Poem of the day

Drinking the Sea at Gaza

by Sarah Maguire

The rusted municipal standpipe

scalds in the noonday sun.

 

Wrenched open, it gasps,

then stops,

 

then coughs up

a wretched stuttered stream,

 

a warm brown bile,

metallic and briny,

 

that even the donkeys

won’t drink from choice.

 

The rusted municipal standpipe

stands in a puddle of slime,

 

a playground for cockroaches

as they freefall through drains,

 

then slip down the long-busted sewer

oozing its cloacal juice.

 

The foul stream seeps

down blundering alleyways,

 

past kicked-in doors,

past that tentative shop stocked

 

with yellowing boxes,

past sheetiron and snowcem,

 

past barbedwire and razorwire,

past children, barefooted,

 

the enamel already stripped

from their teeth,

 

lugging scratched plastic jerricans

bigger than they are

 

which they fill to the brim

with what-passes-for water

 

in Beach Camp, in Gaza,

where people are drinking

 

the sea.

Deep underground

 

the aquifer is emptied of rain.

The thick beds of sandstone

 

(open-pored, permeable, cool)

interleaved with layers

 

of silty clay and clayey silt,

are being sucked dry.

 

The watertable plummets.

The sea trickles in,

 

to be seasoned with chlorine

then plumbed along pipelines

 

to this rusting municipal standpipe

scalding in the noonday sun.

24 May

Orientation

by Kayo Chingonyi

POETRY LIBRARY BY INDIA ROPER-EVANS143_BW

Image Credit: 
INDIA ROPER-EVANS
Southbank Centre Poetry Library.Royal Festival Hall.Library, rare books, visitors
23 May

The Cries of London

by Anonymous

22 May

After War

by Louis Ginsberg

Like leaves a storm is furious at,

        Men flutter down in fields unfenced;

Yet Truth has a pact with nature that

        All Hate is powerless against.

 

As petals, crumbling to the ground,

        Cater to blossoms, mankind knows

The flower of Truth is lost and found

        In resurrection of the rose.

21 May

If I Were A Rose

by Sabrina Mahfouz

POETRY LIBRARY BY INDIA ROPER-EVANS143_yellow

Image Credit: 
INDIA ROPER-EVANS
Southbank Centre Poetry Library.Royal Festival Hall.Library, rare books, visitors
20 May

'I saw a peacock'

by Anonymous

19 May

A Long Run

by Erin Bolens