Three new poems published in The Mechanics Institute Review Online

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You can read the poems by clicking the below.

http://mironline.org/poetry-by-rachel-burns/

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Reblogged from Proletarian Poetry. We Drink for Them by Casey Bailey

A powerful poem on Knife Crime by Casey Bailey and accompanying blog by Peter Raynard, raising the issues concerned. I’d like to add to the discussion. My husband has recently left a career in youth and community work as it was no longer attainable because of the cuts in hours and pay. Basically he couldn’t feed his own family. I volunteer with a prisoners’ charity and see young adults facing a lengthy prison sentence for carrying knives. Youth and Community Services have been slashed to the bone so much so, many projects and outreach programmes simply don’t exist anymore. Schools are excluding children with Special Educational Needs such as autism and dyslexia because due to budget  cuts they can’t employ the support staff they need. Once excluded already vunerable children are left wide open to be groomed into criminal gangs. Prisons and Young Offenders Institutions are overcrowded and offer no access to mental health services, education or rehabilitation. Add to this once a young person is criminalised it is difficult to reverse. It really is a sad estate of affairs and the damage done will take years to reverse.

Proletarian Poetry

In 1999, we used to live in Camberwell, South London in a top floor flat that overlooked the Camberwell Road and all of its ‘activities’. Besides watching Concorde fly over in the late afternoon with my newborn son, there would often be exchanges of different points of view on the street below. Then into the night, the club across the road would see the usual overspill of happy/violent drunks. However, maybe it was because I had already lived in London for seven years, or had known violence from living in Coventry, but I never felt threatened or in danger. Up the road in Loughborough Junction, there was a number of gang related murders, but otherwise it felt relatively peaceful.

gangsToday, it seems a lot different. A friend was recently violently assaulted in Camberwell; punched in the shoulders and in the face to initially stun him, they then put a knife…

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