Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY SIXTY-THREE – Rob Walton

robin knows

to get away from the noise
I dig a hole on my allotment
and sit with a book
but I still hear my constant robin
who rests on the spade handle and says
in a voice between Trevor MacDonald
and Damien Lewis that he knows all
about Trump and the election and it’s all
they’re talking about in the trees
not that he gets up there much
and as much as he likes the worms
the hole has freed he comes down
to get away from the noise

there’s more fluttering to come
as three more friends arrive
bursting to self-express
but they’re more self-conscious
than my red-breasted mate
and no-one’s brave enough to speak
since that spuggy tried last week
before getting pecked to death
and now their hearts are in their mouths and
there’s more fluttering to come

there may be shelter under wings
and they may yet soar but
migration’s going to be a fucker
as it turns out there’s talk
and threats of some sort of cloud
wall and talk and threats of all being ringed
and pigeon lofts being converted
into avian detention centres so who knows if
there may be shelter under wings


Rob Walton is a writer, performer and teacher from Scunthorpe, who now lives in North Shields. Poems, short stories and flash fictions for children and adults published by Frances Lincoln, the Emma Press, Butcher’s Dog, Northern Correspondent, IRON Press, Red Squirrel, Northern Voices, Harper Collins, Arachne and others. He collated the text for the New Hartley Memorial Pathway and collaborates with sculptor Russ Coleman. Past winner and current judge for National Flash Fiction Day micro-fiction competition. He sometimes tweets @anicelad and oddness can be found at




Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY SIXTY-TWO – George Szirtes


Petals of rain fold. Glass runs away with itself, grows furrows, splinters.
Seeing the future through the window, through the rain, through folded petals.
Nothing appears clear, only the rain unfolding its ragged sheets.
Only the petals closed in on themselves. The rain plucked, folded.


There’s fiercer weather in store. A ruined rain, crushed petals of water.
There are dark evenings and crueller nights, harsh mornings and a long unsettling.
But for now, soft rain, crisp petals of blown thunder, rumours of summer.
All this beyond thunder, soaked and folded, rain unfolding.



George Szirtes’ most recent book, Mapping the Delta, was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2016. It was a Poetry Book Society Choice. His blog can be found here.

Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY SIXTY-ONE – Andy Jackson


Here are the reverse engineers
to reduce the irreducible,
drive a chisel into the mortar,
unbuild the house to build a wall.
Those who huddle under statues
are dispersed, and in towers
elevators full of women only rise
so far before they fall.

The hand we used to wipe
before we shook, we now wipe
afterwards, or keep in pockets.
We used to party at year’s end,
set off rockets kept back
from November; now we
sleep our way to midnight,
houses creaking full of dark.

We cried at things; shattered
cities, babies on the foreshore,
but now the tears roll up
our cheeks, back into eyes,
tired of accommodations
and even the wind blows
the other way. It doesn’t matter,
but we remember when it did.

The language is regressing
into gesture, nuance, silence.
When we speak, it’s of repeal,
rethink, reverse. We gather
at the well, but every bucket
is more brackish than the last,
and soon we’ll have to mix
the hydrogen and oxygen ourselves.

The news blackout holds, but there’s
a looping nature documentary;
a curious fish steps backward
off the beach and back into the sea,
feet turning to fins, to waving stumps,
scales flaking away, flesh dissolving
into bacteria, the idea of bacteria,
then back to a time before ideas.

Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY SIXTY – Rishi Dastidar

American Carnage

Not the institution but the flailing thin-skinned man;
not the dignity of office but the orange perma-tan.

Not the veneration for due process and the rule of law
but the executive’s tiny fists slamming shut the door.

Not the detail-rich briefings in the situation room
but nuclear football selfies by the Mar-a-Lago pool.

Not the submission to a press, asking him to explain
but the revelling in unreality media – more after the break!

Not any reverent awe at the power that he wields
but branded tat on sale to raise family business yields.

Not the hopeful melting pot, all trying to get along
but the gilded trumpeter playing white nationalism’s song.

Not the moral of freedom, the beacon shining on the hill
but all-American carnage, the government of ill will.



Rishi Dastidars poetry has been published by the Financial Times, Tate Modern and the Southbank Centre amongst many others, and has featured in the anthologies Adventures in Form (Penned in the Margins) and Ten: The New Wave (Bloodaxe). A fellow of The Complete Works, the Arts Council England funded programme for BAME poets in the UK, he is a consulting editor at The Rialto magazine, a member of the Malika’s Poetry Kitchen collective, and also serves as a chair of the writer development organization Spread The Word. His debut collection Ticker-tape is published by Nine Arches Press.

Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY FIFTY-NINE – Jo Gilbert

Doric Politics

Naebdy spikks
aboot politics
ah they want is a quick fix
watchin stuff on Netflix

Nae surprisin really
fan ye see
at orange faced wally
flappin his gums, on ih telly
makkin a feal o himsel on Twitter
it maks ma laugh
yet angry, twistet an bitter

Da get mi startit
on ih wifey May
mad Muggie – carbon copy
only in iss  ti feed ih rich
even mare
Blue passports
an Easter egg hunts
are mare important
than bairns lives
ti at Tory cunts

Mibbe ats fit wy
folk choose ti bide in
an hide, far awa
fae athing real
they dinna want ti feel
angry an powerless
so fur them, it’s easier
ti bide at heel



Jo Gilbert is a new writer from Aberdeen, currently a Writing Practice and Study MLitt student at the University of Dundee. Having just finished a collection of contemporary Doric poetry, Hings beginnin wi P, Jo is now working on several short stories, a novel and her dissertation.

Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY FIFTY-EIGHT – Tom Phillips

Remembering Margot Heinemann in BS3

And so there’s a sniff from the neighbours.
The lighter goes out in the breeze anyway.
They’re inferring our allegiances

and are probably right. Theirs are,
I’d hazard a guess. Not ours at least –
and staying put will leave us

in a different country. They’re forgetting
that we have memories too
and remember afternoons in the 80s

when Margot Heinemann heaved up the stairs
and the heart of the heartless world
plumped comfortably into the sofa.

We ate lunch her sister prepared
and talked of changes and days
when Jarrow came down through

a country made over to red brick
and university places paid for
in a different currency.

She knew all too well about Spain
and its unnecessary murders
and said so – rhetoric cleansed

of excuses – while her lost love
turned in his distant grave
outside Teruel where he fought

to the end to save everything
that they kept hold of,
everything that they held dear



Tom Phillips is a poet and playwright living in Bristol. His poetry has appeared in a wide range of magazines, anthologies, pamphlets and the full-length collections Unknown Translations (Scalino, 2016) and Recreation Ground (Two Rivers Press, 2012). Other work includes co-running the online poetry/art project Colourful Star, editing the magazine Balkan Poetry Today and translating contemporary Bulgarian writing.

Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY FIFTY-SEVEN – Finola Scott

Stane Dykes

Gather stones      obvious yes   but no need
                         for them         to be uniform
            Sandstone    Blue John        Granite
            The trick is to pile   high   layer    pack tight
Malachite Delineate territory    Inform your neighbours
it’ll make you friends     Slate     round-eyed pebbles
             may seem unimportant but hold a barrier snug
block chinks No room   for manoeuvre rock solid
             Rhyolite    Schist      Meta-quartzite
Belly-fat boulders built it fast        show strength
     catch others off guard     Basalt   Choose rough or smooth on
             a slick facade Sound professional determined
               Obsidian    Fire Agate        Copper
Cup it round a hill   March   down glens
              Make your own horizon.



Finola Scott‘s poems and short stories have won & been placed in national competitions. They are widely published in anthologies and magazines including The Ofi Press, Raum, Dactyl and The Lake. Liz Lochhead was her mentor on the Clydebuilt Scheme. Also a performance poet, she is proud to be a slam-winning granny.