Change – for National Poetry Day: Deborah Sibbald, Carol Caffrey, David Ross Linklater




the number of families placed
illegally in bed and breakfast
hotels and other unsuitable
temporary accommodation
has risen
by three hundred percent since twenty

is a visible rise in the numbers
rents are unaffordable

of  multi million
housing developments and the
constructors must guarantee to
include a number of affordable homes
though rich investors don’t
want to mix
with less well off
tenants so build    seperate
entrances bicycle sheds and
bin sheds where people sleep
from closed circuit
television nineteen
thousand empty buildings
are units for
investors accumulating

three thousand and sixty nine people
are seen sleeping rough on any night
in public places under dripping bridges
beneath umbrellas or tents in
parks subways
and doorways
are you in priority
need or intentionally
out The average age
of death
of someone sleeping
rough is Forty



Deborah Sibbald lives, works and writes in London and has recently begun to submit some of her work

Note :This poem first appeared in February in the Verve Press anthology  It All Radiates Outwards





Night cloaks all living things
and earth itself holds its breath;
wildfires flicker here and there
while other patches
of the wasted land shrivel
under smoke and ash.
When day exhales at last a snapping twig,
a rustle in the windless trees, brings suspicion not relief.

We are in the debatable lands now,
no longer speak in the easy ways.
Within the borders of silence
we take a breath, take someone’s
measure before we ask:
which way did you vote, then?



Carol Caffrey is an Irish writer and actor who lives in Shropshire with her husband and two grown-up children. A former teacher and full-time mother, her work has appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, Bare Fiction magazine, the Fish Anthology, Ink Sweat & Tears, Lunch Ticket (Antioch University Review) and the Galway Review . She tours a one-woman play by Irish poet and playwright, Paula Meehan, called Music for Dogs.
Note: Post-Partum, previously published in the Write to be Counted anthology, in aid of PEN.





He died through misadventure
or so he tells me. And the street
cleaner cleans the street
and the fire engine sings
and the woman takes a valium
and the sax man plays his sax
but today you can feel he’s just
not in it and the boy holds a coffee
to his face for something warm
and the beggar calls the smoke back
before exhaling and all the world
is in need of love.



David Ross Linklater is a poet from the Highlands living in Glasgow. His pamphlet Black Box was published in February by Speculative Books. Twitter @DavidRossLinkla

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