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

Thursday, 28 February 2019

The Great Dark Man

Quentin Crisp, once a hero of mine,
used the phrase 'The great dark man'
to describe the close relationship
he had in which he proved to be most mistaken
and when he wrote about it he was alone,
and writing from self sufficient hindsight.

There was no longer any great dark man;
he had gone, but with the phrase coined
to describe the very idea of him
he had made himself known.

Many of us will have memories of men
who in their vehemence once impressed us,
and who when we saw their true nature
we tried to resist them with all our might,
but we were unwillingly overwhelmed.

Their relationship to us, father, priest brother,
or the strangers that we meet did not matter
beyond the access it gave them to us
where we don't know how to refuse them,
or strike the right light note, the best deal
on how and what we wanted to be known for.

Only when they are gone
can we can be like Quentin
became in his splendid isolation,
and say that these characters
are like pure love
-mythical and beyond real.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

The Three Fates

My choices are plain-get a religion
or adopt a tight philosophical position
with a strong deterministic logic to it
like Christianity Islam or Marxism
and adapt my true self to live by it.
As long as I don't buy into the idea
that my creed is all that matters,
then that might be half right.

Or believe that the world is absurd,
and since nothing makes sense
there is no point in forcing the world
into a shape that only I recognise
-it would be cosmic anthropomorphism
(see above-but on a much bigger scale).

Or contemplate on my own extinction
in advance of it happening-it surely will
happen in this life whatever Eternity brings.

My thoughts will not force the day
to be get closer than it otherwise would,
but they will make the deaths of others
close to me that I have to endure easier
to carry and make the life I have
before my departure seem calmer.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Me/Not Me

'Home' was where I could not think,
for being told what to say, and talked over.

My thoughts were what adults said they were.
I could not say what I saw for what it was,
though my home was still a place-but one
where I lived with constant mislabelling.

It was natural that life seemed hard there,
and leaving difficult. Saying which was worst
-staying or leaving-was impossible.
I need not have worried about that choice.

When I left the place it stayed with me,
and for far longer than I thought healthy as well.

Long as the tunnel seems,
there is light,
and it could be an exit.....

Monday, 25 February 2019

Better Living

I can never overestimate the relief I feel
when I am found to be wrong in what I do.

I was not always this way.
But it now means that I can live better
for being allowed to change.

I accept being gently corrected.
That is something that everyone
I consider to be worth knowing
would want to live up to.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

The Plague On All Our Houses

Politics has always been a partisan business,
that divides much more than it unites.

Good fortune favours those who control the divisions,
making their lives comfortable and profitable,
leaving their more divided enemies worse off
in a wasteland, apparently, of their own making.

Weakened economies can work in a similar way,
rewarding the 1% and leaving the 99 % to struggle.

But with economic weakness, political division
is harder to control. With money getting tighter
so the rewards for limited political unity reduce,
putting a double edge to our sense of decline.

One edge is power, the other is money
and both sides are presently blunted instruments. 

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Where Christian Spirituality Meets Capitalism

And the fact that there is no question mark at the end
proves how rhetorical the idea
 of being set free
of your demons was in the first place.

Friday, 22 February 2019

The Object Of Charity

I could not believe my ears
when I stood in the shop
quietly browsing the goods
and I overheard a customer
say to a member of staff
of an item that was for sale
'This item is not very cheap.
I thought this was a charity shop!'.

It could have been a joke in poor taste
but the customer genuinely expected
 to be the object of charity herself
-little realising that her money
was the reason for goods being there
not her need for everything to cost less.

The cheaper we expect life to be for us,
the less we can pass on to others.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

The Biggest Errors

that we make come to us
when we err on the side of caution.

Our caution makes us think we are safe
whilst we put ourselves and others in dangers
because we do not know the effects
of our thoughts and actions.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Silence Is Not Nothing

as many folk like to think.

It is a more enduring something
than all the noises we can make,
however big we make them,
and however well we put them together.

Silence is what starts
when busyness ends. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

A Pointed View

There can be few nation states,
if any, that have not been founded
on rape as weapon of war,
and false distinctions over race
to retain their world success ratings.

Monday, 18 February 2019

This Was Your Life

The idea of data about human beings
becoming a powerful currency is not new,
despite what some digital naysayers spout.

What is half new is the estimated value of mass data
in this age of information abundance and inequality,
where the data collected by the few is about the many
where the few used to be wealthy western governments
but they are now private corporations over grown
from the advertising revenues which in an age
of tax avoidance are their private bank.

This new inequality is not a threat in itself,
but when so much is written on-line only
the inequality sets up that grand oxymoron;
'a digital democracy' where ideas become slogans
powered/paid for by digital ghosts, or ghost hunters,
in some great chase which can only stop
when the machines break down,
forcing the humans start to listen
-which won't be a long time yet.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

A Reflection After Holocaust Memorial Week

Everything fears it's own extinction,
particularly those who deny those fears
whilst recognising them in others.

As I stood with the other thirty of us at the plinth
where the pink triangle was laid, to commemorate
the painful partings of those long past of my tribe,
my thoughts went out to those destroyed by the laws
that made fighting in World War 2 seem more moral.

I thought of the wearers of the other colours
of the total of eight stars. The pink I knew about
but what of the yellow (the Jews), the Roma (brown)
the Jehovah's Witnesses (purple) the politicos (red)
ordinary criminals (green) emigrants (blue) and finally
the vagrants, drug addicts, the indolent, and prostitutes (black),
not forgetting the Freemasons (red) who were also imprisoned.

I would like to say that being at the ceremony
made me see clearer the different kinds of people,
and their needs, in the chaos of the city all around me.

But I needed something stronger
than what was in front of me
to see the city that clearly. 

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Beyond Boredom

What should we do
when the displacement activities
that usually quietly consume us
no longer contain our attention span?

This is not just a matter of the online life,
where when entertainment ceases to detain us
we turn towards the temptations of pornography
which further desensitise a half desensitised people.

There sex and violence of different varieties,
are well labelled and sub-divided into categories
for callow consumers to choose from thinking
'This is what I want' whilst seeking to avoid
accepting self knowledge through vice.

This is a matter of real life,
life of the sort where we should accept
that it is more constructive to be as still
as the wall we stare at than do anything else.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Gentle Jesus Meek and Wild

Parents will create blame-shaped holes
in their offspring's lives,
into which to pour themselves
for long term, very cold storage.

Any child or parent who claims
not to have a blame shaped hole
is either a politician or psychopath,
there not much space between the two states.

So far so Victorian. Parents then
saw Jesus as they saw children
-both were there to be owned
via lethal levels of disinterest
and competitive sentimentality.

But the Jesus saw children as he saw himself,
because they were his neighbours.
They deserved to be engaged with,
much more than denied or ignored
or distracted through entertainment.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Men Are Like Greyhounds

They chase whatever moves,
particularly anything female
that excites their hormones.

After women, they chase
whoever is weaker than them.

Some men will even chase each other,
less for the ideals of mutuality
and more for the stronger one of them
to prove their strength over the other,
little realising that for many men
(like women) the truest strength
comes from enduring companionship
far more than temporary triumph.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Popular Turn Off's (18)

When a newspaper report puts 'Campaigners say'
into their headlines then what that tells you
is that the following report will be more speculation
than solid reporting about some anxious situation
which may, or may not, be reason for anxiety after all.

Campaigners claim to be experts,
where what they lack in expertise
they make up for with partisan energy.
Where skill should be they fill the void
with sheer enthusiasm and naivete.     

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

How Unsafe The World Is Can Be Measured By The Number Of Claims Of It Is Being Saved

If every company and charity
that said it was 'saving the world'
did as good as their word
then where we live would not only
be much safer from us than it is
but we would not need half as many
reminders and reassurances
of how our environment is being saved.  

Monday, 11 February 2019

Good Writing For A Good Life

I cannot say how much I admire
the recently deceased Diane Athill.

In old age she wrote that well,
about living well in old age
that her book won a literary prize.
The book became a best seller
that helped her live better
than ever she expected to at the time.

Sunday, 10 February 2019


When how much we are stuff
is matched by the stuff still to come
than we will have reached maximum stuff.

We will be as thoroughly stuffed
as the planet we have treated so badly
that however much we try to curb our thirst,
we won't know that it is damaged beyond all repair.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

I Like Positive Failures

The sort of mistakes where in spite of the indifference
from others that confronts us, and the boredom we sense
because of who we are, as much as in spite of ourselves,
we can re-find some much longer attention span
where we combine so-called entertainment
with a temporary self improvement.

Friday, 8 February 2019

On The Run From Our Own Rubbish

Before the internet arrived
the way of the future was virtual reality
delivered via heavy headsets.
As one followed the other
both were seen as escapes.

Both were seen as discreet rear exits
out the present and into the unknown,
where we created a world that stayed clean.

Now the seas of that world are full of plastic,
and the noise of men in boats deafen the fish,
and we snack whilst living in faked realities
blind to the destructive effects
of the un-recyclable packaging we trail behind us.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Summer! What Is It Good For!

Modern music is oddly like war,
both employ large amounts of technology,
and enlist vast numbers of people,
both as audience and organisers,
in gatherings that go on across the planet
in the best of the good weather.

In both much of the planning
happens in winter and bears fruit
with loud noises later in the year.

Finally both require large amounts of drugs
for the point of their cause
to be most easily comprehended.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

No Exceptionalism

I don't believe in lone wolves
or that single bad apple
in the midst the good.

Everything that is presented to us
as exceptional, and beyond the norm,
is not necessarily so.

To see events differently
we need is enough examples
taken from over a long enough time
to find proof enough for a process
we can all observe.

There are cracks in everything, particularly in ourselves
for not seeing sooner what is there for what it is....

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

So That Is How To Attract New Followers

to what we write in these days of self publishing,
and modestly let the world know how great we are.

Monday, 4 February 2019


will never breed contentment,
it will instead to a lack observation
where it's carrier is deceived time and again
as the rules they did not comprehend
change once again and tighten around them
leave them hemmed in forever. 

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Talking Nonsense

Many will know of the confidence that cocaine give a person.
The user feels on top of the world
whilst babbling nonsense at great length, speed, and volume.

Their listener cannot get their head round, or away from,
being a forced audience for what they were not there to hear.

Cocaine is the natural drug for wealthy
and for tired musicians to help them to tour
and perform though-and beyond-their tiredness.

The nonsense I knew came much cheaper,
and was much more everyday. It required no dealer,
it comes from men who gathered together whilst sober,
pretending to be in the pub before they got there.

I don't want the sports shirt,
the one that flaps about
on out of condition men
who ignorantly speculate
on competitive sports they don't play,
taking idle punts on the football matches
between teams they have no interest in
and will never see in person,
all because 'they are tired'.

They thought they were normal
when they imitated the sounds
that TV commentators made.

What ever happened to an peaceable silence?

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Ruled Through Impossible Dreams

Dictators no more think of themselves as dictators,
than they like the obvious being pointed out to them.

If anyone is going to state the obvious
it has to be them pointing it out to others,
the more to rule over the masses
with cliches of hi-tech future-fantasies,
driven by media that they control.

Media that like to be seen to be distant from,
the less to be held to account for what it says.

Such detachment is made complete
by small, highly controlled, government
where leaders are only ever in 'emit' mode
and never knowingly receive messages
from those that they say they serve.

In the end the complete dis-service
of the public is merely a matter of time
and how rigged to denial the media can be.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Picture Set Of The Month; In The Clouds

Reflecting the multi-directional focus of all life.
 Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Heavy weather, Balintoy, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland  
Grandeur in the sky. City of Belfast Playing Fields,
Mallusk, Co Antrim
A jet plane leaves its mark among cloud formations
high above Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Evening sky, high over Newtownabbey,
Co Antrim, Northern Ireland.

All photographs taken by Commercial Art photographer
 Stephen S. T. Bradley