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Ian O'Brien

Updated: Mon, 12 Aug 2013 05:56 pm

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I'm a writer and teacher from Manchester, UK. Writing for years but new to performing. Interested in and inspired by stories, people, Victorian slate rooftops in rain, the Labour movement, Coronation Street, Ken Loach, Mike Garry, Tony Walsh, John Cooper Clarke, The Smiths, Ted Hughes, Douglas Dunne, my wife, my pupils, you know the drill.


When Thatcher Died I was secretly disappointed you already knew. I dreamed up ways of giving you the news, in the Spaces between each ring. In the end the words fell out, Gifts, ‘Thatcher’s dead.’ It could have been ‘I passed,’ Or ‘It came back negative.’ An absurd relief in the tone, Like rain after drought, Welcome, bitter drops. But, of course, you already knew. There was an absence in your voice, A deflated acknowledgement, As if I’d said ‘The winter is over, But you lost your lambs.’ It was a novelty when you picked us up from school. We never made the connection. Seeing you in daytime never meant Unemployment. And we’d talk of milk and blacklists. Ghosts in the wire. We always said we’d meet in the pub, The day Thatcher died. But we didn’t. We walked the canal in the Thin heat, the uncertain promise of Spring. My restless joy met silences as we walked And I couldn’t understand Your reticence Until we passed the factories. IOB 2013

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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<Deleted User> (11485)

Sat 5th Oct 2013 16:18

"When Thatcher Died" is brilliant work; thank you.

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Ann Foxglove

Sun 18th Aug 2013 12:40

Hi Nigel - a very warm welcome to WOL. Hope to see some more of your work on here soon. And hope you will enjoy being a part of the site :)

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Ian O'Brien

Thu 15th Aug 2013 21:10

Thanks Nigel!

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Nigel Astell

Tue 13th Aug 2013 15:40

You will have no problem Ian with performance poetry
as you proved on Monday night.

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