Exodus for the Soul

I seek a burning bush

deep inside this internal wilderness

blazing sun the canvas

upon which vultures circle

over dry bleached skulls

of the eternal lost

who’s spirits are forever imprisoned

in this arid haunt of demons and jackals


Oh! Lazarus salve my tongue

with just one drop of your tears

as slowly I wander amongst these ever-changing dunes

crawling over rocks that were once thrown

by men without pity or grace

along with memories of scorpion-like words

that once pierced my heart…


Yet still no ignited shrub

giving purpose – offering hope

to a man who’s fist clenches time’s sand

which slowly seeps through his fingers

like his dreams

blown into heavenly halls

by divine life-giving breath

my mind boiling like mutton

a feast for an old toothless lion

who has only his roar!

Like Moses searching for the promised land

that flows with milk and honey

always eluding me


Darkness falls – I play games with the stars

that have shone on greater men

in the distance I spy a dancing flame

surely it doth burn so bright

bringing light into the hidden places

where only the bravest soul dare venture…




©M.C. Bolton, February 2018

Writing/Poetry Workshop with Local Children


During half-term, Urban Dandy delivered a writing and poetry workshop to children at North Kensington charity Baraka Community Association. Eighteen children from local primary and secondary schools attended and explored methods for self-expression through writing short articles and poems.

As it was the 14th of the month, children considered memories and feelings evoked by the Grenfell Tower fire, eight months on. The group mind mapped their experiences during and since the fire. They then shared their memories of that day and how they have seen it affect their community, from the surreal experience of attending school on the 14th June to how people coped over the long summer.

Producing a piece of writing, the young people were free to choose their subject. Many went for Grenfell, but others wrote on other aspects of their lives. In both cases, the focus was on expressing ideas and feelings from their own experiences, rather than conforming to ideas about what they should write.

As the workshop was designed to be off-curriculum, the children heard about finding their voices, how to have a real impact, identifying a ‘hook’ for their pieces and writing for an audience, not a teacher.

London’s finest poet, Mark Bolton, then explained the process of writing poetry, and his own poetic journey. He read out his first ever composition, followed by the much more recent Aisha and the Sea, which was written in the aftermath of the fire.

Inspired and encouraged to open up, the kids then set about writing their own poems, and the workshop ended with everybody reading out loud what they had produced.

A number of the children took their work away to develop it and complete it. We hope to be able to publish a few pieces on Urban Dandy soon…

Writing workshop 6


By Tom Charles


Ode to Self-righteousness

Searching for a piece of solid ground

on which to make a stand

finding only slippery clay, cold wet shifting sand

nothing stable, untainted, pure

Everything corrupted

My own fine clothes exposed as rags

when the truth brutally interrupted!


Constantly falling into the abyss

outside space-time dimension

no beginning, end, finish, start

or realistic comprehension


Hating this so-fallen self

that no longer walks amongst the angels

my pitiful deluded self, against my soul it rages

hands and face like melting wax

dripping on to the keys of a pianola

Its constant tune plays sorrow’s song

as I yearn for paradise tomorrow


Still the parasites, the leeches

continue sucking at my core

the man I aspire to be

a mirage in this war

I see him in holographic dreams

awaking in sweat and terror!


The morning tormentors return once again

Pointing out my faults, my errors

Kept for perverse security

like two old cats about the place

my only fear of drowning

In God’s eternal lake of Grace….



M.C. Bolton, January 2018



Duck Down and Goosed

Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!

Canadian goose is getting fat

time to kill and pluck him

to put that coat upon your back

maybe cost a monkey*

even cost a grand

spare a thought for the poor, the homeless

with whom you share this land


not criticising your purchase

but maybe stop and think

on life’s forgotten army

it’s not champagne they drink


Retreating from society

all its phony rules

POWs of austerity

Policies so cruel

So the gap just widens between the rich and the poor

a tale of two cities

where greedy men want more!


Some talk of revolution

overthrow and change

evolution of mankind’s soul,

desires rearranged


Give to Ceasar

what is Ceasar’s

Pursue the path of truth

For its only money that provides a homeless man a roof!


Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!

the goose is getting fat

Slaughtered, roasted, eaten,

scraps left for the cat,

whilst the one that lays the golden eggs

sits quietly on my lap

the one that lays the golden eggs

sits quietly upon my lap….


M.C. Bolton, December 2017





Kensington and Chelsea-20120205-03053
Snow on Grenfell Road, North Kensington

Grenfell: The Ghosts of Christmas Past

No windows adorned with twinkling lights

like a kaleidoscopic lighthouse

that once shined so bright

no mistletoe, bells or berried wreaths of holly

upon doors of homes that were once so jolly

no matter what faith belief nor creed

neighbours that cared for those in need


In both Church and Mosque

Good people gathered

Ensuring God’s love

in the community scattered


now no angel or star on top of a tree

excited young children with expectant glee

souls that now sleep

to never awake,

unwrap their presents,

eat turkey and cake

no crackers pulled

or paper crowns worn

on the heads of proud parents

of those that just born


no away in a manger

a crib for a bed

souls which had life

now missing, presumed dead

the spirits of the loved

whom from this world have passed

not forgotten, remembered always

Forever deep in our hearts…


M.C. Bolton


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Grenfell Tower, January 2013

Up Periscope

Another celebrity kid’s a DJ

Public schoolboy skaters

Gold-toothed alligators

Woad-covered suburban warriors

External tattood art

Masking the grey interior

Devoid of personality

Purveyors of banality

Yet searching for identity

Without Facebook indemnity

Cult of no originality

Is this our reality?


Old men rant

A Buddhist chants

The piper’s tune

Now plays High Noon

Don’t forsake me, oh! my darling

Like a flock of starlings

You follow the man playing spoons

Feeding you corn without question

Brains like foie gras

To be served upon oval platters

As a cat that pigeons scatter


Some see the truth in tatters…

Nailing our colours to its mast

So free, so free at last

Devoid of this illusion

Opaque the herd’s delusion 

Clarity in this world’s confusion

On this rock we stand

Stick writing in the sand

The words of Liberty



M.C. Bolton, October 2017



Sea of Change

The tide of my life is ebbing

exposing my true soul

that realism no longer overwhelming

but liberating, as any pretence is revealed

seeing the rocks, driftwood, plastic

the rubbish I have hidden

buried deep into the sand

realising that judgement

is only for God’s hands,

a stronger, compassionate, caring spirit

is resurrected for my fellow man

forgiveness for those that have wronged me,

so as I accept myself,

with all my peccadilloes

let me accept you also

So as the tide of love returns

washing away our guilt, our shame

enabling the bricks of truth and hope

to be cemented together

by God’s eternal grace…


M.C. Bolton, October 2017



Photo & video by TC, France, October 2017