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'Off The Top Of My Head'

June 2016


Off Their Head, But Nobody is Off Their Head

Hoy, en este viernes de la tarde
Viajamos por las cuestas de Connecticut
Paramos en Riverton para un cafecito
Tu voz es lento y triste
Al hermano Muhammad Ali
Él habló por la libertad, justicia, e igualdad
Para el pueblo en el nombre de los derechos humanos
En una tierra que no ve su mentira
Como una semilla que sube a la paz
Y no a la Guerra en Vietnam
El aire en peligro
Ali era estudiante del Mensajero
En más distinto idioma
Levantando a los muertos
El boxeador del pueblo
Poeta que levantó sus palabras y abrió el cielo
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”
El campeón del pueblo está presente con todos nosotros
En el universo
El Grito del Pueblo en Borinquen
Que está luchando para sobrevivir en la hora de su amor
No a PROMESA y Sí a Borinquen
Hermoso el día cuando el aire no es peligroso

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 6/17/16
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

No False Promesas

To all for Borinqueñ@ (Puerto Rican) power
Say no to false promises
Puerto Rico is not for sale
The people are not for exile
The children are not to be forgotten
The elders are not to be forgotten

March with teachers
March with nurses
March with electrical workers who said
No to turning out the light
to kill a freedom fighter
Don Filiberto Ojeda Ríos

Are you on the islands or are you in exile –
New York
North and South Jersey
Orlando & Kissimmee?

Fight the misery
Fight for freedom
More than that, fight for independencia
Stop the false promesas where the only promise is
moral bankruptcy
of robbing from the people and the land
and blaming the worker!

Down with those who kill us and steal from us
Arise our mothers, our fathers, our grandparents
who made the true promise –
to carry on for the children!

*Promesa (“promise”) is the budget “austerity” plan proposed by the United States for Puerto Rico

© Ángel L. Martínez 25 jun 2016
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

Off the top of my head...

Literally my hair
The hair of a lady who wasn’t aware
of chameleon colour
that ever changing season
It’s purple and ginger for some unknown reason

The roots belong to me
The roots are forming something
new, something free
It’s an extension of art
that sits on my head
to express the colour that’s
been hidden in depth

It’s flowing free from
my tangled mind
It’s unearthing a treasure
that was hid all this time

It’s ready to shine
to sway, swoosh, flick and fly
It wants the wind
to breeze, blow, roar and to finally guide

How much more can I say
off the top of my head
with flowing words
from someone once dead?

It’s a hoot it’s a dance
to be free from my past
a place where the darkness
took hold of my heart

It ripped out the roots
from the little girls future
It tarnished, it scolded it
made it seem void somewhat bitter
But alas it grew back
It was shaved to the bone
Fresh start please it said
It grew a new beginning
Which way will it grow?

It grew stronger grew thicker
It had a mind of its own
It was determined to live
a new life, a new creation
a manifestation
of a woman who now
lives a life full of hope
She’s purple she ginger for yes...that’s it...a new kind of reason.

(My first poem at Stevenage Survivors Group typed out as written)

Nicole Raphaella Lusby
Stevenage Survivors

Cultivating madness

The world is full of madness so
I cultivate a little madness myself
so as not to be too dismayed
at their actions

I wanted to enter this in March
but missed the deadline
I was far too mad
at that time

Strait jacket piewacket
spells and mating cats
lunatic brethren
quantum love bats

Kettle boils in Kyoto as
irate motorist in Sudan
passes flowering tree
that's the wonder of the soul
twisted in me.

Andrew Henry Smith
Stevenage Survivors Poetry

After Brexit and before

Do you remember
sailor Ted
big grin, big chin
he wanted us in

He had a yacht
I did not
so he sailed the ocean wide
I took my old mini van out for a ride

that was back in '72
flared trousers
dressed like a cockatoo
velvet loons and paisley shirts
me an Ted both looked like Berks

forty four years
has passed since then
Ted has gone
and Tony Benn

what with all those rows and cod wars
cheese mountains and wine lakes
all that excess
all those bloody mistakes

Straight bananas
peanuts that contain nuts
sheep subsidies and dairy cuts

Nigel Farage has AKIP
we don't mind a bit
stockbroker hatepoker planecrash
shame that didn't work out
stock markets crash too
pint glass, beer mat
flagon of vindaloo

now Dave he is a slippery kind
he's fucked up and just resigned
Ted played the piano
I think he lived with his mum
Dave lives with Samantha
next door to his chum

That's George Osborne
but he is NO song and dance merchant
this chancellor has a penchant
for making financial threats
and feathering his own nest
but will he replace Dave
for all his best scheming that's the test

Now Boris and Michael
want to be the next double act
but low key George
is BANKING on the fact...

that half the country hates them and
the other half don't care
so George looks out on the garden of number 10
dreams of hair dye and moving in there
Churchillian pose in his head
standing nobly on the piles of war dead

Jobs and pensions
shares and war making
for all this crowd they don't mean a thing
they are just in it
for themselves and
nothing rhymes with that

I wrote this straight out 'off the top of my head' at our workshop tonight 24.06.2016

Andrew Henry Smith
Stevenage Survivors Poetry


Euphorically excited
yet peacefully still

Balance in motion

The Dream teller
explains my destiny

God’s name
is not mentioned
though angels dance around me
in a shimmering golden circle

We are together
you and I

All truths
are made from crystal

Light and beauty
are not separate
from what we are

Forever One

Forever home

the wisdom
of life’s ultimate destination

I wrote this completely off the top of my head (with a little help from my soul). No editing has been done, it was pure stream of consciousness

Roy Birch
Stevenage Survivors


The Rhino and the President

The comparision in this poem came right 'off the top of my head'

He met a Prince once...
Trusted – dropped his guard
Came out into the open
For the world’s press
After all wasn’t he protected?

Millions of admirers
And a Prince saw him once
But it took a volley
Of bullets, from poachers
To bring him down

Like a President once...
In an open top cavalcade
Watched by the world
Bought down by two shots
After all wasn’t he protected?

One in death was respected
One was violated – de-horned
Both reported by mass media
An open wound

One had dined with World Leaders
The other – met a Prince once...

Inspired by Prince William and Kate watching White Rhino's in India and just two days later one was killed by poachers...

Jan Hedger



Straight Off The Top Of My Head

I'm writing this non stop without wondering
Wording as fit comes off the top of my head
I have the time to think about it as I'm giving
This is off the top of my head I do know certain
Yes certain things I know off the top of my head
And other things I have forgotten I should be able
To know them off the top of my head instantly
Recognizable their knowledge that's what is lost
Off the top of my head instantly this beats me
I had a song I wrote once someone asked me
Sing that song you wrote some years ago when
I have forgotten it a long time ago I said
They said you should know it off the top of your head
This is straight off the top of my head

John Joseph Sheehy


I’m famous for my fancy hats, and my friends
always look forward to seeing my next one.

What they don’t see are my wigs & sunglasses;
I bought the wigs at a Police Auction in Fulham.

The glasses came from Woolies, useless for UV
protection; I’ve got cataracts telling me Enough.

A few more jobs to top up the Retirement Fund,
visit Moorfields Eye Hospital, then adieu, ciao.

Police think there’s a wigged-up robbers franchise;
just me, copycats are warned off Mad Frankie style.

They should check the Listings & follow the Standup
Comedy circuit & New Age Border Morris sides round.

I’m cracking jokes in some pub one night, and cracking
sticks at a Folk Festival or village green the day after.

In between I visit jewellers, takeaways, ladies’ boudoirs,
solicit compulsory donations for my Retirement Fund.

Sometimes I tell jokes about Morris Dancing & incest,
other days I pose for photos in my pagan paint & tatters.

I’m everywhere & nowhere, have a range of routines,
tell you this because my Farewell Tour of French

& Italian Festivals is booked out. Have you heard
the one about the one-legged Morris Dancer?



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