Sonnet 2,947

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Though miles are bastard plenty, they be traced
So near you sit; so far you fuck my mind
This empty, full-up World is but a space
Now time and old new planets are aligned

Two starstuff parts had fucked to become one
Though stars be dead their light remains alive
Across the universe our pieces shone:
A single part made two become revived

Right now you’re a fuckternity away
Yet close enough to make my soul complete
Our bodies are brought closer night-by-day
For as we write in song, we breathe in beats.

My time, my space, my last and yet my first;
My life, my mind, my fucking Universe.

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Sonnet 2,336

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I’m grateful for the muses in my life:
The war and terror tearing Terra down~
For what else would my conscience have me write?
And what else to explore, or to expound?

Thank goodness for the blood and pain and death;
Without those things, no need for rhyming art.
We’re lucky that we witness to such depths
The torture of the Earth’s still-beating heart.

How grateful we should be for politics;
How thankful for the fear of gods, and greed~
I pray that love and hope do not eclipse
The beauty of the war that poets need

I lie: for song, I’ve lost my appetite;
I’d love to have no poetry to write.

LMN

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/04/syria-assad-white-helmets-torture-eu-prosecute

CHEMICAL BROTHERS

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My kids were sleeping in their beds
As other children cried
With dreams inside their little heads
As Mums and Babies died

Mine snored away right through the night
As other children fled
A dream of fun; not one of fright
As sons and fathers bled

Their dreams unreal and love unsaid
As kids died chemically
They slept all night: bound, blanketed
As hearts beat heavily

I checked upon them carefully
Whilst parents searched the streets
And here were mine all safe with me;
Whilst theirs had faced defeat

And still mine slept and still they breathed
As mourning families cried
All safe, alive and here with me
As little children died

Yes, little children died.

LMN

Dear Dr Van …

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My GORGEOUS little Mum has been trying to contact her surgeon for decades, just to thank him for saving her life back when she was a wee snapper of whips.

Today, she handed me a beautiful letter – complete with her own personal brand of “interesting” grammar. I’ve corrected her mistakes for the purposes of this blog, even though I love every last one of ’em. She wasn’t educated, you see, having been in hospital for most of her school years in the 1950s.

She missed out on so much, and yet, she has always given herself to others, often without a second thought. Kindness is like breathing to her – even though she does have a missing lung.

Please, folks – share, and share, and share. I would love this to go viral so that we might track down the surgeon whose name escapes my Mum. She calls him Dr Van something, although he may be a Mr…and if he has shuffled off this mortal coil, maybe we can find his son.

Here we go:

File 08-03-2017 19 14 12

Dear Dr Van

I have tried for years to find your full name because I often think of you. Let me explain. My name was PAT ROSSITER. While you were in Liverpool Fazakerley hospital in 1952/3, I met you and you told me your name – it was Dr Van Something… it was so long that we just called you Dr Van.

You removed half of my lung and my mother said you stayed by my bed for days until I came to, and she said the first thing I said to you was “you hurt me!” Mum was mad at me for being cheeky but you just laughed and gave me a big hug.

That Christmas I was in a side ward with a friend, and not allowed in the big ward because of infection. But when you came, you brought your son with you – and I had never seen such a lot of lovely black hair. You and your son took me into the big ward to see the Christmas tree and your son gave me a comb. You didn’t know what it meant to me to have my very own comb in the hospital – the nurses used the same comb on everyone, and at home we only had one that the whole family used. Anyway, after a few minutes, we had to go back to the side ward.

I also remember you giving me pocket money each week to buy something when I got home.

When you came to take my stitches out you put them in a little bottle and said “when you feel down and upset, just look at these stitches and think ‘I was saved’.” I didn’t know what you meant at the time, but many times in the past years, I have done that and it has helped me to stop feeling sorry for myself and just get on with life. So a big THANK YOU.

After a few more weeks in the hospital I went home, and my parents were told that I could live until I was 14 years old. I am now 74 and have a husband and three children, and five wonderful grandchildren. My eldest son is a doctor of psychology and is a senior lecturer in Manchester University, and our second son is a senior universal computer engineer, and our daughter is a writer and editor. I also know she has helped lots of people including stopping them from [committing] suicide (she couldn’t have done that if you hadn’t saved me) so THANK YOU again.

Lots of love to you and your family from Pat Rossiter. 🙂 Smile – God loves you.

 

 

POETRY REVIEW: You Took the Last Bus Home – by Brian Bilston

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I’m not one to compare writers. I hate that. Yuk. Sure, it’s great for marketing, I suppose – if you must market. “Fans of such-and-such will love this novel by so-and-so…” YAWWWN. That sort of crap is lazy and unclever, and has never once given me that I JUST GOTTA HAVE IT vibe.

It’s somewhat pissing on the author’s skills, too: when the blurbage tells me that Writey McScribe is the next Clive Barker, all I hear is “this guy is wholly unoriginal, having re-hashed some dying old trope or other.” Talk about damning by faintstuff.

What I will do, though, is tell you who my own particular boat-floaters are, just so you know where I’m at; this *chick is notoriously hard to impress, particularly when it comes to those who poe. If you’re gonna rhyme your way straight to my heart, buddy, your wordplay is going to have to contend with the likes of Thackray and Lehrer, and you need to be eatin’ Shakespeare and Gilbert for breakfast – and you have to be able to think all four of ‘em under the table.

*Old bird.

Disclaimer: If you believe that poetry is simply defined as ANY OL’ PROSE WITH ARBITRARY LINE BREAKS arbitrarily shoved in ARBITRARY PLACES, then:

I

will

not

be

read

ing

your

stuff.

If you don’t put your very self into your art, please refrain from bothering my eyeballs. I ain’t interested in reading writing; I want – NEED – to read WRITERS.

So, what DOES make a poet? Or, rather, what makes my kinda poet?

It’s simple. It’s not about what the words mean to the reader – but what they mean to the person doing the poeing. Can they twist and bend words like Twisty McBenderson at his finest? Do they leave you salivating, dangling that end rhyme in the air, postponing it until you can cope no more, before landing it safely on the runway? A true (to himself and the reader) poet relishes how words feel, smell, and sound, how they taste in your mouth as you speak ‘em, and he knows exactly how to make ‘em DANCE.

I can count on one finger those I hold sacred amongst my contemporaries. Ladies and gents (and every gender in between), I give you Brian Bilston. This dude knows how to word.

THE LAST BUS HOME is Bilston’s debut … oh, bollocks to all that. I’m not going to tell you the stuff you can read anywhere else. That’s just padding. If you want to know when and where it was published, and by whom, then check the BUY IT NOW OR FOREVER HOLD THY WORDS link here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brian-Bilston/e/B01I8GPLFG/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1

This is the sort of book you should forget to feed your cat for. This is the sort of book for which you should drop everything, RIGHT NOW, and just reaaaaad. (Speaking of dropping, do not even THINK of taking said volume into the bath with you. I speak from soggy experience. Actually, strike that. DO bathe with it, because then you shall have to take purchase of a second copy.)

Unputdownable is a term that should be reserved wholly and exclusively for the work of BB; his very mind is on them thar poetic pages, I tellzya. From simple silliness to moments of sheer genius, there’s something for everyone. And if you have a brain of the more literary persuasion, then this stuff is nothing short of grey-matter-fodder.

To say there is wordplay in store for you is the underest statement since Tiny Isaac, my local skint midget, said he was coming up short. Who else would do poetry by mathlight to make words be all Fibonacci sequency? Who else could offer lip-reading lightbulb moments of broken hearts and fixed words? Who _ls_ would omit a l_tt_r from an _ntire po_m to mak_ a point?

I have many favourites. But Read My Lips is the one – THE ONE – that seeps right into the very core of me (I won’t spoil the ending for you):

“To be clear, I’m not talking

Fifty Shades of Grey here,

but someone who knows their way around

the complete works of Shakespeare.

 

“I would rip out my heart

and write her name upon it

if she might recite to me

his eighteenth sonnet.”

THIS – right here – is how he rips my wordy l’il heart out. I was using that, damn you, Bilston.

So yes – buy this book. NOW. Eat this poetry. Salivate, devour, and relish it, and savour every last drop of Brianness as you decide whether to envy or idolise the man. Me?  I’ll be right here, waiting for the next bus.

Linda Angel

WATERLILIES

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Imagine standing in front of one of Monet’s finest works, and having nobody with whom to share his palette. What would art even matter to the last person on earth? What might become of great literature?

Imagine, perhaps, that you’re on a train. It slows down just as you pass an overgrown field (or perhaps it passes you), a field filled with a gallopful of the most beautiful wild horses, and your instinct would have you share the moment. But you can’t – there’s no-one next to you; it’s this very nobodyness that quietens and hushes. It’s the same void, the same plethora of forgottenness that has always shushed you, a track upon which your soulless self has drifted eternal, without love, without art, and without the possibility of ever daring  hope for hope.

My own existence was, until recently, a painful case in point, having become so excruciating that even futility itself was futile; there was no longer a point to pointlessness. Everybody dies in the end, right? So, what was anything for? What had my thoughts been about? Nothing mattered, least of all me.

I hadn’t worn matching underwear in years. Nobody to see it. I ate poorly, dressed badly, and I only ever slept in my waking moments. Dreams were something I dared not contemplate; desires and wants and must-haves habitually brushed themselves under the rug of my existence. What did my happiness matter in any case? Who was I to dare dream that one day, I might find bliss? So, I didn’t. I stopped dreaming, and wrote instead. And each day, before I wrote, I would throw all of my clothes up into the air. Whichever items landed upon me in unusual ablution – whatever stuck – would be my outfit for the day.

I’d written no true poetry, though; only the utterly fantastic kind, where an invented man had written himself, time and again, into verse. I had scars whose origin I couldn’t recall, but my perception of perfection seemed to soothe the sores as long as it resided in me. And whilst it did, I kept life and love at bay. Didn’t need real people. Didn’t want them.

Then him.

From an everywhere place, there came a heretofore unspoken and quieted form….where the allness of everything that ever went before and would come after, was happening now.

It started with that feeling of foreverness that sweeps over you when you meet INCREDIBLE. Call it love, like, lust, call it other-halfness, call it what you will. However you label it or don’t, it’s often mistaken as an exciting sense of newness when in fact, it’s familiarity. Think about it: you’re due to be with this person from now until you die. You’ll be theirs, they’ll be yours, for fifty, sixty years. All of those years are ahead of you – and you’re feeling them now. A concentration of an inevitable future; an ex post facto law of the universe, or a prophetic retroactive. Everything’s twisted, but that’s how you finally get to go straight.

You get to go true.

You get to go happy.

You get to go real.

And despite my usual, somewhat contrary ramblings via song or prose, I never had a type. There is only one of him. HE is my type. Precisely, perfectly, he.

And with fifty, sixty years of having his eyes behind mine, sharing our one mind and savouring it as we went, we wouldn’t simply share art. We would look behind the canvas and underneath the paint, right through all media whose disguises would prove invisible in the end.

In books, we wouldn’t read writing, but writers. In music, we’d hear and feel musicians.

And in life, we wouldn’t just share Waterlily moments. We would share Monet himself.

CLICK

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img-saving-lives-under-fireA pawn in an incomplete game of static insanity
Your blood-letting, tongue-tied grimace has you blind
While humanity’s serpents serp and singers sing
Of all the reaping things.
Madness’ descent pauses on this: it had no reason to exist
Until now, when it persists.
After spending too long in the half-life, you reach out and geiger-count your blessings
Tick-by-tick-by-tick-by-tick

Click
By
Click.

So you reach the total sum of zero
A clickless life, a tickless existence
Bricked up in the wall of political persistence
There’s to be no saving of your soul – it’s only morose code for you
This is a remorseless dry, brown experiment
White helmet knights would save you from the rubble
But trouble is, they’re under it too.