Back to index of Nerve 25 - Winter 2014

Shelved (The song of the book)

By Elspeth McLean

Written about the abandoned books in Great Homer Street Library, which were left there on their own for a while when the library closed.

Up here at the top it’s a bit of a squeeze
We’re cover to cover in line
It’s been a long time since we felt a fresh breeze
Or the warmth of a hand on a spine

Our library shut in the summer
Now we’re shut up in the dark where no one can look
What use is a page with no reader?
This is no way to balance the books

There’s Taylor, and Alice, Rashida and Tom
Where will they get their stories?
Or the poets their poems? Or the singers their songs?
They’ve all been locked out by rich Tories


The mayor says they can all pop into town
Or download us onto a laptop
But the bus fares are huge and the rain’s tipping down
It wont happen, their reading will stop


There’s all sorts of knowledge up here on our shelves
We could feed you love – or your rage
But your leaders are keeping it all to themselves
They know the power of the page

Our library shut in the summer
Now we’re shut up in the dark where no one can look
What use is a page with no reader?
This is no way to balance the books

Saving Sefton Park Meadows
From ‘Turning Green to Brown’ a book by John Davies:
33 selected portraits in Sefton Park Meadows. The £2 proft on each sale of this book is donated to the Save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign Fund. The image shown is of Nettie and her 2 children.

DEMEntia. . .

By Ted Seagrave

The key he sought so desperately
was gripped firmly in his fist.
He’d always kept it by the door.
“The damned thing can’t have walked!”
He swore and blamed his wife for hiding it.
The start of a long list as things got worse.
Loyal Jake, forever at his feet,
was cursed, as was indeed the nurse.
If only dogs could talk.
His boss had lost a sense of all propriety,
a grasp on Time; eventually his dignity.

Dan’s wife, as always, bore things well
though she herself was housebound.
Frail as she was, she coped, yet
there were times she wished they’d not eloped
when Golden years ago they fell in Love.
Her once gentle, darling spouse now fought,
above all else, against her close attentions.
Patience and horrid thoughts when mixed cause
raw emotion and tarnish pure Devotion.

A carer called each day
and helped as best she could
but most of all to reassure
when times got tougher still.
Respite was the only door
that opened to revival of Anne’s Will,
which was the key to her survival.
What a Sin that Dan once was
the mainstay of their local church,
who’d led the hymns, and any Force for Good.
It had been a privilege to know the man,
but cursing is a sacrilege; they prayed of course.
Only his faithful lurcher still looked up to him.
What remained of family lived abroad;
Anne chose not to let them know until……

With the end not yet in sight,
years lingered on and wore her down.
Cruel Death had drawn its sting, there was no
‘rage against the dying of the light’,
no tender blessing on his lips,
no gasping shout;
Dan just fizzled out,
soon after

The Tuesday morning reading group at Edge Hill Library by Jane Hughes
Sadly this library is now closed but this little group of people would meet up each Tuesday to read a chosen book. They would also have tea & biscuits while this was going on – so this was a lovely social get together for them.

Getting fucked about

By Arthur Adlen

people on benefits, people who are sick
people in wheelchairs, people on sticks
people with cancer, people without arms
people who are blind, people with bad hearts
we don’t expect much, but they’re giving us nowt
we’re already fucked, now we’re getting fucked about

having claustrophobia makes us feel closed in
anorexia tells us that eating is a sin
if we suffer from anxiety then everything’s a fuss
being paranoid don’t mean that they’re not after us
agoraphobia makes it hard for us to venture out
we’re already fucked now we’re getting fucked about

you get dragged into ATOS and you come out cured
they’ve got a better success rate than the waters at Lourdes
declare you fit for work but there’s no work in this city
they tell you you’re fine but you just feel shitty
it’s about as much help as a smack in the mouth
we’re already fucked now we’re getting fucked about

subsidised meals for MPs in the House
the rest of us get a bowl of blind scouse
bankers making millions profits are so good
but the only banks thriving are giving out food
it’s gonna get worse of that there’s no doubt
we’re already fucked now we’re getting fucked about

I’m on Incapacity waiting for me pension
I’d better wear a mask so I don’t catch their attention
the country’s being run by a gang of twats from Eton
the trouble with us we don’t know when we’re beaten
stand up for one another start to scream and shout
“We’re already fucked, stop fucking us about.”

‘The Girl who planted flowers, and brought peace’ by Cate Simmons
Inspired by the amazing peace work of the Fly Kites not Drones campaigners, and the organisation Skateistan - sometimes its the smallest, quietest and most thoughtful actions that can sew seeds of great change


By Stephanie Anderson

Pregnant with pain
Fighting for dirty earth there for all.
Lads shot - tortured
Lasses left in disrepair
‘Keep Gaza on a diet’:
 Hate for starters, injustice for desserts
In a land with enough good earth for all.

How does a baby embrace life?
Innocent? Smiling? How can it unlearn all this
Lost in causes the BBC justifies?

In a world dripping in diamonds
And wells oozing with oil
People perish or rot or just die off.
Those bringing change reckon
Weapons fix it all
Whilst me in my comfort, 2525 miles away
 just can't care.

Y’know what I mean:
Like all will end as dust
in never ending darkness

With our causes long forgotten.

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