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

Nigel Mellor

A small town on the river



Tonight the beer is dark

I can’t understand why


The barges are low in the water

Bow waves wash along the decks


I share a word of pleasure with a stranger,

        in her language,

As we watch a heron pose


The accordion player smiles right into my eyes

In thanks for a coin


In the crowd the football songs are the same


Young lads, well drunken

Ask the way to the old town

And apologize for their schoolboy English


Over fish soup

Two businessmen write down where to visit

Discuss the war

And Clint Eastwood, who they’d met on holiday


Why should anyone want to kill these people?




Private Health Providers



First they came for the glasses

And I said nothing because I could afford glasses


Then they came for the teeth

And I said nothing because I could afford teeth


Then they came for the warts

And I said nothing because I could afford warts


Then they came for the heart surgery

Nigel Mellor’s poems have appeared in a broad range of publications both inside and outside the poetry world, including Emergency Verse, Guardians of the State, Time Out, Tribune and New Poetry 1 (Arts Council England). His first collection is For the Inquiry (Dab Hand Press).

Beware of   words



To kill them

You must first make them less than human

And all that takes

Is words



How the West was lost



When politicians cheat and bankers lie

And newspapers won’t fight the good fight

The man in the street joins the army’s old cry

For a strong man to put it all right






There will come a day

When you work

Not for wages

But for the bread to fill your belly


And on that day

Banks will, as usual,

Mess up

And ask you to eat less bread






We the blind

Saw only plenty

Never the sign