Tag Archives: arts cuts

Broccoli and Politics

As the end of the year draws near, I have been working on a poem to try and put into words some of the anger I feel about the political situation at the moment. I have had a few weeks of high drama including getting locked in a building in Leeds with fifty arts activists and David Cameron – surrounded by police vans and horses. The prime minister had come to visit ‘Shine’ to talk to relate counsellors and got angry arts people instead!

Here is the poem – a bit bleak, I know. But there it is.

October 2010


Our purple sprouting broccoli

struggle to grow heads this year.

The roots are pot-bound in the plastic tubs

we bought in bulk. Cabbage whites have feasted

on the shoots. Each crocheted plant is sick.


Today The Coalition will announce its cuts.

Our friends who work in libraries

and museums, poets who scrape a living

in schools, posties with their arthritic knees –

hold their breath.


We stare into a future where lives

are stunted and may not flower;

where leaves yellow and drop

onto the cracked paving stones,

onto the pot-holed streets.