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Human rights

10 Dec

A human has the right to live,

The right to love and be loved in return,

The right to grow, 

the right to learn.
A human has the right to be safe

live free from fear

The right to live 

without flows of tears.
Your rights are their rights,

mine.

Deprive them,

Deny them

you deny yours and mine.
Rights are rights ,

be it in the remains of a bombed city,

A refugee camp

Or the streets of Britain.

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Aleppo 2016

28 Oct

News beamed

To distant to screens,

Of scenes of 1940s brutality,

1990s cruelty,

Barbarity,

Lack of humanity in this young century.

This is a place where a ceasefire isn’t a ceasefire,

The writ of international law means nothing here,

Amongst the bomb pounded city.

While the world watches,

The Angels of death in the skies above

Unleash an apocalypse.

The ruins tell,

Where once, 

in ancient Aleppo people did dwell,

Now on earth we behold hell.

Grammar school

17 Sep

An education policy with the intention of turning back the clock, reinforcing, not breaking down a socially divided nation.

Grammar school

Welcome dear students

To grammar school,

For you my chaps who are born to rule.
A return to the good old days,

Mortarboards and school ties,

Perfecting the sneers from privileged eyes.
Selection,

We can afford the extra tuition,

For admission based on examination.
Selection,

to conserve, to preserve,

Our selective social position.
Carpe Diem,

Tempus fugit,

Latin mottos, a password,

a passport

To running this divided nation.
Selection

My lesson plans,

Don’t select based on background,

Do not deny opportunity.

A verb is a verb, a noun is a noun,

Whether you can pass an entrance exam or not,

It matters not.

In my classroom you can aspire,

To a future you can choose,

A verb is a verb, a noun is a noun.

Cap of Liberty (peterloo) 

16 Aug

A poem commemorating the Peterloo massacre of 1819, when 18 were killed in Manchester just for seeking the vote.

Cap of Liberty



Peaceful assembly 

on the fields

Seeking reform, the vote,

Liberty.

Banners flying,

Topped with that old symbol,

The red cap of

Liberty.

They came riding riding,

Sabres drawn

Just like Waterloo,

A battle against lady Liberty.

Riding down and slashing

People like you and me

18 butchered innocently,

Red the colour of the blood stain

And the cap of Liberty.

King Charles III 

13 Mar

  Last night, I saw King Charles III during its Manchester stop on its U.K. Tour. I must say, it’s a play that has intrigued me for some time, from its title, to the provocative posters. I wasn’t disappointed at all! Without wanting to spoil the many twists and turns of the plot, the play explores the nature of the relationship between crown and parliament and what it means to be a monarch in the 21st century. What a King can do in conflict with what he should do.

Headed by the brilliant Robert Powell in the lead role, with speech reminiscent of Shakespeare’s masterpieces, the cast negotiate the dilemmas posed by this conflict. I thoroughly recommend anyone to see it.

Here is a poem I wrote, influenced by the skilful work of Mike Bartlett…

Monarch

What’s a king to say,

When lead this way or that way

Left and right,

Wrong or right,

Should he say nothing at all?
What’s a king to do,

When any slight action

Could result in unforeseen reaction,

Should he be bound convention,

Guilded shackles?

Is it safer to do nothing at all?
The crown,

Bejewelled and gold

Is cold,

Hollow,

A trinket, a bauble,

As am I.

So I am a symbol, above the fray,

I must be, after coronation day.

English votes for English Laws #evel

12 Jan

 When is a union,

not a union?

When is one nation,

 not one nation?

We’ll keep you in name only,

We don’t want your voice in the chamber,

‘England and Wales only.’ 

Born in a Calais camp

14 Dec

Fleeing from endless war,

They walk for a thousand miles or more.

To flee horrors that never cease,

They brave stormy seas.

A scared man, his terrified wife and an unborn child.
They walk away,

from a homeland of doom,

Yet border guards tell them

there’s no room

For a scared man, his terrified wife and an unborn child.
So on a cold December night,

Out of mind of out of sight,

In a tent of tarpaulin,

By a candles faint light,

They took shelter,

As her time was near,

A scared man, his terrified wife and their unborn child.
What life can they have when nothing they own,

A long way from home,

To them no gifts of compassion, mercy shown,

To this scared man, his terrified wife and his newborn child.