Poems and Poetry

human frailty poems

The Brother | A Poem by Gareth Culshaw

He is one of the lads,
all ciggies and beer.
Debit cards in a line on a
windowsill in a pub lavatory.
He goes on holidays
and days out with the lads.
One of the names you have
on your mobile. If you see
him, he comes over to chat.
There’s a quietness though,
like his life is paused.
People like him, listen
to his words. He keeps
his hands in his pockets
so his body doesn’t fall apart.

But I know a family member.
They say he never turns up
when needed. How his
brother has been in hospital
for hours. While his sisters
tend to him, bring him home.
Sometimes they see him
at Christmas. He drinks
beer rather than their words.
I know she is upset with him.
Using the term ‘Our’ before
his name. As if it is best
to mention him in third person.
Ignoring the other two sides
of who he is.

The Cruelty of Strangers | A Poem by James Diaz

Some cannot hold their anger
when it roars
it’s mostly blinded inside
unable to say one true thing about itself.

“I find it sad,”
you once said to me
“How people can learn to be so petty,
hold grudges, burn others
with unkindness.”

“They didn’t learn it,
they chose it,”
some other part of me
on a bad night
might say.

Benefits of doubt
can easily be wasted.

I too have stood at the edge of things
water towers bathed in light
across the field.

I am no one’s villain
the loneliest road
the one that you feel so sure of
packed away beneath
what cannot be named
cruelly or gently.

We will survive this
one world
wounded and bitter to spite selves
sharing only shatters,
unattended –
unloved in their core.

Only History | A Poem by Ananya S. Guha

Don’t worry, the ageing crisis
is over, the dead have been dumped in fields, mines and rivers, their bodies will be preserved in museums,
today every death is a maxim, an honour to preserve till posterity
how many deaths
how many deaths
in a nuclear age
in a global world
in the world pressing buttons with one slender finger.
Only history will rue such deaths.