Cross in the box

22 Feb

 

cross in the box

Cross in the box

With election fever raging, I have created another free ebook of political poetry, called ‘Cross in the box.’

One such poem in the collection is this call for young people to register to use their ‘voice’ at the ballot box in May.

Use your voice

Use your voice,

Don’t lose your voice,

Your voice was not a gift given

But a right fought for,

Suffered for,

Died for

Your right of choice denied to so many.

You claim

that they’re all the same

But they will only hear those who use their voice,

Who make their choice.

If you want to change the world,

You need not be a philosopher,

A rich man, nor politician,

Put a cross in the box,

Make your choice,

Use your voice,

Don’t lose your voice.

The future can change,

The land can slide,

With only the sound of your voice.

 

 

 

A new politics

17 Feb

A new politics

We need a grown up politics
Not a Punch and Judy
‘He said she said’,
Playground politics.

We need substance over style,
We see bluster,
Filibuster, while we dream,
We call for
A new
A real politics.

We need a change,
A revolution in thinking politics,
A ‘get things done’ politics.
A politics truly of the people
for the people,
‘Not just for ambitious people’ politics.
A new politics.

365 days

2 Jan

A new poem for a new year called 365 days.

365 days

365 days to start afresh,
365 days to make a mess,
365 days to find your voice,
365 days to make a choice.

365 days to learn from mistakes,
365 chances to take.
365 days to get it right,
365 days to choose darkness or light.

365 roads to take,
365 foundations to lay,
365 choices to make.
365 fresh starts,
False starts.
365 days it’s down to you,
365 days
What will you do?

Cold November Night

9 Nov

My poem to mark the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall, a bloodless victory.

Cold November Night

When can a war be won without bloodshed?
On a cold November night,
When the darkness of half a century gave way to the light.

When can a victory be achieved without bitter sacrifice?
When people walk, march,
No weapons in hand,
Just a hammer,
To break down a wall.

On a cold November Night,
Concrete blocks crumble,
Hostility turns to rubble
A continent rumbles,
To peaceful march
To loving embraces,
To smiling faces,
Tears of joy.

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Utopia

19 Oct

My latest poem about a land called Utopia, a land that could be if people had the bravery to make it so.

Utopia

Utopia,
A green and pleasant land,
A place where your worries melt like the snow,
Where hope,
like the beautiful roses grow.

Take me to utopia,
There may not be riches in abundance,
The streets may not be paved with gold,
But what we have we share,
We care.
We labour,
But our reward is fair.

Take me to Utopia,
A nation truly united
Sweet compassion
replaces the bitter pill of cruelty and shame.
A gleaming jewel in the silver sea
worthy of the name.

The teacher oath- could do better

13 Oct

The teacher oath, the latest policy from Tristram Hunt, who says a public oath for teachers would emphasise the “moral calling and the noble profession of teaching” and display their commitment.

This policy, newly imported from Singapore, has caused both anger and hilarity, with a number of parody oaths appearing this morning on Twitter under the hashtag #teacheroath, many apparently mocking the suggestion.

One teacher wrote:”#teacheroath I swear to follow education policies thought up by people with no relevant experience apart from the fact they went to school.” Such is the state of labours current (lack of ) education policy.

For the past year of teacher training, I have been hermetically sealed away in a world awash with paper, marking books, planning, re-planning, creating resources. Working till 12 at night, up at 6 o’clock this next morning ready to teach and start the cycle again. Not even a rest at weekends. No wonder my parents said I looked horrific! During this time, I battled constant illness not helped by exhaustion, the pressures of learning a new curriculum while some schools stood in a limbo between the old and new, and the stress shared by other teachers trying to make it all work.

I don’t mean to moan and there are positives, the positive being in many cases you are making a difference to children who may not have the best start in life. But you do need commitment to do this and reach the last day of placement, which coincided with an ofsted visit!

Hunt’s policy of ‘teacher oaths’ is at best a meaningless soundbite sized policy, at worst an insulting implication that the thousands of teachers up and down the country like myself lack the necessary commitment. This is a distraction from the other issues facing teachers and education including lack of school places for a rising population, rising class sizes, funding being diverted to Gove’s pet project of free schools, I could go on.

All this policy has served to give teachers a bit of a titter on twitter and may have alienated many teachers from voting labour at the next election. If I was a member of Oftsed, I would grade this policy ‘inadequate’ and I feel Labour’s policy ‘requires improvement.’ You could do better Mr Hunt.

Plutus

17 Oct

This poem is inspired by the Ancient Athenian play of the same name, where wealth (Plutus) is found to be a blind man and the other characters in the play debate whether wealth would be shared more fairly if Plutus regained his sight. This is a theme I feel is as apt today as it was 2500 years ago.

Plutus

To see Plutus is commonplace,
Blindly stumbling through the marketplace,
Dressed in rags in disguise,
Fooling no one with the drachmas on his eyes.

If only Plutus could see,
Would he share his wealth with you and me,
The gulf between have and have not he would see,
and put an end to this inequality?

The naysayers in the agora say no,
This wouldn’t be so,
For his bounty the would do anything,
Want everything, value nothing.

I guess we’ll let the Oracle decide,
Which one of us will be wrong or right,
Whether the poor will still starve another night,
Or Wrong be put right
when this fallen deity regains his sight.

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