‘Because’ from Clementine E. Burnley is our Pick of the Month for May 2019.

When sifting through all the comments on our shortlist for May’s Pick of the Month, in amongst the ‘beautifuls’, ‘powerfuls’, ‘movings’ and ‘evocatives’, one comment in particular stood out. In response to Clementine E. Burnley’s poem which looks at the injustice and indignity associated with deportation, someone had written ‘relevant to me’. And at that point, ‘Because’ became more than just a poem. It is therefore fitting in this chaotic time, when it feels like the wolves are at the door, that it is our Pick of the Month for May 2019.

Clementine is a mother, writer, and community worker. In 2018 she was published in the the Emma Press Second Place Rosette: Poems about Britain, loss lit magazine, and die Neue Rundschau. You can find her on twitter @decolonialheart.

Clementine has asked that her £10 ‘prize’ be donated to the Hackney Migrant Centre.

 

 

Because

we have few means,
of dealing
with the night,
a door crashes open.
Closes.
with a woman standing barefoot at the airport,
in pajamas and handcuffs
with isolated instances. Rogue police officers
have never been isolated,
or dealt with
in any systematic way.

 

Voters comments included:

A beautiful poem about deportation, an image we try to unsee but that needs to be shared again and again

It’s so graphic BECAUSE the few sentences remind me of so many shoeless differently clad women behind closed doors.

Good visual through writing . Punchy .

Love the topic, the expression of the author

Poignant imagery through few words

Democracy did neva stands for DEMON-stration the CRAZYness.

because of the airports ; )

Beautiful and timely

Because it moved me to tears.

It says, showing mostly, a lot in so few lines.

Accurate!

It’s poetic, tells an important story and doesn’t shy away from the brutal reality of the West.

Injustice on so many levels

Stark imagery, laid bare and stripped. Tells a whole story in few words. Beautiful!

…Her books, poets, short stories although fiction, takes the reader into a world of hidden reality where events and practices are not much talked about or recounted for the future generations to know about…

It deals with a very PERTINENT and CURRENT issue.

Brings an image of immigration in simple way

The theme is relatable worldwide.

Inspiring, original and soul searching writing!

Because it tells a powerful story in such a small space of justice and of looking beyond what we see to the truth.

Clementine’s Because will get my vote anytime. Because, this piece resonates with me. It reminds me. I don’t get that lately! I really hope it wins.

It’s simple and beautiful with a message that’s particularly relevant at this time.

Very well written and topical

It’s simply beautiful.

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Clementine E. Burnley

 

 

 

Because

we have few means,
of dealing
with the night,
a door crashes open.
Closes.
with a woman standing barefoot at the airport,
in pajamas and handcuffs
with isolated instances. Rogue police officers
have never been isolated,
or dealt with
in any systematic way.

 

 

Clementine E. Burnley is a mother, writer, and community worker. In 2018 she was published in Emma Press Anthology of Britain, loss lit  magazine, and die Neue Rundschau. You can find her on twitter @decolonialheart

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Vote for your Pick of the Month for May 2019

Sometimes you just need to make a stand and in many ways that is what we are seeing from our shortlisted poets for May’s Pick of the Month. Tristan Moss’s hero in ‘Origins’ is all about [holding] the origin of all things/above her wish to have them…’ Clementine E. Burnley‘s ‘Because’ demands that we take notice of  ‘… a woman standing barefoot at the airport,/in pajamas and handcuffs’ and so much more.

‘Cerebellum (a secular prayer to the vacuum)’ by Matt Nicholson, is lighter in tone but no less importunate – ‘teach me to be emancipated,/to be satisfied…’ Avril Joy‘s ‘Aztec Love Song for Uprooted Flowers’ is dedicated to women in prison ‘buds unopened, roses full-blown/discarded, trampled on…’ while Harriet Jae, in her ‘Bid for Freedom’ seeks to ‘outleap these bounds in outlaw song.’ Perhaps only Mhairi Owens in her dark and haunting ‘Hippocampus’ bows to the inevitable: ‘But that’s something that lives where light doesn’t./It appears in the deceptive netting/of its own flesh…’ Or does she?

Whatever your choice – and all can be found below or by clicking on ‘Vote for your May 2019 Pick of the Month′ in the Categories list to your right on the screen – these works will not leave you.

Voting has now closed. The winner will be announced on Thursday 27th June at 4pm BST.

The winner each month will be sent a £10 book giftcard or, if preferred, a donation of the same amount will be made to a chosen charity. In the event of the winner being from outside the UK mainland, we will make every effort to provide a reasonable alternative. All shortlisted poetry Picks, provided they remain unpublished and meet other eligibility criteria, will be considered as IS&T submissions for the annual Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. (‘Frequency Violet’ by Kate Edwards was a Pick of the Month for November 2017 and was Highly Commended by the 2018 judges. It features in The Forward Book of Poetry 2019.)

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