escaped the classroom 20 years ago to devote more time to his artwork. Since then he has set up his own studio in Doncaster, exhibited across the north of England as a member of the Leeds Fine Artists group and had his painting demonstrations featured on the SAA’s Painting and drawing TV channel. Further afield he has accepted invitations to work with international artists’ groups in Spain, Macedonia, Montenegro and USA where his paintings are held in public and private collections. In 2018 he had a solo exhibition in Warsaw, Poland and a joint exhibition in Germany.
His pictures cover a wide range of styles and subjects from abstract to photo-realism though he frequently returns to his main loves of landscape and people.
Visitors are welcome at his studio in the old Art College on Church View, Doncaster.
Facebook: Terry Chipp Fine Art Painting
is a Dutch visual artist. He is also one of the two men behind the publishing house Petrichor. Freedom is very important in the visual work of Marcel Herms. In his paintings he can express who he really is in complete freedom. Without the social barriers of everyday life.
There is a strong relationship with music. Like music, Herms’ art is about autonomy, freedom, passion, color and rhythm. You can hear the rhythm of the colors, the rhythm of the brushstrokes, the raging cry of the pencil, the subtle melody of a collage. The figures in his paintings rotate around you in shock, they are heavily abstracted, making it unclear what they are doing. Sometimes they look like people, monsters, children or animals, or something in between. Sometimes they disappear to be replaced immediately or to take on a different guise. The paintings invite the viewer to join this journey. Free-spirited.
He collaborates with many different authors, poets, visual artists and audio artists from around the world and his work is published by many different publishers.
writes novels, short stories and lots of poems. Among her publications is her first chapbook of poetry, thicker than water. She is also a regular contributor to Visual Verse and the Ekphrastic Review. You can find her on twitter @MJDougherty33 and on her blog https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/
is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast. Former cook. Has had poems in Cypress Press, Feral Poetry, IceFloe Press, Petrichor. Can be found on Twitter@Peach Delphine
is a poet living on the south coast of England. Originally from Swansea. Wales was and still is a huge influence on everything. My pen is my brush. Twitter:
Susan Darlington’s poetry regularly explores the female experience through nature-based symbolism and stories of transformation. It has been published in Fragmented Voices, Algebra Of Owls, Dreams Walking, and Anti-Heroin Chic among others. Her debut collection, ‘Under The Devil’s Moon’, was published by Penniless Press Publications (2015). Follow her @S_sanDarlington
lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her two large, frightening lapdogs. A PhD in French language and literature, she has retired from teaching French to university students, as well as from fierce competition in martial arts and distance running. She has produced the chapbooks Backwards Through the Rekroy Wen, Scapes, and Postcard Poetry 2020. When she isn’t hard at work writing poems in English, she might be found reading them in French to her long-suffering grandchildren, who don’t yet speak French.
-Gayle J. Greenlea
is an award-winning poet and counselor for survivors of sexual and gender-related violence. Her poem, “Wonderland”, received the Australian Poetry Prod Award in 2011. She shortlisted and longlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize in 2013, and debuted her first novel Zero Gravity at the KGB Literary Bar in Manhattan in 2016. Her work has been published in St. Julian Press, Rebelle Society, A Time to Speak, Astronomy Magazine, Headline Poetry and Press and The Australian Health Review.
Like someone who tries out hats or other samples before making a final decision, experimenting with different ideas and techniques is how Lydia spends some of her time. This allows for other portions of time to speak through the lens of fiction, creative nonfiction and art. You can find her work at Cargo Collective , Lydia Wist Creative and on Twitter @Lydiawist.
lives in the wild, wet, south-west of England, surrounded by mud and apple trees. She writes poems to make sense of the world, and would rather weed than wash up.
-sonja benskin mesher
holds a bachelor in English Literature and Creative Writing and is a secondary school teacher of English and Creative Writing. Liam is currently writing his first, professional collection of poetry entitled Borders that explores poetry from all around the world. Liam also Co-Hosts a movie discussion podcast entitled: The Pick and Mix Podcast. Liam writes under the pseudonym ‘Michael The Poet’
Links: WordPress: https://michael-the-poet.com/
Instagram: Michael The Poet
is 54, married and a mother of two, who has been writing and telling stories since childhood. Over the last decade she has utilised writing not just as entertainment, but as a means to improve personal communication skills. That process unexpectedly uncovered increasingly difficult and unpleasant feelings, many forgotten for decades. Diagnosed as a historic trauma survivor in May 2019, Mental health issues had previously hindered the entirety of her adult life: the shift into writing as expression and part of a larger journey into self-awareness began to slowly unwind for her from the past, providing inspiration and focus for a late career change as a multidisciplined artist.
is a Northern Irish poet from Belfast. She has two poetry pamphlets, and a full collection, from Hedgehog Poetry Press, they are Circling the Sun, Memory Forest and Venus in pink marble (2018, 2019 and Summer 2020 respectively). She is co-author, along with Karen Mooney, of Penned In a poetry pamphlet written in response to the pandemic and due for release 30th November 2020. Follow her on Twitter @gaynorkane or read more at www.gaynorkane.com.
is the author of Walk Like Monsters (Paperwall, 2016) and City of Water (Sahitya Akademi, 2010). Her work has appeared in anthologies and journals such as Plume, 580 Split, One and Breakwater Review. She is Contributing Editor, Poetry, at Barren Magazine. She has received fellowships and awards from the Charles Wallace Trust India, the International Reporting Project, TFA India and Muse India. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California. Her website is http://aninditasengupta.com