Thursday, 22 February 2018

On Listening To An Old Vinyl Record Of My Father Playing Gigges And Dompes Which Someone Had Uploaded To Youtube

I suppose it must have been 
The music that I used to hear in utero.
It reaches those parts other players can’t -
Heineken harpsichord harmony. 
Yet it doesn’t merely bathe my ears,
I’m not washed with some nostalgic flow
Of sentimental sadness, there are no tears.
The playing, crisp and clean,
Does not intermingle with ideas,
Does not influence my way of seeing.
Hearing him play Debussy on the piano,
That brings yearning for those carefree years,
But this is different, 
It’s as if my response is purely cellular,
As if this were the sound by which I came to grow,
The formation of my person,
From zygote to maturation,
And that now, as I hear,
I am re-formed, one crystal clear
Chord, drops into the saturated solution
Of my soul,
And chaos becomes order, in my entire being. 

“Every Revolution Evaporates, Leaving Only Bureaucratic Slime”. Franz Kafka

Brexit lies here,
The biggest, democratic
Revolution of our time,
We can just observe her outline, still,
Grecian beauty - the people’s will, 
But she’s about to disappear,
Covered, subsumed, consumed,
By bureaucratic slime.

Friday, 16 February 2018

To A Youthful Social Justice Warrior, Hoping To Change The World. (Two Quotes From Tolstoy)

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time”.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself”

If only you had patience and the time,
To change yourself and not the world, my dear,
You’d not demand enactment of this crime.

You’d think of things uplifting and sublime
And not of legislation, rule by fear,
If only you had patience and the time.

If all the hours before you, in your prime
Were spent in gaining knowledge year on year,
You’d not demand enactment of this crime,

And would be shocked by this dull pantomime,
This desire to make custom disappear.
If only you had patience and the time

To learn to see beyond the filth and grime
And bathe in one conservative idea,
You’d not demand enactment of this crime.

Nor wish to leave a vacuum where grows slime.
You’d wish to change yourself, your private sphere,
If only you had patience and the time

You’d not demand enactment of this crime. 

“We have arrived at an intellectual chaos”. Solzhenitsyn

“We have arrived at an intellectual chaos”.  Solzhenitsyn
We have arrived at an intellectual chaos, so,
how did we get here?
I think identity politics had much to do with it, though
Post Modernism came first, and won’t disappear.
Jaques Derrida was important and we fear
His influence is widespread in academia, where the verb to know
is regarded as blasphemous, along with concepts like being clear. 
We have arrived at an intellectual chaos, so, 
what are we going to do about it?  Intersectionality, seems to grow
into this vast sticky web, yet its proponents are all sincere,
they think that love of their fellow men, requires law, for it to show.
How did we get here?
How did they so misunderstand, Christ’s second commandment?  Why do they fear
freedom and seem desperate for legislation, what panic lies below
the surface of their thoughts that they’d take prison over being freer?
I think identity politics had much to do with it, though
that arose from this same impulse, libertarianism transmuted in to faux
outrage, which turned into this compulsion to clamp down, never to hear
the views of the other side. How far will it go?
Post Modernism came first, and won’t disappear
but each generation rejects what came before, each requires its own idea.
Does hope lie here? Or will the authoritarians borrow
the ways of the Medieval Church, Sharia, Soviet Russia, staying in or near
the seats of power, controlling the chaotic narrative, drowning us in slow
intellectual chaos.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

“The name of ‘reform’ simply covers what is latently a process of the theft of the national heritage”

(Title quote from Alexander Solzhenitsyn)

Ah yes, why not strip all away, reform
The old, tear down the grey, the dull, reject
Each thing that’s gone before? Let’s not conform.
Let customs all be damned, let’s not select,
But smash the lot. Utopia requires
Tabula rasa, so let’s scratch out thought,
Religion, history, and start such fires
That there can be no hope of saving aught.
And we shall make men’s minds anew, so they
Shall never look to what has gone before,
Shall not consult an ancient wisdom, pray
To any higher power.  For less is more.
But let us act with guile, and be wise
Destruction needs a positive disguise.

“It is time in the west to defend not so much human rights as human obligations” Alexander Solzhenitsyn

What are our obligations, then?
How to oblige our fellow men?
When men have grown to think of rights
How shall we now re-set their sights,
And help them to begin again?
One can change minds, but how and when?
By words of love, or stroke of pen?
What makes us see by brighter lights?
What are our obligations, then?
We’re selfish creatures, one in ten
Think others needs within their ken,
The rest are blind and some start fights.
Determined egos through black nights
Will not relent or say amen.

What are our obligations, then?

Tuesday Evening Mid Feb.

It’s that ‘nearly half past five and not yet dark’ time,
That mud and soggy grass and flagstone slime time,
That skidding bringing in the coal and landing in the grime time,
And using washing powder with an enzyme.
It’s that soggy, fatty pancake drenched in lime time,
That acid reflux, Rennie crunching, writing rhyme time,
That wishing one could aim at the sublime time,
But finding that one can’t be arsed to climb. 

“When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness“. Alexis de Tocqueville

The spirit must not walk in darkness now;
A guide’s required to help us comprehend -
The Past illuminates, shows what we know:

To act in wisdom’s never to kowtow
To fashion which is worthless and pretend.
The spirit must not walk in darkness now

There’s no Utopia, its far off glow
Is marsh gas, which I cannot recommend.
The past illuminates, shows what we know:

Collective wisdom, customs will allow
interpretation, they will change and bend.
The spirit must not walk in darkness now

There is no need, it’s day, so why endow
black shadows with the nature of a friend?
The past illuminates, shows what we know:

We must hold fast to good, not disavow.
The future always is some antique blend.
The spirit must not walk in darkness now

The past illuminates, shows what we know. 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Do You Self Identify As Fat? (Tomorrow’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ Phone In)

Do you self identify as fat?
Phone us or get in touch by text,
Are you a lard arse, or what?
Is your self identification a pretext
For self obsession?
Do you think continually about your weight
While harping bitterly about those you hate,
Those who seem determined to teach you a lesson
About giving up binge eating and taking up exercise?
Are you eating away at yourself, while eating a way all day?
Or is your self identification,
A kind of self protection,
Do you feel you own your obesity and are wise
To its power, do you admire your flab while in the shower,
Marvelling at its roly-poly layers?
Are you Rubenesque?
Do you give thanks to those who portray us
As desirable, in our mounds of flesh, or think their work toxic,
Yourself grotesque,
Do you see weight as a force for good,
Are you truly one of us, one of the sisterhood,
Or just anorexic?

Thursday, 8 February 2018

On The Need For Leadership

“Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee”, but then again
Any leader, in his prime, would do, strong men
With wisdom, wit and humour could empow’r
Us to act, to fight for justice, they’d not cower
Before these ‘representatives’ who when
Just scratched reveal they represent not ten
In any hundred thousand, yet who tower
And dominate as if they speak for all. 
We needs must ‘wipe them out by peaceful means’
With decent revolution which still cleans
As thoroughly as violence,  yet restores,
So we regain the courage of the fall

That sent us, willing, out through Eden’s doors. 

Monday, 5 February 2018

Facial Justice Warriors

We’ll fight.  We’ll shout for justice for the face.
We hate.  We’ll take the ugly by the hand
And we, unsightly members of our race,
Against sweet symmetry, we’ll take a stand. 
The gorgeous must be stopped and we demand
Society eliminates all trace
Of beauty.  “Long live plainness and the bland.”
We’ll fight.  We’ll shout for justice for the face.
“Brutalism trumps grace!”
The pretty and the classical, the grand,
The handsome, none are welcome in this place.
We hate.  We’ll take the ugly by the hand,
And lecture them and make them understand
They must despise all elegance, debase
The currency of beauty, in this land
And we, unsightly members of our race,
Must make the cute redundant and disgrace
Those who’d employ them, as they can’t command
Respect.  The reign of beauty we’ll replace,
Against sweet symmetry, we’ll take a stand.
The plain alone shall breed and thus expand
Equality - reduction to the lowest base.
We’ll get the children too, there’ll be no strand
Of difference left.  We’ll work at Herod’s pace.

We’ll fight for justice.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Gifts or Rights

Perhaps love feels it is disgraced
As gifts by rights have been replaced.
And gratitude, replaced by claims,
Begets resentment, whose black games
Fuel fires which then are never traced
Back to their origin.  Misplaced
Ideas of charity, distaste
At what is freely given maims
If love is truly interlaced
Between us, rights are then debased
For tolerance, sans stated aims,
Trumps that which legislation frames.
That which is God can’t be defaced -