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The Diet

From the 1978 Bristol Broadsides collection Shush – Mum’s Writing, which is a collection of work by mums from the Filwood playgroup.

The Diet

Sat in the pub
Drink flowing free
Everyone’s merry
Cept poor old me
I’m starving

I have to sit
in the corner
All quiet
The trouble you see
I’m on diet
I’m starving

No whiskey, no gin
Why did I come in
No ploughman’s lunch
like that greedy bunch
I’m starving

Shall I walk to the bar
I won’t go too far
Just a pkt of crisps
and one drink
I’m starving

Then I think I’ll have
when I’ve finished this fag
some chicken and chips
in a basket
I’m starving

No I can’t keep quiet
I’ll shout, Bugger the diet
I’m absolutely starving

Maureen Burge


Poem from Misty, number 47, 23 December, 1978.

As the mists clear
A beautiful face will appear
With long hair like pale moonshine
Hanging to her shoulders soft and fine.
Her eyes are like sapphires,
Lips like burning fires.
She’s not a day over nineteen
Yet the years she’s lived are umpteen
Slowly now she fades away
But we shall meet another day.
Now she’s no more than the faintest light.
Mysterious Misty – goodnight.

Miranda Airey
Newcastle Upon Tyne

Avalanche Of ‘Rock’

Poem from Subvert, number 3, 1981. The ‘zine is from Keighley and was edited by Richard Jevons.

Avalanche of ‘Rock’

Get off your fat backside and boogie
Don’t waste a minute
Shut my trap and ‘remove’ me
But there’s already something in it.

I can’t read and write but who cares
I’ve a helluva lot of gut
I’ve caught loads unawares
Decision’s been cut, clean, no buts

I bring to you
Governments of laughing bricklayers
This avalanche of rock
A gelignite demolition of chimneys
And toilet paper pop.

You disgust me with vomit.
But when they built the fence
I knew which side you ‘honoured’
Now drunk and incapable with no defence
Drying-up is the only way
Or say your prayers.

Michael Maguire
Aged 8teen
Brad, West Yorkshire

The Goodbye Side Of Midnight

Dave Waller poem from his 1979 collection Notes From Hostile Street on Paul Weller’s Riot Stories imprint.

The Goodbye Side of Midnight

and eventually we arrive
at the goodbye side of midnight
no hope now of turning back
painful emotion has dragged us here
and here we must stay
to whiter and grow old
ensnared by our own matrimonial perfidy
no escape from lonely perdition
mental bars hold us tight
crippled in tight embrace
insipidly intwined like dead ivy
icy cold
and insensitive

Dave Waller


Ishaka was a Rastafarian from St. Vincnt. He popularized dub poetry in Canada and also gigged in the US. This poem is from his 1983 collection De Word.

Power Struggle

I see men seek power
only to raise themselves
above the Laws
of their own creation
Greed was their motive
now fear is their aim
from power they draw
Fed by fear
All the serve
are oppressed

I see them suck dry
the milk of the land
cups overflowing
in excess.
Bulging bellies
and jingling pockets
murder their senses
they see not the wounds
of the afflicted
they hear not the cries
of pain.

I see their power
gathered in Arms
Battle with the youths
of today
Power struggles
against power
Amidst the wailing cries
of the new born
Hungers Icy-fingers
Tearing at their
diseased stomachs!