Saturday, 18 June 2016

Before the vote

It is our vote you're taking when you talk about Brexit.
A vote we will lose if we head for the exit.
Our say in what happens across from our waters.
A way to instruct the EU in our matters.

Our country has been through a lot these last days.
A voice has been silenced through hate and through violence.
A good voice that said act together in kindness.
But whose message lives on and is carried by others.

Another returns from the great depths of space.
A result of the coming together of nations.
For none on their own could have built a space station.
And we're in for the ride, due to collaboration.

What happens abroad we feel it all too.
We are more than an island, we live on Earth too.
Orlando or Syria we stand side by side.
When atrocities happen, we feel it inside.

And what does it mean, what has it all taught us?
What world will we leave to our sons and our daughters?
Should countries be distant and look only inward,
or meet round a table to move our world forward

For the way the campaigns have been run is a shock.
The leaders on both sides use fear as their stock.
'In' ought to have listened to the prospectless youth;
out of work and low waged, see no point in the booth.

'Out' stirs up the hatred and stirs up the anger
and blames all our problems on migrants and others.
But it was these politicians raised University fees,
cut public sector funds and bought the NHS to its knees.

It's migrants that've kept afloat National Health.
Who've worked hard for this country to generate wealth.
Our sports men and women who've done us all proud.
Who now hear the language of fear spoke out loud.

For the EU it sets out more rights for our workers.
It keeps cleans our beaches and rivers and waters.
It works for our safety and holidays and health.
And to impoverished cities redistributes wealth.*

And what we put in, we get back tenfold.
It opens up markets where our products get sold.
And this will keep helping small businesses grow,
attracting more foreign investment you know.

And yes it's not perfect and we may disagree.
But there're  ways we can change it, choose a new M.E.P.
For if we bow out no more say shall we have.
And we'll still have to follow their lead hand in glove.

So vote with your head and vote with your heart.
To me they both said the same thing from the start.
If you want to live in a world that's together,
then vote to stay in, whatever the weather.

Athos Athanasiou, 18th  June 2016

* E.g. Manchester and the Greater Manchester European Funding Program.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 Contents

In April 2012 I took part in NaPoWriMo. A challenge where you write a poem every day throughout April. These are the results.
Day 1-The Flute
Day 2-The World Today in Triolet
Day 3-Squashed Oaths
Day 4-Dont Panic
Day 5-Mock Interview
Day 6-Bean
Day 7-House Mouse
Day 8-The Note
Day 9-The Human Gods Lament
Day 10-Air to Air
Day 11-Sonnet of Conversation
Day 12-Mondegreen and Homophone
Day 13-Limericks
Day 14 The Cunning Plan
Day 15-Summer Daze in Ice
Day 16-The Phantom Pantoum
Day 17-Music Alarm
Day 18 Paeon of People
Day 19-Off road
Day-20-Excited Sun
Day-21-Secrets Uncovered
Day-22-Over River
Day-24-Twenty Pound Question
Day-25-Tree Oak Lock
Day-26-Train Times
Day-27-Round the Houses
Day-28-The Pot
Day-29-The Best Laid Plan
Day 30-Ballad of Many
Day 31-Waiting House

This was to raise money for the following charities. If you do like the poems feel free to donate to any of them.
National Autistic Society
National Literacy Trust

I received quite good publicity with an article in the Huffington Post and in Delilah's Blog

The keen eyed would notice there are more poems here than days in April. I wrote the bonus poem as a birthday request.

Also feel free to put any comments by the poems and let me know which ones you like best.


Thursday, 3 May 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 - The days after

There's been a lot of activity around my poems since I finished. I've been getting in touch with other poets who were doing napowrimo which is great. And I'm hoping to be reading lots of other people's napowrimo poems over the next few days.

Today my poem on the 30th April has been featured on my friend Laura Nelson's blog.
Laura is a spokeperson on equality issues, quite often getting asked to speak on the radio or tv and someone we can expect to see a lot more of in the future.

The other part of that poem is about another friend of mine Rosalind Ereira who wrote to the London Olympic Committee and the  Equality and Human Rights Commission when she discovered she could miss the event she'd paid to see, because her baby would not be allowed in without a separate ticket. This sparked off another news story. Ros is a film producer who has worked on Time Team and produced and directed The  Pendle Witch Child


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Huffington Post Article

Rather excitingly, I have an article in the Huffington Post about National Poetry Writing Month and Fundraising
Writing a Poem Every Day


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Day 31 - The waiting house

A bonus poem at the end of Napowrimo.

The house
sits down amidst the pouring rain
stooped under its gutters
hankering down
to wait.

And while
the splashing drops proceed to fall
it feels its humans all
impatient for
its end.

They pace
from one room to another. Loud.
It feels their steps beat out
within its walls
and floors.

The door
could use a brand new lick of paint
it stretches in the rain.
to wear.

But house
knows this will pass
and it will green its grass
and clear the roof of all its mess.
Just so.

It gets
that it will dress
in all its summer clothes,
and stretch itself amidst the lawn

Monday, 30 April 2012

Day 30 - The ballad of many

When her Olympic tickets came,
after a twelve month gap,
she found her baby's not allowed
to sit upon her lap.

And so she wrote a stern reply
with strongly worded tone.
That at the time of ticket sale,
said baby was not known.

And lo behold they changed their tune
conceding she was right.
And what this incident has shown
is pens still have their might.

Another at a toy shop grand
had found the floors divided,
on some idea of gender lines.
It felt a bit one sided.

The boys' toys were all action men
the girls had pretty dolls.
It was quite limiting that these
were predetermined roles.

And so she launched a pronged campaign
with notes to press and stores.
Then got a call to hear the shop
had rearranged their floors.

To dance upon a raging bull
with studied balanced stance.
Your voice is heard a hundred times
from many throats at once.

So use your pen as you see fit
it really has a force.
To change this world a little bit
and that's a lot of course.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Day 29 - The best laid plan

In the desert lies a town. All the folk live underground,
as its far too hot to be out in the day.
For two hundred miles around not another soul is found
and the food supplies are brought from far away.

Now the reason why they're there in the arid dessert air,
is to mine the opals scattered in the sand.
And they ration with great care not a drop of water spare,
in that dry and empty unforgiving land.

For this reason they were chosen to embark unto the frozen,
vast and unmapped lonely gulfs of outer space.
As they left this planet's ozone to the asteroid belt supposin',
they thought of the faces left at their old place.

They were sent to build a mine for that gold and silver fine.
Suited perfect for the trip so goes the tale.
Now this mission had been planned down to every pin in hand.
There was no way that this mining quest could fail.

Though they rationed water fine they were liberal with their wine,
and it turned out there was none in the supplies.
So they turned the ship around and returned to solid ground.
And you couldn't get them back up to the skies.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Day 28 - The Pot

There is a broken saucepan in the bottom of the drawer.
This pan had served its purpose well so many times before.
For every time that it was used a different dish was made
by a chef who worked ten hours a night but still was underpaid.
Now in the restaurant that night a divorcee was sat
out dining with a group of friends with whom she chewed the fat.
The chef had seen her many times but always with her ex
and now he felt the need to ask her to a multiplex.
But first he had to cook for her the best dish he could make
that danced upon the palate light and caused the earth to quake.
To do this he required though to have his trusty pot,
that now lie broken up in two and in the drawer forgot.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Day 27 - Round The Houses

Today's challenge was to write a nursery rhyme. So round we go.

The Hungry Dolphin sat at home
eating her carrot pie.
I know she said I think I'll try
to visit my old friend.
I haven't seen him for a while
and that I must amend.
She went to Jumping Squirrel's house
with lots of time to spare
But when she knocked upon the door
there was nobody there.
And so she left a letter.

The Jumping Squirrel sat at home
and drank a cup of tea.
I know he said it's time for me
to tell my friend hello.
I haven't seen him for a while
and that I must amend.
He went to Lazy Kitten's house
with lots of time to spare
But when he knocked upon the door
there was nobody there.
And so he left a letter.

The Lazy Kitten sat at home
a counting with his toe.
I know he said I think I'll go
and visit my dear friend.
I haven't seen her for a while
and that I must amend.
He went to Laughing Tiger's house
with lots of time to spare
But when he knocked upon the door
there was nobody there.
And so he left a letter.

The Laughing Tiger sat at home
a putting up her tent.
I know she said I'ts time I went
to tell my friend hello.
I haven't seen her for a while
and so its time to go.
She went to Dancing Badger's house
with lots of time to spare
But when she knocked upon the door
there was nobody there.
And so she left a letter.

The Dancing Badger sat at home
as busy as a bee.
I know she said it's time to see
if I can find my friend
I haven't seen him for a while
and I must make amend.
She went to Thoughtful Monkey's house
with lots of time to spare
But when she knocked upon the door
there was nobody there.
And so she left a letter.

The Thoughtful Monkey sat at home
with his favourite book
I know he said I'll take a look 
and tell my friend hello.
I haven't seen her for a while
and so it's time to go.
He went to Hungry Dolphin's house
with lots of time to spare
But when he knocked upon the door
there was nobody there.
And so he left a letter.

And everyone
went round and round
the houses all day long.
And they all thought
no one's at home
where's everybody gone?
They went back home
a little sad
but then what did they find?
Five letters from
their many friends
which they had left behind.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Day 26 - Train Times

There's a spot upon a platform
that is covered in mosaics.
If you stand there you can listen
to a busker far away.

If you want to hear the music
that comes pouring through the grating
of the walkway high above you
you must wait for trains to leave.

But the trains come every minute
and the rolling and the chatter
drowns the clear acoustic music
that reverbs around the walls.

As you stand there contemplating,
you think no-one else is listening
to the music as they're rushing
to their urgent destinations.

And you wonder what might happen
if they took the time to notice
that the walls contain mosaics
which the music helps you see.

But the  tourists pay attention
for  they're looking for the first time.
And they show us weary locals
How to look at
what we look at
every day.