Tag Archives: social change

Poem About How Society and Individuals Label and Expect

Kurt Cobain and Andy Warhol
Image by saidinjest via Flickr

Here’s a new Folding Mirror poem by Marc Latham hot off the Twenty-firstcenturypoets press. Thanks to Sarah James for inviting me to contribute to the site.

Marc Latham also has his Swan Serenade poem in the Everydaypoets anthology recently published.

This new Folding Mirror poem looks at how we often judge others but expect people not to do the same with ourselves.

We often expect people to see through our behaviour to the core, where there is goodness, and our best side.

But a lot of the time, for whatever reason, and this is totally a part of what makes us human, we also let our bad sides out: sometimes it’s just an urge to be wicked, as the drinks advert celebrates; or some kind of power/greed trip, or family and social histories or pressures.

Some people realise this and try to limit it, or make amends with hindsight, while others just think they have a right to negative actions that impact unfairly upon people, and continue to act that way all their lives without apology.

I Can See Through You, Why Don’t People Understand Me

I know everything about you
from what you present
clothes, words, demographics,

what identifies you
at the core
but nobody gets me

labelled, slurred, ignored,
my life decoded negative
Y am I always misunderstood


Thanks to All Those Who’ve Made Ant Theory Popular

Thanks to all those who visited the Existential site to read Marc Latham’s Ant Theory of Human Existence article, and helped to make it one of the most read articles on the site. And especially to Claire Knight for writing her poem interpreting the theory.

The article will be on the main page of the Existential site for another week, and it has been joined by three great articles since it appeared.

Thanks also to the Poetic Voice website for visiting and inviting me to join.

British Politics and Coalition Government Poem

Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem uses the deal made between the Conservative (Tories) and Liberal-Democrat political parties after last week’s British general election as its topic.

The coalition seems to be going well so far, and so well in fact that the media have today been comparing the two leaders, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, to legendary comedy double act, Morcambe and Wise, after yesterday’s joint conference.

They do seem a good partnership, and seem to be talking mostly good sense at the moment, so I hope they can dig Britain out of its current economic woes while also preserving the environment.

The poem rhymes a bit and the subjects of each line (outer and outer etc) and the word count (7-6-7-8-4-4 (10) 4-4-8-7-6-7) mirror.

The Poem

British Electorate Reunite Long Lost Political Twins

David Cameron is the new Tory PM
the highest office of Great Britain
the blue flag moved into Downing Street
a most British revolution the media see it
coalition politics with commonsense
not sleazy scandal selfishness

the British public cross their fingers, one over the other

the people attended first
we’re over recession worst
nice to see you to see you nice
the yellow banner makes you look twice
the deputy job bartered for pact
Nick Clegg is Liberal DM double act

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Rich and Poor Divided by Railway Floor

Railway Line Division Vision

born on the right side of the tracks
wide roads and big houses
clean trimmed lawns
featuring Winner the labrador
and a sports car outside the garage door

Railway line divides the town

beat up rusty motor with the hood open
pitbull called Loser hoping
to taste freedom
back yards and wooden porches
born on the wrong side of the tracks

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Stereotypical Werewolf Transformation

Today we have a bit of a light-hearted poem from Marc Latham to take us into the weekend.

Poem Explanation

The Greenygrey wasn’t too happy when I wrote this poem, as it thinks it gives werewolves a bad name, and the shape looks a bit too much like a silver bullet for its liking!

So I called it the stereotypical werewolf transformation, as it is based on mythical and Hollywood werewolves rather than real ones like GG.


The structure is influenced by a right-angle structure that was promoted on the Writelink website. This is a double right angle, with the folding middle line providing a point for an arrow head look (see, not a silver bullet GG).

The words per line mirror on each side of the fold:

The top half of the poem sees the person being bitten by a werewolf, but still oblivious to its state; the middle line concerns the first full moon afterwards, and the transformation; and the bottom half sees the person acting as a werewolf and aware of its state after the middle line transformation.

The Stereotypical Werewolf Transformation

Bitten by a werewolf
too late to save my humanity
the start of continuous insanity
When I wake in bed I am oblivious
scary werewolves are still ridiculous
my scratches could be from anywhere
my month continues without a care until

next full moon I howl for the first time; lordy

one’s furriness and out of tune harmony
too early to decide whether enjoyable
is werewolf existence even viable
When I wake in nature I am cold
with hands covered in mould
I pass next month in dread
Biting as a werewolf

The First Folding Mirror

The first folding mirror poem happened by accident.

I was writing a poem for a competition a couple of years ago, and just noticed that the two halves of the poem and the subject’s life seemed to mirror.

The poem’s structure was working out to be about the same amount of words each line, either side of a defining moment.

This reminded me of what I knew about the haiku structure, with two same sized lines either side of a longer middle line.

So I then created the poem with the same amount of words in each corresponding line (first and last / outside and outside etc) either side of the defining middle line: the folding mirror was born!

The poem was about an unfortunate woman’s life, from birth to death. 

It’s title plays on Jimi Hendrix’s Stone Free.

Its time and place was made vague on purpose.

It is not a hate poem, but a call for change and liberty.

Reading the poem it could be from history or the present; and the subject could even be male, as many men have similar experiences.  

The poems is below, with an explanation of its structure to the side of each line:

Stoned Free

Comfort, Crying, Freedom           (as with the last line, three words separated by two commas)

Sold into slavery,             (as with the second last line, three words and comma)

Beaten, Raped,            (as with third from last line, two words and two commas)

Unwanted by twenty,          (as with fourth from last line, three words and a comma)

Accused of immorality, Judged,         (the folding middle line)

Guilty of course,          (as with fourth line, three words and a comma) 

Jeering, Hatred,         (as with third line, two words and two commas)

Surrounded by men,         (as with the second line, three words and comma)

Pain, Confusion, Liberation  (as with the first line, three words separated by two commas)