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November 28, 2015 / Sarah Thomasin


There are people who still use the word


Pursing their lips to spit the PROM.

(Acts like the queen, but don’t believe the hype)

Smiling behind their teeth into the MIS 

(She never married, did she? Who would touch her?)

Snarling and sneering bitterly on CU

(Line up now, lads, there’s plenty for you all) 

But O their sorrow, as they utter US

(Not fair! It doesn’t matter what we call her:

She won’t belong to us. 

She promised, oh she promised that she would.

She promised us. Promised to us. To us!)



She never promised you a goddamn thing.

You missed the point.

The way you always do.

This word won’t bother her: 

it marks and labels you,
Spitting your bitterness.




November 27, 2015 / Sarah Thomasin

Bolton Abbey, 1987

(This is a completely true story)

A trip to the ruined abbey

And the river.

I dare to feel happy.

I imagine sinking in dark water.

The current’s pull.

As deadly and as brown as Coca-Cola

The Dreaded Wharfe.

Aire drowns one.

My mother warns

But Wharfe drowns five.

She will not let me swim.

The water does not scare me:

Its cold dark beckons me.

Once, years ago, I floated here

Tiny in an orange rubber ring

Out of all their reaches.

They said I could have died.

I think I can remember speed,

And freedom,

My sisters shouting, running alongside me. 

My disappointment when at last I drifted, 

Unharmed toward the shore.

My sisters are not here. 

I’m only with my parents:

A unit still, but barely.

I stare out at the pulling, dark brown, water.

Sweet and dangerous.

My father buys a can of coca cola.

Not so much a kindness meant for me

As another knife to stick into his marriage.

To win me over, poison me against her.

He knows my mum already told me no.

I know he knows.

My mother sighs, and shrugs.

I take my treat to drink down by the river.

The next Olympic Games are in Korea.

The can I’m holding tells me all about it.

It tells me I could win a trip to Seoul.

I know that this is Sports. I do not care.

I did not know Korea was a country.

I thought it was a job.

Or maybe, the sensation

Of veering off, untethered, uncontrolled.

I rip the ring pull off.

The underside is gold.

I’ve won a trip to Seoul.

I think. They will not let me go alone.

Perhaps they will not let me go at all.

It’s cannot be for me. It’s a mistake.

They’ll laugh, and say I haven’t really won it.

And, probably, my mum and dad will argue.

I throw the ring pull deep into the Wharfe.

And drink the dark brown water.

On the way home, they argue anyway.

November 13, 2015 / Sarah Thomasin

Children In Need Poem 2015 

Here’s little Lucy, what a shining star!

With all your help we’ll see this kid go far!

Donate, and  she can have a brand new chair 

And 14 days a year of respite care.

Brave little Lucy’s growing every day!

Her needs are too, so someone’s got to pay.

Without your help, she’ll be all on her own

As services are cut back to the bone

These needy kids depend upon our aid,

As each November violins are played

To tug our heart strings. It feels good to give!

And by our charity, the poorest live.

When little Lucy reaches working age

Just watch that sympathy turn into rage.

With right wing spin, it’s strange what we become;

She was an inspiration, now she’s scum. 

Of course if all the funds weren’t drained by greed

But shared with each according to their need

Brave little Lucy would disdain our pity

There’d be more than she needed in the kitty!

Each day another human life  succumbs  

As wealthy benefactors scatter crumbs

But tie that bandage over both your eyes.

Refuse to see beyond the cheerful lies.

November 11, 2015 / Sarah Thomasin

A Blessing

I noticed it a week into the job.
The colleagues who would tilt their heads and sigh
When, somehow I’d impinged upon their normal
With unexpected pronouns.
Thrown ‘girlfriend’ like an unexploded bomb
Into the break room. The pause.
    Before they’d cluck their benediction.

Bless you!
We do not spend much time in front of mirrors:
How can we with so much we need to do?
We look out at the world through tunnels of bone
Through lenses with the bloodshot tint of rose.
How often do we really see the way 

we look 

Reflected in another’s eyes?
Did you feel it?  
The sneer that touched your lip
And soured the smile you gave me?
I could not see my own arms
As they folded against you.
You thought: she doesn’t make it easy for herself
(for me)
I thought: I will not drop my guard again
(for you).
The pause. And then again that verbal tic

Bless you!
We go and take each mandatory training,
Each online course; a duty, grimly borne
We vaccinate ourselves
Against imaginary litigation.
We keep out of the red. We stay in line.
We know that we do not discriminate.
The pause. And then the stilted sympathy
I watch for it now
When someone not the same
Disrupts the status quo by… being there.
I know I feel it, often, on my face.
The look of blank surprise: why are you here?
Why have you stepped out of the role we gave you?
Of inspirational minority?
Of patient story: (didn’t we do well?)
The script runs in my head, corrupting files
I do not want to be the one who’s wrong

Somehow, I still believe I am the one

Who never makes mistakes, who always smiles

Without the blessing, bitter on my tongue
I try to bite it back without a wince
Too late. I know how sharp our eyes become.

Bless you.
How often do we see the way we look?
We do not want to be the one who’s wrong.

do not want to be the one who’s wrong.
Look difference in the eyes. Don’t fill the silence
With empty benediction. Don’t be scared
Of being wrong. Of listening. Of truth.
Look at you now, reflected in another’s eyes.
Imperfect, but prepared at last to learn!

Bless you!

ǂ represents a palatal click or “tut”.

November 2, 2015 / Sarah Thomasin

A Lesson.

Practice gratitude.
Adjust your attitude.

Practice gratitude.

Adjust your attitude.

Be grateful for days you’re not beaten.

Be thankful for nights you don’t freeze

Be grateful for days when you’ve eaten.

Give thanks for a life on your knees.

In humility.

Lies tranquility 

Show humility, 

Feel tranquility. 

Think not of yourself but of others.

Your needs do not need to be met.

Give all that you have to your brothers:

Are you feeling that inner peace yet?

Resolve to absolve

Or you will not evolve.

Resolve to absolve

Or you will not evolve.

Forgive those who trespass against you

Your anger is harmful and wrong

Forget all the trauma that pains you:

Why can’t we just all get along?

Do not be proud,

Or shout aloud,

You’re not allowed:

You should be cowed.

Be humble, forgiving and grateful.

Your imperfect soul for to save.

Don’t be uppity, bitter or hateful:

There’s a good and obedient slave.

November 2, 2015 / Sarah Thomasin

The Party Line

We don’t need to pay people working tax credits, 
There’s food banks and soup kitchens: people get fed. It’s  

The charities’ job to make sure that they eat 

If their wage only covers their rent and their heat.

Our benefits culture we ought to attack:

After months on the dole, they should give something back! 

They’ll be paid in experience

Yes, and perhaps,

If they’re working with food, they can live on the scraps.
There are plenty of jobs, everyone should be working:

They do not pay much but it’s better than shirking 

We can’t force the bosses to pay a fair wage

They need to make profits in this day and age.
So we give them free labour from those on the dole

Fair pay for fair work isn’t really our goal

The more wealth to the top of the pyramid goes

The more generous donations from rich CEOs.
Of course, if the companies paid what they should

We could get rid of working tax credits for good.

But why put all that pressure on millionaires

When we’ve got all these food banks and soup kitchens there?

October 9, 2015 / Sarah Thomasin

Fresh: Post sanity by Anamoli Meraki

Post sanity We talk about gender like it’s binary as if it is as black and white as that, Missing out on all the glorious colours that are in-between


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