Marxist. Trade Unionist. Socialist-feminist. Author. Poet. Speaker. Tutor. RMT ex-Exec. Workers' Liberty. Autie. Bi. PUFC fan.

Golden shovels

The golden shovel is a poetic form created quite recently by the poet Terrance Hayes. It takes another poet's poem - either the whole piece or some choice lines - and uses its words as the end words of the lines of a new poem. So if you read down the right-hand side, just the last words of each line, of the golden shovel poem, you will be reading the poem that inspired it. But the golden shovel poem is also a poem in itself, one that pays tribute to, but also expands, develops or even completely changes, the meaning of the original.

Us and Them

Submitted by Janine on 1 January 2022 at 08:09

A golden shovel based on the final stanza of The Mask of Anarchy by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

They hold us down but still we rise,
deference dies, we bite them down to size. Like
Jayaben roars, we are the lions,
Mr Manager, you'll do no more damage after
we've dealt with you. Stretching from slumber,

Flexing our muscle, exercising our minds, in
readiness for when they find that they are not unvanquishable
as they thought. They bought power but we have number.

History Lessons

Submitted by Janine on 2 February 2021 at 14:38

after Eventide by the Faith Brothers

At the first opportunity, I dropped history -
lists of dates of kings, queens and gilded greats, handed
out from books by teachers who looked just as down
about it as we felt. It spelt boredom. But I like
it now. Dig, and history is more broad and big
than that. Now I seek out my sisters' and brothers'
stories, walk their streets and wear their clothes

Ribbons of Scarlet

Submitted by Janine on 2 February 2021 at 10:09

- a golden shovel after 'Scarlet Ribbons', for Cush

At the peal of the bell, they don’t tell you there’s
a field that not everyone comes back from. The survivor’s been
fearing that he’ll never stop hearing the gunfire
even when the bunfight has stopped. And there’s
a sight you don’t come back from. He’s been
seeing his mate in pieces and only the drinking
At the peal of the bell, they don’t tell you there’s
a field that not everyone comes back from. The survivor’s been
fearing that he’ll never stop hearing the gunfire
even when the bunfight has stopped. And there’s
a sight you don’t come back from. He’s been
seeing his mate in pieces and only the drinking

Reprise Her

Submitted by Janine on 12 December 2020 at 10:01

After Liza Radley by Paul Weller

 

While others despise her, Liza
that’s short for Elizabeth – Radley,
I madly admire her, I see
her dance and I yearn for the
stance and the world of the girl
labelled wrong, who has grown with
a mind of her own and I long
not to be scared and to dare to do that with my hair.