[Poetry] — Amelia Madan

‘To be Upstanding’ By a Pair of Wings

what are these
no need to flee
morsels aplenty
limbs that glide
as they tread the paths we follow
drive strange beasts we never tame
have time to wallow
under foam, bush and flame

replete with dew
or slave the never-ending night
natural cycles
befit the winged
and we get lost in the smog
(like Lennon)
the blinding screen, the claw’s ally
extension guarded jealously
it has its song
its claws dig deep
they no longer look to me

I aim –
with a vengeance
I chirp
but also hear
rooted, yet looted
even the magpie fell behind.
Today the weather may be kind
footballer’s mouth free from my spite
so I will spare
your truly beloved
only foreheads will feel my bite


There are no words
that can quell the fell
when time holds its breath
inhale and mark
this space
touches this slash, obfuscating the rash
the day I jettisoned

you, a rudderless eel
(you found your compass)
the incapacity to feel
(elusive perle de la mer)
whilst I, wrapped in flatter and fodder
festooned with a flourish
carved you into a stone

But stones, they perspire, refuse to expire
passionlessly counting
the foibles of man
who walks only on all twos
one right, one left
and dreams that his own fingers
recognise his touch

Dear Mr Google

If life is hard
With our iPhones, cars and cards
Then why does another world suffer
Why are dreams routinely shattered
Surely when the bus comes late for that meeting
we suffer enough?

When the heel on that glittering shoe breaks,
And we groan at how much life takes,
An amputee with no limb to match a shoe
is playing football in Sierra Leone
And without a screen to distract and deceive
Brothers in arms, he is not alone.

All the glossy adverts,
The glamorisation of skin and bones,
How inferior the voluptuous feel
look how they reel
Well, there’s no voluptuous apple to devour for some
And jutting bones are just the way they come

Maybe Marx was right: an uprising is what we need
But ’twill always be tainted with corruption and greed
‘The dictatorship of the proletariat’ dissolves into echelons, mimic men
As families unite and the broken repair elsewhere
we, the weary, fix the cord to our backs, dance for Westminster’s finest
our chosen necromancer…I’ll flip the screen and ask Mr Google the answer


Amelia Madan works at Josef Weinberger, and her work has been published in the Nelson Dispatch. Her primary interest is in comedic prose and she has dabbled in stand up and live slam poetry (no mention of the war).

All work is the property of the author and is distributed with their permission


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