A Network of Writing and Community Publishers

'Cut to the Bone'
May 2011

04 May 2012


Not so long ago I sheltered
From the horrors of war,
Just a kid then dependant on family,
My brothers fought for a better world,
Now they think we stay too long.

We worked long hours,
no-one complained, this was our future,
Our lives were sacrificed to the greater good,
No-one told us then we would become a burden?
Our taxes taken from our small pittance
Would be our security.

As youths we paid double,
Graduated pension they called it,
Fourteen years of age you became an adult,
You joined the workforce and paid
When did that change?

No-one complained, our children
would enjoy the luxury of education?
Not the drudgery of factory, or the steam
that clogged our lungs with impurities
that made us second class citizens.

Some questioned the word “leisure”
Who we said would pay when hours would shorten
Factories and trades would be taken over by Robots?
The unions would take orders from the bosses?
Now I see my children burdened by unfair taxes.

I see countries holding their hands out
Hands across the sea, and we find finance to help?
While poverty in this country has never been greater,
Students burdened, with no hope, and the elderly with dreams
Blamed for thinking the unthinkable?

Newham Writers


I used to eat steak
the best rib eye stew
all juicy and luscious
tender roast too.

I always made sure
when my son visited me
his favourite meal
I would cook for his tea.

But now with the cost
priced off my dish
much dearer than chicken
or a small piece of fish.

Meat on the plate
grows smaller and less
as we stick our nose
into every ones mess.

My pension dwindles
into Decimal pence
tax on the nation
spent on defence.

Cut to the bone
no meat to display
my shopping list
gets sadder each day.


A cave

I don't want to live in a cave.
It is inhabited by snakes.
I shall smoke there
and they will be hissing at me.
They even might bite
and in the night to crawl
into my warm leafy bed.

I don't want to live in the cave.
It is cold in winter.
There live insect eating bats,
they'll drop their food crumbs on me.

I don't want to live in the cave.
It is inhabited by the creatures.
Boars and feral swines
will come for a visit
when I shall be not around
to eat my food, drink my water
and sleep in my bed
and I shall not have
any private life.

Marie Neumann

Cut to the Bone

They cut down ancient forests
To quarry for more stone
But who will actually benefit
When Earth's lungs are gone?

When we succumb to
Poverty and stress
Who will make us better
When they've killed the NHS?

Profit before welfare
Is the Con-Dem cry
But how to achieve it?
Their answer - YOU and I!

We must work for nothing
And pay out more and more
Because we are disabled
Old, infirm and poor

We shudder when the axe falls
And march and fret and moan
Grieving for our country
That's cut right to the bone

Ashley Jordan

Bottle Alley

They hide from the sun
They hide from themselves
They hide in a bottle
In denial
Who stole their lives?
In Bottle Alley
With shattered glass
Of shattered lives
They sit.

Footnote: (From On Calico Wings)
Bottle Alley is an area of St Leonards, where vagrant alcoholics used to congregate. It takes its name from pieces of coloured glass decoratively inserted into its back wall. I make no apologies for its inclusion in this book; as quoted by Tom O’Brien writer of the play ‘Down Bottle Alley’ (adapted from the book ‘My Wretched Alcoholism: This Damned Puppeteer’ by Brian Charles Harding) – ‘there are similar places – and similar people – in every town’. 

Jan Hedger


He died alone in a furnished room
A crumpled duvet lay cold upon his form
In the kitchen, an inherent reminder of a simple,
Last unhurried meal, microwaved for one
Grains of rice, defying removal remain their still
Shelf upon shelf of escapism from reality
James Bond 007 ejected in the video
Is this who aspired to be in his mind?
Did he imagine a woman bathed in gold was his?
I’d like to think so.
A few possessions lay scattered
An old photograph, no frame; treasured.
They stood in this furnished room and paid their last
respects. There were those who cared.

Jan Hedger

In memory
For Henry

No, I wasn't at Stalingrad.
I died in Leningrad.
You were riding a sled
over frozen Ladoga lake
with food and medical supplies.
German airplane found you out
and he aimed well.
You died there too,
so much needed food
never came.
No, you couldn't be
at Ladoga lake
in the time of blockade.
Were you waiting in the line
for food,
or was everything well
Did you hide in the shelter
when the raids came?
Of course.
You couldn't be at Ladoga lake,
when I died from cold
and hunger
in Leningrad.

Marie Neumann

Honour Your Father and Mother

This is what I’m told is wrong,
We’re letting people live too long.
We should shoot them all like horses
When they drain us of resources.
The elderly are everywhere,
We can’t afford their social care
And if they cannot pay to thrive
What right have they to stay alive?
We drug them to preserve their health
And we have to reserve our wealth
To keep them warm and keep them fed
When many would be better dead.
So when an old man gets too ill
Why don’t we kill him with a pill?
The fifth commandment tells us why
The old should not be forced to die.
If you don’t give your parents honour
Your kids won’t care when you’re a gonner!

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers

Cut- to the bone

Its only a small fragment
Under my foot
Its journey becalmed

Inside the life has gone
Drained, filleted, vanished
Stained, stark and exposed

Each movement takes its strength
From the shape of our form
The skeleton that cages our soul

And when they reach inside
Not to cure us
But like spiteful vandals
To tear away

It is a moment
That does not ever repair
And they know it

So shriek
Do not be afraid to curse them
Each piece of bone

Roger Drury

No Fly Zone

This is a no fly zone,
It’s called the Ladies toilet.
You can only come in here
If you wear a skirt.
Anyone with flies
Must go to the Gents.
I am the attendant,
Soon to be redundant.
The Council has to make its cuts.
It’s a major exercise,
Toilets must be circumcised.
For there’s a new no fly zone.
It is over Tripoli
Where the British have to be;
Famous for the Desert Rat
And closing toilets pays for that.

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers

The Financial Plan

All that I own
Will be cut to the bone
When I reach my old age
And I’m put in a home.

And they’ll take away
All my assets to pay
Their exorbitant price
For my keep every day.

So, a sensible man,
Now I’ll spend what I can
And get rid of the cash
That I once used to stash.

I’ll have a good time
And enjoy what is mine,
To use as I choose
And to wine and to dine.

And the kids can make do
With the small residue
Which I’ll leave in my stead
For their use when I’m dead.

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers


Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: Hey Sally - so good to see you on Saturday!  Two different but great current pieces form you here - I love the meat one - we do loads with sauce to 'spin' it out!

Your Name: jan hedger

Your Comment: We might all have to live in a cave if the utility bills continue to bleed us dry!  Like this one Marie!

Your Name: jan hedger

Your Comment: They'd find it ' no drinking or vagrancy allowed!' now Andrew - They would have to skulk away to some other hidden corner - Oh but they do that now!!!
Good words from you Ashley! As well as cutting to the bone, they are sucking out the 'marrow'!

Your Name: Andrew Diamond

Your Comment: Really clever writing from everyone. How right you are Ashley, it's frightening. Jan, I hope that ordinary people are not being pushed to Bottle Alley by the school prefects running the Country!

Your Name: jan hedger

Your Comment: Powerful pieces this month! What 'capable' people we are!

Your Name: Marie

Your Comment: What a bold approach! I am not in that category yet but I'm
heading that way. Then I might change my mind.


Visit TheFED GroupSpace
Community Web Kit provided free by BT