Poetry: Terrorising or Terrorised by Doryn Herbst

Terrorising or Terrorised

The Terrorised
land on western shores by night
in boats not built to cross the oceans,
so risk their livers to attain their dreams
or will it just be a continuation of their
nightmares.

Terror, Illegal Aliens and Invaders,
the Invaded call them,
come to grab what they do not deserve.

But guilt does not lie in one corner,
does not arrange itself in one direction
or rest alone with either the
Invaders nor the Invaded.

Some take a cut of money that changes hands
behind closed doors. Use the cash, in turn, to flee
themselves from hunger, thirst and civil war
sustained by weapons sold by the very people
living on the shores to which they flee.

The Invaded feel a violation but like
the cheap goods which the Invaders process
and pack at a low cost in the New Homelands
to which they come.


Bio: Doryn Herbst, formerly a scientist in the water industry, Wales, now lives in Germany and is a deputy local councillor. Her writing considers the natural world but also themes which address social issues. She is putting together a pamphlet-sized series about violence in its many facets. Doryn has poetry in Fahmidan Journal, CERASUS Magazine, Sledgehammer Literary Journal and more, plus work forthcoming in Fenland Poetry Journal, Re-side Zine and The Dawntreader. She is a reviewer at Consilience science poetry journal.

The Flower Seller at Piccadilly Circus by Doryn Herbst (c/w: War)

The Flower Seller at Piccadilly Circus

The flower seller sits on the steps in front of the statue of Anteros,
hanks of greying hair poke out from under her hat,
her call smothered by the sound of horses, motorcars and omnibus.

A dirty-green shawl, scant protection against the chilly morning air,
even when she sells all the flowers, it is difficult to make ends meet.

Men in uniform walk the streets, cavalry pass along Regent Street.
There are fewer flower sellers around now. Some younger ones
have disappeared onto the land or into the factories
to do their duty for our boys, men and country.

             And out on the Western Front, they scrutinise the space
             between fellow men yet foreign enemies
             Rats, cold, hunger accompany their daily terror of death by sniper.
            A letter back home to a loved one, suspension of reality for a moment
            but vermin and bloody gore never leave them.

In the towns and villages, the women and children wait.


Bio: Doryn Herbst, formerly a scientist in the water industry, Wales, now lives in Germany and is a deputy local councillor. Her writing considers the natural world but also themes which address social issues. She is putting together a pamphlet-sized series about violence in its many facets. Doryn has poetry in Fahmidan Journal, CERASUS Magazine, Sledgehammer Literary Journal and more, plus work forthcoming in Fenland Poetry Journal, Re-side Zine and The Dawntreader. She is a reviewer at Consilience science poetry journal.

A Poetry Showcase for Doryn Herbst


3 poems by Doryn Herbst : I Try to Think, You Stay Calm, & The Knife

A Poetry Showcase for Doryn Herbst

Doryn Herbst (@DorynHerbst) / Twitter

Christmas Shopping

If you haven‘t bought all your presents by Christmas Eve,
you‘re going to have stress, stress, stress
before the day is over if you want to please, please, please.

Will it arrive in time for Christmas?
	Sorry Madam, No
I thought you had a 24-hour delivery service.
	It doesn’t work on Christmas Eve, Madam.

Missed the train into town.
Take the car, find a space to park.   Go to

shop and buy, buy and shop,
shop and buy, buy, buy.

No!
	Sell, sell, sell
the wrong-coloured socks for Uncle Joss,
the wrong type of bubble bath for Cousin Lisa.

	Sell! Sell! Sell!
Inflated hot shares in the South Sea Company.
Did the public care they transported enslaved people?

	Sell!  Sell!  Sell!
Overpriced and runaway stocks in the railways.

	Sell!  Sell!  Sell!
Risky bank bonds packed in a box labelled safe.

Sell!  Sell!  Sell!
Novel foods packed with novel threats to our health.

Will we ever learn?

We go around in spirals,
never land in the same place
but often at the same spot.
	
We cannot stop to buy and sell, sell and buy,
buy and sell, sell, sell.

We look on and watch the bubble go pop.

City Boy

You need a bellyful of arrogance,
an ego as strong as a tank to survive 
the financial hub of the City. 

From Moorgate to Tower Hill,
along Bishopsgate and Fenchurch Street,
testosterone hangs in the air.

Bonuses to the tune of millions are sung
and bagged with the twitch of a nose,
the wink of an eye.

In darkened rooms, flesh is driven
to hook around poles to secure a sliver
of sustenance. Champagne flows
by the pint and coke by the bucket.

Bodies wrapped in dark suits clutter chairs,
a crack of a smile stretches back to reveal
ferine teeth. The punters may be hard but the
deals are easy, then the score has been written,
a long time ago.

Comes a day, the guards meet me in the hall,
marbled and cool. They push a cardboard box
into my hands. A box, it’s still a box.
Inside, a pen, a tie, half a bottle of whisky,
a two pence coin.

Time to take a holiday, maybe Bangkok,
stop by in Bali. Though it won’t be long
before I’m in the trading game again. 

Wait

Potholes need to be filled
The health service needs rescuing
Barings Bank went bust a while ago
Lehman Brothers more recently
Northern Rock needed a helping hand
So did Royal Bank of Scotland
But we need more jelly bear sweets!
Train carriages are creaking
The tracks are rusty
Pipes are leaking sewage into
Rivers bursting their banks
New Zealand lambs are stampeding
Borders need to be controlled
Our jobs need protecting
We’ve had swine flu, avian flu
A flipping novel pandemic
Keep your face mask on!
Take your face mask off!
Little Tommy needs new shoes

Wait! There’ll be jam tomorrow.




Bio: Doryn Herbst, formerly a scientist in the water industry, Wales, now lives in Germany and is a deputy local councillor. Her writing considers the natural world but also themes which address social issues. She is putting together a pamphlet-sized series about violence in its many facets. Doryn has poetry in Fahmidan Journal, CERASUS Magazine, Sledgehammer Literary Journal and more, plus work forthcoming in Fenland Poetry Journal, Re-side Zine and The Dawntreader. She is a reviewer at Consilience science poetry journal.

The Flower Seller at Piccadilly Circus by Doryn Herbst (c/w: War)

3 poems by Doryn Herbst : I Try to Think, You Stay Calm, & The Knife

3 poems by Doryn Herbst : I Try to Think, You Stay Calm, & The Knife

shallow focus photography of white feather dropping in person's hand

photo by Javardh (unsplash)

I Try to Think   
CW: Institutional Abuse

I cannot hold my fork without
dropping it five times
and five more times again.
I cannot walk but I can feel.
I cannot talk but I can scream.
Now, I have been put out of the way
to teach me how to behave
in the right way.

But you, your hands so gentle,
your smile so sweet,
take my wheelchair out of the cold,
welcome me back into the warm.

When confusion explodes in my head
like fireworks in the sky,
I try to think I know that you are right
to say, kindness is the only way.

Even when the others say that
they have more experience
than you, that they know best,
that you do not know how to do
things in the right way. They tell
you it must not happen again,
you behave in such a way that
is too soft, you must remember,
the rules must be obeyed. 

I try to think I know that you are right
because my legs do so hurt so very much.

You, Stay Calm!
CW: Institutional abuse

I can’t do the things
as quickly as you want me
to do them.

When you get upset,
I get upset.

I can’t explain to you how I feel,
I can’t explain anything at all,
so, I have to show you by what I do.
I don’t want to throw food across the table,
pull your hair hard or scratch your cheek.
I want you to see me
and what I need.

Your voice is very loud,
I see you are even more upset
and so am I. Now, two people are needed
to calm me down.

I have to come to this establishment 
because I have some special needs.

Why can’t you just give me
the space and time I need to finish
what you want me to do?


The Knife

One sentence,

like a slim, fine knife,
double-edged, sharp,

to cut you dead.

Slips easily to the centre
of the heart.





The Flower Seller at Piccadilly Circus by Doryn Herbst (c/w: War)

Bio: Doryn Herbst, formerly a scientist in the water industry, Wales, now lives in Germany and is a deputy local councillor. Her writing considers the natural world but also themes which address social issues. She is putting together a pamphlet-sized series about violence in its many facets. Doryn has poetry in Fahmidan Journal, CERASUS Magazine, Sledgehammer Literary Journal and more, plus work forthcoming in Fenland Poetry Journal, Re-side Zine and The Dawntreader. She is a reviewer at Consilience science poetry journal.

A Poetry Showcase for Doryn Herbst





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