Theatre

In the halls of bronzen busts and statuettes
There are dancers who tramp gravely on regrets
Swaying to the tempo in the temples where they pray
Devious doyens with feet of clay


As the music swells and lulls, they rise and fall
Portraits gaze upon them from white walls
Eyes that follow rhythm, follow faces, follow feet
Ancestry frowning, rap to reaper’s beat


By hallowed rights the movers call the tune
Their flaccid faces waxened in new moon
Semblant life processes in their neverending goal
Funereal and corpsed by lack of soul

Solemnity, a heresy, their choir
Raise relics in a circle of hell’s fire
Guising fit for governance, their croaks fill with alarm
Betrayal to the oath, first, do no harm

Primum non nocere, or alternatively, do good
Ignored by sisters, brothers of the hood
Fatal flaws endanger but the dancers they dance on
Necrosis fasciitis, blackened norm

Clouds descend upon the wailing moon
Inside, a cloud of skulls, traverse the room
Walkers in the shadows as they try to time their feet
Delight in dance, arrhythmic of heartbeat

Incision, non-inclusion, scalpels drawn, the tables wait
Unwilling patients strapped in jackets strait
Operations pending, anaesthetics unapproved
Quacks gather, surgeons claim it’s for your good

Masked faces, reddened eyes, a lust for blood, organic fare
The music stops, grim reapers everywhere
Dancing turns to marching while the portraits nod, approve
Do not complain, do nothing, do not move

They skid across bled floor to open doors
Fleshed out by sacrifices, they need more
Out of halls theatric where they need not wait again
Charlatans intent on causing pain

Back inside theatre, smiling faces on the walls
Come to life, descend, slurp up fresh gore and drink new gall
Sun shines through the doorway but they’ll rest where darkness plays
Practising new score for different days

In the halls of bronzen busts and statuettes
Unliving, yet undead, thrive on forget
Swaying to the tempo in theatre where we died
Cancers, with approval, hands untied

Labels – More Of A Guideline

I don’t like labels.
I don’t like labels a lot.
You could say, I hate them.
I don’t advertise brand names on my clothes. I’m not anyone’s free publicity machine.
And as for clothes’ size labels? One shop’s size ten is another’s twelve.
Labels are a gimmick. Or a guideline.

Except, last week I bought a pair of blue suede Doc Marten’s and I love them. But, they have a label tag at the back for getting them on. And it sports the brand name.
Choice. Keep them? Or not? Well, they are lovely. And they’ll be really hard-wearing. I’ll get my money’s worth from them. And they’ll be great in bad weather. And, did I say, they’re lovely?
So I’m keeping them.
I redid my political compass the other day too.
Just in case anything had changed with me.
You know, there’s been a lot of changes going on and my mind’s been all over the place trying to assimilate the meaning of it all.
But no change.
I’m still a liberal leftie.
Nearly off the chart, as it happens.
I seem to have become more liberal as I’ve gotten older. More accepting of the diversity of people and the many permutations that that diversity casts up in life.
Do I like that label?
Not really.
Labels are a gimmick. Or a guideline.
I’m a something. The label attempts to describe that something.
It also puts me in a box.
Fascism puts people in a box too.
If the label fits.
I haven’t liked seeing that word being thrown around recently. It’s a word that belongs in the history books and to be ever aware of – lest we forget. It’s a word with such potential for destruction. Potential for division. And should not be used lightly. It has been used to describe many different people and the choices they have made, based, at times, purely on a vote.
We’re a bit more complicated than that.
Usually.
The many different reasons why we feel, believe, act in one way or another. The circumstances surrounding the reasons. The upbringing. The input from other people, our experiences. The cruelty we have known. The kindnesses we have been shown. The sum total of our lives helping to determine how or why we will act in any given circumstances.
Being the person I am – my liberal leftie leaning ways – I tend to try to understand why people do and say the things they do. Try to make allowances for mitigating circumstances. Some might say a bleeding-heart leftie. And there may very well be justification for them saying so.
Perhaps I tolerate things that I ought not to, in the name of, ‘What if that were me? There for the grace of god.’ And so on.
Perhaps I should have zero tolerance for the children I teach who are the product of their upbringing, of the society in which they live. Or the one they have left. Perhaps I should not try to understand what makes them tick. Or help them overcome the barriers to achieving their fullest potential and development. Perhaps I should refuse to teach any rude ones. The violent ones. The persistent latecomers. Those whose absences run into double figures every term. Those whose parents never attend a parents’ evening, don’t help them with homework, feed them rubbish, don’t provide them with clean clothes or a healthy environment. Those who feed their addiction before their children. Perhaps I should punish the children. Blame them. Cast them from my sight so that I might better focus on the ones who have more of a chance.
But I won’t.
Perhaps because I’m a liberal leftie.
Or perhaps because, with a bit of effort on my part, some love and understanding, the right methodology, guidance and determination, loads of humour, some hugs when required, I might just make a difference. Perhaps they might remember that someone cared and they might do the same for someone else. And the world may turn on a happier axis.
Perhaps not.
I probably will never know.
It’s rare to get feedback at a later date.
I just have to believe that I’m doing the right thing.
But the belief is based on what I know of children. What I know of people. I was one. I am one.
How difficult is it to imagine how you would like to be treated then do accordingly to others?
Why is that so difficult for some? For many people, it seems. For so many in positions of power. And now, it would seem, even from those who are, and will continue to be, in need of the same tolerance and understanding.
Some of those who have shouted loudest in support of cruelty and have ‘othered’ factions of society, based on a label, are some of the most needy there are. Their needs are economic. They need work. They need to earn. They need the sense of pride that comes with being self-supporting. They need out of the spiral of fear. They need to feel security. They need to feel a sense of society and growth. They need to feel a sense of worth. They need to believe they are here for a reason. They need to have hope. And these needs have not been met.
They have been termed the forgotten citizens. And they have spoken. They spoke in the UK. Brexit. They spoke in the USA. Trump.
Will they speak in France too? In other countries in Europe and around the world where global economic policies and politicians have let them down?
And when they speak or shout their disaffection of the status quo, who will be their saviour? Who will step into the breach? The man or woman on the corner who feels the same? Not likely.
Or one for whom the power of change holds possibilities for themselves and a cohort that have waited their time?
And what shall we call them? What label apply to those who will not tolerate the other? Who will not mitigate for poverty or cruelty? Who will not thole the stranger? Who would diminish the human rights of others? Who seek superiority? Who believe themselves superior? Who would not do unto others as they would have done to themselves? Who walk the walk that has been walked and rejected before? Before we forgot to remember.
What label shall we apply to the box that has been opened wide?
And if the rise of ‘neo-nazi’, ‘alt-right’, ‘fascist’ refuses to return to its box, what then for those who cried, ‘Help’? Will they know tolerance from their leaders when they are in further need? Will they later fall victim to a rule that encompasses some aspect of their beings? Will anyone mitigate for them when the time comes? And it comes to us all.
Among the voices that spoke there are many others whose raison d’etre is being realised and is making them brave as all cowards are brave. As part of a crowd. A crowd that becomes mob in its voice and actions. A movement that shouts down opposition to intolerance. Ones who have waited the opportune time. Ones who have embraced their label secretly. Until now.
How shall we know the measure of their cloth? By the label? By its size when it fits? By the uniform it once wore? If the cloth does not maketh the man, his actions do. He or she. Labelled or not.
I’m a liberal leftie by nature. By actions. By experience. By label, so it seems.
But, tolerating the intolerable, I will not do.
That would be off the chart.
20161115_193119

Fight Harder

‘Thanks for making me stronger.’ ‘Fight harder.’
With courage, spirit and active voices.

The Green Study

canstockphoto5811625At midnight, I woke up and checked the election results and began to cry. My first thought was about the conversation I’d have to have with my daughter in the morning. She stood by me as I proudly filled in the circles on my ballot. Like many of my friends and family, we were optimistic that the world might look different in the morning.

It does look different this morning. It looks like misogyny and racism and anti-intellectualism are now the colors that this country flies. How could it not look like that? Somebody’s drunk uncle just got elected president.

I got caught up in the news cycles, the Tweets, the demoralizing nature of these campaigns. My heart sank when I realized that what I had believed about my country was not true – that we were kinder, braver and smarter than we are.

It’s a wake up call. For…

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Self-defeating behaviours

What the dug says.

Wee Ginger Dug

Oh here we bloody go again. Now you might have thought that the Scottish independence movement was motivated by the democratic deficit in this country, which leads us to have Tory governments we didn’t vote for, and which takes us out of the European Union even though we voted to remain by a considerably larger margin than we voted to stay a part of the UK. Perhaps you’d like to get rid of the affront to democracy that is the House of Lords and have governments that are responsible to the electorate and which the electorate can get rid of.

Or you might have thought that people in Scotland want independence because of an idea that’s more innovative than any jam, the notion that a country is best governed by people who actually live in it and who are elected by people who live in it and who are answerable…

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Walls

It loomed before me

a wall I’d only glimpsed before

built with bricks

I’d stepped over

in the past

It blocked all passage

barrier to where I wished to be

an obstacle that reached

as wide as high

and had done all along

It would not move

I could not shift it

mortar bound, its rigid face

growled down

and all around

 

And so I climbed

 

I found the footholds

the nooks and crannies

I stood abreast its height

and saw for miles

And there were others

at either side of

finding ways to scale

to reach that place

beyond the wall

And high upon division’s altar

hand in hand, we made a chain

we linked and found that 

on the other side of walls

we were the same

Meanwhile…In Not So Sunny Scotia

In my absence here I have been reading and researching. I have been engaging with social media and clicking on links to papers and documents, to videos and newsreels. I have been trying to find out more about what is making this world tick in the particular manner it is currently ticking. Like a timebomb.

One of the things I enjoyed about studying history when I was at school was when I realised that nothing happens in isolation. My older brother was the one who helped me see this.

The night before an important history exam he offered to help me prepare by quizzing me. I failed. Miserably. If I remember correctly he asked me how the First World War started. I can’t remember my answer now.

I do remember he said, ‘No. You’re looking at this all wrong. You have to look at what was going on elsewhere. One place wasn’t operating in a vacuum to another. Think about it. While you’re up here studying, the rest of the family are doing other things. Some of those things will be unimportant to you. But some of them could be rocking your boat. What if mum is arguing with dad? What if ….’

And on he went, describing what other people may or may not be doing that may or may not be impacting on my life.

I got it.

I finally got it.

He then went on to describe a series of events happening around the world at the time leading up to the outbreak of WW1. I was hooked. Every story he told, he would say, ‘Meanwhile….’

Meanwhile.

I’ve had ‘meanwhile’ in my mind a lot this while back.

The USA is bitterly divided on who to elect for president. Why? What’s on offer and what’s coming out of the closet around each candidate? And how much of what is revealed is true? How trustworthy is the established media? Whose corner are they fighting and why? How much of alternative media can be trusted? What is the source of information, do they have an axe to grind and what might that be?

Meanwhile, Britain has decided to leave the European Union. The Tory party seem intent on going for the so-called ‘hard’ option despite all evidence that suggests it’s the wrong option. No access to the free market if it means having to accept uncontrolled borders. Why is the Tory Party so intent in going for the most difficult option? Why would the Tory Party – capitalists of the first order – attempt to embrace the centre ground and sacrifice the pound in the name of immigration? Why is the rhetoric emanating from that quarter embracing xenophobic speech and helping, by their rhetoric, to cultivate antagonism towards the immigrant population? How many of the decisions made by UKgov are independent of that ‘special relationship’ with the US?

Meanwhile, in Syria, atrocities are being carried out against children. Why? In whose interests is it to control that area and why?

Meanwhile, in Israel and Palestine, what was done to one is being done to others. Why? Apart from history, is there psychology at play? Abused becoming abusers? Why are we so divided on seeing the connections?

Meanwhile, back in not so sunny Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has promised the possibility of a second independence referendum for Scotland. Why? Is she a power-hungry politician intent on breaking up the UK to the dissatisfaction of those who value its togetherness at all costs? Why are there still so many Scots still against it? It surely makes sense to support something which allows the Scottish people to determine their own course in the world. Why are some then still resistant to the independence that would allow their own voices to be heard by virtue of having a government that they actually voted for as opposed to always having the government that the rest of Britain votes for?

Meanwhile, 40million citizens in Russia are mobilized to prepare for nuclear war.

Meanwhile, Scotland is sitting on Trident. Rejected by Scotland. But housing it, nevertheless, because nowhere else on the British Isles is capable of accomodating it, apparently. And it would be too dangerous to house near a large city. Greater Glasgow (population just over 1million) is 39 miles from Faslane, the Trident nuclear base.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government is doing everything it can to enhance renewable energy as the best way forward.

Meanwhile, oil, Syria.

Meanwhile, new sources of oil discovered off the west coast of Scotland.

Meanwhile, some still believe that Scotland’s last referendum on independence was rigged. You think for a minute you’re walking out of here? We need your tax receipts.

Meanwhile….

It goes on.

The one thing that I am sure of in this muddle of information is that we are being manipulated. All of us.

How is it possible that so much of mainstream media sings from the same hymn sheet while there is evidence to the contrary?

How is it possible that so much anti-immigrant speech is being allowed? Not only being allowed, but being poured forth, in some quarters, like an avalanche of putrid vomit.

How did Hitler rise to power? Why were so many susceptible to his particular brand of fascist rhetoric?

How did World War 2 begin? What was going on elsewhere around the world that culminated in yet another war to disprove that the first would be the war to end all wars?

What is all the fighting about?

Is it fear of ‘the other’? Is it notions of a Caliphate? Is it protectionism of borders?  Is it humanitarian? Is it oil?

Is it, in fact, about who controls the means of providing their citizens with the sources of energy that allow us to switch on that TV? To run that car? To have the life that we deserve? At all costs?

Meanwhile, here in Scotland, a nation of just over 5million, some of us have a dream. The dream is that when we gain independence – and we will, eventually – we will pursue policies that reject nuclear weapons wholesale, embrace renewable energy as the means of safeguarding our planet while still allowing us to function in the world. We reject xenophobia, reject homophobia, reject austerity that hurts the poorest in the country. The poorest whose voices are not heard and yet must pay the cost of failure of fiscal policies and the austerity needed to balance the books. Whose fiscal policies? Whose interests are they representing? Where did all that revenue go to? Who benefited?

We reject the sectarianism that is still rife in this country of ours. A sectarianism that divides the population into Catholics and Protestants. Into two colours of two football teams. Into ‘yoons’ and ‘cybernats’. We reject the idea, repeated by mainstream media and successive UK governments that we are ‘too stupid, too small, too poor’. Despite evidence to the contrary. Evidence deliberately hidden by successive UK governments.

Natural resources are gifted throughout this world of ours. There isn’t a place on this planet that could not be self-sufficient in safe energy if the will were there, by those who wield the power, to invest in research and production. Why is there no will? In whose short term interests is it to safeguard the status quo? Where there is the will there is a way. I believe that.

But the will is lacking. Why? That is the billion dollar question. The Rockefeller Foundation renounced fossil fuels in favour of pursuing renewables just prior to the Paris Climate Talks last year. From what I’ve read of the Rockefellers that sets alarm bells ringing. Has the agency, founded on snake oil, become so altruistic that its main concern now is to preserve the planet? Or just some of it?

Scotland has already shown that it is possible to produce energy through many different, safer means. Research and investment into wind, into tidal. Feckin’ kites for god’s sake! This country – rich in oil – wants another way. The research needs developing. But the finances available to further that aim have been cut by UKgov.

For yes, we receive pocket money from Westminster. Scotland may be an oil rich nation but the revenue from these many years of production has gone south. Privatised and misused. Successive UK governments – regardless of party politics – have used the revenue to give tax breaks to the rich or develop selected areas of England. All other countries can fend for themselves and then take the blame when what is allocated does not – cannot – counter policies made elsewhere for the benefit of some.

I recognise that large swathes of England have been neglected at the expense of a select few. I’m as heart sorry for them as I am for us. Wales. Northern Ireland. For Scotland.

I recognise that money rules the world.

I recognise that those whose sole pursuit is money and power don’t give a damn about anyone else but their own interests.

I recognise that people are considered collateral damage by those who wield power.

I recognise it. And I reject it.

I will fight for Scotland’s independence till the day I die. Not because we do actually contribute more to UK’s coffers than they advertise and we want to keep that to help our nation in the way we see fit. Valid though that reason is, it is, for me, not the main one.

It is because we are ignored.

It is because our values and aspirations are ignored and deemed unimportant.

It is because we are deemed expendable. It is because UKgov allows and encourages, advertises, an erroneous image of Scotland to sustain their power base.

It is because successive UK governments have allowed and promoted the notion that we are a nation of scroungers.

And they have not done that for no reason.

Double negatives aside, how does one conquer?

Divide.

Divide countries in a union – any union – by the language and information you use. Manipulation.

Blame ‘the other’ for failings in economic policies. Manipulation.

Control the media. Manipulation.

Lie. Manipulation.

 

Yes, this is my conspiracy theory.

But what is a conspiracy but what we are NOT told?

And we are not told plenty.

So I will continue to search. I shall continue to seek answers to why it is, apparently, imperative that wars are carried out in the name of one thing while ulterior motives are present.

I will continue to question why US and UK still sell weapons then cry foul when they are used. Why regimes are undermined then controlled. Why lives are unimportant in pursuit of something else. Anything else. Whether that be religion, oil, land or power for power’s sake.

Our world is a fucked up mess and we are all culpable. Every last one of us. We let our governments play by standards and rules that we are not privy to. We let them build the weapons of the future to maintain supremacy.

We let them.

Is Nicola different?

 

I don’t know.

I think she is.

I believe she is.

Her actions suggest she is.

 

But, no matter, it is not the SNP that drives the voice of independence.

I am not a member of the SNP.

I am not a member of any political party.

Been there, seen that, done it. Scottish Labour. The northern branch of Westminster. I did not leave them. They left me. They left all working class people in pursuit of something else. Something now indistinct from what the Tories stand for.

I abhor party politics.

They’ve proven time and again they do not work.

Except for themselves.

 

SNP? They, for me, are a vehicle that will give the people of Scotland the independence they need to change our corner of this globe and, hopefully, the wider world.

If I were to be a member of any political party I’d be Green.

It is the natural choice for someone who wants to protect our planet in oh, so many ways, from the worst excesses of ourselves.

Oh, one of the things that my brother and I disagreed on way back then.

Him: If I have to die I want everyone I know to go with me. I don’t want to think that everyone’s here while I’m not.

Me: Oh, God, no, when I die I want to think that there are people here I know and love keeping the story going.

 

I feel I should apologise for this post. Not the content, per se. But the hurried together, rather manic way in which it has been written. But, you know what, I’m not going to.

I will not apologise for being worried, for caring about people all over the planet, for wanting my children to have a future. For all children to have a future, no matter their race, creed or colour.

 

I also wanted to take the time to go back and insert references/links to what I have been finding. But, I’m not going to. I’m not going back. I’m going forward. The information is out there. The reasons are there. Find them. If there is one thing that the internet was surely invented for was to help save us from ourselves.

 

Meanwhile…

It’s Friday. I’m on holiday from school for a week. Thank heavens. What a week!

May your god or none go with you.

May you know peace wherever you are. May you know peace in your heart.

We’re just this tiny blue dot.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in space….

The Bigger Picture

plate glass closes tightly, thickly frosted

screened with lacework, curtained, floor to sky

scenes we’ve known diminished, still reducing

shrinking into rooms, to let them lie

 

the scenery is panelled, framed and stillborn, stale the air 

through windows draped in layers and layered again

wedged tightly shut, a febrile, formed protection

muted from all colour, from all pain

 

the bigger picture’s framed by heavy woodwork

wrought iron, trellises, most intricate

but it calls across the lands, traverses oceans

recognize again, perceive my work

 

the faintest breeze, a stirring spiral, reaches

downwards, into rooms, through chimneys climbed

a twitching, eager nose and then one finger

responsive to the urge to know again

 

repossession reaches, that one finger

then two, then three, then four, then many more

the barricades, torn down, from every window

a tempting glimpse of what may be in store

 

the sliding doors grow wider, wider, wider

a gush and rush of air that surges, calls

come and look, have sight once more, remember

as once you were before entrapment by these walls

 

the bigger picture holds aloft a mirror

questions what is seen and what is not

validates existence by reflection

refuses to believe all she is taught

 

the bigger picture’s green and blue horizons

clarified, the seascapes, mountains, open fields

panoramas, visions, prospect, vistas

to veritas, the cloistered view must yield

In the darkness of the storm, we can see the rainbow

The Ghosts Of Cable Street…

Wee Ginger Dug

You might think that with a Brexit vote supported by just 52% of those who voted that the Tories would go slowly and carefully on their plans to take the UK out of Europe. You might think that they’d be concerned to ensure that they gained the support of the whole country. You might think that they’d be careful not to antagonise other EU countries which hold most of the cards in Brexit negotiations and which are concerned about the fate of their citizens who live in the UK. You might think all of these things because you’d be a sane, rational and reasonable person. Which means you’re not a Tory.

The Tories have instead chosen to use the Brexit vote as an excuse to go full on fuck the foreigners. They want companies who employ foreign citizens to list them, so that the companies can be shamed. In Britain…

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A Different Table

sitting at the same table

watching while

food disappears from my plate

a recognised

invisible hand

reaching across my shoulder

another from beneath a tablecloth

patterned in red white and blue

feeling the hunger

but waiting for decency and manners

to acknowledge that what is served

provided

prepared

by me

I have a right to

realising, eventually, that

the currs will feed first

be favoured

that, in that dining room

chefs

kitchen staff

waiters

are by the by

ignorance is indifferent

much flaunted manners

a learned behaviour

that breeding will out

the pilfered silverware laughs as it clatters

among the nonsensical chatter

lives brokered and bartered

leaded receptacles fall

shatter

and death becomes invited

partakes

its toll growing

while the same knowing hand

sprawls messages

subliminally

and obviously

that counter truth

my table

my plate

my food

stolen from me

while calling me

scavenger

and thief

the parasite

peddling lies

breeding disharmony

and hate

 

Waited too long

We leave that table

We leave those plates

We leave the inhospitable

We leave

In our kitchen

We have all the ingredients we need

To make a new meal

A better meal

To season it

According to our tastes

We serve it

Share it

Sit at a different table

A round tablecloth of multi-hued

Acceptance

Commensalism

Consumes fairly

Mutualism moreso

We need

A different table

 

To continue the analogy, I am currently consumed by politics and news. Scunnered by it, to be honest. Like I’ve eaten too much and want to barf. The taste of what is being served inter/nationally and globally has me retching. And I know I’m not alone in this. Between school work, family, writing and following politics and news like a demented disciple, I’m not on WordPress at all at the moment. I even thought to delete my account, thinking ‘what’s the point?’ but I can’t quite bring myself to do that. There’s too much of myself here.  Forgive me please for not visiting. I’m sure the urge will return. Until it does, may I offer you all my warmest wishes and blessings and hope that everyone is doing what they can to change the menu.x