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

Jim Bennett

advice to miners on strike (Christmas 1984)



take a newspaper spread open at the centre

roll it into a tube along its long axis

hold the shape in place with some tape

next cut from one end to half way down the tube


cut down the tube as many times as you can

when this is done     carefully tease the centre of the tube

start to pull it out  make sure it does not unravel

it will open up into the shape of a lovely Christmas tree


secure the end in a plant pot with some sand or soil

take some old match and ciggy boxes

wrap in coloured  paper with some string tied in a bow

to put around the tree  like presents


other decorations can be made using ingenuity

old magazines and newspapers  

colourful cereal boxes    if you have any

here is a clock I can dangle from



a freed slave would make a wallet or box

to kept their freedom document safe

it was often metal and secure

because if the paper it contained was lost


the person could be made a slave again

like an unbranded steer that wanders

finds its way onto someone’s land

gets claimed as their property


human rights and freedoms are like that

but the box we make to hold them

must be iron     heavy enough to stop

anyone who tries to steal them

Jim Bennett, has written 74  books and numerous chapbooks and pamphlets in a 48 year career as a poet.  Jim lives near Liverpool in the UK and tours giving readings of his work throughout the year. He is widely published and has won many competitions and awards for poetry and performance. He runs one of the world’s most successful internet sites for poets.