Calm Down Dear: March Tomorrow #Oct20

How you feeling out there?

despairing over food prices, petrol prices,

cost of fuel, academy schools,

GCSE regrades, benefit cuts, ATOS cruelty,

disabled suicides, kids stealing food,

no breakfast clubs at school, no ESA,

university fees sky high,

workfare as P**ndland profits rise,

pensions fall

bed and breakfasts fill to the brim with families

living in grim thin-walled rooms?

How you feeling, out there?

Patrician classes making money

off the backs of the poor plebs

who wanna pay big bucks for

tax evading taste deficient coffee

while the media omit to feature our burgeoning

Vergin’on the ridiculous

private healthcare

Workless, Feckless, Badgered?

Calm Down Dear.


I am marching tomorrow because it is still one thing I can do to protest the cynical, cruel and calculating cuts being perpetrated by this coalition government. I find myself in the unforeseen position of not believing a  Labour government to be the answer, which is scary, as I have been a lifelong supporter until recently. The future is precarious for many of us at the moment for all kinds of reasons. For those of us who are homeless, unemployed, sick, disabled or who are single parents it is acutely worrying.


In the Swim

I have been finding it tougher than ever to combine study and being a mother. The MA is absorbing and I am learning plenty but struggling to find the time to do it justice.

Sam is settled into school and enjoying it immensely but is also exhausted, needing his mum’s attention, as a four-year-old should. As well as my own paperwork I now have a file for school forms and am way behind with Sam’s school ‘admin’ and need to buy material for and make him a King costume for his nativity play.

Mothers everywhere are doing the same juggle in varying formations the world over. As we ride one financial crisis after another, not knowing whether we will sink or swim, only being sure of being sold out on a daily basis, literally, by our current ‘Call Me Dave’ poor excuse for a government, I can only feel lucky to be where I am and be grateful that I can continue to study for now…

This time last year I was diagnosed with post-viral fatigue, also known as M.E or chronic fatigue syndrome. I’ve never felt so poorly in my life, or concerned about if and when I would recover. I seem to be ok  – if I get tired I am more likely to stop or have an early night. I have more or less given up gardening this year, cut back on the booze and caffeine and tried to live a more steady life and all of those things have helped.

In the last few weeks I’ve started going swimming again and it’s been fantastic to do some proper physical exercise. I swam twenty lengths this afternoon and came up with the structure of a new, long poem I am currently working on, and a few lines of verse too. Swimming as poetry methodology-who knew?

And Happy Birthday to William Blake.

Train in Vain

In the Telegraph today:675 Railway station ticket offices to close

Both my local stations will have their ticket offices least one, the closest, where people have been mugged….and what about help for the elderly, disabled, people with children in buggies where there is no lift or ramp, only stairs? People with enquiries regarding train journeys? They are only partially manned now, during the day, making them at best eerie places to be alighting from a train at night…at worst dangerous…

And, let’s not forget how expensive and complicated that travel has become (and rail fares set to rise significantly again) since the last lot privatised it and the Labour government failed to use their mandate to re-nationalise…

Memo of a Demo

Kids smoking rollups

Looking cool with filters

Pushing a butcher’s bike

Stuffed with subwhoofers

“Fuck You I won’t Do What You Tell Me”

The protest posse posing for the long lens of the press pack

Do they know that demos are meant to fizzle like a sparkler

And then it’s time to go home

Job done, it’s been fun

Light the touch paper of democracy

A process hard won

If it looks like it’s gone out don’t go back-

It could explode onto the front page,

And riot rozzers are all the rage in this

Day and age

Legal Observer in orange gives me a bust card

“In case you get arrested”

Me, a 40 year old mum,

With a four year old son

I know what a bust card is

From way back when

But I never got caught up in any bother then.

As I leave Parliament Square lines of hi-viz cops

Become backdrops for tourists pics- memo of a demo

I clock the riot gear in the vans as I walk back across Westminster bridge

This poem was written in response to attending the strike rally at Westminster, a demonstration against proposed changes to public sector pensions and retirement age.

It was performed on the same evening of the strike.

For more information click here.

Entered into One Shot Wednesday at the fantastic One Stop Poetry site.