Militant Thistles

polemical poetry to prickle the politics of "permanent austerity"

atos Poor Doors Sheriff Stars spikes

thistles stretch their prickly arms afar

Black Triangle bedroom tax Disrupt and Upset

Geoffrey Winch




why not empty

the already half-emptied purse

further still?  – one could, of course,    


conduct frugality tests with

selected guests to fathom who is

likely to survive and who might go under    


so, for Santa Clause

a cup of water and a mince pie

sprinkled with sugar-snow  


for John Cowper Powys

a cup of tea,  two raw eggs

and a slice of bread (butter thinly spread)    


for Judas Iscariot a splash of wine

laced with blood, a crumb of bread  

and a purse emptied on the floor –    


hopeful of being fed helpful hints about

how to be penny-pinching but not

penny-wise, the host receives instead


multi-grains of generosity; seeds of

a sound philosophy, and a grown-up reason

for accepting responsibility for one’s actions

Geoffrey Winch was born and raised in Reading, Berkshire in 1943.  Since his poetry first appeared in small press magazines in 1992 he has become widely published both in the UK and USA as well as online. Some of his recent poems have been published in Under the Radar; Ink, Sweat and Tears; Agenda (supplement); Sarasvati, South and South Bank Poetry in the UK; and Bright Star, Haibun Today and Atlas Poetica in the USA. He has been a selections co-editor for South, and in 2011 was ranked the UK’s best small press poet by Purple Patch magazine. He has published two poetry pamphlets: The Morning Light of Dusk (Feather Books, 2004), and Turns Along the Garden Path (Poetry Monthly Press, 2007); and three full collections: Letting the Road-Dust Settle (Indigo Dreams, 2010) which coincided with his final retirement from a career spanning 50 years that encompassed cartography, land surveying and highway engineering; Alchemy of Vision (Indigo Dreams, 2014) which focussed on his lifelong interest in the performing, visual and literary arts; and West Abutment Mirror Images (Original Plus, 2017).’ Since relocating to West Sussex in 2001 he has been involved with a number creative writing groups in the area for whom he also leads occasional workshops, and he is a regular reader at the Chichester Open Mic.