Poetry – Disconnecting

Excerpts from unNatural Heart by Geoff Francis

Copyright Geoff Francis 2020
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Excepts from Werewolf Dreams by Geoff Francis 


Copyright Geoff Francis 2020

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Excerpts from Prisoners on the Carousel   by Geoff Francis 

Copyright Geoff Francis 2020

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Heaven in a Rage by Spike Milligan

If a robin redbreast in a cage

Puts all heaven in a rage,

How feels heaven when

Dies the billionth battery hen?

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Chattel by Maureen Duffy

Driving back from the literature festival

through Otley handsome in black stone

with white revers of painted windows and doors

I follow behind a tin truck

gaping an open vent high up at the back.

Stopped at the lights the gap is filled

with broad snout, a wet black sponge for sucking up

sweetness from deep in summer grass.

You crane your head in the hole sideways to let

each eye in turn roll up at the sky.

Deep in the tumbril shock you don’t speak.

I know where you’re going this summer’s morning

and feel you know it too though how

when no-one has ever come back with tell-tale

smell of blood and fear on staring hide?

I imagine though I can’t see the shrunken dug

flat as a perished rubber glove.

The street is called Wharfedale View. It looks across

to where the moors throw a green quilt

for miles under a high sky. Why can’t I just

draw the steel bolt on the tailgate

and let you run and run up there till you drop?

But the lights change. You turn Left; I go Right

for Leeds and perhaps I’m quite wrong

and you’re just being moved on to new pasture.

Then why can’t I safe home sleep

but see still your face laid along the tailgate

with one moist eye turned up questioning

whether I would have drawn that bolt

if you’d been able to ask me in a tongue

I couldn’t kid myself I understood?

© 1985 Maureen Duffy

From The Extended Circle: An Anthology of Humane Thought by Jon Wynne-Tyson

Open Gate Press, 2008

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A shit cup of coffee brewing the next pandemic  by Heidi Stephenson

(after Heathcote Williams)

The civet cat
is a gentle fruit-eater,
a shy, nocturnal mammal,
from the family

Native to the tropical
rainforests, woodlands,
savannah and mountains
of Southern Africa,
China and South East Asia,
when food is scarce in nature,
as an act of desperation,
these vegan animals
will eat the fruit
of coffee plants.
The tough beans
(of little nutritional value)
are left undigested.
And herein lies
the problem.

Humans addicted
to morning/afternoon,
weekend/hourly fixes,
obsessed with trying out
the new, the ‘exotic’
have discovered
that the civet’s
stomach enzymes
cut the bitterness
from the flavour
in their coffee cup –
even adding
some “robust” extras.

Coffee beans
from force-fed civet cats
(made to eat
ungodly amounts
with laxatives
to maximise
the collection
of “processed” beans,)
are now desired
as the finest “gourmet,”
fetching astronomical global prices,
10 to 50 times higher,
than their counterparts.

In conscience-less cafés
in Indonesia, Bali, China,
the Philippines, New York and London,
single cups of “civet coffee,”
kopi luwak,” “caphe cut chon,”
“cat poop coffee” are sold
for upwards of $30, £50…
costing the lives,
freedom and well-being
of many poor civet cats.

Highly endangered,
rapidly disappearing,
mercilessly hunted,
(trapped at 6 months old,
confined to tiny,
rusting, wire-floor cages,)
horrifically abused
and exploited, in new,
make-shift “factory farms,”
they are sold on to live
animal markets,
when their digestive systems
finally fail.

Skinned alive,
eaten to boot,
(in Southern China,
roasted whole,
sometimes still living,
with garlic, soy and ginger…)
these nonviolent beings
are turned into “Tiger
Dragon” and “Phoenix” ‘soups,’
(their perineal glands first scraped
to provide the buttery,
caramel taste in sweets,
and to “stabilize”
expensive perfumes.)

When SARS first appeared
in humans, in China, in 2003
Severe Acute Respiratory System,”
many knew (and researchers discovered)
that the origin was to be found
in the tortured, savoured civet cats.

Their hellish existences,
at Man’s cruel hands,
(immune systems attacked
beyond self-repair,)
are now thought to have made them
“intermediate hosts”
between bats and humans
for COVID-19 too.

More Karma for the comatosed.

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What’s Going On?  by Tami Hay

What’s going on, this Unholy dance?
Are we coming out or going into a trance?
Projecting sadness runs torment through our veins…
So we suit up, shoot up, show up with our fancy wines,
And expensive pieces of flesh to fry,
To feed our war-tore hearts

Why can’t we feel?
What’s the deal?

What’s going on, this fall from Grace?
Is it just too much to face all the disgrace?
Where did we learn to bleed our pain
All over one another?

Does the crying we can’t hear mean a thing?
When did our wounds become un-Godly
Until the hidden scars waged war on all growing things…
Behind the walls of silent moans
Of billions of hurting beings!

Where did we learn to hide our pain
Until it’s shadow must rear again
In blood and war and hidden places
Or death’s magpies and ravens
To take us home

Copyright Tami Hay

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