Die DePfeffelschrift PAGE TEN : Andy Jackson

All The Talents

Liz Truss. Theresa Coffey.
Qwerty Wordle. Kelly Badenough.
Jonas Filth-Muck. Shaun Knotts O’Clever.
Pip Shithouse. Floella Blaggerman.
Dominic Raat. Noelene Caries.
Brandon Arse. Snorky Dump.
Polly Moribund. Helena Handcart.
Sir John Pluff-Trousers. Jeremy Filch.
Sarah De Luzional. Tom Mephisto.
Buster Sanction. Bernard Devious.
Brett Spatchcock. Brian Envelopes.
Patrick Flagg-Stompkin. Sally Headbutt.
Baron Hardline of Cutpurse. Grant Cipher.
Sebastian Fling-Fleshkin. Sid Crypto.
Lord Luvaduck of Halicarnassus.
Thanatos Armtwistle. John St.John Hades.

Andy Jackson is the author of three collections of poetry and editor of a dozen anthologies. He co-edits the New Boots and Pantisocracies blog with W.N. Herbert. www.andyjacksonpoet.co.uk


Die DePfeffelschrift PAGE NINE : Marilyn Francis

Wake Up!

It’s a new morning
over fields
over orchards
and broke-back pickers
picking for next-to-nothing
pay attention
to the baby
ripping up books
in his cot.

It’s a new morning
over Gotham City
a distracted bat-bird
smashes into its reflection
on the thirty-third floor
pay attention
to the weather forecast
you think it’s August
it’s fucking January
the trees have fallen.

Marilyn Francis lives in Radstock, an old mining town quite near to Midsomer Norton where murders take place on Saturday nights. Circaidy Gregory published a book of her poems, red silk slippers, a few years ago. She has also had poems published in magazines, most recently, The North, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Dreich.

Die DePfeffelschrift PAGE EIGHT : Ray Bramford

White Crow

By some strange twist of fate
he came upon the skull of a bird
It was the sign that he had been seeking
A message from the gods
A portent of divination and prophesy
since his birth
And now it seemed that it would be the
harbinger of his death
Or at least his recreation as Arthur reborn

On passing over he inherited the gifts
Of thought and memory
Of knowledge and wisdom and cunning
Of justice and righteous victory
The omens for the downfall of fools
That had led Albion into the curse of isolation
and selfish devastation

And in this phantom guise
He visited upon the Clown Prince and his house
“A curse upon you all”
He whispered into their deaf ears
“Nevermore shall you rape the land”
Nevermore shall you abuse and refuse its people
 their equality, inclusion, dignity and independence”
“Nevermore shall you divide to conquer
and steal the spoils through greed and sleaze and lies”
“Nevermore the corruption and nepotistic cronyism
of your evil black-hearted governance”
“Nevermore shall you sow the xenophobic seeds
of hatred to our needy neighbour refugees”

“Nevermore, Nevermore, Nevermore”

Ray Bramford was born in Worksop in Nottinghamshire and works as a Physiotherapist. He has published a couple of books of poetry and performed at Cerys Matthews’ The Good Life Experience. He has read alongside fellow Northern poets Louise Fazackerley, Matt Abbott and Jimmy Andrex at They Eat Culture and on stage in support of Mike Garry, Luke Wright and Attila the Stockbroker.

Die DePfeffelschrift PAGE SEVEN : Julian Isaacs

Bye-bye Boris Johnson

The Damned asked: didn’t we wish they were dead,
But even though they gave me a hard time, I don’t.
But if someone were to put a bullet through your head,
Will I be sorry? The answer’s: no, I won’t.
Scruffy and unkempt to the last,
You were the original Eton Mess.
Every one you pulled was fast —
A disgrace to our current Queen Bess.
At least The Pistols livened up the Silver Jubilee —
If you’d been on that boat, I’d have towed it out to sea.
You pulled the wool over my eyes,
Doing Glasto that time with Billy Bragg,
But wasn’t I in for a rotten surprise,
When you turned out to be a thorough slag.
You were always lacking in style and panache,
And singularly failed to cut a dash.
In this case schadenfreude won’t suffice:
It just feels we’re being far too nice.
I’m told your personal hygiene isn’t good,
And that in fact, like your morals, you smell,
So over your ugly face may they pull that hood,
In time for the chime of the division bell.
I think, even more than Elvis, your heart’s made of wood,
Which means it’ll catch fire as you rot in hell.

Julian Isaacs aka Auntie Pus (The Punk Balladeer) has been writing and performing poetry for over half a century. He has published two chapbooks, and his work has recently been included in International Times. He is currently completing an EP of poetry and music collaborations for release later in 2022.

Die DePfeffelschrift PAGE SIX : Arwen Webb

The Self-Described Three-Toed Sloth

…assumed office on the 23 July 2019 from a Ms May who
tried to demote the Stench of Death but ended up with a Bucket of Sick.

Sloth had graduated from A Gross Failure in Responsibilities at
Eton before going on to study Wilful Disgrace at Oxford.

After graduating with a degree in Recycling An Old Policy, he started
his first job as Mini Trump, kickstarting a 35 year career in Infidelities thus

denying the existence of illegitimate children. Sloth met [name] at
[location] then went on to admit he was “very fast at changing nappies”.

In 2022, Sloth was fired retired resigned left to spend public money on
fox hunting and painting wine boxes to look like red buses full of

happy-low-carbon passengers. Asked if he wrote anything on the side
of these buses, he replied (stage wink): “£350 million”

Sloth was predeceased by Constant Lying but survived by Truth,
commenting on this he said he was “very, very surprised”.

Half-hearted celebrations will be held for Sloth and the hidden victims of
#partygate whereby one can Raise a Glass but NOT consume cake because
that’s what people do.

Arwen Webb lives in North Yorkshire and teaches Sociology and Criminology to the youth of today. Her poems have appeared publications such the New Boots and Pantisocracies blog/anthology, the Morning Star among other small press and local publications.

Die DePfeffelschrift PAGE FIVE : Joe Williams

The Jeremy Hunt Stakes

And the latest horse to join the race is Jeremy Hunt. He joins the three other Jeremy Hunts you’ve never heard of, and the Jeremy Hunt you have.

And now they’ve been joined by six more Jeremy Hunts, some of whom are arguably less of a Jeremy Hunt than the others, but some are definitely more of a Jeremy Hunt than even Jeremy Hunt.

And three of the Jeremy Hunts have fallen before even reaching the first fence. The one who not even the Jeremy Hunts you’ve never heard of have ever heard of, he’s gone. We have eight Jeremy Hunts left in the race, with Jeremy Hunt bringing up the rear.

And at the first we’ve lost two. One of the Jeremy Hunts has gone, and the other…yes, that’s Jeremy Hunt! Jeremy Hunt has fallen! We’re left with just six Jeremy Hunts. But there goes another at the second! It’s another of the Jeremy Hunts you’ve never heard of.

And now we’re into the televised stages. Two of the Jeremy Hunts are starting to open up a lead, but there’s another Jeremy Hunt coming up close behind them, she’s making ground.

The other two Jeremy Hunts are struggling, and one has gone! And another! Just three Jeremy Hunts left in the race. The one who’s trying to be less of a Jeremy Hunt than the others seems to be making ground…but no, she’s gone too!

And it’s welcome to viewers just joining us on BBC1 for these final stages. You join us with two Jeremy Hunts left in the running, neither of which is Jeremy Hunt.

For those new to this, you may be trying to work out which of the Jeremy Hunts is less of a Jeremy Hunt than the other, but there’s not much in it at this stage, and only a small number of other Jeremy Hunts can influence the outcome now, and they’ll quite likely go with the one who is the biggest Jeremy Hunt.

I’ll remind you again, Jeremy Hunt is no longer in the race.

And it’s a close run to the finish line, but one of the Jeremy Hunts is fading, and yes, the winner, the winner is…a right Jeremy Hunt!

Joe Williams is a writer and performing poet from Leeds. His latest book is The Taking Part, a short collection of poems on the theme of sport and games, published by Maytree Press. His other work includes the pamphlet This is Virus, a sequence of erasure poems made from Boris Johnson’s letter to the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the verse novella An Otley Run, which was shortlisted in the Best Novella category at the 2019 Saboteur Awards. Despite all of that, he is probably most widely read thanks to his contributions to Viz.      joewilliams.co.uk

Die DePfeffelschrift PAGE FOUR : Karen Macfarlane

Diary of a Downing Street Cat

After John Betjeman, Diary of a Churchmouse

Here among long-discarded morals,
Damp crotches and wine-soaked free-for-alls,
Here where the party whips never look,
I’m forced to lodge with a thoroughgoing crook.
Behind the black front door’s glossy sheen
The Big Dog loves to smirk and preen
And lick his own entitled arse
(Dear Lord, that’s a clumsy, canine farce).
Some think that I’m a Tory cat
But please observe, I’m far from fat.
Honest mousing keeps my body lean,
My personal habits are perfectly clean.
I didn’t go to public school
I don’t ignore the very rules
That I myself make and expect
The common hoards to follow; yet
Big Dog has done all this, and more,
He cocks his leg right on the floor
And thinks no-one will dress him down
Because he’s such an affable clown.
But here, where corners drift with the dust
Of powdered lies and ground-down trust
One day will come some vengeful broom   
To sweep through every grubby room,
They’ll paint over Nero’s golden walls
And bury the bespectacled voodoo dolls,
And while they may be of the same ilk
With false smiles and hearts to sour the milk,
Still, I’ll be with the sweepers when
we chase the Big Dog from Number Ten.

Karen Macfarlane is studying for a BA (Art & Humanities) with the Open University. Her poetry and non-fiction have appeared in various magazines including Poetry Scotland, Green Ink and Spelt.

Die DePfeffelschrift PAGE THREE : George Szirtes

The War of Pfeffel’s Arse

So the War of Pfeffel’s Arse continued.
The Arse remained, so much the worse for us.
The chaotic course relentlessly pursued
by Blessed Arsedom called for Sunak and Truss.

What good could come of this, nobody knew,
Not Pfeffel who was sulking off elsewhere.
As for his Arse, let others paint it blue,
Little the Arse cared who’d wind up its heir.

The terms of combat were declared and set.
The Battle of Boneheads would last for weeks.
Sunak and Truss mean plenty of Arsedom yet,
And we can be shat on by four full fat cheeks.

George Szirtes’s twelfth book of poem, Reel (2004) won the T S Eliot Prize for which he has been twice shortlisted since. His most recent collection is Fresh Out of the Sky (2021). His memoir The Photographer at Sixteen (2019) was awarded the James Tait Black Prize in 2020. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and a co-winner of the International Booker translator’s prize. His own books have been translated into various languages including Italian, German, Chinese and Hungarian. He has also written for children, radio, and various composers.

Die DePfeffelschrift PAGE TWO : Paul McGrane

Catastrophic Thinking

A hot summer evening and the window blinds 
are letting through whatever air there is. 
A moth is going crazy in the half-light from the street. 
Its fluttflutt futtfutt futt is keeping me awake 
as well as your snoring.
At 2:37 a couple outside, 
who I’m guessing have been clubbing, 
are saying their goodbyes. 
I’m thinking of the candidate 
who’ll follow Boris Johnson 
as the leader of the Tories 
and what damage they will do 
with the two years they’ve been given 
and an eighty seat majority. 
If the plane I’m in crashes in the sea, 
how far can I swim before I drown?
What if, 
if I make it onto Desert Island Discs, 
Lauren can’t allow my luxury item
as, according to her rules, 
it might be put to practical use. 
What then?
At 3:23 I need a wee but I’m hoping to hold on. 
The couple have gone.
I nudge you on your shoulder
and you turn the other way, softly breathing. 
The wings of that moth are flat on the ceiling, 
for now. 

Paul McGrane is the co-founder of the Forest Poets poetry collective in Walthamstow, London. He has two collections with Indigo Dreams; Elastic Man won the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize. His second collection British People in Hot Weather was published in 2022. https://www.indigodreamspublishing.com/paul-mcgrane