Some poems inspired by Eleanor

Courtesy of Jean Maskell and Eleanor Rathbone

The Balance of Power  

We have the vote , and waste it.

Too busy choosing shopping and ‘Facebook’ likes 

to take up a pencil and mark a cross.

Yesterday women dreamt of the day.
How they would change the world.
In our mindfullness we live for today


Forgetting yesterday and tomorrow. 
Just content enough to shelter under
the dead weight of indifference.

The Woman’s Voice

The lone woman’s voice in the Council Chamber grew louder.
Was heard in Government and in houses large and small.
As every mother, who had never heard her name thanked her in their hearts.


The Words of Eleanor Rathbone

‘You will not be forgotten.’ 
Your words that day  in Huyton
to weary men waiting 
silently in the driving rain. 
For they were.
Your words that day In Huyton,
to weary men waiting 
silently in the driving rain.
For they were. 
Suspects, imprisoned
for their own good,
and ours it was said.
Everything lost
in a bureaucracy of fear.
Camp sirens wailing 
for a world at war.
‘You will not be forgotten.’
A woman’s words of hope
that somewhere,
there would be a welcome 
and hearts would open.
Years pass. Now the World
watches Calais.
Water-cannons blast 
makeshift wooden shelters.
Mothers carry
teargassed children
through mud, to nowhere.
Nowhere to go.
Where are they now?
The words.
‘You will not be forgotten.’


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