Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Red, White and Blue Houses

There’s a redhead in a one bed flat,
with a baby that sobs the blues,
his winter coat can’t stand up to the cold,
and the sirens don’t let him sleep at night.

“That’s just life” she tells him,
rocking him for four futile hours,
her eyes never leaving the broken lock on the front door,
as the song of the unsavoury street outside goes on and on.

She used to be the belle of the ball,
but now nobody calls,
no,
it’s just the cries of her son,
and that familiar song of fights from next door,
the beat of drug deals and dead teens in the dark streets.

She is the mistress of minimum wage living,
the freshest flower at the food bank,
still showing up with a little hope,
smiling as she sees her son’s naive joy.
You can’t make much with donated tins but she piles them as high as she can in the kitchen cupboard, as he sits on the sideboard,
and she promises that one day,
she’ll make him a good man.

She dances in the moonlight to that familiar song,
as it comes to visit through the open window,
holding her boy close,
hoping he’ll find his way out of their hometown.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Bots From Russia

It must be bots,

because, of course,

your streets can’t be squalid,

dripping with poison.

Reality doesn’t run side by side with your fantasy,

so you manifest new antagonists,

to avoid the fact you have been staring at the real culprits all along.

It must be bots,

bad news from Russia,

spilling monkey emojis into comment sections,

and black blood into the streets.

Eyes closed as sirens scream down the streets,

seeing conspiracies everywhere that you go,

so you don’t have to accept that your quiet runbles have ever been enough to drown out the slurs.

It’s just bots.

That’s what you tell yourself,

while a young man staggers to his mother’s door,

bathed in blood,

broken in spirit, with broken bones,

and the mark of the mauling men that you pretend don’t prowl your streets.

It must be just bots,

because to admit that his skin is bruised because he’s black is an attack on your fantasy,

and we can’t have that, now, can we?

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

You Can’t Fuck A Flag

The high street is six feet under,

with some petrol garage flowers trodden into the dirt above her face.

I am waiting for the Daily Mail’s daily reminder that I am to blame,

for being a millennial,

who never shops,

is sick of renting,

and has the blood of dirty immigrants running through her veins.

Once upon a time,

one of my neighbours told me,

very loudly,

and without provocation,

that I was an abomination,

and I have heard more times than is necessary or healthy,

that there ain’t no black in the Union Jack

(We get it, you guys are mad about immigration),

but I’m not sure what they’d like me to do about it.

It’s just a piece of fabric,

for fuck’s sake,

and I’m a living,

breathing,

screaming human being,

with black in them,

and a British passport,

so what exactly am I meant to do?

If I had a choice,

do you really think I’d have spawned on hell island,

with its dead high streets,

constant rain and constant conservative governments?

I suppose random racism takes the edge off of the cliff edge that many of us find ourselves dangling from,

it won’t put food on your table,

but it gives you someone to shout at,

someone to scare,

some way to feel that you are still the powerful prince of the British Empire.

You can’t eat a flag.

You can’t fuck a flag either,

but I bet they’ll try.