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

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Amazing Disgrace

We are all walking wounds.
Our individuality comes from
how differently we are wounded.

We can choose to look alike
by being closed on the surface,
but where would that get us?

Further from 'self knowledge',
what ever that might be.
and more generally accepted
as long as we are not ourselves.

The cleanest wounded among us
live by, and own, their wounds.
They breath as freely as they hurt,
as they see well past all discomfort.

I would never claim such a strength,
but I admire it when I see it in others. 

Monday, 27 April 2020

History's Greatest Hits

have to include famine and plague
for how often they have recurred
throughout the known world.

But history's biggest ever hit
is surely the extinction
of more species by human hand
than humans ever knew existed
and never got to name,
because they killed them
not knowing they were there.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Other Economic Systems Are Available

'Book.....   ....they are not just commodities.
The profit motive is often in conflict
with the aims of art [look at Amazon].
We live in Capitalism.
It's power seems inescapable
-so did the Divine Right of Kings.'

-Science Fiction/fantasy author
Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018)
reminding her audience
when she was given an award
by The National Book Association
that the point of history is still more
to change it, than it is to repeat the past.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Great Turn Offs Of Our Time (25)

'Cautious optimism' is a popular oxymoron
employed by government officials
when they have to avoid the truth
because it would be too depressing.

Governments will makes statements
that depress their electorates
but only when they need to depress
the right people to the right degree
so that worthy few can feel cheerful.

It would another great turn off in itself
to further describe this calculation as 'spin'
I didn't do that, but you will be spun
when your government demands it. 

Friday, 24 April 2020

Myths And Lies Of The Twentieth Century

The Blitz spirit was a myth
invented by the British press
during World War Two
to protect the wealthy
by encouraging the poor
to thrift and virtue
as what little the poor had
shrank in front of them.

The phrase is resurrected
when ever the ruling classes
need to remind the worthy poor
how much their worthiness
comes from their making
they relatively little they have
stretch to it's ultimate
because of the latest crisis.

It is the lie that has become
ever more absolute as the years
particularly when detached
from it's original context.  

Thursday, 23 April 2020

The Failing Alchemy Of 'Entertainment'

In day of old
the stars were made of gold,
or at least of sustained publicity.
There were very few of them
to be worshipped by so many
through the films, books, and songs
that made them luminous
and sometimes numinous too.

Now the human star machine has stopped.
We are all much smaller stars now,
each creative in our own small ways,
each set in our own media firmament.

The light is shared out in smaller portions.

For all that we are still no more
than oxygen, carbon, hydrogen,
phosphorous, calcium and nitrogen
-all trying to do something important
whilst we are waiting to be recycled. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Food Inglorious Food

In the rich west we have shelves so deep
that our lock downs are luxurious,
retreats into what we have hidden away.

Me? I asked my vicar that when next
he went to the food bank
he unburden them of their food
that was 'out of date' but well edible
which the food bank felt unable
to give away with their usual boxes.

He went and called by after
dropping off a veritable hamper.

I have tried in life to be penny wise
not knowing whether my wisdom
with my pounds was enough to get by.
But I felt that if I was caring
then maybe I was careful enough.

Now who wants to share my booty
of a a dozen different flavours
if tinned soup and assorted noodles with me?

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Which Square Are You In?

There are three to choose from. If you beyond
being in either one of the labelled boxes
then you are beyond labels indeed.  

Monday, 20 April 2020

Our Nearness To Absence Is As Close As We Get To Life

A meanness of spirit is a good start
for making a man wealthy
and quenching all he touches
of it's inherent generosity.

But it is a poor substitute
for the better life
where our impermanence
quickens how give 
-the nearest we have
to a grace for those around us. 

Sunday, 19 April 2020

A Quick Non-March

I am in lock-step
with the lock-down.
But what I've found
is what every adult finds;
to be able to sustain
our lack of close company
we have to want do it
for ourselves, not 
because anyone else
insists that that they are right. 

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Quentin Crisp On Old Age

Quentin Crisp (to handsome young man on the street): 
"What's the matter, sexy? Don't you like dehydrated fruit?


Friday, 17 April 2020

Six Degrees Of Separation

used to mean something quite benign.

With this virus stalking the feeble,
testing everyone and taking who it can,
we are in for something very different
from the usual 'six degrees of separation'.

Soon we will all know somebody
who knows somebody who knows somebody,
who the virus separated from life when theirs ended.

Alistaire Cooke talked in his old age
of the many widows he saw in his youth
who after WW1 and Spanish flu
were noted for being seen in public
with black bands on their arms
in memory of their newly gone husbands.

After we have completed our home made face masks
and taken what care of each other we can
then maybe we should consider
making black arm bands for the future,
if not for ourselves then for another,
-they are going to be useful.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Over Fifty Years Ago

one of my heroes, Roy Harper
wrote a series of angry metaphors
set to a basic, almost punk, guitar strum
which he called 'I Hate The White Man'.

He felt (de)pressed to write it
when he saw the typical figure
of  a custodian of The British Empire
grasping a plastic globe to his heart.

When he wrote it Roy hated The Empire
vehemently enough to lead others,
who were easily roused to anger,
to do the same. How very 1960's!

The song stayed in his set until 1972
when newer and more subtle protest songs
replaced  'White Man' in his sets
and he tired of such easy protests.

The British Empire press less hard
in his life than in it had the distant past,
now that as an artist he look forwards.

The song returned to his sets in 1978
when the world seemed to be rotten place
and suddenly it seemed relevant again.

I don't know where hate goes in middle age
or who The White Man is right now,
or where he lives though his colour is a clue.
There are too many public figures to contemplate
who might be the new 'White Man' we have to hate.

Whoever they are I dedicate this blog to them,
as I try to focus my anger to sticking point
and apply it, when I unwillingly listen to the news.  

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Once More With Feeling

When Jesus was asked 'How many times must I forgive?'
by his most keen-but-slightly-thick disciple Peter
-a measure for many who would try to follow Jesus-
Jesus' recorded reply was 'Seventy times seven',
which in Aramaic meant 'practically infinite'.

In my view Jesus' answer would have made more sense
to many more people across the depth of human history
if his answer had been more ontological. That is he had said...
'Always one more time than you previously thought you had to'
thus our maximum of being forgiven* is always more
then our previously thoughts can admit to,
and our forgiveness is always in the future
-what a future to look forward to.....

*we will be forgiven more, the more we forgive others.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Even Tyrants Need Reasons

'The welfare of the people in particular 
has always been the alibi of tyrants
and it provides the further advantage 
of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.'

-Algerian/French philosopher Albert Camus (1913-60) 

Monday, 13 April 2020

Extractive Capitalism

Is a Marxist phrase which describes well the process
of extracting the worlds resources, oil, coal, and precious metals,

to sell on the world market where the profits are hoarded by the few.
As a process it is only 500 years old. What nobody knows is by how much
such extractions are going to definitively shorten all life on the planet?

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Readers Know

that the road to Hell is paved
with all the books they have acquired
that look great on their shelves
which they will never tempted to read
not even when they are in lock down.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Smoking Is A Nasty Habit

which you dear reader of this blog
are free to choose or refuse for yourself,
as much as others accept your choices.

Please help free this animal from a human habit
which he cannot refuse to do for his human masters,
that does not make smoking any safer for humans
and makes his, and many other dogs, lives short and miserable.

They deserve better.

Here is where to sign and further support as you feel free to. 

The Definition Of Facebook

twitter, instagram and all those other places
where we become odd and distant neighbours
to each other; Too Much Information.

I say that as somebody who values sharing,
and who likes to connect with other people
but the time I feel most connected with
is when animals readily connect with me.

Friday, 10 April 2020

A Word In Your Ear

In these Covid-19 times,
when the safe distance
from other people
is the length of a coffin apart,
depending on people's height
and as long as they remain alive,
we all know but we can't say
how strange it feels for people
to listen to each other that far apart.

Our speech lacks the regular intimacy.

So enjoy the phone calls
when a friend rings
because they can't visit.

Forget about the absence
of their presence with you
that the shared reminiscing
reminds you of. Where you are
is better than shouting distance.

Enjoy the sounds of the human voice,
as it rekindle closeness through distance for it's own sake.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Immunity To Community

I have heard a lot about how hardy
'herd immunity' can make a people;
I'd rather have an immunity to being herded.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Thought Beyond Expression

We all know how when man and women
who are truly absorbed in sexual intercourse
and are out of earshot of other human beings
will shout and moan and utter expletives,
and in the heat of passion utter profanities.
God, Christ, Joseph Mary, and Jesus.

The only society I know happens to be Christian,
there people sin, live, and disagree with each other
before the one God, though he is generous enough
to give us more than one name by which he might be abused.

What I want to know is what profanities
are poured forth in the heat of  passion
as regular words fail folks, in pagan
atheistic and other non-christian societies
or do they have a different sense of self control?

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

If Laughter Were Medicine

We all know how physicians
have to take the Hippocratic oath
as part of their professional commitment
to both each other and to their patients.

I wonder how humour might change
if comedians had to take an oath of care
before some board of professional of humour
to uphold the standards of their acts
and there were measurable standards
complete with units of measurement
for how funny their jokes were.

Would it change our mission for humour
and how soon would it be before we saw
the need for a national laughter service?

Monday, 6 April 2020

The Humour Of Ownership

The measure of absolute poverty
is when a people have so little
that they cannot afford
even the slightest irony,
about what they have
and don't have.....

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Enduring Friendships

Over the decades I have had many friendships.
Broadly they divide themselves into two types.

Those with who it took a long time
before the foundations of the friendship
were firm to the point of unshakeable
however much life shifted us around.

Those where I have held on,
and I kept some sort of peace
 in spite of my not needing their aggro,
or their almighty ego.

In these friendships people assume
that when other people know them
for who they are
then they never need to learn
who they were for themselves.

In the former the recognition,
as we both relearned who we were
when circumstances tested us,
has been remarkable and positive.

It has been a proving of our instincts
about what was right with hindsight,
that we could not see at the time.

In the latter life was exciting
but telling the friendship
apart from the stoney ground
that it was set in
made for rather testing times.

Both ways, here's to endurance.  

Saturday, 4 April 2020

The Universal Tenancy

For over two decades I have lived
in a property that I have rented
from a wealthy private landlord
where the state keep him well
because it also pays my rent.

We rarely see each other
but it seems better that way
-we have so little in common
with each other that there are
no grounds for friendship there.

I have said to friends who rent
that a relationship that works
between landlord and tenant
is of the highest priority
for the longevity of the tenancy.

Repairs to the house might be late,
but for the tenant/landlord relationship
to fall into long term disrepair
within a competitive society
will mean that sooner or later
the tenancy is doomed to end.

Beyond the human realm,
but still with tenant/landlord terms,
if more of us held to the attitude
that we are merely brief tenants
and the Planet Earth is our landlady
then how much more shared
would our sense of tenancy be?

The hardest part with that view
is how terminal and absolute
the end of the tenancy will be........

Friday, 3 April 2020

Irresponcible Heroism

I find it highly suspect
when we put some folks
and professions on pedestals,
the better for us to avoid
being as responsible for others
as they so clearly are.

From Bertol Brecht (1939)
Andrea 'Unhappy is the land that breeds no hero'.
Galileo 'No, Andrea. Unhappy is the land that needs a hero.'

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Existential D-I-Y Metaphors

He said that he was 'fixing the roof'
when what he was was doing
was paying off the previous firm
of even more dodgy builders
so they could repay their old loans.
He was keeping what he was doing
to himself when he repeatedly said,
until we all stopped listening,
'I don't like disappointing you'.

So the hole in roof never got fixed
but we kept possession of the house,
unaware of how it would fail us
as much as it could never comply
with failing building regulations.

It was airy in the summer
and draughty in the winter.
As long as we were young and strong
then life seemed okay -
there was no sign of the rainy day
we were meant to saving against.

Then the mild winter came
and whilst the draught seemed less
for lack of a thorough frost,
the weather killed too few germs.

A deadly virus spread far and wide
which made owning the house
with the hole in the roof
that we had never got fixed,
on which there were now new debts,
an empty act of nihilism.   

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Picture Set of The Month - April - Lock Down Special

Evening on the estate I live in  (1)
Evening on the estate where I live (2)
A scene from the garden.