In the spirit of “I Am Not A Silent Poet”, here is a space you may put your responses to the Sarah Everard case and that of Sabina Nessa, whether poetically or prose wise or artwise. You may send your responses to me anonymously, if you wish.

Whatever Happened

-Val Bowen

After the Late Train (Chiswick, 1970)

And you walk home
Under the A4 subway
Cos there’s no other way

Footsteps behind you
Might just be someone homeward bound like you
Or maybe not

When you increase your pace
Their pace quickens too
And your heart quickens

Don’t turn round
Don’t look, keep walking
Out the other side now

Street lights. Houses.
No sound behind you. Maybe they’ve gone
Don’t turn round

Car door slams and engine starts
Drives slowly. Doesn’t gain speed
Slowly, slowly, just behind you

Will it be a chat-up line?
Rehearse your clear response
Or will you just be grabbed?

Check houses for friendly lights. Run up a driveway
Any driveway. Safe haven. Heart pounds.
Stand on step. Turn round. See the car speed off
Breathe. Knees bend. Stifle sob
Why?

Outcomes to think about
As you continue on your way
You can stay home and let the fear win, or
You can prepare, with alarm, pepper spray, knuckle duster rings
If you knew where to get such things.
What you can’t do is tell your story
Because nothing happened
Except the pounding of your heart
And the taste of blood in your throat as you ran.
Nothing happened.
This time.

-Amanda Samm

Bios and Links

-Amanda Samm

has lived in South Yorkshire most of her life  except for a short time in London in her teens.  She has enjoyed writing poetry from a young age and has self-published three booklets, the most recent being  a poetry booklet recording her experience of the pandemic.
Amanda is married with three children and six grandchildren.
Amanda enjoys sudoku, crosswords, pub quizzes and karaoke. Since retiring, she has taken up acrylic and water colour painting, as well as spending more time in the garden.

Happy #NationalCoffeeDay Have you created any poetry/artworks/short prose about coffee? I will feature all contributions.

National Coffee Day

National Coffee Day

My Mother Refuses to Speak the Language of the Modern Coffee-shop

My mother
machiavellis the mocha and the macchiato,
catapults the cappuccino into non-existence,
pulls the trigger on double-shot espresso,
insists on coffee, black and strong,
none of that Americano stuff,
buys me a coffee with milk
and rubbishes flat white.
As for barista – Bah! she says,
Barbaric.

-Gill McEvoy

 

Caressing Caffeination by DCS

Happy #InternationalPodcastDay What is your favourite poetry/short prose/artwork podcast, and why? I will feature all contributions on my blog post today.

International Podcast Day

international podcast day poster

@EatTheStorms – because Damien @deuxiemepeau produces it so well and I get to hear some great poets I may otherwise have missed. ‘Eat the Storms Podcast’ is definitely my Number 1.

-Patricia M. Osborne (https://eatthestorms.com/)

*******

@Jundermilkwood & @r_vallen on the Faber Poetry Podcast — I heard they were coming back. I think we should be told. For the world’s dirtiest laugh Danez Smith and Franny Choi on The Poetry Magazine Podcast. BBC 3 — The Verb and @DaljitNagra4 with Poetry Extra.

First because I love the presenters and their insights. Second, I mentioned the dirty laugh plus an insight into US poetry. Third because IMM is fun and interesting to gauge what and who the BBC think are important poetry voices. Last one because it goes back into the archives

-Simon Maddrell (https://www.faber.co.uk/blog/tag/faber-poetry-podcast/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006tnsf/episodes/downloads

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/search?q=Poetry+extra )

*******

Ahh Between the Covers by @DavidNaimon and @CommonplacePod and The Chapbook by @BullCityPress and and and!!! Going to add my baby @OfPoetryPodcast!

🎙
Red heart
Sparkles
-Hannah VanderHart (https://tinhouse.com/podcasts/

https://www.commonpodcast.com/

Generosity and breadth and warmth of attention—I’m always discovering a new author or new book via these podcasts. Also they each exist in the space of conversation rather than strict interview, and have helped keep me company in these long months of quarantine!

https://bullcitypress.com/the-chapbook/

*******

Red heart

Poetry & my fave podcasts are @EatTheStorms@deuxiemepeauhttps://eatthestorms.com + #DylanThomasBirthplace#Podcast@FrequencyHouse1@blackboughpoems with @Iqbal_Malik2@MatthewMCSmith transmitting from @dylanthomashomehttps://bit.ly/39NVUWd

Gem stone

-Rhona Greene

*******

I’m interested in experimental and formally constrained poetry, and love the @PenteractPod! @Anthony_Etherin, @ClaraDaneri and their guests are so knowledgeable, not just about poetry but also how it relates to music and art, and the discussions are always informative and fun.

-Marian Christie (https://www.buzzsprout.com/834940/)

*******

@PodcastMicro obvs

I don’t think I can pick which one has been a favourite so far, cos I’m internet-friendly with quite a few people who’ve read out their work on it! I love the guitar music and hearing all of the different accents from all over the world. I too now say “please enjoy”!

-Nicola Humphreys

(https://micropodcast.org/)

*******

It’s a really warm environment to discuss (or to listen to them discuss) literature that isn’t too academic or formal. So it feels very accessible. Plus the hosts are funny and sweet

-Kathryn O’Driscoll

*******

@cruzfolio J. Alejandro does a cool podcast, too. And, not sure it counts as it is radio…but, don’t forget Express Yourself with @carla_woodburn !

-Samantha Terrell (https://cruzfolio.com/)

*******

Definitely the @slowdownshow with @adalimon.

My response will sound a little trite but … just listen to it. You’ll see (or rather, hear).

-Mark Antony Owen (https://www.slowdownshow.org/)

*******

I would add Strength To Be Human by Anthony Rossi

-Paul Brookes (https://strengthtobehuman.podbean.com/)

Happy #NationalInclusionWeek2021 This year’s theme is #unitedforinclusion . Have you created artwork/poetry/short prose/photos/videos about strength in diversity, celebrating inclusion? Please join and add to the work of Brenna Farrow and I. I would love to feature it all this week.

National Inclusion Week

national inclusion week

teach me about you by Brenna Farrow

-Brenna Farrow

Bios And Links

-Brenna Farrow

has worked with children with special educational needs since 1987. After 18 years of classroom practice in England and Hong kong, she investigated social communication issues and children with Autism, and then  Attitudes of school principals towards  inclusion in the Czech Republic. After a life threatening condition, she embraced her creativity and has ventured towards writing about her life experiences through poetry. 

Happy National #GetOutsideDay. Our theme this year is Be kind: to the environment, to others and to ourselves. Have you created any poetry/artworks/photos/videos celebrating walking, hiking, climbing, cycling, canoeing, sailing. I will feature all contributions in today’s post

Get Outside Day

get outside day

brenna fattow

-Brenna Farrow

firecracker coulee blue

I hear something
& my breathe
catches

I hear a robin
imitate
a laser

see a jet streak

-Connie Bacchus (from her book “Swirl“)

#GreatBigGreenWeek 18th – 26th September. Day Nine Final Day. I am looking for your words/artworks/photos/videos on Climate Change. Please join and add to the works of Peter Roe, Ankh Spice, Kushal Poddar, Lavana Kray, Janet Lynn Davis, Samantha Terrell, Joe Lamport and I. I would love to feature your #ecopoetry, #geopoetry your #ecoartworks, your #ecophotos your short #ecoarticles, here. Your #ClimateChangepoetry, #ClimateChangeArtworks. I will feature your work in my blog posts during this period.

The Great Big Green Week – Day Nine – Final Day

the great big green week logo

-Peter Roe from Siren Poets

I Spoke to Our Mother

I went through the wood to the top of the hill
I sat and I waited until everything was still
I opened my heart to the mother of all
I gave her my words and she heard my call

Her message was sent in dreams in the night
Moon-lit… a medicine man… covered in light
We sat down on the ground in a circle of trees
He said “Listen. Hear our voice… please…

You mine and you dig you leach my substance away
You strip and you burn my protection each day
You cut and wound me, expose all that’s within
Tread soft on my mantle, take care of my skin

You are not just living in Nature…
…you are Living Nature

The blood in your veins is iron from my heart
The flesh and your bones are me, every part
We are all made from the substance of stars
Take care where you step, you walk on your scars

You are the dawn, the morn and the midday sun
You are the fading of the light when the day is done
You are the rain, the storm and the streams that run
You are the cry in the night and song at dawning light
You are the whisper in the trees and the summer breeze
You are the waves, the shore, you are so much more
You are the mountains and the earth beneath your feet
You are the cycle of life and you are complete
You are not just a passenger we all have a role
Listen to your voice, your heart and your soul”

With that we stood up all dressed in green skin
The question on my lips “Where do we begin?”

-Peter Roe

I Spoke to Our Mother – Poetry for The Earth Responding to Liv Torc’s Siren Poets project and six amazing Challengers, 60 workshop participants went out into nature to have a conversation with the Earth. They then met at one of five online poetry workshops and shared their experiences. Many went and filmed their poetic responses outside somewhere they love. This is my response. I live on the lower slopes of Allington Hill in Bridport. For the first time in 14 years I climbed a hill and ‘I Spoke to Our Mother’. Her response came to me in dreams in the night. Sceptics may doubt… but when did you last listen to the Earth? Thank you to Earth Mother and Facilitator Liv Torc Peter Roe http://www.livtorc.co.uk http://www.capefarewell.com/sirenpoets #SirenPoets #ClimateIsCulture #TheJawboneCollective #WessexMedia

Springtime Isn’t Always Optimistic

Lush
Green of spring,
Humming
Tree frogs have come

Early.
Outside looks
Good.
Inside, worry.

An empty gas tank,
Errands to run,
Sweating from the already too hot sun,
And they’re raffling off an assault rifle at the bank.
-Samantha Terrell ((Previously published in DoveTales by Writing for Peace, and my collection Vision, and Other Things We Hide From)

Weep Now for Future Losses

We’re told
It’s premature
To weep for it; the
Unwelcome gains, the unjust losses
Brought upon us
By reprehensible
Acts of irresponsible
“Stewards”
Whose
Publicity wars
And plunder for more
Have robbed the future
Of our weeping,
Our living and our breathing.
So we must work harder,
Adapt faster,
Plan for then,
Weep
Now.

-Samantha Terrell

Plea (A Ghazal?)

Love to Mother Earth, you cherished us, nourished us,
we repaid by stripping you, raping you, a sorry too late.

Steam, coal plumes, car emissions, meat methane
We ruined nature, we need you now, nourish us, cherish us.

Raging fires, uncontrolled floods, melting ice rivers
engulf land, on our knees, Mother Earth cherish us.

Monsoon rain, cities destroyed, floating homes
crushed to smithereens, we need you, cherish us

Glaciers melt, fires turn green to black ash
Sorry, sorry, we need you, nourish us, cherish us.

-Leela Soma

black oil slick
washed up on the beach —
looking
in the dead dolphin’s eye
I see a part of myself

Lavana Kray https://bit.ly/3ocHes9 #tanka #poetry #micropoetry #poem #offshoreoilldrilling #climatechange #oilandgas #oceanpollution #climatecrisis

a new rock,
plastiglomerate
litters the shore —
will the words I leave behind
also survive the seas?

Janet Lynn Davis https://bit.ly/2m1hxN7 #tanka #poetry #poem #PlasticPollution #ClimateEmergency

Plastiglomerate: melted #plastic #trash mixed with beach sediment and debris.

a wind
rattling the dry leaves
on eucalypti —
an ink-dark trace
of koalas

https://bit.ly/3vDq7Qm #5lines #tanka #poetry #micropoetry #poem #BushFires #Australia #ClimateChange #ClimateCrisis #ClimateAction #Koalas

waiting room

the
length
of
a
special
report
on
forest
fires

https://bit.ly/38JZksr #VisualHaiku #haiku #poetry #micropoetry #poem #ForestFires #GlobalWarming #GlobalCrisis #ClimateChange

Every other day we purchase
all the green apples the monger
by the station fails to sell
as if it is written in the red,

and often he cannot sell
all his green although it seems
to be the order of the day.

Sometimes he speaks of
the family he keeps in this city
hidden from the one in his bourg
and about those secrets open
like a wound between his toes
alive inside the callouses he harvests.

We listen to him, our teeth in
the juicy hearts of the sourness,
our boredom asleep while the trouble
stirs in another hamlet.

Will he go back to his origin?
I ask. Not today. Today I pass.
Green signals the monsoon’s
through train skipping our station.
Speed blurs through the vagueness
between the two parts of here.

-Kushal Poddar

Data Water

April showers
bring May flowers,
sings the nursery rhyme.
An outdated tune to my desert ear.

Yearly drought
produces much doubt
my children will ever see
the desert blooming this —
is quickly becoming a fantasy.

In the mountains, snow is refusing to fall,
rain forgets to drop in the Valley of the Sun.
The Colorado slumps into a depression,
Lake Mead is quickly fading,
her shore exposing her emptiness.

Whispers are spoken to shadows,
numbers crunched in darkness.
Deals made under cover of
the greenbacks promised success.
Promises contrived that none intend to keep.

One million gallons of sacred water
is required daily to quench
the modern beast of our
data storing machines thirst, to
cool its heated humming collection routines.

The data monsters grin gleefully
with their colorful box windows
as they build their thirsty towers.
The land is cheap and easy,
politicians’ pockets are deep and greasy.

Arizona is once again dehydrated,
it haunts her every 100 years.
Yet, the belly of the beast is
never satisfied, no cure for the virus of greed.
it transmits asymptomatically; none of us are immune.

A new reality is unfolding.
People want to deny
turn their backs and say,
everything’s okay, take a dip in the pool
let’s think about this another day.

Annual dust bowls
will blow into our souls.
Our children’s destiny in question,
as Arizona is wrung out —

to wither like a plucked Saguaro flower.

-Renee Keele

https://andtheyleftusabrokenplanet.com/let-our-voices-be-heard

let our voices be heard

let our voices be heard
from the local town hall
to the Heads of Government in Glasgow
we rebel for our future and we strike

let our dreams be heard
demanding the impossible
as the near impossible is what’s needed
we know it’s not too late if only we act

let our power be heard
changing communities
changing generations
and changing ballots
we fight as one for our home
Earth

there is no Planet B

Solastalgia by Ankh Spicelast chance by Ankh Spice

-Ankh Spice

What Is Ecopoetics?

A rain forest of words
That captures the toxins
Of a world on the brink

-Joe Lamport

More amazing poetry can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/968882923646629

Bios And Links

-Peter Roe

lives in Bridport on the Jurassic coast. He is a prize winning performance poet, artistic, autistic, computer geek and technology nerd. A former Bard of Dorchester and host of Bridport spoken word night Apothecary. Founding editor and publisher of the Jawbone Collective. A self confessed nerd and technology junkie who likes to shatter peoples misconceptions about Aspie computer geeks! In July 2021 Peter was Highly Commended for his forthcoming collection “About Time”. He has been published in ‘Siren Poets’ in 2020. Short listed In Blandford Poetry Prize 2019, Runner up in Bridport Short Story Slam 2018, Finalist in the Apples and Snakes South-West Slam 2018, long listed in ‘Writing Without Limits’ for The Yeovil Literary Prize 2017 and winner of The Western Gazette Best Local Writer 2017. He has been widely published online and in print. Has two published collections of poetry. His debut poetry collection ‘Technology Bytes Back’ (2018) comes from that place where technology meets people and the inevitable mayhem that follows. His second collection “i’m in Love with My Barista” came out in July 2019 to coincide with a series of Fringe events. and show ‘Jawbone’. His fringe event ‘North Verses South’ for 2020 was postponed…

-Renee Keele

is an Arizona native, a rare breed, who lives on a small farm raising chickens and ducks.  Her love of writing goes back to elementary school when she discovered her parents’ old typewriter.  She is a wife and mother of three children, one biological, and two whom she adopted from the Arizona Foster Care System.

Eat the Storms – The Podcast Podcast – Episode 12 – Season 3

eat the Storms

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Player FM, Radio Public, OverCast, PocketCast, CastBox, ITunes, Podbean and many more platforms.

This episode aired first on Saturday 25th September 2021. The guests were Liam Porter, Lannie Stabile, Paul Brookes, Sinead Griffin, Andy N, produced and hosted by Damien B. Donnelly. Below are details and links to all the guest stars…

Liam Porter

Liam Porter is a writer, poet, and digital marketer from Merseyside, now residing in Chester. His poems have been published in 192, Independent Variable, Bloom and a range of other spaces. He was the co-editor and lead host of the 16th year of In The Red – LJMU’s poetry open mic night and annual anthology. He hopes his writing will provide an essence of calm and reflection in what is a very hectic world. He is the SEO & Content Strategist for Salience Search Marketing. His…

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Review of ‘Forbidden-by-the-Sea’ by Kathleen Kenny

Nigel Kent - Poet and Reviewer

I am delighted to review this week a poet from that wonderful Scottish poetry publisher, Dreich. I’m a relative latecomer to the readership of Dreich publications, but they have rapidly become one of my favourite publishers. Kathleen Kenny and her Forbidden-by-the-sea is typical of the high quality of its output.

Kenny tells us that this collection is a product of ‘a year spent wrangling with love and life, whilst renting a shore-side cottage within spitting distance of the North Sea.’ A year in a cottage by the seaside sounds idyllic, but Kenny’s focus is on realities rather than on dreams, on the world as we experience it, rather than on the world as we would like it or imagine it to be. It’s not that she doesn’t deal with fantasy, but when she does she shows is to be distracting and destructive. For example, in House Hunting she describes the…

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The Daedalus Files by Mandy Pannett (SPM Publications)

Tears in the Fence

One of the most dramatic and controversial myths is revisited and thoughtfully explored in Mandy Pannett’sThe Daedalus Files. The roles of the actors in the story are investigated in the poems, from that of Daedalus, the maker of the labyrinth, to that of his son Icarus, who was the result of Daedalus’s marriage to a slave called Naucrate. Icarus later dies while he is trying to escape, falling from the sky into the Aegean Sea. The role of the monster, the Minotaur, is also explored in the poems; it was created following a sexual encounter between the adulteress queen, Pasiphaë, and the sacred white bull, a present from Poseidon to the king, Minos. Finally, the role of Theseus, the hero, is examined; his victory is tightly linked to the clever tricks of Ariadne, whom he eventually abandons on the island of Naxos. Death is the constant threat that…

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