........................................................................................ - a weBlog by Snowy and me.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

The Oldest Of All Human Tools

Take your pick and don't shovel too hard with it,
 it is self limiting for everybody to live in sexual monocultures.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Now That Is The Kind Of Book Burning I like

In 2011 BBC Northern Ireland
adapted the book 'Christopher And His Kind',
a memoir of life in 1930's Germany,
and they filmed the script in Belfast.
This afforded the locals the glorious sight
of their City Hall shrouded in swastikas,
which raised many eyebrows
and caused many knowing smiles
about the sad state of provincial politics.

Better than that, a book burning scene
was part of the script. The BBC contacted
every local charity shop in Belfast asking
for all the books donated to them that the
public won't buy second hand,
because the print run is bigger than the author's
talent. The sort of  books where the publishers
hope was that the author's fame
would overcome their lack of talent for prose.

The BBC probably paid the charity shops
for these literary sloppy seconds
by weight, thus creating a win-win scene
in which one book infused with talent,
'Christopher and His Kind' became the means
of temporarily cleansing one small corner
of the world of books in which the hope
of translating talent into sales
was solely down to the publishers' PR department.

I forgot to ask, did the BBC's fires
also burn the deadly prose of 'Mein Kampf'?

Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Ladies

I admire the best all have beards.
I only see them in pictures,
fully clothed, and never in the flesh.
I often wonder, do they have hairy chests?

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Doctors And Nurses

In England and beyond 'doctors and nurses'
is a popular children's pastime
based around a naive curiosity about the body.
In England and beyond basic health care
is free at the point of need for those who ask.

In countries where health insurance and hospitals
are private and costly to run are children better prepared
for adulthood by playing at selling expensive insurance
against future medical emergencies to each other,
than they would be by innocently treating imaginary maladies?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Past Sure Is Tense

Parenting is the process
of parents passing off
their past nurture
as their gift to their children,
as if that past were the purest,
and most definitive, present.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Walpurgis Night

Walpurgis Night by Paul Klee. "Walpurgis night"
 is the transition from winter to spring,
when witches would gather on the mountains.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Adam And Eve

and their descendants,
with all their hopes
for a life beyond time
are God's vanity
publishing project
called 'Planet Earth'.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Bad Family Values

'Living en famile provides the strongest motives
for rudeness combined with the maximum
opportunity for displaying it.'-Quentin Crisp 

Friday, 23 March 2012

Vanity Publishing

used to be a cottage industry
where small printing firms
bought advertising space
in semi-literary magazines,
to lure authors without agents
into believing that their talent
was worth the price of printing their book.

It now means micro-talented stars
who have been inflated to fame
by multi-media publicity machinery
being given contracts
by a needy publishing industry
to lend their names
to ghost written tomes
that pretend to be their lives.
Where the writing loses any life
it had before it is typeset.

Pity the trees pulped for
such ventures, pity the wildlife
the trees no longer support.
Modesty is their undoing.
Pity the psuedo-sincere
charity shops donated
these mis-begat books,
now unsaleable,
devalued by their life-support
publicity machine moving
in on to the next ghost life
and the next ghost writer
to make life ever more ghostly.

Thursday, 22 March 2012


is the life-long job
of working out
how having a soul
connects with
having an arsehole.

The Surest Way

to lose your identity;
education without vocation.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Remote, Controlled

I never cease to be surprised
at how fast in prosperous societies
new technologies germinate from
breezy aspirations for the near-future
to thrive into nervous stabs at
The Unknown Life in the present.

It is as if there is now no difference
between the experience of a life
and the half life of a life-style.
With the optimism of advertising,
we are all just buttons to be pressed,
we exist less to stroke one another,
more to press and be pressed
into serving the future.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Like North Korea

Syria is a hereditary dictatorship-
a thankfully rare form of government.

It is a condition of these regimes
that under the duress of domestic
disturbance reform will be promised
to 'the international community'.
But such regimes can never deliver
to their populous on their words
to other governments,
because of their self interest
and the wrongs
to which they would have to confess.

The gap between the promise of reform
and it's delivery has to be seen to be disbelieved.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Welcome To The New Boredom

'It is not the simple statement
of facts that ushers in freedom;
it is the constant repetition
of them that has this liberating
effect. Tolerance is the result
not of enlightenment, but of boredom'.
-Quentin Crisp

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Shadow and Light

Like everyone else
I daily 'do my best' to be myself.
Like many, I see others
are better at being me than I am.

The natural choice with depression
is to create a shadow in which to hide
from life. To be project a self
as from shrunken darkened place,
beyond recognition.
To be a place where I can be right.

To rephrase Woody Allen
'I don't mind living, I just don't
want to be there when it happens'.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Everything and Nothing

Genetically Homo sapiens
are practically a monoculture,
though our division from
the great variety of creation
is by the smallest of differences.

This small variation grants us
mastery over all other species
which is why we know everything
and understand nothing
about what we don't know.

How we advance surprises me.
Human science is a prayer
to an unknown deity,
who in his infinity has no humility.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Plu Ca Change...

Russian Communism
was an attempt at spreading
altruism tried by people
who had rarely experienced
the generosity they were
trying to project,
which wrought new symbols
for the old meanness
and very little else.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Rubbish Is Us (1)

At my local weekly car-boot sale
I enjoyed my walks.
I go there often.
I enjoy browsing more than buying.
The human interaction is worth more
than many of the goods being recycled.

I was struck afresh by how the stall holders
prized their boxes more than the contents
-supposedly for sale-
which seemed to be collectively unwanted.

Was this, I thought, like Wiemar Germany,
where with hyper-inflation the wheel barrow
in which a person carried their money
was more valuable than the money being carried?


The waters deep, the waters dark,
Reflect the seekers, hide the sought,
Whether in water or in air to drown.
Between them curls the silver spark,
Barbed, baited, waiting, of a thought--
Which in the world is upside down,
the fish hook or the question mark?
-Howard Nemerov 1920-91

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Opiates And Appetites

The hope of the world's end 
and being on the right side
 in The Hereafter
is surely the oldest
and most universal opiate
known to Man,
the species that defines addiction
as mere appetite.

Hope on that scale soothes
away the greatest insecurities,
seemingly far more effectively
than improving the world
through any knowingly
temporary aspiration
towards humility.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Name Your Favourite Holocaust

There are a plenty to choose from.
The Holodomor in The Ukraine in 1931-32.
Between three and eight million died then,
and the papers kept on it remain secret.
It is most clearly remembered by survivors
through the shame they felt for eating their pets.
Then there is the Shoa of European Jewry,
1937-45, and the Meds Yeghern,
the genocide by Turks of the Armenians
in 1915-still a state secret in Turkey today.
Or at a stretch the deaths in the first
concentration camps, in The Boer War
as run by the British in 1901.
More recently there was mass starvation
as crops repeatedly failed in North Korea,
and Year Zero in Cambodia under the Kmer Rouge.

There are many more, large and small,
what with how they go under-reported.
My favourite would have to be the next one,
if only because it is the one we may yet stop.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Respite From Fame Is Hard To Find

'Cocaine is God's way of saying
"You have too much money"'
-Elton John, post rehab circa 1987.

Then came crack cocaine-
the intense but brief high that matches
the adulation popular singers gain
from their public acclaim,
the balm that calms how the power of fame
feeds into being hollow and needy.

With crack the voice declines faster
than the money disappears,
and the acclaim of the press
morphs into a morbid prurience,
from which there is no return.

Sunday, 4 March 2012


is the art of turning language
inside out, where the vendor
says to the browser
'Make me an offer I can't refuse'
when what they mean is
'Offer me a deal that obliges
you to buy the goods'.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Have A Little Faith

I am sometimes rung up
by agents who try to sell me
some pricey insurance
for some bit of electronic kit
that I have bought new.
It seems to me most unlikely
that the item will go faulty,
and if it did then in these times
of abundance it would be cheaper
to replace than insure or repair.
To still the anxious heart of my cold caller
who wants me to insure the item
I quietly say 'You are showing
very little faith in the product I purchased... '.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Deaf Sceptics

have the ultimate respite
against the opinions of others;
what they never hear
they never have to disbelieve.