Occupy Mother London

From Spring Equinox to Summer Solstice this year, I spent a significant amount of time exploring the small patch of the Square Mile encompassing Fleet Street, Ludgate Hill and Cheapside. Walking, taking photos, thinking and experiencing this, one of the most ancient and earliest settled parts of London. The site of much archaeology, mythology, conjecture and rumour. And finance.

I wrote thirteen poems incorporating my experiences of this complex place, many of them weaving personal experience of being a woman and a mother, with this area of the City of London. The poems became a map, Amniotic City, thanks to the artistic talent and skill of my best friend, and is now the first collection of poems I have self-published.

I took some of the maps up to Occupy St Paul’s this week, feeling a surge of energy there, in that space I have haunted, which gave me hope that it is possible to change this frightening and untenable situation that we, the 99% find ourselves in.

People are busy, determined, friendly and ready to talk. The site is well organised, with a superb Information tent and Tent City University with a full timetable of workshops and talks going on. More support and ‘new blood’ is needed to go and occupy as the current occupiers get worn out and lives cannot be put on hold forever.

Do not believe what you read: the tents ARE occupied (of course) and these are people who believe so fervently and strongly about what thay are doing, that they have managed to put their normal everyday commitments to one side for a time.

Go and experience it for yourself if you can. I wish I could say that I would go up there and spend some time being an occupier but as a single parent of a four year old that option is not possible.

That this occupation is taking place on one of the most ancient, important and contested sites of power in London does not surprise me.

It’s poetry in motion.

Train in Vain

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



Both my local stations will have their ticket offices closed..at 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.

Paper Cuts

We stretch for eternity

On hind legs made of jelly

Our brains digested in the belly

Of a gold and rotting beast


A definition of riches

A plate of scalding bones

Sucked juices for fresh bitches

We sing in dulcet tones


This is the end and we don’t care

This is the end of truth and beauty

This is the end of love and language


Shut up- x factor is on