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

Monday, 30 April 2012

Love Is

the word that willfully
thrusts itself everyday life
and popular song
with unceasing regularity.

Would that it wore
a condom more often,
the less to be a breeder.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

If Only...

...and minds could be opened through opening their ears...

Manners Maketh Life And Death

At family meals when I was young
at mother's command I parroted
'Manners maketh man'
as if it were The Grace.
Eating was learning how to swallow my curiosity,
keeping my self to myself, and never asking
who said that grace first? Or when?
And what did the phrase mean?

By example Mother taught me
that manners madeth deference
and with that acquiescense
a blindness to the convenient lies
we taught each other by then.
They eased life in the short term
and that was all we could ask for.
We made a virtue of not examining
the unexamined in our lives.

My forced uncuriosity eventually
undid itself. The original was in french,
'Manners maketh man as clothes
and food [but not prayer] maketh
the monk'. It was a criticism of gluttony.
'Manners makyth the man' was the family motto
of Bishop William of Wykeham-1320-1404.

I note what he did for education.
I learned nothing from the deference
which so well disguised all fear of truth.
I prefer a mutuality where humour graces
criticism, when both given or received.
And even more, humour leavens praise.

Saturday, 28 April 2012


are the oldest human made I.E.D's.
When hidden and tripped, for not being seen
they help humans maim each other
and the planet more effectively
than anything other device
in the history of creation.

Signs Of Greater Age (4)

1-having nobody to send
anyone, or receive post from,
after having had plenty to say
to so many correspondents
through your life so far.....

2-being surprised by how
some everyday items cost more
than your memory says they should. 

3-being surprised by
how helpful and genuine
strangers can be when you
have a minor public crisis.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Obedience Is Not

what makes man what he is.
Man, like the planet he
haphazardly mismanages
is made by his errors.
Whoever stops others
from learning through
their mistakes halts how
they grow in understanding,
through their own error, also.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Self Education

won't get anyone into the cliquey networks
where jobs are assured for the few
through discreetly exchanged favors,
or flashing the old school tie.
Nor will it make a person rich,
or get them the kind of references
that  employers pass on to each other-
where the referees take the credit
for creating the stability that ensure
the employer's maturity,
to the discredit of the employee.

But given a lighter means
to a living, self education
means choice where people
captain themselves through
life's ebb and tide, and change
is the biggest constant as much
as any heart could want,
even beyond wanting.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Mae West

said 'Too much of a good thing is wonderful'.
If only Christians could show  a similar
brio and self belief to the world about
the inexhaustible riches of Heaven....

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Benjamin Franklin Wrote

in 1789 to his friend Jean Baptiste Leroy
about 'the certainty of death and taxes'.
Daniel Defoe used a similar phrase
in his 'Devil's Dictionary', written sixty
years earlier.
Has the phrase lost resonance with modernity
because we have ceased to credit The Devil,
and deliver him his due?
Or has the phrase died because we are now
more indifferent to death
and more cynical about government and taxation?

Death and taxes are as certain now
as they ever were. But the new
capitalism is accompanied by an
absolute belief in growth, measured
purely by money.
In the older more limited growth the certainty
of taxes was relatively simple,
and growth was measured wider.
The new measures of growth depend
more than we prefer to think on
the armies of accountants and lawyers
who find legislative loopholes for use
by those rich enough
to believe that what they have is worth hoarding
in tax havens.
The value of these secret secretions
rests on the belief that the effort required
will outweigh the cost-the drain on the creativity,
relationships and energy for the activities
which are the origins of the wealth.

The hoarding is where death reaps
his reward, and where the devil returns,
disguised, unawares to us all....  

Monday, 23 April 2012


are small collectives who set out to prove
their superiority over the masses
by tying up their lives in Gordian knots.
Bureaucrats make complex paradoxes
for others to live by,
from which they quietly exempt themselves
which make the hoisting of others
on their own petard,
through the application of these rules look simple.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Modern Education

is about learning to write,
and how to sign your name,
the better to understand that
your signature is who you are,
in order that you are unformed
enough to sign your values away
to the biggest nearby multi-national
corporation before you can discover
who, and what else, you could be.

Friday, 20 April 2012

The Most Liberating

freedom of speech
I know is a shared
empathetic silence.

In The Absence of Philosophy,

or religions that go beyond catharsis
with their adherents
to help them rein in their egos,
the therapy room
has become the most accepted place
in secular western societies to go,
to rationalize past pain,
and remove the victim-hood from suffering.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

In Airports And Bars

across the world televisions
on mute broadcast 24 hour
international news, of trouble
far from anywhere it's passing,
passive, viewers ever expect to be.

Party Polticians mouth toothless
soundbites into these transitory
consumer spaces, where people
are somewhere, but aren't really
anywhere, for their constantly
thinking to be somewhere else.

Like the best acts of charity
Democracy starts with
listening, and in the home.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

E Pluribus Unum In Suburbia

Lady Liberty invited the tired,
the poor and the huddled masses to stay.
In New York she used to give them
new English names to replace what had aged,
become unpronounceable, unspellable,
when giving fresh starts to old trades and habits.

Whatever the later public talk of 'the melting pot',
what did not happen, any more than that talk was understood,
was that each ethnic group truly blended with any other;
each new national identity renewed itself through it's old identity
in it's new suburb, via it's natural trade.
Until that area assumed the pre-Liberty identity.

Even in the land of the free, good neighbours
need the strongest of fences to be good to each other.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

In Rural France

the small shops
that sell fresh veg
leave their overstocks,
and the redeemable
but bruised fruit
on the street,
for the poor to take, for free.
That is the sort of
capitalism I like to see.
But how long can that last?

The Colonel

What you have heard said is true. I was in his house.
His wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. His
daughter filed her nails, his son went out for the
night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol
on the cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on
its black cord over the house. On the television
was a cop show. It was in English. Broken bottles
were embedded in the walls around the house to
scoop the kneecaps from a  man's legs or cut his
hands to lace. On the windows there were gratings
like those in liquor stores. We had dinner, rack of
lamb, good wine. There was a gold bell on the table for
calling the maid. The maid brought green mangoes,
salt, a type of bread. I was asked how I enjoyed
the country. There was a brief commercial in
Spanish. His wife took everything away. There was
some talk of how difficult it had become to govern.
The parrot said Hello on the terrace. The Colonel
told it to shut up and pushed himself from the table.
My  friend said to me with his eyes: say
nothing. The Colonel returned with a bag used to
bring groceries home. He spilled many humans ears on
the table. They were like dried peach halves. There
is no other way to say this. He took one of them in
his hands and shook it in our faces, dropped it into a
water glass. It came alive there. I am tired of
fooling around he said. As for the rights of anyone,
tell your people they can go fuck themselves. He
swept the ears to the floor with his arm and held
the last of his wine in the air. Something for your
poetry - no? he said. Some of the ears on the floor
caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the ears on
the floor were pressed to the ground.

May 1978  Carol Forché

Monday, 16 April 2012

In Conversation With A Friend

I said  'I would hate to be divorced,
because recognize all too well the pain
that would follow from the process
of divesting the devalued goods
of the memories of the marriage.
I would hate the grief that preceded
the final decree absolute.'.

 Ever the free spirit, and ascetic he replied
'Well, I would hate the idea of marriage,
for how it encloses people in those goods'.

We concurred that the best joinings
and separations are set in ideas that can change,
which are limited by mutual agreement.
We both accepted that we ought not be joined,
or owned, by our abundance of possessions.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

I Am Messy And A Slow Learner

Every thought I have has been thought before,
and it has been forgotten many times.
The contribution I make to my culture
is to rearrange the signs that direct
everyone interested to the lifeboats
on the sinking planet-ship The Titanic.
The better to wrong-foot the quick
and make the slow faster by comparison
in the event of greeting friendly icebergs.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Correct Collective

pronoun for prejudices
is 'a minefield'-they come
in clusters and the expression
of them makes people
explode with incoherence.

Hereditary Dictatorships

are a system of government where inbred lunatics
govern the country as if it were their personal asylum,
to be ruled exclusively from within.
Nobody let out, nobody let in.
Everybody who is not in the first family
has to know less about themselves
than is good for them, for rule to function.

This is proven when the dictatorship collapses.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Picture Post Special


is about scientists finding phenomena
before each other, the better to claim fame
in the nomenclature, and to align themselves
with the evolutionary human arms race
that called itself Progress.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Following/Not Following

Nobody has to be stupid to defer to stupidity,
any more than they have to be blind to follow the sightless.
But to slowly blind one's self by following the blind
very quietly sets up a permanent tragedy.

It is okay by me when others want to lead
with that beam in their eye that speaks of hypocrisy,
sharing by removing consensus and choice.
 After all that is the history of the human race,
but I want to remove the mote from my own eye*.

I will not be following.

*a reference the The Gospel Of Mathew Ch7 V3

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Flame vs The Shame

Ray Bradbury got it wrong in 'Fahrenheit 451'.
Book burning is a noisy activity
that always causes alarm. The quieter way
to kill a culture is not to burn it's books,
but to shame people into not reading them,
or make literacy the object of fear and superstition,
the better to stop new ideas being written.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

A Dog Eared Quotation

'Outside a dog a book is a mans best friend.
Inside a dog it is too dark to read.'-Groucho Marx

The Height Of Choice

We all built soapboxes on our felt experience
on which we like to stand.
We all have choices about what to say
when we suffer. Whether to project it out
and shout so others can't hear themselves?
Or with our increased height listen apace,
take in the views we are offered,  in conversation
and raise others to a new shared space?

Monday, 9 April 2012

Investment Banking;

Utopian lives for the few who work
and live in luxury high rise steel and glass cages,
mining the future for money.
Dystopian present times for the masses.
Consumerism is in all, it becomes everything.
Science fiction dramas are played out in secret
with theoretical maths to make money
by weaving worm holes in the fabric of hope
that pull taut the hidden strings in the hopes
of the many of an improved ordinary life.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

More Is The New Less

Schools output is definitely up
more exams, more rules,
more talk from more fools
who think they know more,
and show they know less
every time they speak. More to eat,
the easier to become obese,
inflated by short term expectation.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

In The Modesty Olympics

no medals were awarded,
and nobody claimed their prize
beyond the praise for receiving
each others' encouragement.

Joined Up Government

This is how Government fat cats would think, with thanks to here.  


Friday, 6 April 2012

In The Home Of The Brave,

the land of the free,
the most courageous
must surely be the 80,000 souls
in solitary confinement, in prison.
Isolated for 23 hours a day,
watched and not knowing
who is watching them.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Better To Be

the servant of what I see
and serve with honesty and humour,
than pretend to be The Lord of all I survey
when I know I will never really own it.

Who in this life really owns
more, or less, than themselves?

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Slurping On Freud

"All of my life I have been terrible
at remembering people's names.
Once I introduced a friend of mine
as 'Martini', her name was actually 'Olive'"
-Tallulah Bankhead

Unromantically Yours

When I was young I grew up so alone
I thought I would never grow old with anyone.
I wanted most to see my growing done.
So that whoever I was with I might live
in sharing calm, unjealous tense free present.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Live In Colour

As the stripper of eternity eases off codpiece of time,
and history, like fraternity, seems to be completely done
the kind of Christianity I like is still possible.
The kind where there is valour,
and  forgiveness is the check against error,
rules are kept simple, logical, and in black and white,
and life is there for all and in vibrant and living colour.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Pigs Will Fly

like the gadarene swine
when the young protest
with sufficient vim
to change the latest
mutation of capitalism,
and it's life support
-the banking system,
to make it work better
for the poorest in the world.

until then everything is just symbols.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Wish You Were Here

Some time ago Panchita was caught up in a net, which left deep cuts
  all over her body. She managed to make it to this hotel 
 where animal advocates nursed her back to health for 3 months. 
 Every day she returns to rest after being out to sea. 
 She is now pregnant and expecting within a month.”. 
With thanks to here. MTV star Eric Nies looks fine too.