Blessing All Quantities

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I count their blessings

less defined than mine

I count theirs first

that fear in all unknowing

going onwards

disappointed innocence

that’s the worst

All signs in prospect 

so elusive 

unknown quantities 

hazards blind 

I steer, advise them 

watch and catch them 

pointing once again 

in hopes they find

Their own distinct paths

though all roads trodden

worn before by others

new to them 

I count their blessings

give directions

then stand aside

to let them learn

They’re going forwards 

I’ve been there, done that

racing eagerly

all steps a risk 

I count their blessings 

embrace them as mine

one to seven growing

on my list

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Have No Fear, Wild And Free

I’ve given up for the night on attempting to write any more school reports. I have weans on the brain. Those I’ve been writing about, my own, my nieces and nephews, friends of my kids, you name it, I’m surrounded!

And they amaze me. They fill me. They are up to the mark on so many things I wasn’t even thinking about at their age. They’re so on the ball. Sharing their thoughts and feelings with a passion that leaves me speechless. OK, nearly. I have to have my say. And they come back at me, and they listen and they question and they share.

Gawd, how they share! Do weans these days have no embarrassment?!

Seriously, I won’t tell you what ‘inappropriate’ stuff filters through my poor lugs. I’m scandalised half the time and, fortunately, honest enough to acknowledge that the only thing that stopped me from sharing so much for so long was fear. They don’t seem to have that. Well, they do, in some ways, for things I can’t believe they fear. Then they go and say or do something that leaves me gasping WTF!

They are tremendous. Truly tremendous.

Young minds engaging in absolutely everything and with passion and a sense of truth and justice I am proud to say must have had something to do with their parenting. Even a little.

As for the rest, the times they live in, we live in, guarantee easy engagement.

I could go on forever as to why this matters to me, to us, but I won’t, hoping instead that my poem says it more succinctly. If it doesn’t, I have a cohort of youth at your disposal to enlighten you to their feelings and thoughts.

You’ll find them near an almost empty fridge. Do they ever stop eating? No wonder they’re all towering above me. In more ways than one.

We’d better laugh just now,

The kids are crying,

They’ve taken all they’re gonna

And that’s sad,

Sad they ever had to

Deal with lying,

Keep on trying

To oppress,

The kids are mad,

Mad as hell,

Just like their mental mothers,

Sanity in fathers

Gone for good,

Pressure boils the cauldron,

Can’t contain it,

Watch out folks,

For kids misunderstood,

Understanding new,

Where once was absence,

Absent fathers,

Mothers gone to pot,

Bubble, bubble,

Here comes trouble,

Children,

Raised without

Deserved, so

They’ve got

Passion in their veins,

The kids can’t help it,

Fires in bellies

Where there should be food,

Listen to their grumbles

And you’ll see it,

Won’t take much more,

The kids don’t need the ‘hood.

Courage on their foreheads

Like a tattoo,

Raising merry hell in politics,

Ask them,

Go on, ask them

Can you take it,

Up to all the spin

And dirty tricks.

Child from streets

Not talkin’ ’bout the ghettoes,

Kids like yours,

Like mine,

They see it all,

Festering, they burst it

Then anoint it,

Blessed be,

The kids won’t take the fall.

Savvy on the streets

And in the parlours,

Talkin’ jigsaws,

Piecing all the bits,

Whoopdedoo,

Some arse is due for whipping,

Generation 20′ need their fix.

Rocking chairs we ride on

Are now seizing

Little bits of pasture gone if dealt

On the pain of children,

That’s called justice,

Not too late yet

If we feel what’s felt.

Riding with the kids,

No need for Harley,

Hair to air on horsepower from inside,

Comin’ at you,

Watch the film now screening,

No place to run to,

Braves are running wild.

Wild and free,

We know that we were there once,

Difference being,

Not a bit afraid,

Everything’s been shared on social media,

Not got a secret left,

They’ve all been played.

Free from fear,

The kids are on the rampage,

Some misdirected,

That’s just par for course,

But watch the wonders,

Surging all around us,

Youth with yearning,

Action and discourse.

Gawd, excited! Can’t you feel their movement!

Battalions brave, bevy beautiful,

Lads and lassies,

More than hopeful, fired up,

Subtled to astute

‘Tween ruled and rule.

Man Knows It

Old masters, new voices,

Same lyrics, fresh choices,

Classic music, innovative songs,

Yesterday’s kids and today’s belong.

Man knows it, present still,

Past, future colliding, always will.

 

How can you stand the silence
That pervades when we all cry?
How can you watch the violence
That erupts before your eyes?

How can you tell us something
Just to keep us hangin’ on?
Somethin’ that just don’t mean nothing
When we see it you are gone

Clinging to some other rainbow
While we’re standing, waiting in the cold
Tellin’ us the same old story
Knowin’ time is growin’ old

That was a wonderful remark
I had my eyes closed in the dark
I sighed a million sighs
I told a million lies to myself, to myself

How can we listen to you
When we know your talk is cheap?
How can we ever question
Why we give more and you keep?

How can your empty laughter
Fill a room like ours with joy
When you’re only playing with us
Like a child does with a toy?

How can we ever feel the freedom
Or the flame lit by the spark?
How can we ever come out even
When reality is stark?

That was a wonderful remark
I had my eyes closed in the dark, yeah
I sighed a million sighs
I told a million lies to myself, to myself

Baby, to myself
Baby, to myself
To myself, to myself
To myself

(Van Morrison, Wonderful Remark)

You Need Us – Stop Abusing Us, Mister

What do you call it when someone says mean things about you?

What do you call it when someone says mean things about you that aren’t true?

What do you call it when someone takes from you but tries to make you feel bad about it?

What do you call it when someone tries to get others on side by lying about you?

There might be many alternative names for each of the questions.

Or one word that sums the whole lot up.

Abuse.

Look up the definition.

Noun or verb. Take your pick.

Scotland is NOT subsidised by the rest of the UK.

Yet again this morning I’ve heard that from another politician.

In fact, the records for the last 30 years tell the complete opposite.

Scotland’s Balance Sheet

Labour forced to admit Scotland isn’t subsidised.

The figures used are provided by GERS  – the same figures the UK government uses but manipulates to tell one side of a story.

The information is there. It has been there for years. Try the sixties – pre-oil boom. It is known by those who slander our name. It is known here. It needs to be known elsewhere. And widely.

One sure way to irrevocably break the union that the political mainsteam and media are so fond of is to continue to perpetuate the myth that we here in Scotland are the ‘subsidy junkies’, so earnestly spouted by every politician with a vested interest in maintaining the staus quo.

I am sick of listening to the lies.

I wanted independence so that we could manage our own affairs and not be dependent on the UK government allocating us a share that is less than what we contribute. Not because I don’t want to share. But because Scotland needs to run its own affairs completely to effect real change for the future of our children. Waiting for English controlled government via a bi-party monopoly to do so we will wait forever. Based on population size that’s a fact.

Do you think it was for love of union that the politicians fought the No campaign with promises of devomax? No way. The thought of losing Scotland’s taxes was more to the point.

Do you think the reason they are running scared of any deal with SNP is for fear of breaking up the union? No. They are afraid to be held account to promises made and run the risk of losing much needed revenue to prevent a much greater UK deficit than if Scotland were not contributing to the coffers.

But will they admit that? No chance. That the UK government should be dependent on a paltry nation of just over five million. In a pig’s eye will they admit it.

So let’s divide and conquer. Bite the hand that feeds. Vilify. Abuse. Negate any right to a voice.

In the absence of independence at this stage I want full fiscal autonomy. Keep the Barnett Formula. Keep English votes for English laws. I have no problem with that AS LONG AS we keep what we raise here. Being dependent on a proportionate share via policies decided elsewhere is not my idea of autonomy of any kind.

And yes there will be ups and downs. We know that. The UK government knows that. Ask them. Selective representaion of numbers evades the fact that the UK proportion of deficit exceeds that of Scotland. It evades the fact that the proportionate UK contribution to GDP is less than Scotland’s contribution. But waxes lyrical about the Barnett Formula.

The fact that politicians and media are still purveying the lie that Scotland takes more than it gives leads to the divisiveness being created NOT by SNP or any other Scot but by those who should know better and do better. Or maybe they don’t read their own statements. I doubt it. Read, masticated, spat out. Nasty taste.

At the point of no return from such divisiveness is the scenario where the union will end. Not by referendum. But in any spirit still hanging by a thread. And by the hands of the ones who claim to support and defend it.

Get the facts on the table.

You need us.

If you don’t want us, fine. I’m good with that. We can go. And take with us what is ours. Our national pride and right to autonomy. But you can’t have it both ways. Abuse will be answered one way or another.

It is no accident that SNP has grown in stature and volume here. They represent us, our voices, our needs.

The mistake the government is making is in believing or suggesting that SNP are the bogeyman.

We are the bogeymen. People informed. Because we made ourselves be. We needed to be. There is no going back from what has been put into public domain. Economics is one factor.

But just one.

The right to fair representation is the force.

I’m not even an SNP member but I will vote for them until the time comes that I can vote Green.

In my ideal UK right now there would be a force for change wrought by the voices of those from the Green party and other parties/independents who have real social justice and environment on their mind. There would be enough representation the length and breadth of the four countries to take every seat in parliament, rid ourselves of eltist, self-servers and work for the good of the whole nation and the rest of the world.

I know I’m a dreamer.

But I’m not the only one.

It’s time to give politics back to the people. Or take it.

But I will take no more abuse.

And neither will my children.

Not from anyone.

Would any mother or father do less?

That’s all we’re doing.

Defending ourselves and kids from abusive power

Without Us

The echo of a dream still sounds,

I stand alone, the world turns round,

Without us.

There’s no one left

But me, bereft,

Without us.

The sky so blue with height astounding,

Sweet clean air, green grass, surrounding,

Without us.

Silence deafens, no birds in flight,

An emptiness as cold as night,

Without us.

And I’m stood there, quite all alone,

A lonely beauty now my home

Without us.

A hellish dream, to be apart

Amid such glory, there’s no heart

Without us.

Such hollow sight though stunning seen,

Nightmarish, really, sort of scene,

Without us.

I chose life when sound was heard,

Arise, it said, an awesome word,

We’re here. 

In Praise Of Unique

Before there was liberation

There was salutation,

Supplication,

Fear.

Before there was liberation

There was sadness

Mixed with joy

And some tears.

Before there was liberation

There was angst

Filled with worry,

Too much noise.

Still, with the liberation,

Sadness, tears and worry

Don’t depart

But now they’re voiced.

 

For my beautiful daughter.

Heart of my life,

One of the seven.

One of the world.

Unique.

For our children.

All children.

All unique.

Old and New

New class, brand new school,

Old ways and new ways combined

Harmony in action.

new school 2 new school 3 new school new school 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday saw me move into this wonderful new school building. We’ve been going at it solid for three days, unpacking and setting up again, getting prepped for the return of the children today who scored three days off in the move. I’ve been climbing all over furniture hanging frieze paper on to fresh, new walls.

From this..

old school

Rotting from inside,

Beneath papered coverings,

Old gone very wrong.

The dilapidated decant building used while the new school was being built. What lies beneath the paperwork, right enough. Uncovered in all its glory while we stripped every inch of the old bare to salvage the worthwhile. January has been a different sort of job, teaching while packing and uncovering the horrors beneath. The Scottish Parliament has been investing in new schools the length and breadth of the country. Investing in the future. In our children. I, for one, am extremely thankful that some old things, long past their sell-by-date, will soon be demolished. It is possible to keep the old if we care for it. And it’s beneficial. The above fits no criteria worthy of retention.

phone 29 -1-15 027

Before first footprints,

Aged in fresh fallen snow,

Serenity known.

I took this from my bedroom in the early hours of this morning with my new camera phone, without a flash, on night time smart-setting or something that this auld bugger doesn’t quite get yet. But I like old and new. And I liked the results. About four minutes from here is my youngest daughter’s lovely new school at which I’m teaching for the year. Falling out of bed now. With the snow. Old(er!) and young, hand in hand, as off we walk to school. 🙂

Footprints

Reading some blogs I follow today I came across seven words from this one that jumped out at me. What follows is the result of those words.

Tread lightly and lovingly

upon the earth,

Balletic strength in honed

resistance.

Rise high above 

the heavy hand,

Mother wreaks her own

persistence.


Tread lightly and lovingly

upon the earth,

Tip-toe through glens

and glades.

Hold hands and soar above

unscorched,

Partner’d faith to light

and shade.


Tread lightly and lovingly

upon the earth,

Inherent land mines 

lie

In fissures, faults and 

weaknesses,

She breathes 

a weary sigh.


Tread lightly and lovingly

upon the earth,

Her balance guides

the day.

Her storm of fury

in excess

Demands

another way.


Tread lightly and lovingly

upon the earth,

Night’s end should 

herald morn.

Tread lightly and lovingly 

upon the earth,

Erred footprints

trample dawn.

In The Cloisters

One of my nieces graduated yesterday from Glasgow University, a beautiful young woman now independent from the hallowed halls of a structure of sublime architecture. My camera phone does not do the cloisters justice but I hope my words may. There were tears of pride and happiness as the 100 or so new graduates from the Veterinary School took their Hippocratic Oath and tears of familial love as the sworn-in veterinarians applauded their family and those who had guided their path for their five years of study. It was very moving. I slept for 10 hours straight when I came home!

 

The cloisters

 

Under shelter’d walkway ’round the courtyard of my soul,

In custom-built protection I may stroll

Some time or two, meandering in seclusion,

In contemplating fragments of the whole.

 

Colonnades supporting covered arches, portico to all that lies beyond,

Finger’d thoughts meander deftly, softly, touching swaying ferns and synapse’d fronds,

Face uplifted to the filter’d breezes,

Spirit sails on sun-streaked golden pond.

 

Arcade where columns peak to vaulted vantage, background buzz of bees and dulcet drone,

Nestled hemisphere of hermit’s haven, causes sought beneath a hallow’d dome

Where intersections advocate for essence,

Intercede and plead my way back home.

 

In teardrops’ rain a moment of calm capture, the briefest sort of pleasant reverie,

Infused prayer, exhaled from central solstice, length of one, eternal brevity,

Whose hush of rapid rapture leaves me breathless,

Gasping for source-poured liquidity.

 

In quiet cloisters fit for pensive purpose, open galleries portray their ancient frames,

Past and present catch up to the future, in cathedral’s mind where echoes may be tamed,

Till tumult teems again ‘mid errant pedestrian,

But solace sought in silent space still reigns.

 

Rebecca’s graduation coincided with her dad’s – my brother –  34 years ago and the Independence Day celebrated by Americans everywhere. I hope your day of gratitude for liberation was as special as that of my niece’s. I hope your future shines from cloistered thought.

May Music, Day 5 – Prophetic Ghosts

Qustion 5 for day five of Twindaddy‘s musical challenge asks if there is a song that becomes caught in your mind. For me it’s not a whole song. Three lines of a song heard many, many years ago shift in and out of my mind on a fairly frequent basis. I never know what comes next and never bothered about finding out. It never troubled me.

All I knew was that the words were from a Genesis album one of my older brothers owned when I was about 12. As is the way, when you have older siblings, their musical tastes are often absorbed and become your own. I found this to be true of so many different artistes that they listened to. Later, I would find it to be true of my older husband! And now even with my kids. It makes for quite mixed musical tastes.

This particular song comes from the album, ‘Selling England by the Pound’ and the song is entitled, ‘Dancing with the Moonlit Knight’. I couldn’t have told you that until a couple of days ago. And the only album that sprung to mind for me when I thought of Genesis was ‘A Trick of the Tail’. But, by that time, Phil Collins had taken over as lead vocalist while Peter Gabriel was still lead in the 1973 release of ‘Selling England by the Pound’.

When I researched the repeating lyrics I found myself further researching the meaning behind them. And this poem evolved. It seems to me that Peter Gabriel’s song was more than just an indictment on the seventies but a prophetic vision of the future.

Ghosts of future, past encased in music,  

spectral lyrics hint of prophecy,

reflections of a present found too wanting,

poor changes wrought for human dignity.

Genesis to revelations’ future,

selling nations, dollar, yen and pound,

drowning Thames, all rivers, countries flounder,

while money makes the world go spinning round.

Mediaeval music moving forward,

imagery writ by angel hand,

Gabriel’s voice, moving many mountains,

consumption, credit, death of earthly lands. 

‘ “Can you tell me where my country lies,” said the unifaun to his true love’s eyes.

“It lies with me,” cried the Queen of Maybe…’

intermittent medley in my mind,

no mere rhetoric in question,

Prohetically allegorical, I find.