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

Sally Flint

Sally Flint's latest collections are The Hospital Punch (Marquette Publications) and Pieces of Us (Worple Press). Her writing has been widely published and anthologised. She teaches creative writing and is a tutor with The Poetry School. She is also co-founder/editor of Riptide Journal and Canto Poetry based at the University of Exeter.

Gulls and Politicians

'I have never known birds of different species to flock together...

if that happened, we wouldn't stand a chance!' Alfred Hitchcock

 

 

We coast on campuses, eye up the best

roosting places - fly high, stay above

the proles so, when they look up,

they see white wings against bright blue.

Wind and rain doesn't penetrate our plumage

while those on the ground get drenched.

Our chorus drowns out gasping fish.

 

Chicks can be swallowed whole,

a pensioner attacked, crusts seized

from a girl's mouth. We don't hesitate

to gorge on the tastiest bits, dive

in dark reservoirs to preen dirt

grey feathers, yellow legs -

rinse blood from our beaks.

 

 

Going into Touch

 

 

Across a drenched field players position

themselves strategically beneath floodlights.

 

A crowd's breath is held. They know the rules.

In this game there's no restriction on holding

 

the ball in one or two arms. There are no limits

to the number of steps taken. Attackers

dodge the opposition and, when tackled,

they're able to kick in any direction. Lines

 

can be crossed. Cheers fill the stadium, driven

on rain to the underbelly of the city where a man

struggles to get up from the ground. Homeless,

he may never escape the scrum as he tries

to find shelter in the park. Sometimes, he scores

in the shadows, dreams of being on a winning team.

Made Bed

 

 

He's made bunk, sofa, fold up,

apple-pie, lay on shallow foam

and feather, washed sheets,

eaten sweets placed on pillows,

strewn petals, shared

king-sized beds. He's tucked

in children, planted crop-beds,

disposed of mattresses,

seen refugees crammed

on camp beds, and spent days

in a hospital bed. Felt hot,

and the cold of river beds.

Now, this ex-soldier,

back in his home town

is without a bed -

curled on concrete,

his death bed.