Union Day

I wrote this poem not long after the first day of Freshers’ Fair 2017, at which I had a stall promoting The Rumour Quill. However, it’s a mix of my experiences of being a fresher (2016) and looking at new freshers coming in (2017).

Under the marquee’s roof,
a child turns into an adult –
well sixthformers turning into
freshers – pounding the
waterlogged ground like horses
hooves making an imprint.

Ten o’clock, the first batch
meander in, using rucksacks
like loot crates picking up freebies
like food, pins and bracelets and
signing up for societies they
have no intention going to.

And free food and cocktails has made
adults of children. Ready to join
every cult and society: feminism, rugby,
Harry Potter, Rumour Quill.
One o’clock. Peak time, with the shrill of
rhythm and rhyme from loud music as
shrouds of crowds hover like billows of smoke.

Rabbles of students everywhere.
That’s Freshers’ Fair and how every stall
except the niche ones are mobbed with
lost students and smiles.
And how wide aisles are made thin
due to the onslaught of bodies.
A person’s skin meets table.
They touch, a crutch for the arm
and that’s when it’s time to go home.

The Nomads Of Culture

Much alike to my task of writing response poems to those on Channel 4, I did the same thing with ‘Voices: Nationwide’, including Building a Building Society (about the founding of Nationwide) by Jo Bell. I wrote this poem not long after I had exited a confrontation with an internet troll on Twitter but it’s about more than just my hurt pride.

The Nomads of Culture is about not only the Millennial Generation but also how the next world conflict will not only be fought with guns, but also via the internet by people as skilled as Edward Snowden.

The Millennial story side of the poem is inspired from a book edited by Malorie Blackman. Unheard Voices is an anthology book of short stories, extracts and poetry on the theme of slavery, including works from Alex Haley, Benjamin Zephaniah, John Agard and Olaudah Equiano to name a few.

Other influences for this poem come from Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke, Disney-Pixar’s WALL-E and my own observations of contemporary culture.

A digital world, Planet Earth 2017 –
an archive of facts, stacked together, coveted
like sentimental candyfloss.
We’d rather vex text than move our
mouths – the battlefield is online, like slaves
confined to a screen and

t’have a home, you gotta be suited and booted
with change polluted pockets, if you’re lucky,
but nine t’five shifts at Kentucky will do.
Fortune favours the fortunate 
wading through Twitter’s trenches, allied
with a 140-character shield-wall, sailing down

rivers of tweets duelling with social spiders –
those eight-fingered button beaters, who have boxing
gloves for thumbs, pummelling their As to zeds
until the ring of the knockout bell.
Ding! Ding!