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Angela France

Carefully, I sort recycling on my knees
each bottle-chink in the bag, or silence
of plastic in the box feels like a plea,
a prayer.
The crowd’s insistence
on guilty clicks on sad or angry faces
dilutes the true significance
of the scrolling pictures, the glacial
cracks and calvings, rainforest fires,
storms and floods.
Endless pages
of drowning refugees, tired
rescuers carrying bloodied babies
from bombed houses, scared
children sleeping rough in rich cities.
Scrolling feels like vertigo; hearts
and kittens don’t dilute constant crises
and paying attention is like the stark
brilliance of winter sun on a wet road;
all I see ahead is the shape of something dark.

Angela France’s publications include ‘Occupation’ (2009), ‘Lessons in Mallemaroking’ (2011) and ‘Hide’ (2013). Her latest collection, The Hill came out in July 2017 with Nine Arches Press and has been developed into a live multi-media poetry show. Angela teaches creative writing at the University of Gloucestershire and in various community settings. She runs a reading series in Cheltenham, ‘Buzzwords’.

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