Steve Pottinger

Steve Pottinger

Steve Pottinger is a performance poet who's passionate about the power of poetry to create connections between people. He believes in making an audience laugh and think and decide that poetry isn't so bad after all.

on living with a larger, expansionist neighbour
Friday, 11 March 2022 14:53

on living with a larger, expansionist neighbour

Published in Poetry

on living with a larger, expansionist neighbour

by Steve Pottinger, with image above 'The War Abroad' by Alix Emery

you know he has always coveted
your garden, considered to be his
by right the olive trees, the earth,
that access to the sea, believes

your home an extension of his own,
tells himself that you are leading
him on, asking for trouble,
driving him crazy by smiling

too much, by not smiling enough,
by smiling at all, flaunting that
independence you’re so proud of,
dressed in that provocative

geography he can’t get out of
his mind, refusing his advances,
gardening your land without
so much as a by his leave

while he presses himself tight
up against your borders,
belly over the waistband of
his trousers, simmering to fury

planning for the morning you
will wake to find the front door
off its hinges, the olive trees
your grandparents planted

chopped and cut to kindling, his
tanks flattening your flowerbeds
and him blocking the way to your
kitchen, stripping the fridge bare,

not expecting you to fight.

Darkening
Monday, 01 June 2020 07:56

Darkening

Published in Poetry

Darkening

by Steve Pottinger

for george

under a darkening sky
we sit round a log fire
out there cities are burning
the planet is burning and

i can’t breathe

out there people are dying
in hospitals in care homes
alone in bedsits with the knee
of a cop pressed into their neck and

i can’t breathe

out there pepper spray nightstick
rubber bullet rage
the same wrongs the old injustice
complicity complacency and

i can’t breathe

in the darkness we search
for each other for hope
for the glimmerings of dawn
for words but what words are there
we haven’t used before?

listen     fucking listen

i can’t breathe
i can’t breathe
i can’t breathe

The Glass Collector
Friday, 03 August 2018 10:12

The Glass Collector

Published in Poetry

Glass collector

by Steve Pottinger

Let us sing of the mouse-quiet collector
of glasses, clearer of plates, wiper of tables,
he who returns sauce bottles to their
allotted place on the worktop
he who takes no space at all
asks no space at all
who is seventeen
who will surprise you by butting into
your conversation about the Milky Way
with an extensive knowledge of cosmology
who will shrug and say he taught himself
because what else is there to do here
really, what else is there to do?
Let us sing of the mouse-quiet collector
of glasses, his slow orbit round tables,
of sauce bottles and wisdom
and no space at all.
Let us raise our glasses.
Let us sing.

This poem was one of the winners of the 2018 Bread and Roses Poetry Award, sponsored by Unite.