The Feltham Masterplan

Reading Time: 1 minute
Yasmin Parnham

I can’t believe it that I’m having to fight,
For something that belongs to me by right.

We just don’t rent or set up any where ,
We aren’t gypsys we’re showman from the fair!

We work long hours come rain, blow or snow,
We don’t get much time off either you know.

But that don’t matter Cos it’s our way of life,
We’re used to having a little trouble and strife,

We can take the ups with the down,
Especially with the help from our little town.

The community’s support is overwhelming to us,
We only wanna be left alone without a fuss.

But the council are intent on taking my home from me,
Well I can tell you it’ll be over my dead body!

A showman’s life isn’t an easy one ya see,
Fighting the council will be soo easy,

Cos we’re all made of truly strong stuff,
And stick together when the going gets tough.

So Mr Curran a walk in the park this won’t be,
I’ll make it as hard as I can for you so happily.

For 4 generations showman have lived on this land,
And worked hard for what’s there’s with their own bare hand.

And you think you can just come and take our home?
And stick others in high rise flats that don’t even roam?

What about our heritage and also our Human right?
This isn’t gonna be easy, we’re gonna put up a good fight,

So now is the time to prove you are a good councillor man,
And get the showman removed from The Feltham Masterplan.

 

You can read more about the case that inspired this poem here

OZYMANDIAS 2 (RETURN OF THE SANDSTORM)

Reading Time: 1 minute
Steve McAuliffe

 

They don’t

Or can’t

Or simply won’t believe

That their system of order is breaking down now around their ears

 

 

See, so convinced are they

Of their own invincibility

That they even tried to tell us once that this is the end of history

Like they had attained mastery

Over even history itself

 

 

-But you know what they say about pride

-Prior to a fall and all that.

 

 

I mean, holy shit

It took close to 12 trillion to keep their crafty dream afloat

The last time a major storm hit and rocked their luxury boats

And yet still then preen like vainglorious emperors of yesteryear

-Ozymandias and his select one per-cent of fawning courtiers-

Blissfully, arrogantly unaware

Of the coming, all enveloping and soon-to-be levelling sandstorm

A catastrophic storm approaches that will level all illusions of mastery

And consign them to the dustbin of history

So how very ironic that for them at least, very soon it will be

The End of History

 

 

 

You can read more of Steve’s poetry here

 

Mundanus

Reading Time: 1 minute
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Teresa Durran

 

Just think of all those hours where

You weren’t ill, weren’t lost or heartbroken

Weren’t unhappy, weren’t distressed

Nor tortured with words, spoken or unspoken

 

When you were going about your business as usual.

Distractedly, maybe, bored, barely awake,

But not in pain, unhappy, feeling desperate

Or wracked with self-doubt, or shattered by heartbreak,

 

Or broken by yet another rejection.

Those are the hours your life is measured by,

They are the sum and totality of you.

The mundane is where we live and die

 

It is where drama, pain, trauma and love find us.

Sought out by their remorseless light

It is where we ready ourselves for them.

Use these hours wisely. They are not finite

They Tried To Bury Us

Reading Time: 1 minute
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Victoria Pearson

It started underground
In the dark
A fluttering of awareness
A pulsing heartbeat
A distant drum of war.

It started underground
Waiting out the cold
Gathering it’s resources
Biding it’s time
Waiting for its moment.

It started underground
Until conditions were ripe,
Then everything exploded;
The rush for the light
Breaking into the sun
Claiming its ground.

It started in the dark
Now it stands tall,
Unfurls its glorious petals,
A red banner
In the grey.

BLAKE’S WAKE

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

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Steve McAuliffe

Corridors and doors; strip-lighting; more corridors; fast-walking, important walking. Blake was escorted at top-speed. Blake was on his way to see God.
They led him into a bullet-shaped capsule then followed him in… Whoosh of doors. The windows were tinted thus Blake could not see out. He knew they were travelling at great speed however, although there was no movement or sound to indicate that fact.
Then things went a little trippy. He felt drugged, although pleasantly so.
Somehow he knew he wasn’t in danger, so he closed his eyes.
The last thing he saw was an angel escort smiling back at him, the golden crossbow resting against her shining breast-plate … and then ….
When he awoke he found himself walking: down another corridor, flanked by the same angel-security. The way their heads darted from left to right reminded Blake of Secret Service Agents – like in the movies. These corridors were wider, taller than the previous ones. There was piped muzak -Elton John, he thought, though the title eluded him (something about a horny-backed toad?)
Blake suddenly felt lighter, full of humour, good cheer you might say.
You won’t put me in your penthouse … I’m going back to my plough…
He smiled to himself … and then …. A voice
‘God will see you now’
Blake awoke with a start. He was slumped on a leather sofa. An angel with a striped tie was stood over him.
‘So he really wants to see me?’ He croaked, somewhat groggily.
The man nodded, adjusted his collar and glanced at the place where his watch used to be. Blake stood, and allowed the angel to lead him to the doors.
The doors were huge, wooden; heavy wood, dark wood.
These were important doors.
Blake’s legs went weak, his mouth dried.
Supposing God didn’t like me?
I mean, the man with thin lips at the Great Library took an instant dislike to me, even though I’d gone out of my way to be polite to him.
The mighty doors opened silently, of their own accord.
Blake gulped.
Bright light emitted from the widening gap in glorious sunbeam-like rays. Blake expected harps and heavenly choirs, and thus they sounded in his head. He was frozen to the spot, and somehow the doors were now behind him. He was in the room.
He was in God’s room.
Bloody hell.
The light slowly dimmed, the heavenly chorus subsided in his head. And then, God spoke unto Blake:
‘Welcome Blake!’
Blake looked around, he could see no one. The angel with the tie nudged him and nodded toward a small door off to the side. God was behind that door.
‘How do I address him?’ he whispered to the angel
“You may call me … Lord” thundered a reply.
The suited angel leaned in and whispered ‘the Lord is all seeing and all-hearing’
‘Then why do I work in surveillance?’
The tie gasped, Blake froze.
Oh shit.
“Because I choose that you should work in surveillance!” thundered the voice behind the door.
‘I’m sorry’
‘-MY LORD!’ corrected God.
Blake had not got off to a good start. The tie was shaking his head at him.
‘What can I do?’ thought Blake
“You can start by telling me the truth about yourself” replied God.
‘Did he just read my mind?’ thought Blake
“Yes” replied God.
All of a sudden Blake regretted his ambition.
And he regretted his imagination.
But most of all he regretted his Catholic upbringing.

 

 

Advent

Reading Time: 1 minute
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Teresa Durran 

 

The inky dark December sky outside is punctured

Holed by a luminous moon, cold and full and bright.

But inside, there are three candles and eleven tea lights burning

There is peace, there is warmth, there is complete quiet.

 

Shifting currents below the surface are heralding something good

An almost imperceptible sense of motion quivering the air;

I sense a faint scent, a trace of a taste on the edge of my tongue,

The aroma of hope. A hint of something stirring. Something’s there.

 

Tantalising. Something deeply hidden is turning over,

Slowly but steadily, like a flower bulb moving below ground

To reach cold winter light far above. Like a mediaeval coin

Long buried in a field, waiting for the right moment to be found.

 

Spring is distant but all is not lost.

Sunlight always overwhelms frost