polemical poetry to prickle the politics of "permanent austerity"
thistles stretch their prickly arms afar
Not My Kid
Not my kid he isn't,
snail muck smeared under his nose;
eyes startled sideways under his fringe.
He had breakfast a long time ago.
I lift my hand to get him a drink
and he ducks;
he's long been used to ducking, running, hiding.
It's why he's here.
Not my kid, he isn't
but he's curled up near my fire,
eating my toast,
drinking my cocoa,
with my kids watching,
wanting me to let him stay.
Afraid I will let him stay.
He stays a while.
Where are the Social Services?
Where are the mothers and the fathers,
aunts and uncles; grannies? Anyone?
Timothy Winters has many brothers,
Smike is not alone.
This is a long distance call,
from somewhere in a place called England
in two thousand and fifteen
Mary Williams (writing fiction under name Valentine Williams). Lifelong labour supporter but so relieved we are finding a socialist agenda again. Teacher, foster parent, mental health worker, market trader. Survived cancer, now 71 years old, four sons, two grandchildren, same husband I started with. Won numerous poetry prizes, published in Envoi, Dogma, Oversteps, Flarestack etc. Website www.valentinewilliams.co.uk
Homeless and parentless,
this country boy
tried living in the City
in a junkie's paradise the Social found for him.
with only his dog
standing between him
and his own destruction.
hanging on to everything he didn't have,
ditching the dreadlocks and the dog,
worked on a farm,
bringing new lambs into the world;
gassing the rats in the hen-yard.
Working out what it means to be human
in the Twenty-First Century
for under seven pounds an hour.