Politics Isn’t My Thing

Your lungs are political spheres,
that rise and fall with tides of
legislation, as we try to be
a greener nation and fail
to nurture this dying mother of millions,
unable to demobilise, de-plasticise,
and give her just five minutes peace.

Everything is politics.

Your local school is a political microcosm,
bursting at the seams with tiny
politicians, on a mission to fulfil the
outstanding ambitions of their
exhausted teachers. They understand
the daily dramas of social injustice,
as they mediate and negotiate in
the concrete crèche of the playground.

Everything is politics.

Your food is grown in green-benched
gardens, ploughed in furrowed brows
of activist Earth-lovers, and shunned
for sugar by big businesses
who mortgage the health of your kids
to buy sweet new seasons of profit.
You eat the scraps from their table,
from Waitrose, if you’re able but
more often than not from the
yellow-sticker bin, within which
you find their discounted leavings.

Everything is politics.

Your neighbour, that nice nurse
neighbour, who fed your fish when
you holidayed in Spain has had,
once again, to placate the A&E
drunks before treating them for
self-inflicted cuts and grazes –
nothing amazes her now. Except
for the comments. Those coarse,
curt comments, that still suck the
air from her lungs as her paralytic
patched-up patients tell her to
go home. So she will. For good.

Everything is politics.

You were born into politics
and you’ll leave it feet first –
your family gasping
at the cost of the coffin and
asking why it costs the Earth
to bury you in it.

Be a voice whilst you have one,
because politics
can’t not be ‘your thing’.
If your ‘thing’ is life
then it’s politics.



Girls Lunch

the pulse in my forehead makes my sunhat


so I know I’ve had too much fizz – most
of the lunch money has downed itself,
drowned itself, found itself in the dregs
of cheap bottles and the bistro’s
artfully rusting terrace walls shout
at my face in plant-pot orange

a keen keen very keen waitress
is very keen to help us line our stomachs
with frondy plates of perfect pea shoots

She tells us that the chef is very particular.
He places
onto dishes that have no edges …

but the foamy minty apple juiciness
that he’s coated it all in
to make a run for the table

seep into its scrubbed wood and


in the cracks

where the cleaning spritz can’t reach

i look into the cracks to check and


right there

is a gathering of croissant crumbs
by mummies in their active wear
by sunken-eyed office workers with extra
holes in their belts, sweltering over an
artisanal coffee with chocolate chip biscotti
that comes from actual Italy don’t you know

my derisive snort draws eyes
a side eye
a subtle eye
a gentle pry

the pulse in my forehead makes my sunhat


so I know I’ve had too much fizz



he slices the backs of his thighs so
that one day they’ll notice it hurts

but not today –


today is too soon –


maybe, one day, a
will see the scars he
sat on for years

and care that he’s not ok;

Bouts with Flies

I chase flies against the window panes –
bashing at my reflection with claws retracted.

A big one creeps out of reach and nestles
next to the sealant in the top right hand corner.

So I watch it obsessively. Watch it. Until its buzzing
eats my ears again, burrowing into my headspace.


The people open windows for me. Shoo fly!

It obeys and returns to the world at their command.

I’m somewhat sad to see it go.

But there’ll be another along soon.

The Parting of the Ways

His feet – decades ahead and
achingly wise – have walked
the gravel in which my soul
now tries to shine. We exist
on different planes, despite
the matched crunch of our feet
in the dirt of a shared way
that ties our lives as tight
as the blood in our try-hard veins.

We walk this way together
a heart’s generational divide
that finds its echo in a loving past.

He told me to make the way my own
for his shell is not mine to escape.

The scalloped cup of the silver
spoon, resting heavy in my
thankful mouth, can never redeem
the trust of its inheritance.

My pilgrimage, found
in his magnificent footsteps,
diverts in ink onto handmade paper –
two roads diverging in a wood.