Poem of the Week: ‘Occupant Apartment 2 D’ by Joan McNerney

Poem of the Week

3rd Place

Andy Brown
Report from the Front Line

The other month Islamic State tore down the ruins in Palmyra
Millennia of history and civilisation wiped out in an instant
Religious fanatics decree destruction supporting desecration of unique beauty
In Knowle West a couple of rummaged suitcases lay discarded
A child’s existence evidenced, solace and comfort bared for all to witness
Stress sent my partner to hospital
Last evening the kids tore my front wall down
In the dark

Under blazing lights the dead lay in Paris morgues
Lives taken in an instant with no forethought
A breathless teddy bear sunbathes outside my bedroom window
Deprivation scatters the detritus of displacement
Beliefs and ideology kill the innocent
No-one called round from the police yesterday
Last evening the kids tore my front wall down
By the light of a December evening

The Caliphate has been built up over years of capitalism
Anti-social behaviour nestles in the womb of degradation
A national emergency because we are all in danger from attack
Terror and panic imbued in headline chasing red-tops
No report made of the discrimination suffered by us in the over-55’s block
Control orders and border controls blown away with AK 47’s
Last evening the kids tore my front wall down
No-one saw what happened by the light of a December night

Intelligence denied by unaware national governments allow escape of terrorists
Local police fully aware and informed of disturbance and terror in Knowle West
Red and white tape surround the fallen column outside my front window
A gap has appeared for them to seep through into my sanctuary
Terrorists invade and maim as boys and girls play their games
In Knowle West a police car drives past but does not stop
Last evening the kids tore my front wall down
And now parliament decides to bomb Syria by the light of December darkness

My name is Andy Brown and I perform spoken word in the Bristol area under the title of The Grandad from Knowle West, I use the power of poetry to bear witness and reflect on my life.

2nd Place

Tine Perlas-Heraldo

Do not folly; do not worship me,
a calf born of spectacles and melted gold.
Betwixt the chapped lips, pursed,
and the callouses offering kisses,

the wolf will never nurse the maladies;
heal the cackle of the jealous blood,
and of the mocking, treacherous bile
within the feverish sunburnt skin, and

the drum wagons are reeling westward,
canvasses billowing to the exit of the sun.
The laurels, divine on my head, are turning
and swelling bright but boring orange

for it does more damage, you know.
Roaring and untamed, the rabid pack stalks
the little holes within the elephantine dam.
Oh us, the pretty ones will play with discord

while insidious bones inhale the crisp breath
of the fading mirth of the dying morn.
Leave those horrid claw marks, my dear
on the sensuous back of friendless guilt.

BIO: My name is Tine Perlas-Heraldo and I’m a poet that writes in both English and Tagalog since I was eleven years old. My favorite poets include Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Allen Ginsberg. I graduated from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas with a degree in Political Science.

1st Place

Joan McNerney
Occupant Apartment 2 D

His days marched in place
days like tin soldiers each one
pushing the next aside.

Hurry, hurry before it is too late…
inside a gaping hole to be filled.
More and more of the surface
of his life was covered by dust.

The hallway gave off a musty odor.
Night after night, lights burned.
Busted dreams heaped in boxes.
Black marks covered floors.

Less and less energy to clean up.
His body betrayed him, both his
bones, his breath betrayed him.

One edge of his room spoke to
the other. His fan purred all summer,
basement furnace heaved all winter.
This incessant sigh gathering dust.

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary zines such as Camel Saloon, Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Missing of the Birds, and included in Bright Hills Press, Kind of A Hurricane Press and Poppy Road Review anthologies. She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net.

Cultured Vultures Poem of the Week

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