Tuesday, 27 January 2015

On the streets of Sarajevo (James WF Roberts)

On the streets of Sarajevo
(James WF Roberts)

One hundred years ago,
On the streets of Sarajevo
a prince is killed by a mad
young man, wanna be hero.

Whole world turn to chaos
on the streets of Sarajevo,
the black hand struck
with lightning thrust,
sovereignty ravaged
by centuries of war
July crisis
who cares about international law?

One hundred years ago,
On the streets of Sarajevo
man and wife we slain,
victims of nationalistic rage

their death marks
the beginning of the modern age,
Greatest family spat in history,
all first cousins on the thrones of Europe,
Serbia wanting autonomy
Austro-Hungarian want none of it,
Ferdinand a modernist, a reformer
innocent man, no blood on his hands.

Dotty old grandfather,
can’t see the writing on the wall.
One hundred years ago,
On the streets of Sarajevo
on the steps of city hall,
after they survived a grenade attack.

Bubbling away,
simmering, cruelly
and calculating,
more guns and battleships
no one seems to care
the Balkan powder keg,
like a child playing with
his father’s gun, won’t take
long for it to erupt…

Viennese coffee houses,
full of Jewish intellectuals
Parisian galleries young Pablo
is busy at work.

Slave wages for miners,
women get less than half,
Jean Jaures, gunned  down
for doing what was right,
Le Croissant, was never the same again.

Wilhelm—deformed little man,
so ashamed of his English blood
One hundred years ago,
On the streets of Sarajevo






The great bear in the East,
will not survive this war,
Japan in 1904 handed them
back their balls,

Rasputin’s
dark and brooding eyes
sees all that soon will come.
his fingers upon
all the strings…

He foresees the destruction
of the Tsar—all that’s been built
in that grand old name.

Maps redrawn
borders eroded
national pride
handed back on a plate,
lingering hatred, frustration
burning away until 1938.

On the streets of Sarajevo
too many greedy mouths
not enough pieces to go around
soon poppies will grow
where once brave young men
fell in the snow…

One hundred years ago,
On the streets of Sarajevo
a prince is killed by a mad

young man, wanna be hero

the old world
of peace and civility
shall be gone forever

Sunday, 25 January 2015

James WF Roberts featuring at West Word poetry on 22nd Feb at 2pm!

James WF Roberts featuring at West Word poetry on 22nd Feb at 2pm!


Please come and support Poetry in Melbourne. My first feature for 2015, Poetry at the Dancing Dog, Footscray, Melbourne, Victoria. Please share and pass it around to all of your networks.  Will be premiering new work and show casing some poems from my new books,  Ten More Poems, Sisyphus: De Profundis, Many truths of an absurd nature and the preludes….
Located 5 minutes from Footscray station, The Dancing Dog café has been the venue for West Word poetry for over a ten years.
The poetry is located in the gallery room, where there’s plenty of seats & tables, air conditioning and people are welcome to bring any snacks or drinks in from the bar.
If you want to perform on our OPEN STAGE section, you have 5 minutes up there to perform your poetry (any language, any style… up to you.)
West Word poetry is on every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month at 2pm. And every session has a different feature.



Our feature for February 22nd is:

James WF Roberts, Victorian poet and author. Former late night radio presenter www.phoenixfm.org.au; editor and poetry curator Red Wolf Press Aust. redwolfpressaustralia.blogspot.com.au. Highly Commended FAW, John Shaw Nielson prize, 2009/10. Runner Up page 17 Poetry prize 2012. Short listed Fermoy International Poetry prize (Ireland) 2011-2014. Published in Verandah journal (Deakin University) Gore journal, Page 17, Spirit of Poe anthology (USA), Slaughter House Vol.3 (Siren’s call publications/ US ). Bone Orchard Poetry (UK). The Art of Being Human (2009-2014, Romania) Song of Sahel (UK).
Author of Blue Electric Dusk, Ten Poems, the Preludes, Many Truths of an Absurd Nature, Sisyphus: De Profundis and Ten More Poems.