Obverse

head_of_the_statue_of_liberty_1885

Her stern copper face looks down on me,
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s mother?
On closer inspection, can’t help but feel
That this is the Frenchman’s mad brother.

Bearing the torch and tabula ansata,
He invokes the chain of a broken law.
I am enlightened today –
Libertas is male: in shock but not awe.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/02/is-the-statue-of-liberty-actually-a-man/

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Shadow of a shadow

The River pub jostled with white working class
& sometimes I joined them on Sundays.

Large daffodils decked the stained wallpaper
intimidating weary visitors.

The rowdy bar divided women to the left,
the men right of rectangular room.

Tom’s rotund belly expertly handled pints.
Turquoise Lacoste armpits stained

he limped over tinny jukebox trilling
Sue in faded light: “Can I shag you tonight?”

Jazz spurts whisky from his mouth,
spraying giddy men who dastardly roar.

“Bring it on Minotaur!”
– as she danced on makeshift floor with gang.

The night lengthened. Hot meat & burgers
by-products in the future

the landlord calls time & the rabble stagger
onto the Golden Sun.

Ardwick Green

Along Devonshire Street North
& pausing at Universal Square,
John Dalton is buried over there.

A barely functioning knitwear
factory straddles playing field,
once a prestigious cemetery &

hidden under shaved green grass
Bones –
it’s always eerily quiet here.

The atomic theorist hawks down
from the tower of Nicholls hospital,
& as the day grows old

in supposed rush hour
the drivers cease to notice
the sprinkling of humans

on the cold pavement
as if they were ghosts,
edging

past the gothic building
as it blares the evening’s
purple torch.

Winter blues

Still pink tinted shapes
decorate this cold blue sky.
A white blanket covers the pavement, the street, the conifer,       the dead tree / sleeping
no warfare is present here.

When the pregnant woman from no.10
slams the door and walks,
she almost slips on the ice &
off to work she slides.

The snowy hillside on the horizon
picturesque with brown steeple
of abandoned church sticking out,
the peace is breached

when two Chinese children,
the girl clutching fluffy
black and white Dalmatian
faithfully swings

her brother’s hand
but he falls heavily
and starts
to wail.

The Orange Tangerine

As it lay in the coal coloured
rectangular bowl gleaming it caught
my eye amongst fresh green apples
and yellowish pears speckled brown –
but I had to catch this train

& upon return a few days later
the tangerine was not orange
but smothered in mould green,
once gleaming it is thrown
onto the compost.

About Poems

Poems
Someone told me
are not written
but fester in the mind
until spewed out
onto the blank canvas.

Poems
when published
are given away
so the poet
must learn
the craft of letting go.

Poems
were present
before you and I –
recited by ancients
to vast public crowds
or in the King’s court.

Poems
scratched as hieroglyphs,
paint vivid pictures
that lures the reader
away from didactic
mundane realities.

Poems
are the responsibility
of the writer so
when criticized the author
should not complain
or even worse curl up
in the fetus position
feeling blue.

Poems
do not have to rhyme
but can projectively
free verse all the way
to eternity.

Poems
can be be exchanged
for money
but nowadays many
say poetry is a dying art –
long live the poem.

Grenfell Tower: How many dead?

a tall charred tower
parades for eyes who wish to view.
& though I wasn’t there

people burnt in their rooms
while others scampered
the hallways.

some sought relief
jumping high balconies –
children, mothers, fathers, friends

frantically screamed
as a rabid fire uproots
a community and shines

a spotlight on a nation
(the richest will not cater for it’s poor).
cladding on the Tower,

and a Hotpoint fridge
notably mentioned
stirs this negligible nightmare.

79 deceased,
imprints on the psyche
but Brexit and May

storm back on the agenda.
the media complies
wistfully reporting

failed safety checks
but others want to know
who’s missing?

who’s dead?
who’s grieving?
who’s homeless?

who’s penniless?
who’s angry?
though I wasn’t there

a resident said
“we are not angry –
we are traumatized.”

***

Grenfell tower survivors believe ‘many more’ people died than in current official death toll @ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/grenfell-tower-fire-death-toll-david-lammy-official-cover-police-up-80-people-mp-latest-survivors-a7819156.html