Monthly Archives: January 2018

Sisters

Poems from 3 schoolgirl sisters from Stepney Words II, 1971.

I am different from my sisters,
I am the tallest of them all,
I am 4 ft 11 inch, but the tallest don’t forget.
I have got the same eyes, nose and mouth though
But not the fattest even yet.
I have got longer legs than them.
The people stop and look
Even the teachers can’t tell the difference,
My name is Pat, don’t forget.

Yet even my family cannot tell.
When I walk down the street, I think how
The people must feel,
Of how they wished to be us.
To me I am different, to others I am not,
But some of them say ‘yes I know them.’
But really they don’t, all the same.

Pat Conway

I am different from my sisters
I am the prettiest of them all.
But I’m only 4 ft 10 1/2 inches tall
And I think that’s the lot
I walk the same
I talk the same
And people stop and stare.,
Thy’ll never find the difference
Only from what I’ve put there
My nan can’t tell the difference
But she could if she tried.
The only problem is though,
I don’t really know why,
As I go walking down the street
I get a funny feeling
That the people all around me
Will never stop staring.

Barbara Conway

I have got two sisters,
I’m the smallest of the lot,
I am only 4 ft 10 ins,
I’m the smallest of the lot.

I amthe smallest of them all,
I am different from them all,
People stop and stare, and say,
‘Look at them over there’,
Even my own family can’t tell us even yet
They say ‘Who are you’, I say ‘Susan –
Can’t you tell us yet?’

Even my own sister gets us mixed up
She says ‘Come here Barbara’,
I say, ‘I am not Barbara I am Susan.’
I don’t really find the answer to what this problem is,
To me we are different
To all other people we are the same,
I just cannot find the answer, why they can just not tell,
When we go down the street on our way to school,
Everybody always stops and stares
I have a funny feeling no one is there at all.

Susan Conway

Pictured are the Tagg triplets, aged 8, from Leytonstone; Dorothy, Iris, and Myra.

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Tramp In A Welfare State

Tramp in a Welfare State

Litterbin searches
punctuate
his daily miserytour.
His clothes are maps,
with boundary-stitches
not the work of a woman.

Along your neatly-paved pathways
he is a drudging canvasser
for the party we should all support.

Paul Hart

From the 1969 Corgi anthology, Doves For The 70s.

She Is Dangerous

This poem is from Katerina Gogou’s 1980 collection Idionimo.

The title of the collection referred to Law No.410/1976 which fortified the security forces against protesters and the Greek regime itself against strikes and unrest. The law was dubbed “idionimo” by anarchists and leftists at the time, a word referring to the law passed in the late 1920s by the liberal PM Eleftherios Venizelos which ordered the expulsion of communists to barren island camps.

“She is dangerous – when god is bringing down the world with hail and rain she comes out on the streets without socks and whistles at the men she throws stones at the police cars and lies like a squirrel on trees lighting her cigarette with lightening.
The last time she was spotted at the same date and year in three different places – based on valid information the blown up bridge of Manhattan the delivery of weapons to anarchocommunist movements as well as the exportation of top secret state information are to be attributed to the same person. She is believed to be wearing a red or black military woolly jumper childish pearl ribbons in her hair with her hands in the pockets of a borrowed jacket.
Place of birth: unknown
Sex: unknown
Vocation: unknown
Religion: atheist
Eye colour: unknown
Name: Sofia Viky Maria Olia Niki Anna Effie Argyro
Darius Darius. To all patrol cars Attention she is armed. Dangerous. Armed. Dangerous
Her name is Sofia Viky Maria Olia Niki Anna Effie Argyro
And she is Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful my god…”

Katerina Gogou

Enough Of That

Enough of That

Enough of that
Enough of those heads in the clouds
Enough babbling about brooks
Enough dreary monotone
(a serious business, those limp lines
on birds wings and vegetation)

Enough of that
Enough of those academic artefacts
Enough smart-arsed Latin insertions
Enough of those self satisfied recollections
(a serious business, impressing friends
with pretensions and intentions)

Enough of that
Enough of those dew drop tears
Enough closed eye escapism
Enough of those feeble drams in the future
(and enough praise from a distance for poverty,
this is a serious business)

Enough of that
Climb down the steps of your crumbling towers
Look
Then open your bloody mouths
With words of protest
With words of action
Iron lines of construction
Words to use as hammers
Beating
Pulsing
Words to use as weapons
Cutting
Thrusting
Words from the forge

Pete Ramskill

From his 1984 chapbook Strike.