Monday, 29 August 2011

THE ESSENCE OF WELSH POETRY - Saunders Lewis ( 15/10/1893 - 1/9/85)

During the wars of Napoleon there was a country squire of the name of Lloyd living in the old house of Cwmgloyn, inland a little from Trefdraeth ( or Newport in the English maps) on the north coast of Pembrokeshire.  He was a justice of the peace. His father had been much concerned with the sea, and squire Lloyd had ships built for him at Trefdraeth and at Aberystwyth. One of these, the Hawk, was a fifty ton schooner made from his own woods at Trefdraeth, partly for trade, partly for his pleasure voyages. It was later sunk by the French. At its launching a local poet one Ioan Siencyn, wrote a poem to greet it and its captain, and its squire-owner. After a finely imaged description of the Hawk breasting the sea, the poet visualises squire Lloyd on board, travelling to England and Ireland, but especially visitiing his friends in North and South Wales. There the gentry and local poets come to meet him and one verse describes their welcome to him:

  Around their tables, laden with steaming dishes,
  He shall hear histories of those good men, our anscestors,
  And  cywydd and  englyn  and odes of Taliesin
  And he shall drink his fill of golden barley beer.

That poem was written close to the beginning of the nineteenth century. It speaks simply and naturally of odes of Taliesin and cywydd  and   englyn as part of the pertinent welcome to squire Lloyd of Cwmgloyn. Taliesin was a poet of the sixth century .*  Cywydd  and  englyn  were metrical forms of the Welsh Middle Ages. But for Ioan Siencyn at the very end of the eighteenth century they were all necessary for the proper entertainment of the Welsh squire in any Welsh country house. Poetry was part of the tradition of hospitality.
Now will you imagine with me that a poet of the fifteenth century, some great figure such as Tudor Aled, had been released to revisit Pembrokeshire at the launching of the Hawk, and had listened to the reading  of Ioan Siencyn's verses to squire Lloyd? What would our fifteenth century master have thought or said? He would note with warm approval the occasion of the poem. Just such an event, the completion of a new house or a new ship, had in his time also been  the appropriate moment for a complimentary poem to the head of a family. And Tudor Aled would have relished Ioan Siencyn's development of the image of the Hawk as it was launched on the water:

  Spread now your wings, forget the green woodlands,
  Learn to live mid the mouthing of seas.

When Siencyn calls on Neptune and Triton  to protect the schooner, Tudur Aled would remember that he, in the early sixteenth century was beginning to learn the use of the Greek gods from his fiends in the circle of Cardinal Wolsey; and that when the poet returns to his bird-schooner and describes the Hawk:

 Your wings playing high as the clouds,
 Your breasts cleaving the salt billows,
 Let your beak pierce the waves, your belly furrows them,
 Your rudder scatter them in spray-suds...

the fifteenth-century poet would have recognisec it as just the serious playing with image that was part of the technique of poems inspired by  manual craft in his own day. And as the poem grew to the final eulogy of squire Lloyd and his society, to the reference to Taliesin and talk of the deeds of his forefathers storied over the yellow beer on the laden dining table., Tudor Aled might exclaim: " My art still survives in this last decade of the eighteenth century and the great technique and the old mastery are not all forgotten. This country poet., this Ioan Siencyn, is truly an heir of our ancient discipline; he also sings the immemmorial ideals and the pattern of behaviour of the leaders of the Welsh people, and I recognise him as a poet of the long line that began with Taliesin in the North."
There, I think, we capture something essential in the progress of Welsh poesy. We call it the literary tradition of Wales. It means you cannot pluck a flower of song off a headland of Dyfed in the late eighteenth century without stirring a great Northern star of the sixth cetury. And all the intermediaries are involved. The fourteenth century gave the technique of  dyfalu  or image-making, the sixteenth century brought in the Virgilian echoes, the seventeenth gave the measure. The whole body of Welsh poetry from the sixth century onward has contributed directly yo Ioan Siencyn's verses. And, mark you, the poem I am discussing is an obscure piece of work by a little known poet whose name is in no history of Welsh literature nor in any anthology. It was last published in a forgotten volume at Aberystwyth in 1842. Why do I use it as a peg for this talk? Because it reveals the nature and continuity of the Welsh poetic tradition and because it reveals its quality and creative virtue: for the virtueof that tradition is that it may enable a quite minor poet to write a major poem  . . .

Reprinted from
A BOOK OF WALES`
Collins
London and Glasgow
1953

 * Taliesin see

 teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.com/2010/10/taliesin-yw-fi.html

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Effect of the butterfly- Anastaysia Markovich ( b. 23/10/79)

 
poem inspired by above painting
by this wonderful Ukrainian painter.
.
.......
....................
balancing acts
degrees of opposition
infinite future
connects
stellar observations
Re-calibrate
abolish greed
slow down
make room
for transition
sacred geometry
dances
with
new tradition
Today the
landscape
sends up wings
the curve of life
ignites
moves along
ancient tracks
we walk here
one by one
two by two
it is nearly time.
We wear our shadows
on our sleeves
history wears its silence
like identity witout a face
the sun persists through blistered sky. 

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Poetic Injustice - Writings on Resistance and Palestine ( Remi Kanazi)



The long awaited collection by Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi is a diverse mix of unabashed resistance poems. Laced with searing indictments of occupation, ethnic cleansing, and war, Remi tackles some of the most important issues facing the world today with a powerful, inspiring voice.. Additionally included with with the book are 48, 3 line poems for Palestine and a full length spoken word poetry CD.

About the Poet

Remi Kanazi is a poet, writer, and activist based in New York City. He is the editor of Poets for Palestine ( Al Jisser Group, 2008). His political commentary has been featured by news outlets, throughout the world, including Al Jazeera English, and BBC Radio. His poetry has taken him across North America, the UK, and the Middle East, and he recently appeared in the Palestine Festival of Literature as well as Poetry International. He is a recurring writer in residence and advisory board member for the Palestine Writing workshop.

" Remi Kanazi's poetry, full of defiance and longing, allows us to feel the power and pain of Palestine's struggle." - John Pilger ( man of truth)

A Poem for Gaza 

I never knew death
until I saw the bombing
of a refugee camp
craters
filled with
dismembered       legs
and splattered torsos
but no sign of a face
the only impression
a fading scream

I never understood pain
until a seven-year-old girl
clutched my hand
stared up at me
with soft brown eyes
waiting for answers

in her other hand
she held a key
to her grandmother's house
but I couldn't unlock the cell
that caged her older brothers
they said
we slingshot dreams
so the other side
will feel our father's presence!

a craftsman
built homes in areas
where no one was building

when he fell
silence

a .50 caliber bullet
tore through his neck
shredding his vocal cords 
too close to the wall
his hammer
must have been a weapon
he must have been a weapon
encroaching on settlement hills
and demographies

so his daughter
studies mathematics

seven explosions
times
eight bodies
equals
four congressional resolutions

seven Apache helicopters
times
eight Palestinian villages
equals
silence and a second Nakba

our birthrate
minus their birthrate
equals
one sea and 400 villages re-erected

one state minus
their birthrate
equals
0ne sea and 400 villages re-erected

one state
plus
two peoples
...and she can't stop crying

never knew revolution
or the proper equation
tears at the paper
with her fingertips
searching for answers
but only has teachers
look up to the sky
to see Stars of David
demolishing squalor
with Hellfire missiles

she thinks back
words and memories
of his last hug
before he turned and fell
now she pumps
dirty water from wells
while settlements
divide and conquer
and her father's killer
sits beacchfront
with European vernacular

this is our land! she said
she's seven years old
this is our land!
she doesn't need history books
or a scoolroom teacher
she has these walls
this sky
her refugee camp

she doesn't know the proper equation
but she sees my dry pens
no longer waiting for my answers
just holding her grandmother's key
for ink




For infomation 
and how to order book
follow link below
http://www.poeticinjustice.net/

Also in less than 48 hours the U.N Security Council will meet again to discuss Palestines bid to become the 194th Country.
Watch watch video link below and sign petition and then send page to eveyone,  lets get 1 milllion signers now
http://www.avaaz.org/en/middle_east_peace_now/?rc=fb&pv=31

Monday, 22 August 2011

Mary Webb (25/3/89 - 8/10/27) - Roots


Now is the time when gardeners begin to 'delve and dyke, toil and sweat, turn the earth upside down and seek the deepnesse.' Now they begin to know their plants, not as summer acquaintances, but as friends. For the root is the plant. Into it is gathered the whole personality of the creature that slips up into the illuminated air every spring, and withdraws at the fall of the leaf, folding her beauty once more into that humble shelter where she subtly contrives her own creation. There lie, in tiniest miniature, in vaquest embryo, in secret recesses of nerve and fibre, the brittle or sappy stalks; the eager tendrils; the leaves of velvet or of silk, like fans or swords, hearted, pennoned, tented; petals ethereal or empurpled; nectary and filament and anther; golden bees' meat; mysterious ripening calyx and painted fruit. Therin is locked the very heart of spring, the scent that can enchant a summer night, the bread and wine of life's sacrament. A small seed rooted beneath the winter keeps in its silence, the stir and murmour, the rustling music; the golden welter of harvest, with its heavy waggons, its shouts from the sacked field to the fragrant rickyard.
If there was one thing more than others in which the old herbalists had faith it was in the medicinal properties of roots. With the relentless thouroughness of the medieval mind they preferred things in essence, and they liked their drugs as strong as possible. Though so many roots are still used medicinally, some have fallen into disrepute, and all are used more  mercifully. The modern chemist would not entirely approve of either method in the following recipe for using the roots of the crimson penny. This was a sovereign cure for several diseases. You simply cut the root into thin slices and hung it round the patient's neck. ' If this fails, ' adds the herbalist, with a scepticism that must have been deprecated by the religious people of his day, 'if this fails, reduce it to powder and make the patient swallow a dram thrice daily, until he is cured of his fits.' How well one can hear him say this- between clenched teeth, as it were, with the furious materialism of those who fall from the heights of spiritualism! How well one can see the relentless scene of dosing that occurred thrice daily - worthy of Hogarth's painting- and how one can sympathise with the patient, who must have so greatly preferrred faith-healing! Lily-roots  were boiled in milk and were emmolient; wild lettuce was for dropsy, colhicum were for nervous disorders. Nerves were very much discouraged in old days, and the roots of half the plants in England seem to have been called to their aid. With a belief in the efficacy of pain to heal and cure, the herbalists chose for their medicaments such roots as that of the purple pasque flower, which cured blindness, but gave 'a severe, lacinating pain', And surely they were wise.l


The roots of life are nourished on pain, and whoever participates in this love-feast of reality must suffer. The butterfly knows nothing of the conflict, the grief of the root struggling with earth in darkness, yet only through the bravery of the root, its determination to suffer rather than die, does the flowr dance in the light. It is the love of the root, dumbly struggling, that creates splendours the root will never see, splendours which it dreams, all alone in the dark.
In a dim alley somewhere near Paternoster Row is a small window artlessly piled with bulbs and roots of those strange tints and textures in which these beings of the underworld love to wrap themselves. The owner of the shop has forsworn flowers. Instead, he sets forth mottled beans like jewels, ruby-tinted; many coloured bulbs; the reserved but all-promising dahlia. And he is wise. A flower we see; we can touch its silk and smell its fragrance. But a root! A root is the unknown; it holds the future; it shares the allure of the horizon, where anything wonderful may haunt; it gives nothing, but it hints of untold gifts. The  bulbs glow with a dim, rich lustre. There are brown tulip bulbs, dapper and well-found; straw-coloured crocuses that will send up, naked and brave, their flowers to fill the September meadows with magic; tiger-lilies, wherin is caged savage color, hyacinths, prophesising of their future tints by the red and rose and primrose of their crinkled tissue wrappings which are like the luminous paper of Christmas cards, that sheds on angels or Holy Families mysterious coloured lights; white lilies their pale and flaking bulbs heavy with the June glories of great chalices and golden pollen, recalling in their stately promise a herd of white milch kine. There are the anemones, with tubers utterly removed, unlovely shrivelled; yet; like those unfortunate ladies of the old dangerous years,  who were turned into hags by perverse wizards, they keep surprises of beauty hidden for him that has faith and gives them leave to bloom.

No wonder that dusty window in the roar of the City traffic takes away ones breath with its ' whence?' and 'whither?' its secrecy, its conserved  swetness! Looking at these silent beings that have come out of the earth, that will return to the earth that hold their gifts of beauty within invisible treasuries, keeping somewhere between minute-saprunnels and sad-coloured layers of fibrous substance the riddle of the universe in Little, we are confronted with a miracle as heart stirring, as tear compelling as any in the sweet Galician story. Dead and cold as a pebble seems the crocus bulb, yet come the white points, the bursting green of young leaves, the folded  golden flag, the chalice, superbly frail, drawing to itself the music of bees, cool dews, sunlight.
Looking at its triumph, the imagination is fired; we hear a voice, stern with the wonder of its own power, speaking across centuries of time and masses of dead matter, from furthest space or from our own hearts, calling low, but with a compelling sweetness -
'Talitha cumi!
There is a more vital joy in dealing with the roots of plants that can ever be found in communion with the flower alone. What summer  nosegay has the good smell of primrose roots or violet roots torn asunder for replanting of bruised lilies, of ploughman's spikenard? It is not only the roots of the cedar that 'give a good smell'; dig up any root and you will have an earthy fragrance which is neither that of earth nor rain nor of the flower nor the leaf, but the wholly individual. The marvellous sweetnes in the air of an autumn day is not cheifly of late summer flowers, nor of wet earth, nor of fruits and fading leaves, nor of corn - though ripe corn does often steep the whole countryside in golden fragrance.

It is the roots, delved for and bruised and subjected to the shock of air and sunlight, and pouring out their strange, heady fragrances on these autumn days.only. It is a lesson in reality to see, when you have known all summer the ethereal beauty of white clematis or honeysuckle, the roots clutching with a hindred tiny hands the dark soil. Not the whitest rose, not the frailest lily can ignore the earth. There are curious plants that have a whims eye to  deny earth, to touch it only at second-hand - the mistletoe, that prefers to touch earth only when it is transformed into apple woodor apricot wood; the broomrap, that goes to the broom and clover and ivy and says, 'Nourish me; I am too dainty for the crude earth.' But what are they? The mistletoe is a poor, colourless thing; the broomrape has not a leaf on it, and is as near ugliness as a plant can be. Even that most unearthly of flowers, the white water-lily, floating on deep water, is anchored far below in the black river bed. Every one of those wide spreading leaves, those pure blossoms, has its long, swaying root going down into darkness.

 Whether tose algae that cause the 'Braking of the Meres' every year in Shropshire should be called plants or not the writer does not know; but these do seem to root in the water itself, rising suddenly to the surface, flinging out filaments like roots, and thus causing a  boiling in the lake which has been compared to the scriptural ' troubling of the waters.' But such things are the exception. The rule is that the more delicate and beautiful the flower and fruit the closer must be the union with earth. And the point of contact is the root. There colour and scent are made; there the 100 foot tree lies , there the petal that a dewdrop almost destroys is held safe under the ponderous earth. In the root, when April comes, Someone awakes, rubs drowsy eyes, stretches drowsy hands, remembers a dream of light that troubled its sleep. and begins, with infinite precautions, finesse and courage, to work the miracle of which it has knowledge, 'eagerly watching for its flower and fruit, anxious its little souls look out.'
Surely no idea of God could so well hint of Him as this idea of the root - of the great root of a forest tree, hawsered in the heart of matter; upholding matter; transforming matter by a secret alchemy into beauty that goes out from mystery - lives its day- returns, weary, into mystery, and is again  renewed.
'None can tell how from so small a centre come such sweets.'


reprinted from
 poems   of spring and joy
Jonathan Cape
1928

Friday, 19 August 2011

The Small Faces - Afterglow ( of My Love) for Richard, R.I.P


(This ones for a dear beloved, departed friend)

I wanna go back to the mountain
back to the delicate flowers that
he once kissed
back to eden , to the beginning   
when dawn unfolded
before the  substance gained
                                control
With the cool air
comes a storm
the bonfire crackles and spits
as a star burns up in the sky
A train  has stopped
it flickers on the horizon
There are too many monuments
for broken hearts
The games some of us play
can become cruel at the
        end
where the last track
fades into crimson tide
silent ripples
against the darkness
And the woods are full
of illumination
but all is quiet now
in this moment
in this tragic
tear
music will echoe
memory will not fade
Nos da cariad 
Sleep well
               brawd

( Richard was one of my closest friends
who passed away yesterday
in what appears to be
a suspected
overdose. )

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Kevin Robins - Con-Dem Love

This is about Government attack on the most vulnerable people in our society, and the need to fight back against the Con-dem welfare cuts.



a recent survey by the Mental Health Charity Mind revealed that 51%  of people with mental health  conditions were left with suicidal thoughts after  the prospect of a work capability assessment carried out by ATOS. Increasingly too these assessments have repeatedly ignored evidence from G.Ps and consultants. 61% of E.S.A claims though are won at tribunal, hence wrong decisions being made. If the D.W.P actually made right decisions in the first place we would save society £ 7 million.
Mr Cameron thinks also society has become too sensitive, increasingly it is  apparent that he is out of touch with reality, and  it is his ideological heart that is rotten. Plain for all to see. 

Monday, 15 August 2011

What is human decency?


What does it mean to be law-abiding?
In last few days , David Cameron has been keen to pontificate on the subject, droning on in front of willing cameras, eager to sound pious but  not really adding anything of value. Perhaps I'm missing something, don't really think so .
Consider the following from him
" These are sickening scenes of people looting, vandalising, thieving, robbing, scenes of people attacking police officers and even attacking fire crews as they are trying to put out fires. This is criminality pure and simple, and it has to be confronted and defeated . People should be in no doubt that we are on the side of the law-abiding people who are appalled by what has happened. " and then their's this one,
" Our security fightback must be matched by a social fightback. We must fight back against the attitudes and assumptions that have bought parts of our society to this shocking state."
Many others have since echoed these thoughts. But whose side is he really on. Should we not throw these getsures back at him.
It is him and his friends that should be held into account, according to the very same criteria that they use to judge and condemn others.
Many of the politicians that are now using these sentiments against others, is it not a fact that they themselves have sanctioned illegal wars and policies that have led to the deaths of hundred of thousands of people.
The sanctions imposed on Iraq in the 1990s that led to the deathsof 500,000 children. Currently in Libya, a similar policy. As the body pile mounts up as do the double standards.
Cameron condemns ordinary people who have taken to  the streets,some of whom  echoed the tories mantra of greed is good.. Who has caused a Britain full of social deprivation, who has caused this chasm, this chaos?
Who are the real criminals?
Who has done the most robbing, the most looting, who steals aour every daily bread?
I thank othe friend in social media for most of these thoughts, borrowed, paraphrased?
Heres some statistics taken from my facebook friend Devotional Hooligan.

Highest estimated cost  of riots : £ 100 million
Tax avoidance by Vodafone : £ 6 billion
Tax spent on Libyan intervention : £1 Billion
Tax avoidance in2010 by richest people in Uk : £7 billion
Tax payers bill for banking crisis : £131 billion
Tax money spent in Iraq conflict : £ 4.5 million
Tax money spent on Afghan conflict up until 2007 : £ 7 billion
Total M>P expenses bill (2007) : £ 87.6 million

Perspective: Priceless

Cost of human decency? Nil.

Normal service will return soon  , what is normal anyway.
Fuck you Mr Cameron , your democracy is a schism.
Loot a shop, go to jail,
loot a nation, pat  yourself on the back....
happy days are here again, and yes I do get fixated!
I try to keep a sense of both measure and proportion.


 

Saturday, 13 August 2011

AUNG SAN SUU KYI (b 1948-) extract from Freedom and Fear.


FEARLESSNESS may be a gift but perhaps more precious is the courage acquired through endeavour, courage that comes from cultivating the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one's actions, courage that could be described as ' grace under pressure' - grace which is renewed in the face of harsh, unremitting pressure.
Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure.
A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish,reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily actsof courage which help to preserve man's self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for people conditioned by the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilixed man.
 The wellspring of courage and endurance in the face of unbridled power is generally a firm belief in the sanctity of ethical principles combined with a historical sense that despite all setbacks the condition of man is set on an ultimate course for both spiritual and material advancement. It is his capacity for self-improvement and self-redemption which most distinquishes man from the mere brute. At the root of human responsibility is the concept of perfection, the urge to achieve it, the intelligence to find a path toward it, and the will to follow that path if not to the end at least the distance needed to rise above individual limitations and environmental impediments. It is man's vision of a world fit for rational, civilised humanity which leads him to dare and to suffer to build societies free from want and fear. Concepts such as truth, justice and compassion cannot be dismissed as trite when these are often the only bulwarks which stand against ruthless power.

This post is dedicated to Patrick Mac Manus
R.I.P
A man who stood for social justice and peace.
Who's voice and ideals sail on on the side of all oppressed people.
Let apathy be a stranger, let it be our foe.



http://palsolidarity.org/
http://www.amnesty.org.uk/

Friday, 12 August 2011

Rough justice.


When capitialism grows ill. their is always a tradition of  things taking a turn for the worst. Its been ill for a while mind you.Things can spiral out of control. Mobs can be created by societies divisions. It's interesting that the rioting and vandalism committed earler is repeatedly being called mindless, but what actually is more of a disgrace, poor people often not articulate enough to express their needs, desperate and frustrated who then  grab what they can, because they have seen politicians behaving like  criminals , and getting away with it for so long, again and again, and who then condemns those who follow in the politicians footsteps ,the very same M.Ps  who they themselves stole from the public purse by claiming expenses to which they were not entitled.
Well double standards ares definitely not the answer , to societies problems nor are draconian, disproportionate sentences, that in many cases do not bear any relation to the crime, a six month jail term for stealing 3 bottles of water, surely is not right, yes their were some terrible things that happened earlier in the week, but what about  the shameful actions of  the city bankers who brought about our current financial, economic crises.
Saw that dreadful woman Hazel Blears M.P on T.V last night, roundly condemning and branding people as criminals in her constituency in Salford. Yet, is she not a thief herself. The hypocricy on parade is amazing. But some peoples audacity and cheek  is allowed, and they reappear freshly  rehabilitated  for us all to see , and  are allowed somehow to be redeemed, whilst the dispossessed who take what they like  as well are called looters and gaoled whilst the bankers  who did what they liked too, got rewarded with their bonuses. So it seems like one rule for some and another for the powerful.
Well somethings got to change, and no, not the vision that Cameron has planned, one I do not hesitate to mention he  has had planned all along. His  ideas , borrowed from his tory forefathers, one of draconian punishment and backward regressive thought.  It is I suppose what is to be expected from him and his mindset, they  really needed no excuse....rough justice, is all some  ever want. But if you push people away,  without offering help,  into corners and avenues  of unforgiveness, some will naturally want to push back. 

the Goose and the Commons - Anonymous 17th Century
against English enclosure

The law locks up the man or
woman
Who steals the goose from
off the common
But leaves the greater
villain loose
Who steals the common
from off the goose.

The law demands  that we
atone
When we take things we do
not own
But leaves the Lords and
ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine.

The poor and wretched
don't escape
If they conspire the law to
break;
This must be so but they
endure
Those who conspire to
make the law.

The law locks up the man or
woman
Who steals the goose from
off the common
And geese will still a
common lack
Till they go and steal it
back.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Harold Norse (6/7/16 -8/6/09 ) - THE POEM MUST BE AS MODERN AS STRATEGIC ROCKET CARRIER


The poem must be as modern as strategic rocket carriers
equipped with nuclear warheads

Rockets can reach any point on the planet
atomic submarines can fire nuclear warheads
from any point in the ocean

ACTION! ACHTUNG! NEW WEAPONS! EN GARDE!

The poem must reach any point on the planet
with deadly accuracy

Words are weapons

A giant helicopter force of angry poems
releasing mushroom clouds of warning
will destroy anybody's serenity forever
from any point on the planet

An international peace force of disarming poems
will deflect anybody's deadly aim
and deconsruct death devices

The poem must be strategic life force carrier
equipped with antinuclear power
softening any heart pn the planet

TENDERNESS! PEACE! NEW LIFE! NEW LOVE!

Words are time bombs with lasting effects

From Peace or Perish
A Crisis Anthology
City Lights 1983

now while I'm here why oh why don't the powers that be
scrap trident. Save a bit of cash in these bleak economic times.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

August's Eruption.


Politicians offer abundant promises, plentiful enough to attract their disciples, then in swift numbers parade abhorence when in the Summers temperate atmosphere their falseness is rejected. History has a habit of repeating itself, and conditions emerge where cetrain combinations reject patronising gestures, unite and because division has been fostered the inevitable happens. Then we see it implode before us on T.V, not the cause, just the aftermath, full of condemnation, double standards that offer no solution to increasing difficult horizons.
It seems only natural that when truth is buried underneath bylines of sensation that their will be rage. Over periods communities souls have been eroded by the tories savage cuts, it starts effecting how people behave. The propoganda of empty promises never questioned in the mainstream media. Outbursts of immediacy and frustration get ignored, in the rush to condemn. This combination of rejection and complacency offers no solution to the increasingly disenfranchised.
Everything after all is connected. After all only recently corruption at the highest level has been exposed by hackgate, and the bankers  disgraceful actions. The establishment have the brass neck to call rioters criminals ,it is the establishment that should feel ashamed .A lot of youngsters have had their EMAs robbed from them, and many 14- 24 year olds are not in education, training or employment, so some of them have nothing further to lose , so now  have no fear. Kids are bored , some are inarticulate and some of them are smashing and grabbing the things society tells them to want. When they do try to protest legally they get clobbered by police batons, charged at by mounted armed police and kettled for hours. Also since 1998, 333 people have died in police custody,but not one single police officer has been charged and convicted.
Jean-Charles de Menezes, Ian Tomlinson and  Smiley Culture are just 3 that come to mind.
When the power of speech is often ignored , sadly their will be flames, and unfortunately it is often the poor and the innocent who get affected, caught amidst this acrid mixture. We have to try and move forward and recrimination is no answer. I personally believe that the alienation and frustration increasingly felt by the masses is fed by those in power - violence is usually caused by desperation and rejection and it seems that the  rulers who are  so removed from those on the fringes of society that  are stoking this, with their own hidden agendas. Increasingly anger will be seen  and not just in the inner cities.
Meanwhile in the last 3 days children have been injured, wounded and murdered by coalition forces who are actively breaking the laws of war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Where's the justice in this. I readily critisise violence committed against defenceless people, and a quick loot will not get some out of material misery nor will police be able to fix results of long term accumulated deprivation of large parts of the U.K population.
Finally , perhaps there is another virtual London, where a happy prosperous population is being watched over by a police force of incorruptibility. So take it easy out there and remember  this is what happens when we live in Condem nation.Nothing happens in a vacuum, penalise the weak, reward the rich and powerful. Their will be unrest and it will not look pretty.


" Things got out of hand and we'd had a few drinks, we smashed the place up, and Boris set fire to the toilet."
-David Cameron speaking in 1986.

Darcus Howe tells it straight.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Richard Brautigan ( 30/1/35 - 14/9/84) - And the world is still yawning.


Cult figure for sure, like an American Ivor Cutler, been listening to a C.D of him reading recently, I needed something poignant and surreal in my life , two funerals in a week, but hey gotta keep on keeping on.
Brautigan one of my favourite writers, their are many....... it's Brautigan I return to more often than not when  I want to smile, he also liked a drink or two or three,four and in his later work because of this  it began to get dark...... The 60s were his hey day and he was one of the most prominent to emerge from its counterculture. Born in Tacoma, Washington where he spent most of his childhood and teenage years. In the mid 50s he moved to San Fracisco where he publishe his first volume of poetry and became involved with other writers of the emerging Beat movement. The Beatles loved him, not that that in itself means anything,were they not into most things. I personally discovered him through the works of that wonderful Welsh Band, Gorkys Zygotic Mynci , that's another story , but  I would recommend all his books though, wonderful, can make you wonder, giggle  and laugh out loud, the 60 odd stories contained within Revenge to the Lawn  I would say is his masterpiece , heres a few  of them , hope you enjoy. Contained within one of my favourite short stories, it's also one of the smallest in my library. Prose poetry of the highest order.
Sadly he was found dead in 1984, aged 49, beside a bottle of alcohol and a .44 calibre gun. We all cast long shadows.
Hauntingly his work still  magically shines for me.

Women When They Put Their Clothes  on in the morning

It's really a very beautiful exchange of values when  women put their clothes on in the mornig and she is brand-new and you've never seen her put on her clothes before.
You've been lovers and you've slept together and there's nothing more you can do about that, so iy's time for her to put her clothes on.
Maybe you've already had breakfast and she's slipped her sweater on to cook a nice bare-assed breakfast for you, padding in sweet flesh around the kitchen, and you both discussed in length the poetry of Rilke which she knew a great deal about, surprising you.
But now it's time for her to put her clothes on because you've both had so much coffee that you can't drink any more and it's time for her to go home and it's time for her to go to work and you want to stay there alone because you've got some things to do around the house and you're going outside together for a nice walk and it's time for you  to go home and it's time for you  to go to work and she's got some things that she wants to do around the house.
Or ...maybe it's even love.
But anyway:It's time for her to put her clothes on and it's so beautiful when she does it. Her body slowly dissapears and comes out quite nicely all in clothes. There's a virginial quality to it. She's got her clothes on, and the beginning is over.

Banners of My Own Choosing

Drunk laid and drunk unlaid and drunk laid again, it makes no difference. I return to this story as one who has been away but one who was always destined to return and perhaps that's for the best.
I found no statues nor bouquets of flowers, no beloved to say: 'Now we will fly banners from the castle, and they will be of your own choosing,' and to hold my hand again, to take my hand in yours.
None of that stuff for me.
My typewriter is fast enough as if it were a horse that's just escaped from the ether, plunging through silence, and the words gallop in order while outside the sun is shining.
Perhaps the words remember me.
It is the fourth day of Marcg 1964. The birds are singing on the back porch, a bunch of them in an aviary, and I try to sing with them: Drunk laid and drunk unlaid and drunk laid again, I'm back in town.

Lint

I'm haunted a little this evening by feelings that have no vocabulary and events that shold be explained in dimensions of lint rather than words.
I've been examining  half-scraps  of my childhood. They are  pieces  of distant life that have no form or meaning. They are things that just happened like lint.


The Scarlatti Tilt

' It's very hard to live in a studio apartment in San Jose with a man who's learning to play the violin.' That's what she told the police when she handed them the empty revolver.

Ernest Hemingway's Typist

It sounds like religios music. A friend of mine just came back from New York where he had Ernest Hemingway's typist do some typing for him.
He's a successful writer, so he went and got the very best which happens to be the woman who did Ernest Hemingways typing. It's enough to take your breath away, to marble your lungs with silence.
Ernest Heminway' typist!
She's every writer's dream come true with the appearance of her hands which are like a harsichord and the perfect intensity of her gaze and all to be followed by the profound sound of her typing.
He paid her fifteen dollars an hour. That's more than a plumber oran electrician gets.
$120 a day! for a typist!
He said that she does eveything for you. You must hand her the copy and like a miracle you have attractive, correct spelling and punctuation that is so beautiful that it brings tears to your eyes and paragraphs that look like Greek temples and she even finished sentences for you.
She's Ernest Heminway's
She's Ernest Hemingway's typist.

All above selections from
Revenge of the Lawn, Jonathan Cape 1972.

Other masterpieces are

Trout Fishing in America,
Sombrero Fallout,
A Confederate General from Big Sur,
and In Watermelon Sugar.

I would also strongly reccommend a book of memoirs by his daughter Ianthe Brautigan, ' You can't catch death'.  A fascinating glimpse into Richard Brautigans life and shedding light on some of his own ghosts.

Short film about Richard Brautigan and his work.


All watched over by machines of loving Grace
-A short poem by Richard Brautigan


wiki link on Richard Brautigan
below
                                             http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Brautigan

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Adrian Mitchell (44/10/32-20/12/08) - Ancestors / Revolution.

Ancestors

We had an island
Oh were a stomping old tribe on an island
Red faces, hairy bodies
Happy to be hairy
Happy to be hairy
When the breezes tickled
The hairs of our bodies
Happy to be hairy
Happy to be hairy
Next best thing to having feathers-
That was our national anthem.
Right. Hairy tribe,
Hairy red story-telling, song-singing, dragon fighting,
                                                    fire-drinking tribe.

Used to get invaded every other weekend.
Romans, Vikings, Celts - fire and sword-
Pushed us back but they never broke us down.
In between invasions we grew spuds and barley,
Took our animals wherever there was a river and some
                                                                           grass.

When the snows  came, we moved south
When the rivers dried, we moved west
When the invaers came, we burnt our crops, moved.

Until one day we were surrounded by warriors,
The same old fire and sword, but used efficiently.
They slaughtered our warriiors, lined up the rest of us
And there were speeches
About law and order, and firm but fair government.

And this is what they did,
This is government.
You take an island and cut it carefully
With the razorblade called law and order
Into a jugsaw of pieces
The big, rich-coloured pieces
Go to the big, rich men.
The smaller, paler pieces
(Five beds two recep barn mooring rights five acres)
Go to the small, rich men.
And nothing at all
Goes to those who have nothing at all.

Absurd? The many nothing-at alls
Wouldn't stand back and see their island
Slashed uinto ten thousand pieces.
They didn't stand back, our hairy tribal anscestors.
Some of them spoke oot. Some fought back.
They were slashed down by the giant razorblade.

And now, and now the rich seldom have to kill
To defend the land they stole from all the tribe-
Wire fences, Guard Dogs Loose on these Premises
                                                    No Trespassing.
Bailiffs. Security Guards. Police. Magistrates' Courts.
                                                      Judges. Prisons-
Grey prisons where the brain and the flesh turn grey
As the green English years stroll by outside the walls.
So who needs fire and sword?
The tribe has been tamed
And our island
Our daft green stony gentle rough amazing haven
Entirely surrounded by fish
Has been stolen from the tribe.
It was robbery with most bloody violence.
And that was history, history is about the dead.
Then isour tribe dead? Is our tribe dead?
Is the tribe dead?

 Revolution

Its first shhots will burst out of the earth
silently, at the wrong time of year
in a silent part of the island
far from the patrolling armoured cars.

A finger, pointing towards the sun,
which will be mistaken for baldes of grass
if anybody notices it at all.

One deep night, an armoured division,
returning from an easy mission
in Leicester or in Birmingham
will be crushed by the branches
of the numberless, nameless trees
of an overnight forest.

And those breeding trees
with eccentric outlines
will be no more like our theories
than a hippoptamus
is like a parrallelogram.

Poems reprinted from :-

The apeman cometh - Adrian Mitchell, Jonathan Cape,
                                     1975

governments only serve governments
let the tribes increase.



  

Monday, 1 August 2011

Anarchists should be reported, admits Wesminster anti-terror police.


In todays Guardian , an article about  what we should do if we find ourselelves  living next to anarchists.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jul/31/westminster-police-anarchist-whistleblower-advice
Apparently according to the Metropoliton police , members of the public should report them straightaway.
No warning attached about other political groups like the fascist English Defence League. No it's calling instead for anti-anarchist whistleblowers stating " Anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society , or anarchy. Any infomation relating to anarchists should be reported to your local police." Hello Big Brother, I don't bloody think so. Teifidancer might have a few ideological  little differences with some aspects of anarchism, but sees nothing wrong in trying to change the world, ideas of no borders, peace, social justice, removing money from the profiteers , a shared abhorence of capitalism. Since when was holding anarchist sympathies considered a crime anyway.
So here I say solidarity with the anarchists. It is the walls that divide us that should be made illegal, it has been noted 'round here that captalism does not seem to be working, bankers and media barons, their friends the tories private interests bankrupting the public realm. Power  has for so long been hidden in pockets of a cosy elite, and those who yield it have been found wanting. And of course their is nothing new about this, just the same rules for them, different rules for people with opposing points of view. Is it not the case that with no pressure for higher ethical standards, the powerful elites were like kids  left free in the sweatshop, going feral as they lost all self control and all touch with reality and society.
Are not the rulers of the land still supporting the mysterious rebels in Libya now murdering one another,  their friends, saving money with housing benefit cuts,attacking the most vulnerable, closing hospitals and schools. Yes this is their real reality, divide and rule. If people are reawakening from transient states that is good, solidarity is a good thing, mutual coperation, a valid calling, for some complaceny is no longer enough, call me old fashioned,but the future of humanity is at stake, I think we need to stand a little more united, less divided, may the ranters and the dissenters grow. Many of the anarchist writers that I myself have on my bookshelves, the ideology contained within supports building communities without hierarchial or bueracratic structures that are seen in mainstream society. Most writers of an anarchistic bent that I ascribe to adhere to non-violent alternatives, so at the moment some are being cast as convenient scapegoats in order to distract from the state and it's allies, who are doing the real damage. Who really are doin, the most misbehaving. 
So I say report the state, time again members of the state have proved themselves to be self serving, war mongering, corporate whores. If you suspect a member of your family, friends or neighbours may be a member of or helping the U.K government in any way and any of its subsidiary bodies, why not question their activities, do not condone, oh and go on report them, but do not get embroiled in witch hunts.
Oh, seperately I may have no higher secular belief  to speak of but to any who follow, happy ramadan, and remember too that capitalism is only unbeatable as long as everybody thinks it is. and the powers that be don't want that do they? and even if the lovely  Emma Goldman did not say  " If I can't dance, I don't want to be in your revolution."  I will still sing to this tune.......finally, I have no idea what an anarchists look like, they look the same as you and me, tall, short, fat, thin, use the same language, walk the same way, one thing I'm sure of their busy making plans.