Gran-u-late | Poet’s Corner

Posted on by theyarehere


by Melanie Mauthner



Melanie Mauthner is a member of Malika’s Kitchen Poetry Collective.




Yo, Henry time to make amends

for slavery, thank you for your

library, sugar gravy you liquefied

purified into crystals, so we

fish net, genuflect in Windrush

Square, hand you a cool-blue

beard snood, say, hey dude, come on

down this sugar trail

tread fresh, planted cane

grow, bust! How tall, how ripe

how golden, we taste

brown and white!


We’re all artists, readers, sugar

reapers, to Acre Lane, we rush

buy Tesco granulated

click Olive Morris, mail order Amazon

stored in warehouses, both -

necessities not luxuries, we

can’t surf without a sugar fix

text trip, candy fight

see it spill, break the boardroom

table? Tate and Lyle, print or virtual

which is best, healthiest,

has more fibre, nutrients?


How we gonna survive without sugar ‘n text?

Yo Henry, we live in electronic times

So, you want to join us in this digital maze?

Go supersonic, transatlantic? Get sugar wise:

post us the reason on your Facebook page

why after your death, your mansion mortgaged

into a convent, why your descendants did not

inherit? Maybe then, your Park Hill mountain

instead of chipped into flats, ballroom lounge

where you hung your first Millais, Burne-

Jones bargains, we could factory it

restore it – Streatham cachet it


In your funky folly recovery lab, we

test how you refined sugar into treats

we consume in old Mill Bank’s Penitentiary

Albert Dock’s Nicki de Sainte Phalle shooting

paintings. Say Henry, you agree we filtrate

your crumbly cube into the fun-fair, kids

with sticky ice cream cones, dream of?

Theme-park your grotto, rinse-

bling our bikes in the stream? Sure,

you need reeds to soothe your wife, hybridise

her apple-pear orchard, water to filter steam

Thames to lug shipments to Silvertown


Yo, Henry, see a fountain spray that Ritzy

shuffle girl, how crazy she whizz for your Windrush

sweets? Zip, match, we need speed on screen

to exchange-mu-tate, so if you’s got sugar cash

to spare, you fund our extension bridge, compress

sachets of lolly, so we Brixtonites can skip-hip-nip

dive from black cul-tu-ral ar-chi-ves under li-bra-ry quilt

flip-hop da Kindle, sit-kiss our butts on da i-pad,

tube-flume this digi-bizz, soul-sift brown

and white, raw and industrial fit

we all refined now, rake-bake, save

sugar cubes for street dance Scrabble cake


Yo Henry, you hear me? You build us a sky-lift

sugar silo in this heart of Windrush

so we tumble, sugar plush into the truth

politicians want to keep from us

so’s we feed ourselves facts

not shortcrust shortcuts -

so much caster sprinkled

on that Hesser floor that if only, we

economise, save it, melt it with butter

icing our slide, thread it with Smarties

weave-festoon, garland your ribbon

Norwood tomb, maybe you’ll rest-invest in Lambeth?

We still hungry for history, Henry

we want seed-corn pennies to

sow our square sugar cane green

smell golden sweet bubbles

treacle-dribble our waffles

melt us a molasses river, and

for you, big daddy, to spin that

granulated truth, that without

black hands and feet cutting cane

there would be no Reference Turbine

Library Hall. Yo Henry, you still listening?

You still owe us, see, a Discovery Channel


Grow, we whisper, water fibre optic sugar

grass – the taller you sprout the richer we rate

tate-affinate: we want our text plantation

message-frenzy, visual display wi-fi Skype

hubble magic, down-loadable harvest,

ship-shape, navigate; so’s every steam

crate rising we jetty, wharf, chat-dizzy

we swell, soar, friend-savvy, idea-happy

flip-fly, chilled as a heron, Prince-esse KFC

we taste, pod-cast Henry’s tricks: tweet

Brixton syrup drip so thick, we morph

yo, from caster to demerara, we be – molashine






Poet’s Corner



A haughty fox strolls in Brixton

on the lookout for a vixen.


On the Frontline boys race along

Shakespeare, Chaucer, Spencer and Milton.


A helicopter searchlight hovers

Looking for the racers giving bother.


Flesh & blood is no

match for speed and steel.


A life is stolen in a

moment without heed.


Phyllis Lane  2010