Militant Thistles

polemical poetry to prickle the politics of "permanent austerity"

atos Poor Doors Sheriff Stars spikes

thistles stretch their prickly arms afar

Black Triangle bedroom tax Disrupt and Upset

Byron Beynon

The Cast

 

 

High above the kiln of orange tiled roofs

a woman sits alone

inside a public park,

resting under the cooling

influence of August leaves.

The flat canvas shoes,

a practical use

for her swollen feet,

the worn dress

that will fit for years

over the aged complexion of skin.

The two plastic bags

have balanced each hand,

weights of injustice

offending the summery air;

entering that solo life

each thought zig zagged

after the explosion

as a dying fire wept

deep inside

the cast of her secluded mind.

 

 

Portrait of A Gypsy

 

 

There are those

who'd want her

to move on.

They believe

she doesn't

fit into their

jig-saw of humanity.

Gypsy, Romany,

the rare traveller

within a different life,

but equal to all

those prejudice

minds she's met.

Her face has the strength

to say she is herself,

eyes without borders,

those determined lips

ready to taste

what life has permitted

her to receive.

Byron Beynon lives in Wales. His work has appeared in several publications including Radical Wales, Planet, The Warwick Review, The London Magazine, Poetry Wales and The Chicago Review. Collections include Cuffs (Rack Press), Human Shores (Lapwing Publications, Belfast) and The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions). He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and former co-editor of Roundyhouse poetry magazine.

His Ghost on a Hill

 

 

The hardened ferns and plants

join the face of my grandfather,

a worker of black seams

in the night.

His years in a field of darkness

scowl back at me,

they rock the boat

that moves on class,

he is distanced

by the burnt decades,

opportunities he never knew

behind that primary face

which understood the order of survival,

handed across the blisters of time.

He once saw an orange moon

eaten by the clouds,

blue and grey were the scars

on that face.

He breathed the polluted air and lived

to thread the veins of his children.

His strength will not decay,

he hangs his ghost on a hill

overlooking the deep-seated sea.

I keep him alive in his silent race.

 

 

On Hungerford Bridge

 

 

The change-seekers

who squat under blankets,

the discarded cans and newspapers,

skateboarders who weave across

 

as trains vibrate

in and out of Charing Cross,

the saxophonist

facing St Paul's,

 

his notes airborne

in this fraction of city;

the indefatigable ant-like pedestrians

motion over a dark soup of river,

 

the multimillion strides

under a cloudless rhythm,

witnesses to the chaos of poverty

reaching for the fragments of eternal dreams.