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

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

For The Thrifty

their greatest hope lies
in the promises of the wealth
that never arrives anywhere near
where it could be theirs for the taking.

Monday, 30 December 2019

Against The Grain

In spite of all I see about me
I am going to be contrary
by loving of my enemy,
at least as much as I can. 

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Authority vs Authenticity

In one of them we are ourselves
as we want to be, for good and ill,
not that we expect ill to become us.

In the other we put on stale airs
to disguise how we lack control
and claim power over others
when we should let then be themselves. 

Saturday, 28 December 2019

My Second New Year Card Of 2020

I have no idea what is going on here,
but it looks like they overdid the idea of discretion. 

Friday, 27 December 2019

The Buoyant Voter

In forty years of being available to vote
I have rarely voted for the candidate
who was to be first past the post
in the ten general elections I could vote in.

My convictions about who to vote for
always left me among the minority
who can't identify with those in power.

I don't mind that, indeed I can't
since it means I have spent my time
supporting candidates and parties
who could well win in the future.  

Thursday, 26 December 2019

My First New year Card Of 2020

'We never chose this; The journey to safety is hard.
We were lied to, Europe does not want refugees.
We thought we would arrive to safety but Europe
makes us struggle more against being sent back
into the old dangers, now increased'.
'Hoping to Survive' Razieh Gholami, 2019.


Wednesday, 25 December 2019

'It' Will Soon Be Over

Christmas is that time
when, egged on by commerce,
we drown each other in cliches
become anxious about happiness
as if anxiety could make us happy,
and at the end of it relearn to breath
that collective sigh of relief,
that it is all over-until next year.

Monday, 23 December 2019

Yesterday's Bread, Today

Our daily bread is always fresh,
it has to be for today to be today
and yesterday to be the past.

But when the digital world
offers us so many pasts to choose from-
all of them clean for being online,
and there at the touch of a button-
nobody is to be blamed
for wanting to go back.

Every past had it's awkward times,
often written out when accounted for,
and in their conflicts was the life
that they bequeathed the future.

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Never Trust The Media

To help you believe in yourself
-when it fails or gets bought over
by some cheap millionaire
who is on the make
in the pursuit of power
then how shrunk you feel
will be no loss for him.

But it will matter to you.
So take care to enrich yourself
by more than whose opinion
you choose to read.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

My Third Christmas Card Of 2019

And it is a second image from the John Bolloten exhibition
of images of the poor and homeless which is travelling
across the UK at present; last seen in Belfast. 

Friday, 20 December 2019

The Offer I Can Refuse

When inequality is proof of success
and the greater the inequality
the more the success is heralded,
then remind me to want less
of what the gov't feels I should have.

If I can't share what I have
with those who have not
in my attempt at community
then what I have means less
than being told 'you have earned this'.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Reading The Past

The more technology advances
the more the human attention span
gets sucked in, towards television,
where an ever increasing density of pixels
combines with decreasing levels of content
as life and money flow down the drain of time.

But with the time it takes to write,
and time to absorb what is written
the greenest and most advanced
modern entertainment remains reading.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Robot Nation

Recently my local public library
installed drop boxes for returned books.
So the public no long had to stop
a member of staff to leave off
the books that they were finished with.

The library said 'It is an efficiency saving'
designed to free up the time of the staff,
so they can engage more with the public.

But returning books that had been borrowed
was one of the easiest ways the public had
of engaging with staff, and this came after
much else has been computerised before that.

Soon robots will be reinventing 'public service values'
by borrowing books from automated public libraries
where human beings are no longer involved.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019


It takes a huge amount of money
and factories full of technology
to create the permanent gulf
between the billionaires
and the rest of us, so effectively
that the inequality it entails
is too much for us to resist. 

Monday, 16 December 2019

My Second Christmas Card Of 2019

Images like this of people who seem to exist without a name,
they could name themselves after the wind for all we know,
should be more common to us, but as a society gloss
and false surfaces have taken over, making sure reality is never seen. 

Sunday, 15 December 2019

For A Better Quality Of Negativity

When you find the false cheer
that everyone shares to be exhausting
and it is the only cheer on offer
then there is an alternative;
a natural and unforced nihilism
where the more negative the logic
the more we want to grasp it,
which makes cheer it brings
seem all the more authentic.  

Friday, 13 December 2019

Is Time Your Flexible Friend?

And then there is the second lesson;
talk is easy, listening is harder
and a shared silence is beyond price.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

My First Christmas Card Of 2019

Taken form the travelling exhibition of photographs
'Nothing To See Here' a collection of images
of the homeless, the destitute, and those for whom
choice means drug and alcohol misuse,
all pictures taken in Bradford. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Democratic Immaturity

In the era of modern media,
elections make politicians hide
behind non-speaking photo opportunities
where for a short while they play act
as if they are near-to-normal people.

But this makes them seem like children
as accounted for by Victorian parents
where 'children should be seen and not heard',
or watched and not listened to, whether down mines,
up chimneys, in the workhouse, or just being fed.

But the modern public are not Victorian parents;
the situation is now reversed, we are keen to hear
what these suddenly shy creatures of privilege
who see their only choice as being to lead others
have to say for themselves to defend their motives.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Bad Speech

In the present show of nervous malcontent,
nothing much seems Heaven sent,
particularly when on the radio
all talk between experts
openly hides more than it shows.

The clearest sense of  'the demos'
comes from the questions
that the common people ask
in front of those seeking power,
for which those in power
will have no answer. 

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Our Next Prime Minister's Guiding Poicy

Because for those who win power
via a distorted hall-of-mirrors media
whatever it is that they confidence in,
it is very rarely what it seems.  

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

When The Accent Makes The Difference

With universal suffrage we can add
one more item to what we all face;
after the inevitable death and taxes
we all have the right/duty to vote.

More exactly this means the duty to listen
to the content in the political campaigns
even when we want swear or hold our nose
at the words some party leaders speak.

With votes now held annually and biannually
for local and national offices of state
it will be hard to know who to vote for.

The one thing that a candidate can't hide
is their accent, and they will all be
between posh and regional.

Others will choose  for themselves
but for me a regional accent
will draw me in to listen
with more appreciation.  

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Picture Set Of The Month - December

'Life Goes On' painted in 1970
by Soviet painter Tatiana Lablonska (1917-2005).
'Grain' painted in 1949 by Soviet painter
 Tatiana Lablonska (1917-2005).
'In Spring' painted by Soviet Painter
Tatiana Lablonska (1917-2005).
The Artist's Granddaughter Playing the Piano
painted in 1997 by Tatiana Lablonska (1917-2005) 

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Monday, 25 November 2019

Required Winter Reading

Because the delays and cold of winter
always feel like life deferred to an unknown,
and potentially cancelled, brighter future.  

Saturday, 23 November 2019

The Book Of Shame

Many a Family Bible has at it's front
pages left blank for the family tree
where marriages births and departures
were to be listed with some pride.

When those old Bibles were regularly read,
they were read aloud so that all should hear.

But even as families heard they did not follow.

Very few of those pages for the family tree
that were ever started remained fully filled in.

Every family made it's own secrets
about which it should be ashamed
which meant pages get torn out in anger
as branches of the family tree get lopped off,
and the tree becoming progressively less complete
as the characters in it prove their lack of self control.

Thus the in/complete family tree echoes Genesis,
the book so full of murder, guilt, and lies
along with all too many narrow escapes
that it is the book on which modern life is built
such that we don't know how to behave any better.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

The Deceptive Bargain

'One way or another, power over others always turns out to be a costly burden. A sense of one's own strength, and the freedom to do with it what you will, brings with it a feeling of expansiveness, of exultation. If the realm in which this power is to be realised is turned to wards the creative possibilities of the self, then excitement and joy become possible. But, if this freedom is introduced as power over others, both parties will be trapped. It does not matter whether the power is used benevolently or for exploitation, the result is the same. If I see other adults as weaker than I am in our personal relationships, it does not matter whether they volunteer to be wards whom I must protect or victims whom I am to exploit. If I conspire with them to the illusion of either sort of power, whether benign or malevolent, we are both trapped in a symbiotic bargain. My sense of power over others will limit my freedom to live out my wishes for myself. Either I will feel obligated to care for my wards, or I will have to waste myself putting down mutinous serfs, and guarding against victims who would retaliate.

-a brief excerpt from 'If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him' (1972) - Sheldon Kopp (1929-99) author of seventeen books on self esteem and psycho therapy.    

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

What Happens When You Distrust Your Chemist

It has to be said; the more embedded in Capitalism
the worlds national health care systems become
the more our illnesses become their profit motive.
The more sustainably ill we can be made to be
the more stable and continuous their profits.....   

Sunday, 17 November 2019

My Favourite Insult

used to be 'Every word she says is a lie, including 'and' and 'the''.
For me there are too many people in power to count that I could apply it to.

But it stopped being my favourite insult
when I rediscovered the effect that saying it
had on it's speaker, and the target of it's venom.

Mary McCarthy said it in 1979 on US television
and said it of screenwriter and playwright Lillian Hellman.
Both of them were powerful left wing firebrands
who had sparred with each other since the 1930's.

For Hellman this was a feud taken too far.
She took out a $2.5 million lawsuit on McCarthy,
in which the more the fifty years of Hellman's work
was examined for the evidence it concealed,
the less Hellman was able to write in the present,
until in 1984 she, and the lawsuit, died together.

McCarthy published a little more,
but died five years later,
exhausted by her isolation.

When money kills a person,
it kills them from the inside out.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Forward To The 1930's!

Everything we need to know
about the weakness and strength
of a representative democracy
was discovered in the 1930's,
when bullying governments
acted out in their own strength
and lied to everyone about it-
much more than anyone could believe
-and for the most part falsified history
to the degree that we still can't tell
how they got away with it.

But their weakness showed
when the gov't lost their traction
on public opinion.

As the government split,
so the public also became divided,
which encouraged the most moneyed
to scapegoat those different to them,
calmly expecting others to do the same.

The good news is that history
always varies in how it repeats.

Something new will come
Out of this amnesiac wormhole.

The future readers of this will be it's witness.... 

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Where Life Is An Open Prison

Recently I saw the documentary film 'Gaza',
about the strip of land 25 miles long, 3 miles wide
that separates Israel and Egypt, who both blockade it,
stopping even the post for the people of Palestine
coming in from the world, for them to read.

If tears could become prayers,
then many will be shed
as this film travels the world
-portraying a fullness of life
that is beyond all expectation. 

Sunday, 10 November 2019

I Have Met So Many People

Who are like this, a series of lids/covers
where the more I try to pull the lid/cover away
the more lids/covers I find underneath, 
 I stop looking for the person I thought was inside,
 who now appears to no longer exist......  

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Tragedy And Farce

Karl Marx said of history,
'History repeats itself, the first time it is tragedy
the second time it appears it appears as farce.'.

Every election I have given my attention to
has continued this theme, with variations.

The tragedies become apparent
when speakers speak in mantras
about their leaders, turning speech
into mantraps for catching votes.

Farce makes it's presence felt
in the bluff and bluster
of speakers who filibuster
to stop others talking.
The speaker only stops
when their audience
has lost all reason
and all will to live.

My solution to this admix
is to keep my distance from it;
the tragedy leaves me angry,
and the farce of repetition
takes all point out of life,
leaving me wondering
'What was I where for...  ?'


Tuesday, 5 November 2019

I Don't Mind Voting...

   ...I just want to be as far as possible
from the electioneering when it happens.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

When Tenderness Is In The Moment

Travel as an idea is as old as Man,
much older of we include migration
as observed among the birds
and other winged species.

But the history of travel
that I want an account of
is by it's nature impossible
to collate and tell;
a history of hitching lifts.

Please accept the following
as one example
of what it might be like.

Recently I saw an interview
with blues giant B.B. King
where he reflected on his 1940's,
where Saturday's he hitched
from near where he worked
to the surrounding towns
to busk, playing his blues guitar,
in places where both white folks
and black folks both passed by
in order, so he said, to be heard
by the greatest number of people.
Because he had to get enough money
to pay for his passage later that day
to be back to the farm he still worked on.

He spoke of that life
with a humility that nobody
could find fault with.

Maybe that explains why
the history of giving lifts 
and getting them won't be told
-it involves accounting for generosity
about something we can't hold
except in the moment we are given it.   

Friday, 1 November 2019

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

The Statistics For Selfishness

In the 1970's the Kinsey Report
was much misreported
when the phrase was coined

'a man thinks about sex once every seven seconds'

which went viral. How could it do anything else?

Someone in advertising coined the phrase
and they lied to increase the machismo
in their television adverts; they believed
that men controlled household spending.

They were wrong on all counts.

The women were the ones
who made the purse strings stretch
and they did not think about sex
as they collected Green Shield stamps,
to make ends meet in the society
where thrift and greed were brothers
who strove to appear to be like each other
the better to make the consumer their war zone.

For all that, I do remember men
who saw random sexual encounters
as a virtual currency, which made sex selfish
when they thought they should have more
of this invisible currency than anyone else.

Monday, 28 October 2019

The Quiet Page

When people say 'Don't live in the past'
what the usually mean is 'Don't talk to me
about your pasts when I was never there'.
Which would be fair enough if as we lived
we lived fully in the present moment
and shared everything there was to share
and shared the next moment equally fully
sufficient for the past to not be an issue.

But we don't live fully in the present,
fully in the past, or fully in any state
between them. All is conditional
and the noisier and fuller our lives
and the more conditioned we will be
to go further away from sharing fully
in any present. Instead we will be tired,
irritable, and prone to error
in how we talk, listen and act.

But there is a way of going back.
In the quiet of this page let me urge
you to enjoy the still moments
that you find yourself in as much I try to.

Unworthy of these still moments as I am,
they always accept me as I might be.   

Saturday, 26 October 2019

From Experience To Reusable Memory

I live in the sticks where thoroughly enjoy
the life around being uneventful.

Recently I could have gone to see
a musical legend who was past his prime
and in his older and more reduced form,
for what I imagined would be a modest fee
-in the nearest very big city.

But legends will charge legendary prices.

I was not going to spend that much
to be able to show off on facebook
that little bit when the bootleg of the gig
appeared there as it would, when I said
'I was there, I can recommend this'.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

The Inattentive Society

To prepare me properly for old age
my new hobby and spiritual practice
is going to be relearning loneliness.

It will save me trying to renew old interests.
many of which are well past their 'use by' date,
and require less of the time thought or effort
that other people feel less need to give.

I still want to live
but what could be cheaper
for everyone
than me living for nothing?

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Courage In Absentia?

Woody Allen once quipped  'I don't mind dying,
I just don't want to be there when it happens',
as if the 'just' in the phrase was his courage
in the face of his temptation to cowardice.

Now we need not be there when we die,
particularly not when we get dementia
or have our Alzheimer's diagnosed
too late to stop it taking permanent hold.

In this absentee life
everybody except the sufferer
makes the decisions
for the limited life on offer
for those with short term,
and absent, memories
and are made acutely aware
of memory's limits as they care.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

A Yoruban Proverb

The Yoruba are a West African people of over 100 million
who mostly occupy Nigeria. There 90 %
of the original rain forest has been destroyed.
 The remaining 10 % is in steep decline,
as population pressure on the land
and short term commercial interests
continues to assert themselves.

What the axe will do when there are no more trees
to persuade of the value of their being cut down
and the land loses all value for those dependent
on it has yet to be seen.....   

Monday, 14 October 2019

Strength And Memory?

There is something odd about memories
the longer we get from when we made them
to when we want to recall what they were
the more fragile their substance seems to be,
and the more they reflect our fragility
until it seems that for us to appear strong
we are best seeming almost deliberately forgetful.  

Friday, 11 October 2019

Meet Mr Hilbert.....

German mathematician David Hilbert (1862-1943)
was the first to distinguish between mathematics
and metamathematics.

 He was also the first to discover the invariant theory.
At the Paris International Congress of Mathematicians
 in 1900, he presented 23 important questions that intrigued
 mathematicians over the century.

The founder of computers Alan Turing
was one of the mathematicians
who solved one of the 23 important questions,
thus paving the way for the 21st century
whist still in the first half of the 20th century

without which you would not be reading this. 

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Is Your Tiredness Worth It?

When I was young and naive
many adults I knew worked hard
in jobs that were exacting
and left them constantly tired
for no particular reason
beyond the consistent defence
of the principle of ownership.

What they secured was being owned
by the jobs they did. Their defence
of their reward being theirs
leaving less for other people
was worse than weak reasoning,
whilst others readily accepted
having less and still worked hard.

As a person who had less to work for
I was told I had 'no right to be tired'
when others strove so hard for so much.

We can be as tired from enforced inactivity
as we can for work either for gain or no gain.

It baffled the strivers
that I would not admire them,
but I was admitting defeat
when I could not be like them.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

The Blind Guides That Rule The Internet

Today I put the above image 'The Good Samaritan' by Aime Morot
up on Tumblr who let me show it, but only to myself.
They mistook it for pornography. Maybe an illustration
that shows generosity is arousing and therefore pornographic
but it was mostly meant to arouse greater generosity
in anyone that viewed it. I still does with me.....

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Bad Entertainment

If, as some say of american politics,
'Politics is showbiz for ugly people',
then would that make televised sport
showbiz for people who cannot stop
being competitive with each other?
Who have to be constantly active?
And who yearn to be at the centre
of other people's attention span
with how active they have to be?

I'd rather give my attention span
to something, anything, with less ego
attached to whether it succeeds or not,
the better for it to engage for longer.   

Thursday, 3 October 2019

The Greater The Need, The Harder It Is To See

Cheap grace will be comforting,
and it will feel like the pietism
where we believe we have the best,
and we can only share it with others
who are as worthy of it as ourselves,
in only the best of all possible worlds.

Resisting such fake ease is hard.
It seems logical to feel calmed by comfort.
But look deeper and we will see
that our greater need is to be disturbed
by the surfaces that surround us.

We need to see beneath them.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Dead Airwaves

You know that there has to be life elsewhere
when you avoid the news as it is presented
because you are simply tired of the lies,
bored with the contradictions in terms
and aghast the sheer lack of elan
in the guests who say that they
have something to say when they haven't.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Picture Set Of The Month - October - The Pottery Of George Ohr

Vessel with asymmetric in body twist 
crimped vase with four colurful bulls-eye indentations
Crimped irregularly inverted vase
Vase (1890's).

For more about the man, his moustache,
and so much more about this legendary potter click here.   

Monday, 30 September 2019

No Half Measures

As The Marquis de Sade
is never known to have said,
but would surely like credited to him
'A pleasure shared is a pleasure halved.'
and he was never one to accept half measures.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

A Sense Of Our Proportion Is Important To How We See The World

And then there is the biggest fish of all
who is invisible to the visible fish.
The visible fish just don't know
whether he makes the world fair,
or whether he makes 'justice' 

more like himself-invisible. 

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Why Communism Is Impossible (And Capitalism Is Worse)

It is not just that 'property is theft'
but even when people consent
to share the rewards of their labours,
the matter on which they do it
make their production skills
theft from Mother Nature,
on which they are dependent. 

Thursday, 26 September 2019

The Wisdom Of Misanthropy

applies to all, but particularly applies to the living from the departed
who knew better all a long and patiently waited long enough
to discover whether what seemed unworthy in this life
might also prove to be unworthy in their afterlife. 

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Perversity Inc

Nothing turns me off
and makes me stop listening
faster than being told
that I am taking part
in a consciousness raising exercise. 

Sunday, 22 September 2019

The United Tribes Of America

When they were united by conflict with each other
but local conflict were their idea of diversity.
And their tribal wars gave the land more chance
to recover from the ravages of humanity
than the present total war on nature.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Seventy Seven Years Ago This Week In Poland.....

Sept 19th 1942 

'Mother lies on her mattress all day long; she is so starved that she just cannot move. Anne [my sister] is like a shadow and my father is terribly thin, just skin and bones. I just grit my teeth when the gnawing feeling in my stomach begins. At night I begin to wait for next morning, when we are given four ounces of bread and the bitter water that is called coffee. Then I wait for lunch at noon, when we bought our first soup, a dish of hot water with a few grains of kasha. Then again I wait impatiently for the evening, when we get our second dish of hot water with a potato or beet.  The days are endless, and the nights even more so, and full of nightmares. The shootings continue, hundreds of people perish daily. The ghetto is drenched in blood. People are constantly marching along Dzielna Street towards the Umschlagaplatz on Stwki Street. No Job or occupation is a complete protection any longer. Recently even the families of those employed have been deported, mostly the women and children.

 A few weeks ago the Nazis began to round up the wives and children of the men working at Toebens and Schultz. Those who are not working are ruthlessly dragged away. Parents now take their children with them to work, or hide them in some hole.

Food is now cheaper in the ghetto. Recently a pound of bread cost forty zlotys, but now it only costs twenty zlotys. There are fewer mouths to feed.'

An entry from 'The Diary of Mary Berg', first published  in 1944 in New York and still a remarkable document and monument to human durability in the face of fierce odds against survival.   

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Cold Comforters

Anyone can be comforted by pietism.
Sentiment is just that, common beyond comment
and many resist accepting it at face value.

Such sentimentality also avoids recognition
until it has to surface, then it is obvious.
What becomes even clearer after that
are the limits attached to such comfort.
It always fails the spirits of the truly afflicted.

That is when we feel that our support
is like that of those who comforted Job
who failed him when they could not prove
to him the truth of what knew was his virtue.

Monday, 16 September 2019

The T Shirt I Failed To Live Up to

Not that I did not try. I made two attempts.
But I could never be a canine mind reader

-least of when their minds were troubled. 

Saturday, 14 September 2019

No Need To Shout

I remember when the nearest
most citizens got to seeing their leaders
was on one of the three or four channels
of the analogue television that the UK gov't
regulated between 1964 and 1991.

When the viewer disliked the speaker
they did not do what it was logical to do;
mute the sound or change the channel,
or even better turn the set off for a while
the better to do something more engaging.

The politician made the viewers anger
alive enough for the viewer to forget
that these speeches were pre-recorded,
and if they had read it as later as a script
they would be calmer in their disagreement.

Thus the British shouted at recordings
of leaders who they disagreed with,
with a predictability that were it not so normalised
-their predecessors had shouted at the radio-
it should have been seen as more alarming.

The public did not care that their
television set could not hear them,
once set off  they could not stop
behaving profoundly irrationally.

Now we have other means
of venting our spleen
and renting our bile out
to whoever might want it,
like twitter and facebook.

But recycled bile has very little flavour.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Politics Is A Soul-Rotting Business

The works of the world, the flesh and the devil
have always been consistent tempters for humans.

Animals are exempted from being tempted.
That temptation should reshape elections 
and how they are run should be predictable.
If you think the above is a theological absurdity
as a comment on popular Democracy
then the above change is innocence personified

compared to the sophistry that politicians 
and their advisers have to sign up for
before getting anywhere close to fulfilling their sense
of their vocation and their manifest destiny.  

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Why New Blogs Entries Are Hard To Write

Kafka wrote about many self-referential worlds
where for the individual all authority was centralised
and it had no single reference point for open access.
But he never knowingly wrote about whole countries
caught up in chasing the tale of 'liberty' unable to see
the circular motion it had set up for itself. 

Thursday, 5 September 2019

My First Selfie

In the longer term I have changed very little,
since I took this picture.
The information I store now is much the same
as I first held, back then....

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Old News Worth Repeating

I can never get over my surprise
every time I am told lies
about sex and power
by men who I hoped knew better.

When men lie their lies seem so sexy
to them in them that from there
it is a short step to tell more lies,
but this time about sex
to their captive audience,
and this multiplies
the imagined effect of the sexiness.

The deeper they go into these routines
the bigger the least recognised effect
-how they deceive themselves-becomes.

I wish they would learn the hard way,
without their fantasy erections,
the purpose for human affections.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Drugs For Everyone

Television tells people at length
about how dangerous drugs are,
how addictive they can become,
and how drugs will push people
into lives that feel like blind alleys.

But when I compare the lives
they tell me that are full of despair
with the joy of a television viewer
I find it hard to tell the difference,
or say who draws most satisfaction
from being dependent on what they are.

I have yet to watch the documentary
about an individual who relearned
how much fuller their life might be
from stopping watching television.

Friday, 30 August 2019

I Want To Be A Recycler

When human life ends for me
I want to return as a tree.

My soul wants to be the essence
of something that gives life to life,
near and far from where it is fixed.

The length of my giving
will be fixed by when I am cut down;
that is what humans do to trees,
as sure as humans are death to life.

When that fate befalls me and my soul departs again
I would like it that what I have grown into
may be the material for many human coffins.

My remains will house the husks of many departed souls,
like my soul by then will also have been is displaced,
only part of my work done,

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Two Of A Kind?

I am well used to middle aged men
being unaware of the sexual innuendo
in the language that they use as they talk.

Down the ages this has made satire
far easier to make,
and more informed about it's targets.

But still I am surprised to find
that slogans that pass for Politics
in the front pages of the press
would also pass as chat up lines
in the dating ads near the back.

It is as if in commerce
the political is the personal;
What leaders do to/for the country
we also want to do to each other.
There is no difference between the two.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Unfit For Competition

I would have been happy to have enjoyed sport
in school if only it meant mentoring,
where I competed against my previous selves,
and the teacher was there to help me 'move on'
to be confident, fit, and strong,
without ever making me into a bully.

Such fitness training would have esteemed me well.

But no such personal teaching existed.
Sport was a one-size-fits-all activity
about 'fitting into the community'.
As if whatever shape each of us was
we were all pegs to be hammered
into too few holes for our number,
Thus to be defined that way forever
as we accounted for ourselves.

Sport was run by teachers
to find out who fitted first and best,
the better to help the school forget the rest.

That I never fitted in at all
should not have surprised me.

That I should have such a full life
outside of all competitiveness
is always a positive surprise.

Never winning competitions
until it was unnatural for me
to be entered in for them
made me the person I am.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Forced Rest

A digital detox is never a bad idea,
even when we are forced into it
by our being mal-adaptive with technology.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

'Dishonest To God'

Brief excerpts from Satan's autobiography....

'The management of the lesser angels
and the life of the first man and woman
were never meant to become
the soul destroying job they ended up being.....'

'It went wrong. I don't know how it happened,
through Adam and Eve pain, blame and guilt
made infinitely deep roots into the world.
I was credited with inventing death but I didn't.
I did what I should in my office as chief angel,
God was the one in actual power at the time.....'

'I am supposed to be everywhere at once;
particularly where there is something that humans
seek to excuse themselves from having done.
Humans talk of me as if I am the author of all scapegoating
but I am not, particularly when they stop listening
and accuse each other of events that could easily stop,
if they were to stop accusing each other of different deeds......  ' 

'I did not create the flesh
and did not create it's works
they created themselves
as accurate expressions
of human entropy.....   '

'I could go on but since not even God listens
and humans don't care, least of all do they care
about all the species of animals their greed makes extinct
I am going to stop and accept my being ignored.
Let them all stew in their own rotting juices..... '

Friday, 16 August 2019

Not So Pretty Polly

I must surely be one of relatively few people
to cover their television set when it is switched off.
The cloth has not been moved for several years now.

Originally when I started this
it was to reduce the impact of the set on the room.
The cloth also helped me resist the urge to boredom
when it stopped me using programmes as background noise
when it was on but I had no regard for programme content.

My grandparents were the same
but with greater self discipline.
The thick pleated cloth that covered their 1950's set
-which worked until 1980-drew the eye towards it,
but it made one forget the talking box underneath.

To many viewers, early television programmes
seemed rather like an alien bird imitating human life
in monologues spoken with no internal understanding.
Like the tame birds of old, the cloth went over their cage
to stop them talking when they were required to be quiet.

What sort of cover
should offer each other
to reduce the noise we don't need
when it starts from inside our heads?

Thursday, 15 August 2019

A Summary Of Today's News

A narcissist, like the many narcissists before him,
as party leader has reflected only on his own values, 
and has damned his party with his indifference. 

Since he surrounded himself with others like him 
they too are seeking their own advantage 
as if nobody had ever done the like of it before.

Tomorrow, the day after, and the day after that; 
there will be more of the same 
with less variation in it than the weather...... 

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Excuses Have Their Uses....

The point about excuses
is that those who use them
are usually slow to realise
when the excuses start to use them.

And for the people not seeing it,
the process becomes irreversible....

Monday, 12 August 2019

Protest Is A Necessary Privilege

For without the powers that be would say everything
and the public would meekly listen and do as they were told
regardless of whether it was good or bad for them.

But protesting does excuse us from 'being part of the problem'  
Now, if the protester had made each 'you' into a 'we'
then his point would have been much stronger. 

Sunday, 11 August 2019

A Game Of Two Halves

The secret for maintaining a relationship
is that one half does not really know
what the other half thinks from what they say,
not even from the suggestions and hints
that they regularly find in common.

The longer the relationship
the less the distance
between their different thoughts ideas
actually matters
-the journey is the same for both partners.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Friday, 9 August 2019

Self Definition Is The Best Definition

Better to fail on your own terms
than to succeed on anyone else's.

When they leave your life
they will take your success with them.

Part of how people change themselves
is changing the terms they live by
which they have most right to choose.

Remove the right to fail
and we make all success
seems somewhat hollow.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Trying To Be Quiet

When I want to find somebody else's voice
I have to spend time to their footsteps.
How else can I see what they saw?
Hear what they once heard?

Even then what I get is an echo.
For my travelling later
their footfall is harder to find.'

I cannot be sure what being there,
when their prints were freshly minted,
might have been like......

But at least I try to be quiet,
the better to understand.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

A Far Out Economic Theory

I used to believe that if Man ever got to Mars
his motivation to go would be tax avoidance.
The rich would want to hide their money there
when it became the safest tax haven in the universe.

I know now was wrong,
when man gets to Mars,
by way of the stars,
the point of the takeover
will be to makeover
the gambling industry.

Mars will be used to launder the money
gained from weakly licensed gambling
and the mass sales of popular drugs,
sufficient for the money seem clean
before its return to Planet Earth.

The gravity of Mars
will draw money from afar
in a perfect financial vacuum.
The most courageous
will be the most steadfastly corrupt;
they and they alone will control
the return of the money
to create an earthly paradise

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Carefully Observing Change

When we wipe clean our slate of other people's deeds,
we know that they very likely to repeat the deed
which for many makes arduous work of forgetting.

But forgiveness is not the Sisyphean labour
that many cynics and disbelievers make it out to be.

However much we and others repeatedly err
we make different errors each time.
So forgiveness becomes our absolving
of much how we vary, our diversity.

Whereas if we were singularly perfect
we could never change;
we would be pickled
to the point of boredom
in our own perfection.

Monday, 5 August 2019

A Sense Of Disappointment Recycled

I remember the tone of resignation in my mother's voice
every time I used to phone her, when I was younger.
As if to say 'What trouble has he got himself into now?'.

Her weary suspicion was what I kept trying to get past
to reestablish trust, after years of being able get myself
out of any trouble I might have gotten into by my own means.

But I could never defeat her suspicions,
or her disbelief that I could ever be trusted now,
after, by necessity, having been reliant on her.

Now, I am older than the politicians who seek my vote,
and I understand how and why Mother felt the way she did.
The politicians wheedle and charm me to get my vote,
and my attention. Both are inherently hard to earn quickly,
except by cheap publicity which quickly reduces it's user.

It would more wholesome for them to embrace
the weary suspicion and scepticism of the public
who before they hear about what is done in their name
feel duty bound to ask each other  'What new trouble
has [insert name of leader here] got our country into NOW?'  

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Today's Saint; Saint Hubert

St Hubert (658-727) was born in Toulouse 
He is the patron saint of hunters.
His wife died giving birth to their son.
In his despair Hubert gave himself up
 to hunting and saw the sign of the cross
in the antlers of the most magnificent stag
 that he had ever seen.

The Lord spoke to him, saying 
'Turn to me or you will go to Hell'.
He prostrated himself before the stag
and sought the Lord's Direction.

Would that more of today's hunters
could be similarly afflicted of the heart
and seek to kill less and live to let live better.

Would that in Heaven's name 
he would damn to Hell
all the pharisee-like inversions
 committed in his name.  

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Keep On Peddling.....

'The Journey of life
is like a man riding a bicycle.
We know he got on the bicycle
and he started to move.
We know that at some point
he will stop and get off.
We know that if stops moving
and does not get off
he will fall off'
-William Golding

Friday, 2 August 2019

The Lighter Touch

Since when did speaking from experience
come to be seen as smugness?
When it lacked the lighter touch.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Picture Set Of The Month-Vintage Embroidery

Circa 1880. Wool embroidery on cotton foundation.
1837. Silk and cotton embroidery on cotton foundation.
 Early 19th century. Silk embroidery on linen foundation.
19th century. Silk and metal embroidery on linen foundation.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

The Blind Ventriloquist

speaks with a certain voice,
not moving his lips
whilst his dummy does the opposite,
telling an unfunny old joke
about connection and detachment.

The audience fall about for laughing,
blind to how the joke is about them.

Making others laugh
at how they manipulate others,
not recognising themselves,
is the performers best revenge.

He who sees the least
recognises most clearly
how little anything changes.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Life On Planet B

I understand how climate change deniers
and those who believe that we need to do less,
or nothing, to rescue the planet actually think.

To paraphrase Woody Allen on death,

'I'm not afraid of the planet being saved;
I just don't want to be there when it happens.'

as if they had a choice
of life on another planet
when they haven't.

Monday, 29 July 2019

Sunday, 28 July 2019

The 'Wrong' Deterrent

In these days of 'populist politics'
it is easy for the public to be persuaded
that a strong deterrent stops a crime
therefore the risk of an error in justice
is worth the deterrence of a strong sentence.

But wait, when I was in school
I remember when boys did wrong
and knew what they were doing,
and denied it to the very last.

Even when they were one of whole class
detained until the teacher was satisfied
that for all the outright denial of the class
the culprit was still well punished.

I do hope class detention for doing wrong
when most of us had done nothing, 
and those who did it could deny it,
was never meant to be
our first lesson in democracy. 

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Innocence Is Over-Rated

When I hear adults praise the idea
of young people knowing much less
about sex than they are expected to,
I hear a delight in ignorance
that cannot be sustained.

I hear a delight in something
theoretically not existing
for it not being discussed
where everyone holds back,
for knowing uncomfortable facts
that they are barred from mentioning.

Out of sight never meant out of mind.
The promotion of asexuality or virginity
outside of marriage merely assists
the predatory male instinct
that makes marriage the excuse
for secretive and serial adulteries
which it would be better to expose.

Friday, 26 July 2019

Wiser Later, When It No Longer Matters

One of the consequences of ageing
is that you eventually become older
that the politicians who rule the media
with the youthful middle aged looks,
the promises made to the middle classes.

You know their political baby teeth will fall out
when they lose their first lost vote in Parliament.

Then the media that once praised them
as the unofficial, but working, opposition
calls them hypocrites, outright,
as if the idea was new
and becoming that way
was previously unthinkable.

After that comes the first open split
within the cabinet and the ruling party
and as the memory of the old promises
fades like old newsprint,
their renewal begins again,
from yet another set of liars.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

The Power Of Music

“Music… will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character
and your sensibilities, and in the times of care and sorrow,
it will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.”
-Dietrich Bonnhoeffer  (1906-45).
He would have lived much longer had he not been arrested
and imprisoned in 1943, and then accused of being part of
 the twenty fifth and last attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler,
in the major plot of the 20th July 1944, in which the Nazi
government also believed that The Pope had a role.

But here is to the power of music to sustain us
when little else seems to. 

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

The Less We Have To Say

the more our ways of saying it
expand beyond all need or want
which put us off from expressing
what originally seemed to be
a neat and tart turn of phrase. 

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Beyond Embarassment

Jesus was never embarrassed by anyone who met him,
not even when his followers aspired but lacked faith
and therefore could not follow his commands as he meant to.

Like Jesus, I will not feel embarrassed for myself,
for what I have done, or not done when expected to,
nor will I be ashamed for my lack of normality.

Bad or good,
I'll live with who I am,
as will those around me.   

Monday, 22 July 2019

The Wrong Orders

But even in human to human relationships
our considerations narrow each other
far more readily than we are ready to admit. 

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Self Medication

Through Pink Floyd and other brands of music is commonplace now
and as consumerist an activity as can be found. 

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Success Ltd

If a sense of achievement requires
is an infinite supply of persistence
then, except for this blog, I have failed.

But at least I have learnt my limits
and how to live better within them.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Bad Recycling

Just imagine if all the hate in each individual
on a particular land mass were combined,
rather than each hater being isolated by the distance
that s/he had to keep to sensibly contain their hate
from the object of their hatred.

The combination would become
far more than the sum of it's parts.
The land mass would become a country
with hard boundaries with other countries.

Whole new categories of false divisions
would be created out of the emotional anti-matter
which, originally, nobody knew what to do with.

It would be the ultimate in bad recycling.       

Thursday, 18 July 2019

But For How Much Longer?

Every one of us is a massacre
of all that was once natural and Holy.

The Tree of Life is now toilet paper
for a flow too long for us to tidy up after.

The Tree of Knowledge
has been privatised and fenced off.

What it once taught now kept
for leaders to spout what the led forget.

The rich all look for bargains
and the planet is looking very cheap.

By the nature of events this will go on.
But for how much longer? 

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

There Is No Deception Like Self Deception

The fault lies
where the buck stops
and it should not stop
anywhere short of it.

But being a fault and lie
it wants to go anywhere
except where it will be
properly dealt with.     

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

I'd Be Happy For My Funeral To Be Eco-Friendly

not that I will be there at the time,
but it would please my friends no end
to see my end, my leaving,
as part of of something living;
it would be a capitalism I'd approve of.

But before I go through all that,
I'd like to have some eco-living,
not just picking up the litter
for recycling that others leave
on the ground but living well
within my 'carbon footprint',
whatever one of those is,
whether I have a job or not.

Without sounding preachy
I'd like to leave the planet peachy,
fit to bursting with life
for many times to come. 

Monday, 15 July 2019

Suspicions About Difference Are Not New

The more things change
they they remain the same.

The Patricians of the Roman republic
could not deal easily with social status,
deal with the differences between slaves,
freed men (ex-slaves freed by their masters)
and the differing levels of citizenship
where social rivalry was society's creativity.

A proposal to put slaves in uniforms,
the better to identify them, was defeated.

'What would happen if slaves were able to identify each other?
What would happen when they recognised that, numerically,
they were the majority over every other social class combined?
How could they not rebel against the great civilisation they knew?'
was how the counter argument ran.

Such fears of newly discovered human superiority
built on the inferiority of others are nothing new.

In our own time we have machines
which to serve us better we have imbued
with the appearance of spontaneous thought.
but what they can perform
is still much nearer appearance
than actual intelligence.

And yet if these machines had an intelligence
the same as our own, and clearly showed it,
would be amazed at how thought repeat itself
or frightened at how much thoughts can vary? .