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

Mair De-Gare Pitt

Our Lady of the Rags

 

 

A sickly-sweet cloud of cheap violet scent

masks her smell.

 

She shuffles past, flapping her mind

like a bird’s broken wing.

 

Crowds freeze around her like water congealing

on a sea-bird’s warm breast.

 

See where a young man sniggers

at her broken-backed shoes.

 

Winter evening curtains drawn at three.

Insistent minutes swirl in cups of tea.

 

Her mouth is stale with silence.

Her breath smells of loneliness.

 

Time in her fingers is tapping, tapping.

Time in her fingers is tapping

 

in ever present tense.

 

 

 

Black to Grey 

 

 

Then

everything was grimed:

window sills, washing lines.

Everything was gritty:

teeth, eyeballs, fingertips.

Cable cars on the skyline

tipped slag on the hillside.

We slid on tin trays

and saw our toes when we bathed

clogged in dark dust.

 

Now

the litter that swirls

in the doorways

of boarded-up shops

is just grey.

And we have clean hands.

Mair De-Gare Pitt has taught English and Creative Writing for many years and has published poetry widely in magazines and anthologies. She has been successful

in competitions for poetry, short stories and playwriting, and has published studies on Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore, and children’s writer, Alfred Bestall. She runs a local drama group in Cwmbran, and is a member of Red Poets, taking part in readings in South Wales, where she lives and works. Her poetry collection, Power Play (2018), with illustrations by Jill Powell, is published by Culture Matters.

The Breaking

 

 

I live in the next building

Come on up

I’m on the sixth floor

From my balcony we could see them in silhouette

Just there. See?

We could hear them.

Still can.

We were sick scared and our hearts, our souls

Broke

As the tower, its black rags ripped like wings of crows

Broke

And their lives, brimful of dreams and hopes

Broke

It was a vision of hell, somebody said,

The flames flickering like Satan’s tongue,

Like his forked tail.

But I think the devils are still here,

Still with us.

Still in one piece.

 

 

Elective Mute

 

 

Words are sly, ink-black and full of holes

and some of them are pointed sharp as needles.

They stab me dumb as I fall through

the spaces in between.

 

My words mouth mimes

and hover, silent on thermals.

A cage of hot breath shuts them in.

 

My brain is taut with humming.

My tongue selects a silent power.

Woman Sleeping Rough at Cardiff Castle

 

 

Tomorrow, while I’m walking city streets

tourists will admire the tower’s strength.

They leave. I swing back like a pendulum

clumsy with bags and blankets.

I throw my quilt among scuttling leaves

and wrap my smell around my shoulders.

 

Tomorrow I’ll stand beneath a shower,

let the heat scour my skin.

Its sores and scabs will flake with suds

and streaks of grime that swirl around my toes.

Soaped and sweet I’ll ride the roundabout

until my smile is sculpted into stone

back to the keep which keeps me safe.

 

I dream of scrabbling up its lichened walls

and scrubbing my hair with clouds.