Then there are the children, no not the children I hear you scream, well yes, the children. This government has put increasing numbers of children in poverty; this is because of falling wages (the majority of people in poverty in the UK are in work – one of Labour’s great failings was subsidising capitalism through tax credits thus allowing businesses to keep wages low) and the general cuts to benefits, compounded by the Universal Credit debacle.
This will be the last post from PP this year. Thank you to all who have kept reading and supporting the poetry of working class lives. Have a great end of year, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, and we’ll see you on the other side.
Katherine Lockton is a poet living in London who runs exciting workshops at South Bank Poetry. She has experience teaching and running workshops with beginner and advanced students, teenagers, the elderly and those with health problems. Her work has been published in publications such as: Magma, Rising, Morning Star, Northwords Now, The Delinquent, and ‘Hallelujah for 50ft Women’ out with Bloodaxe. Katherine has won a number of awards including the Inaugural International Travel Bursary by The Saltire Society and British Council Scotland, shortlisted for Girton College’s Jane Martin Poetry Prize, and won first place in the Field Poetry Competition judged by Martin Figura.
Dr Lee and The Apple Tree
The walking stick that Doctor Yung Lee
has gifted me is made from an apple tree.
I can still smell the apples the tree once grew.
The apples are like the ones that I once drew.
I lie in Westminster Hospital on Christmas day
and Santa visits me and tells me while I play
that I will walk, and says this with so much
knowing that I believe his words and blush.
No one will ever love me again I cry.
The man in the red suit hides his eyes.
Love is the small details in life; the giving
of clay buttons instead of gold rings;
when words simply cannot do
and life gets in the way of it all too.
Silencing Big Ben
My father’s mood swings, a steel pendulum, cold and shiny as Big Ben’s.
I learn to say yes, sorry and yes again.
The day they silenced Big Ben, my father learnt to speak, to say things other than “fuck” and “fuck”.
As a child I clung onto that steel. Now all but gone, my body swings with the music of it all. I used to wish
I had that very same metal boldness; now only that I could, with the braveness of a duckling swimming in its first rain, give up.