Listening To Mikhail

When Mikhail says we’re making ready

That flags upon the charts are being laid

And our leaders posture, rhetoric unsteady

Should we listen to what Gorbachev has said

 

Should we listen to experienced survivors

To the experts who seek evidence and proof

To academics, historians and scientists

Who study past and future for the truth

 

Should we listen when the charities are groaning

Under siege to manage shelter, food

While governments can always conjure money

To weaponise our world for some vague good

 

When the friend within is demeaned and benighted

And tolerance is seen as enemy

When hatred escalates and is encouraged

Should we listen to what others maybe see

 

Should we listen to ourselves when twinges niggle

And reason urges calm and look again

Or should we just do nothing and make ready

To pursue a path that leads to greater pain

 

When the meanwhiles of the nations are unfolding

When the jigsaw picture’s starting to make sense

Should we listen, listen closely and decide to

Build no more walls and get down off our fence

 

When ex-leader of the ‘enemy’ proclaims it

Is it bluff and stuff to shrug off and ignore

Should we dismiss his words as fake and propaganda

Or should we listen like we never have before

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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….

Basic Burial

The stadium is full, the ball is in the air,

Players, with supporters, in their hordes, from everywhere,

Praying for a portion of the pot, the winners’ cup,

Linesmen, umpire, referee, the stewards, all lined up,

Ready for the toss up, shaking in their boots,

Could get messy, this one, it’s the final, back to roots.

Everybody gathered at the ball game, here we go,

The ref has tossed, the captains called, let’s enjoy the show.

First up Dederiyeh, arranging body parts,

Neo’s here, exposed himself, unusual but a start,

Homo’s on, with figurines, charms and artefacts,

Buried in the back wing, nearly off the charts,

Some are getting organised, let’s all give a cheer,

Salisbury’s started something but wooden seen from here,

Communal is coming, that should save some space,

Quite an international, frenetic at this pace.

Commentating’s difficult, these guys are second rate,

Time for substitutions, we’ll really feel the hate.

Nope, they’re subbing extras, Krishna’s for a kick,

Jain’s appeared, he’s harmless, though, ascetic and cosmic.

There’s struggle now, Kaliyuga’s on, might have sealed his fate,

The ref is writing cuneiform, he needs some record. Wait!

Djoser’s here! He has a plan, a pyramid’s appeared,

It’s quite the play he’s making, but it could end in tears.

There’s texting now, here comes Crete, this is epic, this is deep,

Watch that ball, it’s changing hands, stakes are growing steep.

Abe is on! Now Veda! Wood has turned to stone,

The crowd is growing restless, exodus, some going home,

The whistle’s blown, half-time called, team talk come at last,

They’ll be back, all fired up, coming thick and fast.

Let’s cut to the highlights, this game goes on for years,

Developing complexities, new characters, old fears.

Can’t keep commentating when the kick-off starts once more

Frantic on the football pitch, all wanting bad to score.

Lowlights looming later with the stars now on the ball,

Triumvirate, none triumphant, nil-nil, a no-score draw.

They struggled down the centre, on the sidelines, in the wings,

‘Over here!’ they shouted but the crowd did other things,

Went out for a burger, for a pie, some chicken soup,

Left maniacal to their game, hoping they’d regroup.

Back to basic burials, no winners and no cup,

Just a henge where humans fought. They died. The crowd gave up.

The stadium is empty. The ball has fallen flat.

No one here to commentate. Fanatics saw to that.

Well Met

met her on the mountains

wind nettled in her hair

red brushed through by finger’d draughts

her presence barely there

a wisp of lass, no more than ten

her breath a breeze in flight

cat-eyed maiden stole alone

cut swathes in misted night

passed through me in search of home

thought between we two

hurry back and mind your step

and sleep the whole night through

but stay an eye for feral beasts

keep one true for wild

a third you’ll need for pleasant folk

a fourth to save each child

fifth may penetrate the dark

and sixth shall make it clear

rest, be thankful but remain

alert, of list’ning ear,

met her on the mountains

outfoxed chill around

heard her hist’ry in my heart

her words in silent sound

met her once but ne’er forgot

each puzzled piece she told

maid of ten, or so I thought,

a child too soon grown old

wisdom of the ages

in the figure of a lass

red-haired, nettled, draughted, dead

met her in the Pass

Pleading The 5th

 If you chance upon a bonfire in your travels

as you go

Would you ask the guy upon it some things

folk would like to know

Has perspective from his vantage

changed his mind one bit

Or does view above the gallows

convince him right of it

Was it treason, treachery or a fight

for freedom bid

Would he try again to be shot of them,

politicians, all well rid

Were voices raised in passion but denied

a listening ear

Did he do it with a brave heart or a soul

choke-filled with fear

Did desperation drive him and does he think

we’ve learned a thing

About method and its madness, the results

some actions bring

Would they better listen now to the cries

of human rights

Or is power the same oppressor

the same old history to fight

Was it carelessness or vengeance that denied

his V for victory

Were there moments he regretted when

admitted he his plea

Was he guilty of the horror of a terrorist

home-grown

Was there quite no other way to go, all other options,

had they flown

Does he take November note of fireworks

and blast them all to hell

Was he demon, daring hero or a

roguish ne’erdowell

In your travels, if you see him, would you

ask the guy on fire

If the pyre is worth the burning, would he,

yet again, conspire

While they lift his carcass high to brilliant

colours in the sky

If you see him as you’re passing would you ask him

if again he’d try

Was persecution, bigotry

rife on both the sides

And does he see more clearly from on high, please

ask him to confide

If no answer is forthcoming from that effigy

they lift

Tell him hindsight colours history and let him

plead the fifth.

The Perfect Storm

clould_storm

(source)

Her certainties are vague and always fleeting, dissembled by a will that’s not her own, her thoughts, though rogue, are always so compliant, this the woman cast in role, she must atone, for something that she’s unaware of doing, for being just a woman here on earth, no ladette this, no bloke, no guy, no rugged master, simply born as female, lost, alone.

Watch her work it out that she’s done nothing, nothing more than black or white or gay, observe her as she claims her own potential, watch and wait, she’ll realise and have her say.

Biblically, she’ll clamour for the wild side, back to nature, earth and Gaia birthed, stand at ready, watch the elemental, working in the flesh and soil, rebirth.

See her rooted back to where she came from, note the stature, see the tree within, growing new limbs, sending where they’re willing, this is she, this is not a he or him.

Woman, by her very nature, growth and nourishment she will provide, intrinsic to her sex, and damn proud of it, watch and see her claim her wilder side.

Time was had and time was spent in waiting for hunter to provide the unit’s needs, they left, they fought, became distracted, forgot the reason why, the mouths to feed.

Woman waited, woman worried, wondered, what the fuck and why the hunter late, discovery of distraction, from the purpose, declared the hunter useless as a mate.

Hear the lioness, the mighty mother, hear the elephant, the whale, the mom, want to see a world in all its glory, give woman time, await the perfect storm.

 

No Shirking

Speaking in comments to Mark about work got me thinking about all the jobs I’ve had. I started writing about them and realised, with anecdotes, it would be a book if I kept on.  So this is the abridged resume. Well, kind of abridged. 😉

13

First the cafe tables with a spot of cook and clean,

50 pence an hour, child labour, boss was mean

15

Food store next, a small one, boss here was a prat

Started work in Woolie’s, ^^^^ sacked for doing that!

17

Office job for summer, pre to college term,

Boring after first week, job was way too tame

But stuck it for the lucre, had to earn some brass,

Education one thing but still a working lass.

17

College and a pub job, function suite, was great,

Illegal age, they never asked, silver-service wait.

18

Off to island, out in Greece, disco work, what fun!

Only paid if patrons in but drinks free, coke and rum,

Disco dancing with myself, easy-peasy groove,

Hangovers wild, not much cash, taking rough with smooth.

19

Hellas again for three months, chambermaid that trap,

Picking up for others, cleaning loads of crap.

(Have you seen those toilets!)

Restaurant next, souvlaki skewered, peeling spuds for chips,

Smiled and served, practised Greek, spouting from my lips.

Off to Athens for a spell, biscuit factory,

Women watching while I worked, too quick, apparently.

Back to college, different pub, smartarsed alecs joked,

Learned to smart them back, I did, the cheek of some young blokes.

20

Off to Greece to teach a year, English, yes, and Scots

Slightly different sometimes, ‘specially spelling of the US folks.

Term time finished, had to find other means of keep,

Watched a dog, a doberman, scared the shit out me.

Had to stay in penthouse and cook and sew and clean

And shop and serve and fuck knows else for bitch, (not dog), it seemed.

Took a pub job, served some pints, ouzo and the rest,

Met some fab peeps on their travels, that place was the best.

Watched a baby for three weeks, mum was on the prowl,

Hubs was on the game, she said, I gave her space to howl.

21

Back to home for nursing, no teaching jobs to pin,

Six months later, offered one, temping, but foot in,

Still some serving of some food, bar work, hotel near,

Two years teaching temporary, contract distant, dear.

First full-time in teaching! Tough place but a blast,

Two years there then moved on, still not near my last!

Fourteen years I laboured next in one place, not so swell,

Weans were fine, staff politics, ’nuff said, bleeding hell!

Had to leave, just had to breathe, off to pastures where

One year later and saddest kids, I resigned in great despair.

Took three years with my own kids, then youngest only born,

Supply work next, just filling in, liked it but it didn’t last long.

Six months in, head office, offered full-time plan

Cover schools in long-term posts, each different, every one.

This is best, I get to go in and out and round,

Here and there and everywhere, look and I’ll be found.

I don’t get bored. And politics? I speak and say my piece,

Mouths agape at cheek of me, can’t stand little cliques.

So, yeah, locations, odds and sods, jobs and places I have worked

Forty maybe, more or less, but, rest assured, I’ve never shirked.

Big Bit Beautiful

Recent hist’ry, further back,

Nothing born of chance,

Entwine threads and treasures found,

Conjoined in life’s dance.

Ghosts of words, mem’ries bound,

Ugly turns to dust,

Ethereal, spiritual, one love

In which we trust.

Haunted notes from music box,

Motes that swirl from lid

Raised reveal of velveteen,

Box’d coffin where we hid.

Hand to cover, prised, released,

Hinges rusty creak,

Ballerina, beautiful,

Pirouettes, she speaks,

Seeks the treasure,

Finds and shares,

Gifted girl, soul-gowned,

Energy with him reclaimed,

Twin-tuned from Underground.

 

Random click on open mail,

A moment glimpsed in time,

Comment came from words read there,

Here developed as I find.

Grave reminders, must we all

To humility subserve,

But, building up and strengthening,

Big bits of beautiful, all deserve

A second song from music box,

Reminders when we fall,

Composition, love created,

Biggest beautiful of all.

 

Impact

World keeps right on turning

In spite, not because

Of everything done and said,

Following natural laws.

Impact from external

May just change its course

Devastate, deviate,

Improve where none can force.

Rotational, cyclical,

Dizzying cyclone,

Spinning, spinning, spinning on

World no one may own.

 

Daubs Deployed

Whispers echo still, enlighten’d darkness,

Linger, longing, found in cyberspace,

Heard beyond all planetary, winsome,

I hear them then I picture words and face.

Whispers rise up, somehow are converted,

Awesomely configured, rendered, changed,

I can’t conceive of how a brain invented

Ways to alter speech, so rearranged.

I guess it started with some daubs on cave walls,

Grunts to graphics, pics for history,

Some cuneiform and hieroglyphs translating

Thoughts to page awaiting you and me,

Some ink pens then, calligraphy, that beauty,

Painstaking effort, patient and adorned,

Greek, Semitic, Arabic and Chinese

Marks upon some parchment to inform.

I’m thinking then of smoke and drums and phone calls

And telegraphs that sped the process on,

Who knew that one day someone could encrypt so

And fire words to ether coded, formed.

Thinking typewriters, TV and now Skyping,

Measures that foreclose the distance, space,

So techy I can barely understand it

But glad still that the progress had its place.

I’m putting down my pen now, words on paper,

Typing from the symbols, thoughts to all,

Sending code still daubed, deployed as little pictures,

Some abstracted, etched forever on my cavern’s wall.