The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
On the stretched silk, a painted Bible scene
of Adam and Eve working together. She's spinning wool as he tills the garden.
Sewn underneath are lines of poetry
in simple rhyme so the meaning is clear: from equality comes joy of labour.
On the red background, in letters of gold
Socialism Fellowship Brotherhood
and at the bottom, a symbolic sun, a golden future for the working man.
The makers of this work of art are gone.
The message on the banner carries on.
The current ills are coming to an end. What we had before, we will have again.
McGrane's poems have been published in Aesthetica, The Delinquent, and South Bank Poetry as well as in the anthologies city lighthouse (published by tall-lightouse), Split Screen (Red Squirrel Press), The Robin Hood book (Caparison) and the upcoming 2012 Templar Poetry Anthology, Octopus. McGrane also runs Forest Poets, a writing group which has 18 new poems on display at the William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow, until September 16. All poems, including Socialist Banner, are inspired by the life and work of William Morris and are displayed throughout the gallery. For more information visit: www.wmgallery.org.uk