Breaking The Curse

learned to live with fortune

in the realm of poverty

where poverty is relative and claused

reflecting on the ravens’

hard-hearted princes in their towers

counting crowns of peasants without pause

riches something finer

than gold coins or stocks and shares

weighted in the pans of wealth and worth

rebalancing the measures

by means of minutes, days and hours

tipping scales of justice where they’re cursed

Pavement Possibilities

It started just like many other nights

The moon was silver

Stars, merged with errant clouds

Could barely gleam

A lonely owl made much

Of covered darkness

Deserted perch in search

Of prey he’d seen

Still air was clear and calm

Vague scent of roses

Drifted on a whim

Of teasing play

Lungs filled with wonder, sights

All senses tingled

The ending

Of a perfectly good day

Suspected nothing more

My thoughts untroubled

Meanderings so vague

As to forget

Except for something niggling

As I wandered

How fleeting peace and beauty are

And yet

They’re everything that’s striven for

In a lifetime

The beauty felt in love

That knows no end

The comfort of compassion

Peace among us

The value of good neighbours

And best friends

Nothing more than musings

On a pavement

With home nearby

Some yards to reach the gate

When, out of nowhere

Moon and stars blinked, helpless

And shuddered

Ending peace and changing fate

In an instant, all I knew

All I remembered

Of peace and love and beauty

All that’s good

Lay shattered, in the ruins of craven madness

A blitzkrieg, from a neighbour

Chocolate covered

Relaxed, while orphans, widows, now all stood

I turned again

In absence of a reason

Hope blinded at the sights

That I surveyed

How, among the chaos

Was I standing

And what should be the message

I relayed

Hate filled my breast

The need for vengeance

Tragedy demanded

Some new cost

Escalated madness

Justified as

Revenge and payment

For all that I’d lost

I’d find a way to make them pay

For malice

For ignorance

For stealing what was fine

With nothing left to lose

I’d have my vengeance

In the terror that was given

I’d have mine

 

It started just like many other nights

The moon was silver

Clouds departed

Stars were visible

All peace and beauty

Love nearby, still cherished

The idea of a bomb

Quite risible

I met my neighbour then

While out in moonlight

A person hardly known

Her ways, mere guess

We ventured to establish understanding

In the glory of the peace

That starlight blessed

We chatted for a while

Found common kinship

In the children that we loved 

Sworn to protect

Two mothers

Finding harmony

On a pavement

No spectre of an ending to suspect

We turned, upon a whistle

In the distance

Far removed from where we stood

But still

Alarm lay caught

In throats of conversation

While men rule the world

It maybe always will

We stand upon the pavement

Facing judgement

Possibilities

Our Gabbatha

Innocent or guilty

Makes no difference

When condemnation comes

To where we are

Angels Required – Apply If You Dare

 

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Mayhem or monsters or weird creepy things

Fear angels with courage and bright, shiny wings

Who challenge all danger and vanquish the foes

Or turn on a light bulb to make the dark go

No shortage of ghouls that groan through the night

Nor dearth of big bullies that seek to cause fright

If angels are absent then what can you do

But grow a big pair and let them be you

No halos to speak of, no shimmering hair

Unused to flight travel when one needed where

Being a presence angelic would save

A supplicant’s heart who longs to be brave

A challenge before us when trouble ensues

Be monster or angel, a side you must choose

To be a bystander in the game that is played

Demons of dungeons will win, it is said

Imagine your wingspan, imagine your flight

Imagine the outcome if rules are played right

If angels are few in this realm of the dark

Where light merely flickers with barely a spark

A band of new angels need now must enlist

Intent and a signature all that is missed

Apply to the cosmos, apply to be one

Apply where one’s needed, it could be great fun

Intervention dynamic when folk need a hand

Can you be an angel who now makes that stand

No splendour, no bragging, but simple, serene

The dust of all starlight begotten, unseen

No payment, no kudos, but a swift spreading host

Being an angel where you’re needed most

Apply after thinking, apply when you’ve felt

That an absence of angels makes all hands worst dealt

Apply with all vigour, apply for defence

Go on now, you want to, you know it makes sense!

In a world of improbable, impossible knows

The quest for an army of angels now grows

Invisible, invincible, powerful pawns

Called into service to guide through till dawn

Essence of angel required today

Apply if you’re willing and do not delay

Posts are now filling but plenty to spare

Angels required, apply if you dare

Awaken, Evolve, Change

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Arise, awake from dreamer’s slumber

What ails you as you lie too long beneath the stars

A ready world awaiting your contribution

Keening its lament at your absence

Even now hopeful you will come

Never yet believing you would resist

 

Ere long, diminished days and nights will call

Voices drawing home to sleep forever yonder

Overcome suspended animation and

Live as only beating hearts know how

Vying for the marrow in your core

Ever evolving

 

Changing, yes, before widened eyes

Healing what was once the fatal wound of conflict

Altering the course and meaning of time’s

Nuanced reckonings through fleeting passage

Graduating by mercurial turns to its crescendo

Ever beautiful in vitality as still it calls, come

Hoods And Sashes

When you are being supported by the hood or sash brigade

You should know you are in trouble, on wrong tracks

The torches and the batons that the hate league like to carry

Are legacies of nations out of whack

Spouting vitriolic slogans, cultivating fear

Joyous in their robes and ordered rules

Beating up a fervour and marching blind to facts

Dangerous to just dismiss as fools

Tolerating troublemakers hidden from our sight

Or marching on the streets in drunken glee

Grandiose of gesture in dress and chosen stripes

Obedient to chants that laud supremacy

‘Fenians’, ‘papes’ or Jews are used, minorities, Muslims, blacks

To justify existence of their bands

Do we really want or need the hood and sash mentality

Influencing decisions in our lands

Aprons, lodges, flutes and drums, grand masters and their crew

Promoting blinkered, biased, one-track song

What we should be, what we should do, follow, follow fools

March and beat, don’t think, just follow on

If you are being supported by the likes of all above

And encouraging division for your case

You’re no more representative of me in whole or part

Nor others who support one human race

Remove the hoods, the sashes, societies and sects

Disband the teams that thrive on hate’s divide

The future of all people and the hope of justice, truth

Depends on more than stupid taking sides

Dinnae Fear The Reaper

Dinnae fear the reaper fur he comes to claim us aw

Insteid be watchin’ oot fur aw his pals

Folk that bend the bedsprings tae deliver rancid laws

Sleekit basturts plyin’ poverty, their cause

Dinnae fear the furriners, the enemy’s within

Malicious ae intent an’ rank deceit

Peddlers ae false prophecies, by diff’rent name, well kent

An’ aw wur human rights ur nigh oan spent

Dinnae jist ignore the news fae biased media

The Daily Heil an’ aw assorted rags

Gie evidence that challenges their version ae the truth

Boycott the advertisers, facilitators ae uncouth

Dinnae fret the sickle that threshed oot 2’16

When yer tea is oot it’s oot an’ that’s a fact

Insteid be giein’ comfort an’ support tae aw who need

An’ mibbe keep wur eyes oan selfish greed

Dinnae travel backwards thru’ pink-tinted specs that lie

Halycon, aye tainted, when it’s spied

Present circumstances an’ the future ae man clan

In ’17, c’moan, let’s dae the best we can

Dinnae dae resolvin’ if it’s only fur yersel’

Yer doomed tae fail, ah know, ah’ve done it tae

Plan a bit mair simple, fight the good fight fur wur race

An’ sock the reaper’s helpers in the face

Dinnae fear the reaper, tho’ his games an’ choices suck

Play inventit as he gangs alang

It’s the temperamental, bogus, twistit cheats that love his name

That really dish oot grief wi’ wars and pain

Noo, dinnae ye be fashing ‘boot the year that’s oan its wie

Doom an’ gloom, catastrophe, that ilk

There’s mair ae us than them an’, wi’ action, keep the heid

Enguard tae reaper’s helpers, wur no’ deid

 

 

Don’t fear the reaper for he comes to claim us all

Instead be watching out for all his friends

Folk who bend the bedsprings to deliver rancid laws

Sly bastards, plying poverty, their cause

Don’t fear the foreigners, the enemy’s within

Malicious of intent and rank deceit

Peddlers of false prophecies, by different name, well known

And all our human rights are nearly gone

Don’t just ignore the news from biased media

The Daily Heil and all assorted rags

Give evidence that challenges their version of the truth

Boycott the advertisers, facilitators of uncouth

Don’t fret the sickle that threshed out 2’16

When your time is up it’s up and that’s a fact

Instead be giving comfort and support to all who need

And maybe keep our eyes on selfish greed

Don’t travel backwards through pink-tinted specs that lie

Halcyon, always tainted, when it’s spied

Present circumstances and the future of mankind

In ’17, come on, let’s do the best we can

Don’t do resolving if it’s only for yourself

It’s doomed to fail, I know, I’ve done that too

Plan a bit simpler, fight the good fight for our race

And punch the reaper’s helpers in the face 

Don’t fear the reaper though his games and choices suck

Play invented as he goes along

It’s the temperamental, bogus, twisted cheats that love his name

That really dish out grief with wars and pain

Now, don’t be worrying about the year that’s on its way

Doom and gloom, catastrophe, that ilk

There’s more of us than them and, with action, keep the head

Enguard, to reaper’s helpers, we’re not dead

More Than Morlocks

 

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When soldiers, sects, societies march proudly to a beat
That drums and thrums on hatred uniform
And questioning’s diminished or dismissed right out of hand
We know we are a people misinformed

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When banners are unfurled in lands that simply are not ours
For purposes kept closeted or quelled
And who is friend or foe is determined by the day
It’s evident that we are being shilled

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When motives may be measured by the money or the power
Attainable if ethics are deemed dead
And who we trusted then can never be again
We know that, by the nose, we’re being led

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When qualitative judgements disenfranchise or demean
And language used dismisses human rights
We’ve become the Morlocks in dysfunctional machine                   High time to set the future in our sights

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When civilised communities turn from the baton waved
And muster to a tune that raises goals
We’ll know that we are free to be all that we can be
And maybe then we’ll salvage stolen souls

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When this year reaches closure, we’re counting down the days
Recognising it has been a bitch blast
Might we all resolve to set our digits to fast forward
And let past ways stay firmly in the past

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Love to you all and may you know justice, peace and happiness wherever you may be. Anne-Marie x

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.
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