A sawblade year:
The high points silver-bright, diamond-hard;

And in between
Ravines notched deep in time
Where I lost sight of life
And all sense of myself.

Now all its instances
Combine to cut another length
Precisely measured
From the narrow beam I balance on

And bring the rough and splintered end
More sharply into view.


Unspoken for

God knows they broke us too, back in oh-eight:
Sent years of struggle swirling down the drain;
Left short of everything but names to hate,
We railed and swore they wouldn’t win again.
We rolled our sleeves and got to work. The road
Out of the ruins left us bleeding, raw
And raging at the faceless few who showed
Contempt for us and all that we’d strived for.
But who speaks for us now? We will not stand
With those who serve themselves alone; nor raise
Our banner with the mob who’d cut our land
Adrift. What light for us in these dark days?
We have no voice, no power to decide
Our fate. On our watch, truth and reason died.


We’re seemingly having Brexit forced upon us here: across the Atlantic, our American friends now face the prospect of a POTUS few ever thought possible. For those of us getting by as best we can, neither May’s ‘sneering metropolitan elite’ nor Trump’s (justifiably) angry ranks of the ignored, marginalised and truly left-behind, these are troubling times indeed. And what’s more, it looks as though it’s all our fault. N.