A Girl from Yorkshire, by Neil Windsor

A Girl From Yorkshire

Oh how the parents sigh, not inclined to rejoice
Dismayed from the outset at their offspring's romantic choice
They disapprove so blatantly as they take her presence in
Looks of curiosity, at a loss for words, of this potential next of kin
Then the floodgates open, there's no holding back
Lacking even the basics of civility and tact

Oh no, but the girl's from Yorkshire can't you see, she's just not our expected southern type
She's all flat vowels and sarcasm, excuse us while we snipe
She talks of strong tea and rugby league, she's left her whippet on the lawn
She's not a patch on a fragrant english rose, all sweet and Henley born
They're still living in the days of pit ponies, cobbles slick with icy rain, and beef dripping chip shop grease
Striking miners around braziers on the village green, we far prefer maypole country dancing, and afternoon cream teas

She's from Yorkshire they say, all Sean Bean, Hockney and Selwyn Foggit, working mens clubs and spam
She's not up to our southern ways, she's never been on the tube, paid the congestion charge, she's never watched The Arsenal or West Ham
The bustling size of London must be so hard for her comprehend, from The Docklands and Bermondsey to King's Cross and Harringay
She'd be out of her depth in Fortum's food hall or the opening night of a west end play
She's not our sort of girl, nice enough in her own way, but an uncultured square northern peg in a roughly hewn round hole
We can't bring ourselves to sanction your relationship dear. Good grief the girl's from Yorkshire after all

Pick a southern girl why don't you? Choosing to shower this one with your affections makes absolutely no practical sense
We need to protect our breeding stock, maintain a northern romance resisting defence
We're not prejudiced you understand we're just southernly civilised with a touch of self righteous attitude
It's the thin edge of the wedge to let her into our flock, we really don't mean to be rude
But the girl's from Yorkshire for goodness sake, all mills, chimneys, rhubarb and tripe. A trip around the charity shops is their idea of a day out
Her dysfunctional family probably lives in on of those terrible two up two down overcrowded terrace houses, replete with outside toilet no doubt

The girl's from Yorkshire my precious, we're tolerant and polite to a fault, but let's be realistic for a moment, she hasn't the refined attributes we seek and require
Heaven's above, the girl's from Yorkshire, She thinks Bremner, Giles and Boycott are gods, she's not the sort of potential daughter in law we desire
We all love to visit their quaint Dales and picturesque coastal and market towns now and again, but we wouldn't want to live there, all Chuckle Brothers and dregs of summer wine
They have scraps with their fish and chips, listen to brass and silver bands and treat Headingley like a shrine
Saints preserve us, the girl's from Yorkshire. She drinks pints as she quotes Bennet, knows Sutcliffe and Hutton's batting averages by heart, eats pork pies and parkin, and spreads mucky dripping on bread!
Oh but the girl's from Yorkshire darling, all rough edges and uncultured ways. For the sake of our sanity and social standing trust us, drop her like a hot potato, find a southern girl instead.

Neil Windsor is a Writer of children’s short stories, Artist and Poet from Leeds who produces and performs all his work with an absolute passion and a slightly slanted off – kilter view of life.
He also plays extremely bad left handed blues guitar.#neilwindsorart

 

Celebrity Stoning on Thin Ice, by Terri Metcalfe

Celebrity Stoning on Thin Ice

It’s very easy to shout insults
to people that I can’t look in the eye,
to an online presence who might as well be a ghost
haunting the blue walls of a white bird

They call it cancelling
but it used to be called public shaming,
boycotting
bullying

It’s a commodity –
you give me one opinion,
I give you two fingers
and three minutes to take it back

or you’re retweeted as threadworms
spreading from the anus to the mouth of the internet
but who wins in the end?
Gameshows, that’s who.

Cumbria native Terri Metcalfe has been published in Abridged, A New Ulster, Green Ink Poetry, Spilling Cocoa and Skylight 47 amongst others. Shortlisted for the Open Window 2023 mentorship programme, she will be a featured reader at the 20th anniversary of Over The Edge Literary Events held in Galway this January.

 

Excuses, Excuses by Neil Fulwood

EXCUSES, EXCUSES

Blame the “anti-growth coalition”
Blame every woke lefty on television
Blame the immigrants dinghy-ing into Britain
But don’t blame Liz

Blame those scruffs in Extinction Rebellion
Blame that baldy bloke and his union
Blame everyone who’s Scouse or Mancunian
But don’t blame Liz

Blame Nicola Sturgeon and all the Scots
Blame that Irish fella, the bloody tea sock
Blame Boris for being a fat useless cock
But don’t blame Liz

Blame FB and Twitter and the death of the Queen
Blame that Kuenssberg woman for going off-team
Blame Keir Starmer for shaving so clean
But don’t blame Liz

Blame Michael Gove for opening his gob
Blame the Bank of England for doing their job
Blame the … the … oh, fuck it, just call them the mob
But don’t blame Liz

Neil Fulwood has published three collections with Shoestring Press, ‘No Avoiding It’, ‘Can’t Take Me Anywhere’ and ‘Service Cancelled’. A collection of political satires, ‘Mad Parade’ was published earlier this year by Smokestack Books. Neil lives and works in Nottingham.

 

When you type Liz Truss into a Random Title Generator – A Found Poem by Ben Macnair

 
5 Ways LIZ TRUSS Will Help You Get More Business
The Best Way To LIZ TRUSS
The Secret of LIZ TRUSS
LIZ TRUSS: The Samurai Way
LIZ TRUSS Shortcuts - The Easy Way
Turn Your LIZ TRUSS Into A High Performing Machine
LIZ TRUSS - So Simple Even Your Kids Can Do It
How To Take The Headache Out Of LIZ TRUSS
3 Ways Twitter Destroyed My LIZ TRUSS Without Me Noticing
LIZ TRUSS: Do You Really Need It? This Will Help You Decide!
How To Quit LIZ TRUSS In 5 Days
Why You Never See aLIZ TRUSS That Actually Works
The Next 3 Things To Immediately Do About LIZ TRUSS
Why Most People Will Never Be Great At LIZ TRUSS
5 Ways You Can Get More LIZ TRUSS While Spending Less
The LIZ TRUSS Mystery Revealed
If LIZ TRUSS Is So Terrible, Why Don't Statistics Show It?
Does LIZ TRUSS Sometimes Make You Feel Stupid?
LIZ TRUSS Is Crucial To Your Business. Learn Why!
Do LIZ TRUSS Better Than Barack Obama
The Secrets To LIZ TRUSS
10 Unforgivable Sins Of LIZ TRUSS
The Untapped Gold Mine Of LIZ TRUSS That Virtually No One Knows About
101 Ideas For LIZ TRUSS
14 Days To A Better LIZ TRUSS
3 Things Everyone Knows About LIZ TRUSS That You Don't
Why Ignoring LIZ TRUSS Will Cost You Time and Sales
Master Your LIZ TRUSS in 5 Minutes A Day
5 Surefire Ways LIZ TRUSS Will Drive Your Business Into The Ground
What Zombies Can Teach You About LIZ TRUSS
What Is a LIZ TRUSS and How Does It Work?
How To Win Friends And Influence People with LIZ TRUSS
How To Teach LIZ TRUSS Like A Pro
Why LIZ TRUSS Is No Friend To Small Business
7 Easy Ways To Make LIZ TRUSS Faster
How To Teach LIZ TRUSS Better Than Anyone Else
Secrets To Getting LIZ TRUSS To Complete Tasks Quickly And Efficiently
Fast-Track Your LIZ TRUSS
Take 10 Minutes to Get Started With LIZ TRUSS
Got Stuck? Try These Tips To Streamline Your LIZ TRUSS
Quick and Easy Fix For Your LIZ TRUSS
LIZ TRUSS: An Incredibly Easy Method That Works

 

Live Laugh Love, by Roise Curran

“Live Laugh Love”
-Kim Jong Un

Former housemate Cillian (from Donegal)
bought him on Amazon for £12.99
and hung him high in the kitchen/living room
for all passers-by to admire his great glory.

He looks mighty chuffed
in front of his military sub,
and, cigarette in hand,
is quoted saying “live, laugh, love”
in beautiful curly cursive,
so, all us Irish twenty-whatever year olds
can look upon his superiority
and salute while preaching
our daily affirmations.

Right before we take our own cigarette
and burn a little hole in the flag fabric,
place a stolen public toilet sign over his head,
and drunkenly use him as a makeshift tea towel.

We’re just doing as we’re told, respected comrade,
We’re “live, laugh, love”-ing

Róise Curran is a 19 year old poet from Galway who has barely published any work but will get around to it eventually. She started writing when she was 15 as a way to express her disdain for school but I suppose she’s moved on a little. Now, she writes poems about all sorts of things like moving out, mental health and a good few about her cats. You’ll likely be hearing from her soon, she never shuts up (which is a good thing!)

 

Moving Day by Leah Keane

Moving Day

Every day is moving day in Galway,
but it may not always be a physical thing.

You see, we don't live, we simply nest in fear
that the landlord might suddenly decide to "renovate" again
with as much notice as a suicide bombing,
only for you to see that same room advertised one month later
at double the cost and a new door handle.

It's hard to feel like a person in this city
when you've spent so long being treated like cattle.

Once in a mouldy blue moon, they'll come along
to "inspect" the holding and appear outraged
by the number of glass bottles in the hall
or an old scrape on the kitchen wall,
all the while ignoring the leak in your bedroom ceiling
or the dishwasher that's been broken for a hundred thousand years
at the cost of innumerable cracked and brittle hands.

But the worst part about moving day
is that you know who's truly behind it all.

You see their ugly faces on TV
making speeches in the Dáil.
They pretend to know what it's like,
and some of them even have the nerve to believe it
while owning multiple holiday homes
which they leave vacant for the majority of the year.

Affordable means nothing when the scale slides
forever in their favour. They won't listen to us.

We're too young to know anything,
but should be fit enough to put up with everything.

It's getting old now, Michéal.
I would like a toupeéd lapdance for my trouble.
I would like you to feel ashamed
because the rental market is an awful lot like the top of your skull.
Unfortunate and bald.

Leah Keane is from Castlerea, County Roscommon, Ireland. She graduated with a BA in English, German and Creative Writing from NUI Galway in 2018, and is currently working as an English language teacher. Her work has previously been published in Poetry Ireland Review, ROPES, Green Carnations and The Stony Thursday Book among others.

 

Moral Limbo, by Ben Macnair

There is a new game,
it’s named after a place,
one of those existential places
that people who don’t spend much time with people
know about it.
We shall call it Moral Limbo.

Shall we play?
It is not a competition,
We shall play it more for the kicks
than the kudos.

How low can you go?
Lower than a snake?
Lower than a raindrop?
How are your ethics?
Your sense of empathy?
Are you doing things for the common good,
or what you can get away with?

Nose in the trough,
riding the Gravy train.
Playing moral limbo.
How low can you go?
Letting everyone else
take the strain.

I will tell you all about I, Me and Mine.
How low can you go?
I can only go this low,
as I haven’t got a spine.

Ben Macnair is an award-winning poet and playwright from Staffordshire in the United Kingdom. Follow him on Twitter @benmacnair

 

It Wasn’t Me, by Neil Fulwood

IT WASN’T ME
(after Shaggy)

Sue Grey came in and she caught me red-handed
puking on the Comms Room wall.
Picture this: there were two guys fighting,
the shindig was a free-for-all.

How could I forget that
I’d sent a round robin email?
All the invites I’d texted out,
she’d screengrabbed the WhatsApp trail.

How could you give investigators access to your office,
empty bottles and a discoloured patch where the boff is,
nasty stains spattered high enough to reach the soffits:
all bad publicity from which the Opposition profits.
You want to be a true blue Conservative MP?
Then deny the evidence that’s there for all to see,
never admit a single transgression publicly
and lie through your teeth just like me.

But she caught me chugging Bolly
(it wasn’t me)
leaving drinks with a colleague
(it wasn’t me)
BYOB for a skinful
(it wasn’t me)
can of lager with the ring pulled
(it wasn’t me)
fifth of vodka with the cap off
(it wasn’t me)
told security to fuck off
(it wasn’t me)
and now it seems the party’s over.

I’m not going to say I’m sorry for the parties I held,
but I really wish the media would stop giving me hell.
I’ll maintain I followed legislation set down at the time
and I’ll whinge and piss and bitch about my fifty quid fine.

And all because …

Sue Grey came in and she caught me red-handed,
knocking back the Pinot G.
Picture this … well, I guess you don’t have to,
some bastard took a picture of me.

Neil Fulwood was born in Nottingham, England, where he still lives and works. He has three collections out with Shoestring Press: No Avoiding It, Can’t Take Me Anywhere and Service Cancelled. A collection of political satires, Mad Parade, is due for publication with Smokestack Books in July 2022.

 

They Will All Take Us With Them in the End, (After Tom Lehrer), by Neil Fulwood

THEY WILL ALL TAKE US WITH THEM IN THE END
(after Tom Lehrer)

When you click into your news app
it’s not comforting that what’s hap-
penning out there is global brinkmanship.
Europe’s status quo’s been ballsed up
by a goon who wants to call up
every missile that he’s got and let them rip.

But don’t you worry.

No more Tory lockdown scandals,
no more guff about Prince Andrew,
or price hikes, NHS, or student debt;
if BoJo, Biden and Vlad P
push this shit past DefCon 3,
you won’t care about bent coppers in the Met.

‘Cause they will all take us with them in the end,
when diplomacy’s been fucked off round the bend
and a jab of that red button
vends total world destruction -
you’d be “M.A.D.” not to know how this one ends.

They will all take us with them in the end,
loudly claiming they had something to defend.
Was it a patch of foreign soil
or the current price of oil?
Did the Footsie close ahead right at the end?

Oh they will all take us with them to the grave,
telling lies about the lives they tried to save.
There’ll be no more cant and spin
with the planet all done in
and no world leaders left to rant and rave.

Down by the old maelstrom,
Liz Truss is wondering what went wrong.

And they will all drag us down with them in flames,
with no scapegoat left behind to take the blame.
We’ll finally be united
when that fireball’s ignited,
nearly eight billion unrecorded names.

They will all drag us down to dust and ash,
the victims of an act both cruel and rash,
dead as some assassin’s mark
care of a pissed off oligarch
deprived of his wads of laundered cash.

Of course they’ll take us with them in the end,
they’d do the same if they had their time again,
so hum a Missa Solemnis
just before that Yellow Sun hits
and the farewell bash concludes at Number Ten.

You will all go directly to your version of heaven.
There will be no hero to save the day, no 007.

For they will all take us with them in the end,
every man, woman, child, foe and friend.
When history overtakes us
and we all turn slightly vaporous,
yes they all will take us with them,
oh they all will take us with them,
yes they all will take us with them in the end.


Neil Fulwood was born in Nottingham, England, where he still lives and works. He has three collections out with Shoestring Press: No Avoiding It, Can’t Take Me Anywhere and Service Cancelled. A collection of political satires, Mad Parade, is due for publication with Smokestack Books in July 2022.